Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cinderella Castle, The Magic Kingdom, November 1971

Long ago, my friend "Mr. X" (who really exists, I swear!) had given me a nice group of negatives from his first trip to Walt Disney World, back when it had been open for a matter of weeks - he was there for the Thanksgiving holiday. I posted all of them, the last appearing in August of 2016. But X discovered two more envelopes with more negatives from that same trip! Some 66 images. There's a ton of shots of the Contemporary Hotel, for better or worse; but there are a lot of other nice photos too, including some unusual pictures of some shops around the Polynesian Resort, and a number of lovely photos taken at night.

Look at this beautiful shot of Cinderella Castle at dusk! After years of seeing Disneyland's beloved Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Florida version must have been a stunning sight for Mr. X. 

There's something comforting about seeing the "twinkle lights" in the trees in the plaza - as if all is right in the world. Cinderella's Golden Carrousel can be seen through the castle arch.

I'll tell ya, scanning color negatives is a challenge; the computer (or "pooter" as I like to call it) doesn't quite know what to do with the colors, and getting them to match or even look decent can occasionally be a real trial.

Isn't it pretty? From what I understand, there is now a large and rather ugly stage in front of the castle. I'm agin' it. I'm sure they wanted my opinion, but the letter got lost in the mail. Is there a spiral staircase or ladder that goes to the top of the highest tower? I need to go up there and eat a sammich!

Stay tuned for more November 1971 photos of the Magic Kingdom.


Nanook said...


It's a lovely and graceful castle, its forecourt now "modified" for entertaining the masses. These images remind us of the original intent of the Imagineers, looking quite stunning.

Thanks Major [& Mr. X].

K. Martinez said...

Wow!! What beautiful Castle shots. Love the last one. The colors are great. I agree with Nanook about the original intent of the Imagineers in regards to the forecourt. Thanks, Major & Mr. X

Scott Lane said...

I was going to comment here as regards the forecourt stage but like Thumper said, "If ya can't say somethin' nice...."

Chuck said...

These are an amazing testament to what the place was intended to look like vs. what it has evolved into. My preferences tend to default to the original intent (with perhaps a few more mature trees, say circa 1979).

Several years ago, Imagineering Disney posted photos of the top of Cinderella's Castle. There's a series of staircases and ladders to get you there, and climbers are required to wear a safety harness for the last bit.

Chuck said...

Oops - forgot to embed the link to the actual photos:

Tom said...

Love these pristine castle shots - it looks so crisp and new!

Now then: bring on the Contemporary Hotel pics! I'm crossing my fingers for pics of the interior, and maybe some shots of the plexiglas trees!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s almost as if the folks who run the park today don’t understand that the Imagineers designed things the way they did for a reason. But that couldn’t be, could it?

K. Martinez, I think you’re really going to enjoy this batch of Mr. X’s photos; there are some real beauties.

Scott Lane, sometimes I can’t resist a bit of snark, but, like you, I do try to keep GDB from turning into one of those blogs that does nothing but complain.

Chuck, once I clicked on(or copied and pasted) that link, I remembered seeing those photos before. Who knows, maybe a case of vertigo would set in, and they would have to send in the firefighters to pry me off of the top of the castle!

Tom, you are in luck… there are shots of the Contemporary Hotel’s Grand Concourse - they are nice photos, though most of them were taken at night, so sometimes the lighting leaves a bit to be desired. Plexi trees are visible, though!

K. Martinez said...

Major, as I read your more thoroughly this morning, that's awesome news that your friend "Mr. X" has discovered two more envelopes full of more negatives from that same trip. I'm looking forward to those. Mr. X has contributed so much to GDB. A big THANKS to him for providing such cool photographic treasures over the years.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I went to WDW three years ago, after visiting Disneyland scores of times in the preceding 45 years. My first impression of Cinderella Castle was almost one of intimidation. It was just SO much larger!

Nanook said...

@ Steve DeGaetano-

Cinderella Castle is a LOT larger. But as I always say: Each castle seems properly-sized for each park; and I like them equally. (Well... that is unless one or the other happens to be playing 'dress-up', and finds itself adorned with nonsensical, tacky, senseless fleur-de-lis, or the like. And/or sporting one of today's hot, "decorator colors"-!) Then all bets are off.

Mark H. Besotted said...

To quote my old friend Figment, "Wow wow wow!" I wasn't even able to walk through the castle on my last trip, since they were running the stage show so often. Needless to say, we couldn't see the carousel from the new, supersized hub either.

I'm also jazzed to hear there's so much more from Mr. X. That makes him my new second-favorite X (after Atencio, but now ahead of Xerxes and Xena Warrior Princess).

Nanook, I think we can all agree that castles shouldn't be covered in "the like". All of us except Stitch, of course.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, you aren’t kidding; Mr. X has literally given me hundreds of photos! I mean, to KEEP! It’s amazing. I still have a whole batch of wonderful Disneyland images that he took in the early 1970’s, for some reason I am saving them, even though I scanned them years ago.

Steve DeGaetano, I’m sure my reaction would be similar to yours. Meanwhile, I’ll never forget hearing a podcast from a WDW regular who was visiting Disneyland for the first time, and he kept repeating, “Everything’s so SMALL”. It was annoying.

Nanook, what if we made the Cinderella’s Castle into Princess Leia’s Castle??

Mark H. Besotted, oh yeah, I’d forgotten about the revamped hub at the Magic Kingdom. I agree, X. Atencio is pretty hard to top! My friend thinks it is hilarious that I refer to him as “Mr. X”. I’d never seen that version of the TP’d castle. ARG!

The Disney Dudebro said...

I was just at the Magic Kingdom earlier this week and had an up close view of the castle. Interesting to know that little has changed since then.

Well, almost!

As of now, they've added extra walls and spires around the courtyard area which are used for the night show.

Also, it appears that the castle here maintains its white and blue colors, while nowadays, it has a more purplish glow. Wonder if that was the case back then?