Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Walt Disney World, December 1971

Here are the last four Walt Disney World pictures from my December 1971 batch. 

Awwww yeeeeaaaahhh! The amazing steampunk Nautilus submarines at The Magic Kingdom's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" attraction were hella cool. While I love the history of Disneyland's subs, I would not have complained if we had inherited the Florida subs after the 1994 closure. No such luck.

Fantasyland was neat in its way, though the façade of "It's a Small World" is disappointing. I'm sure it was a money issue, but that tented entrance almost gets lost among the surrounding architectural detail.

Another photo of IASW, from the other side. One advantage is that the Florida guests could wait in a shady queue, away from Florida's often-intense sunshine. Meanwhile.... Skyway!

And finally, a picture of Main Street Station, possibly taken from the Monorail Station (?). One of the railroad trains can be seen... compared to Disneyland's trains, that thing looks huge. It just goes on and on!

I'll have more vintage WDW for you in the future!


Chiana_Chat said...

Yay, more! Cool beans.

In the 3rd pic, Dude with ice cream cone is doin' it right. He's obviously enjoying himself.

Fantasyland there... well, Disneyland's wasn't as hot then either. Small World's tent, that's a total regression. The Steampunk before Steampunk was punky subs, that scene looks fab and the train station shot superb!

Serge Gorodish said...

I don't think the fourth photo was from the Monorail station, which is off to the left of the main entrance. In front of the train station is a large open area where currently there is a security checkpoint, and then some boat landings in front of that.

Melissa said...

I'm sure the Florida rain played a part in the decision to enclose the it's a small world entrance, too. It's fun to wave up at the diners in the Pinocchio Village Haus as your boat sets off. There used to be pretty fountains in the water at the load area, but they haven't been turned on for years.

Bottom of the third picture- it's Kurt Vonnegut strolling through Fantasyland!

K. Martinez said...

I like the IASW façade at the Magic Kingdom. They did a nice job of blending it in with the west side of Fantasyland. I also think the whole IASW/Pinocchio Village Haus building looks great. I like how upon entering you walk down a ramp to the water level to board your boat. There are also views overlooking the interior loading area from the Pinocchio Village Haus which I thought was cool. The Florida version also has the “flooded sets” vs. the flume utilized in the California version. I appreciate that they tried something different. It makes for a more interesting.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great pics, thanks! The new WDW Fantasyland will have to be quite stunning to make me forgive them for getting rid of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, ice cream makes any day better! And you're right, Disneyland's Fantasyland was still a jumble of brightly painted flat façades; I loved them, but they were not fancy.

Serge, I will take your word for it! Having never been to Florida, I have no idea of the layout of things except in the most general way.

Melissa, you're right, the rain had to be a big factor in the design of everything. They even needed to add a covering to the teacups at some point after failing to do so originally. And I think "Kurt" might be a woman?!?! So funny that you mention him, since I just started re-reading "Welcome to the Monkey House".

K. Martinez, did they add some sort of miniature version of the Disneyland clock at the Florida version of IASW? I seem to remember seeing photos, but maybe that was a different park. I've seen those flooded sets, and they do look pretty great.

Pegleg Pete, no kidding! The coolest thing they had was torn out. Such a shame. but the new Fantasyland looks pretty nice from what I've seen. And that Snow White mine car thing looks neat as well.

steve2wdw said...

During one of the last IASW refurbs, the towers and clock were recreated (albeit much smaller) on the back wall of the interior queue. It definitely spruced up the load area, but still can't hold a candle to the DL version.

As for the rest of Fantasyland, when the MK opened in '71, Fantasyland was vastly superior in design to it's west coast sibling. Although there were tents at the attraction entrances, all the in-between space were (and still are) European style buildings. DL, 12 years later, went ahead and improved on that concept, and now is the design bar.

Excellent group of pictures. Love them all!

Major Pepperidge said...

Thank you for the info steve2wdw! I definitely depend on the expertise of others when it comes to anything having to do with the Florida parks.

