Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nice Walt Disney World, November 1974

Here are more pictures from The Magic Kingdom in Florida....

This first one is similar to another that we saw not long ago; it was taken in the morning, obviously before guests were allowed in, which gives us a great Edward Hopper-esque view of a deserted amusement park. I see a single cast member in the middle of the street, way down toward the castle!

Our photographer hot-footed it over to Adventureland to see the still-new "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction, which had opened only about a year earlier. It's so weird to see no people around!

This image is a little bit to the right of the previous one. I have no idea what any of those other buildings are (could that be a train station in front of us?). Can anybody help?


Nanook said...


Ahhhh... The freedom to stretch one's legs; to outstretch one's arms without fear of striking another guest. Oh, for those days-!

That should be the original Frontierland Train Station we spy in the distance, peeking through the breezeway at the far end of Adventureland, as it transitions to Frontierland.

Thanks Major.

K. Martinez said...

In Caribbean Plaza, the building to the right in the last image is El Pirata Y el Perico (later Tortuga Tavern). To the left were a cluster of shops including; House of Treasure and Plaza del sol Caribe. Also in view to the right is part of the fountain "Fuente de la Fortuna". There were several fountains in Caribbean Plaza at that time. Other fountains that I knew of were "La Fuente Serena" and "Fuente Cielo Azul". I think they've all been filled up with dirt and used as planters now (more water elements gone).

Walt Disney World pics are always appreciated. Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

Caribbean Plaza is one of the most beautifully themed areas of any Disney park. Through the archway, the path turns to the right, where Adventureland transitions into Frontierland. The train seen here is approaching the old Frontierland Train Station, which was a little farther north of what is visible here.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know, it looks so pleasant, so open and airy! If I ever do get to Florida, I know it won't be anything like that. Thanks for the confirmation on the Frontierland station.

K. Martinez, wow, all of those fountains are gone? What the hell? The company prides itself on details, and yet it continually chips away at the details that make the park so charming.

Leonard Bast, this area really is very well themed, it looks fantastic. Thank you for the link to "Widen Your World" - a website I should look at more often.

Chuck said...

Nice set today. Love the Edward Hopper reference. He was great in "A Bug's Life," too.

The fountains were part of what made Caribbean Plaza so special. Actually, one of the things I loved about the MK was the profusion of fountains of clear, clean water - on hot days, I could splash a bit on my face and head and cool down a little. I understand the cost of maintaining fountains and water loss to evaporation, but as is stated above, it really added to the charm of the place. Sad to think that much of that is gone now.

Completely unrelated topic, but I had a dream last night that I was part of a team (including Nanook and Major Pepperidge) that designed and built a "space-time continuum retro-spectral actuator" (seriously - I wrote it down after I woke up). To use it, you entered data on a particular latitude, longitude, altitude, date, and time. A worldwide network of sensors would capture available light and then, using a complicated algorithm and a powerful computer with lots of blinking lights and 1-inch tape decks, back-calculate the path of all visible light that would have been reflected to that precise point at that precise time. The machine would then create a spherical, virtual-reality representation of what you would have seen if you were standing at that point on that date, sort of like a time machine paused on one particular moment - or maybe a Google Street View through time.

So, of all the places and times we could have selected to test it with, what did we choose? 33.812158 N, 117.917890 W, 147 ft, 1800 GMT, Nov 8th, 1964 - to definitively settle whether or not Circarama turned into Circle Vision on that date (see yesterday's discussion). It didn't, but we proved the system worked. Then we used it to solve JFK's assassination (it turned out to be a grade school chum of mine).

New rule - no GDB at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

Dan Heaton said...

I love the empty shots from the early days of the Magic Kingdom! These days, it basically takes a special event or right before closing to get those shots. Adventureland looks so bare! Things are a bit too busy now.

Nancy said...

Nice as always! I will never tire of seeing vintage photos of Magic Kingdom :-)

Unknown said...

Not only have the fountains been done away with, but the area is now cluttered up a good bit with pirate-themed decorations and impedimenta. The subtlety captured in these pictures is largely gone--though it's still a nicely-themed area with much appeal.

Nanook said...

When I think of what makes the WDW Magic Kingdom special, I often think of Caribbean Plaza - or at least as pictured here. I think fondly of the theming in the area that never seemed to end - even looking towards 'off stage' passageways or exits - the details, including show lighting, water features and architectural flourishes, were first class - in spite of the fact these areas were secondary or tertiary Guest areas.

@ Chuck-

I'm getting a bit worried, now... but at the same time, quite honored to be included in this 'motley group' of Time Travelers-! My dream - which is actually the truth - was when I walked the Magic Kingdom, at WDW, alone, after closing. Talk about surreal, exciting, and an unforgettable experience, reserved essentially, I suppose, for CM's working that shift. And at that time, all the water features were still there and operational. Now it appears those days are long gone - even during sparsely-attended days. How sad.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, you must be thinking of Hedda Hopper! The maintenance of the fountains is a lame excuse to get rid of them. Think of the amount of money being spent in the park every day, and the relatively little it would require to keep the pumps going. Yes, water is lost to evaporation, but aren’t there times of the year when it rains at least a little bit every day? I wish you DID have a space-time continuum retro-spectral actuator (with flavor crystals). Did your dream also provide you with extremely detailed plans on how to build it?! I can think of lots of places I would like to “go” with something like that. Also, everyone knows that the real JFK is still alive and well and living under an assumed name! The Zapruder film shows a high-tech animatronic that was partly designed by Disney’s Imagineers.

Dan Heaton, you are not alone in your love of shots like these. I don’t know how word gets out, but my posts of vintage WDW always fetch lots more views than my usual stuff.

Nancy, I do wish I had some different views… a lot of them are of the “same old thing”.

Leonard Bast, argh, that pirate stuff. Anything worth doing is worth OVER-doing, in Disney’s view.

Chuck said...

Nanook, that sounds like a truly awesome experience that no space-time continuum retro-spectral actuator could ever duplicate. The sights, sounds, smells - even the temperature and density of the air would add to the unique experience that no ball-shaped, virtual reality still photo could ever match.

Major, there was a big mess of blueprints on an old-fashioned drafting table, but only got a quick glance at them - just one of the many times I have regretted my subconscious doesn't have a "print" function. I really wish my parents had sprung for the "deluxe" model (I think they sunk the savings into my first trip to Disneyland, so it hasn't been a total loss).

Dean Finder said...

I've seen elsewhere that the fountains were removed to comply with county or state water conservation rules during some severe droughts years ago.

K. Martinez said...

@Dean Finder, How many years ago was the severe drought? There are still water fountains throughout WDW.

In the Magic Kingdom there are outdoor fountains under the Dueling Dumbos, the Cinderella fountain and Hub Plaza fountains. In EPCOT there are fountains at the Imagination pavilion, The Land pavilion, the Seas pavilion, the France pavilion, the Italy pavilion and the huge Fountain of Nations in Future World which have all existed since 1982. In Hollywood Stuios there's the Echo Lake fountain and Muppet fountain. This does not even include the various fountains found at the various resorts on property and the two water parks.

I just find it strange that with all those water fountains still in operation that the fountains of Caribbean Plaza are inoperable. It must be for another reason that they filled them with dirt and plants.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, when I think of what makes the Magic Kingdom special, I burst into tears because I have never been there. But then again, almost everything makes me burst into tears. Was there really theming in the off-stage passageways? It seems as if the few back stage photos I’ve seen looked pretty utilitarian. I am jealous of your walk through the deserted park!

Chuck, you will just have to have the same dream again tonight. The best way to achieve that is to sleep while doing a headstand. You can do it… I believe in you!

Dean Finder, I do recall when there was a drought (maybe there have been several?), and there were all kinds of brush fires throughout Florida. The comment that you linked to makes it sound like the state is *still* suffering from drought conditions.

K. Martinez, hmmmm, I am starting to think that some shenanigans are involved in the removal of those fountains. This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard the “official story” about a ride removal (or some other change), and the explanation didn’t make sense when you really looked into it.

Chuck said...

Major, I hear the Rocket Rods are reopening in 2001.

Timon said...

K. Martinez - Your right, it was an "official story" These old fountains used a constant flow of water in and drained off the the excess 24-7. It's like leaving the garden hose barely open but still a waste. All the new fountains are basically little pools with pumps and filters to recycle the water. If you look closely in the Caribbean Plaza fountains which have plants in them you will see the plants are sitting in pots in the old fountain! Hopefully someday each fountain can be updated to 21st century pumps, filters and recycle systems.