I have a group of excellent photos from November 1971 that I think you will really enjoy. Not sure when I will start posting them, but stay tuned!

Chuck said...

The second photo is beautifully lit, creating contrasting shadows that make the image really "pop." I'd love to see this in 3-D.

The photo also emphasizes a little-known feature of the Magic Kindom's Fantasyland - the Disney family guest apartment. Much like the apartment built for Walt's grandkids over the Toy Shoppe in Disneyland's Fantasyland (see http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com/search?q=cloudy+fantasyland+1956), this was intended to be a retreat and low-key overnight accomodation for Disney family members and their guests.

As we all know, actual operations at Disneyland influenced many of the design elements of the Florida park, leading to improvements in things like better crowd flow and increased capacity over many of the corresponding areas and attractions in California, and this apartment was no different. Note that it is considerably taller, which provided greater separation from the crowd noise below and gave a better view of the surrounding area. Additional improvements were a shower, soundproofed plumbing, multiple keys, and a yippie-proof front door.

Chuck said...

For more details on the Disneyland apartment, see the comments under "Cloudy Fantsyland 1956" or use this link here: http://gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/cloudy-fantasyland-1956.html.

Melissa said...

I guess soundproof plumbing would be a plus. You wouldn't want people on an indoor boat ride to keep hearing mysterious toilet flushes.

Nancy said...

*sigh* still so miss the Skyway. Wish I was riding it RIGHT NOW! :-)

Unknown said...

Major -- afraid I can't agree with you on any "transfer" of the Capt. Nemo-style Nautilus subs from Florida to our Disneyland. While I like them, and they are cool, I associate them with Florida only. As a child of the Cold War, and a naval enthusiast who's read books of the exploits of the Nautilus, Skate and Triton -- nothing could ever replace our beloved navy-grey 1950's atomic subs! (And believe me, I definitely had "mixed feelings" when they reopened the sub lagoon as "Finding Nemo"... hmmm, just an aside, but who picked the name "Nemo" for that film, anyways? You'd think it was too associated with "20,000 Leagues" or something...). Anyways, I was happy to have the ride back in operation, but APPALLED to see my beloved grey beauties painted electric-banana yellow! Well, I guess Donovan warned us in 1967 that electrical bananas would be the very next phase! Or maybe they should have named the ride "Finding Sgt Pepper" (in the Beatles' Yellow Submarine?)
--Mike Douglas

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Douglas, well, I guess it's just a matter of taste. I would much rather have the Jules Verne style subs than the bright yellow Nemo subs of today!

Unknown said...

Oh, one more thought while "Nemo" is on my mind... while I always enjoyed Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," what my brother & sister and I liked even more was "Mysterious Island" (1961). Too bad that wasn't a Disney picture, cause it would have made a terrific Disneyland ride, with giant animatronic crabs, chickens, bees, and of course a squid!

That movie had it all -- hot air balloon ride, cool cavehouse where they lived, pirates, a volcano, Atlantis, and the Nautilus! Though I must say we were disappointed that the Nautilus didn't move in that film, and we sure couldn't understand how they could put all the time and effort in raising the sunken pirate ship to escape the island, but NOT repair the Nautilus and use it? I suppose from a screenplay point, having to salvage the pirate ship added a lot of plot (showing the giant seashell breathing tanks, getting to see Atlantis, the giant squid attack), but Capt Nemo (Herbert Lom) never did explain why the Nautilus would "never sail again".

One of the small independent stations in LA (Channel 9 KHJ, maybe?) used to show that movie so often that we memorized much of the dialog!
--Mike Douglas

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Douglas, it has been a long time since I have seen "Mysterious Island", but I do fondly recall all of the Ray Harryhausen animation. That was all I cared about! If only there was more of it. I'm sure it would have taken much more technical knowhow to fix a Victorian nuclear submarine… a pirate ship would be relatively easy, I suppose. Still, it would have been great to see the Nautilus under sail.