Tuesday, January 12, 2016

More Magic Kingdom, November 1971

I have two more vintage photos from the Magic Kingdom, taken by my friend "Mr. X" when he visited the park for its first Thanksgiving holiday season, when the park was only a month old.

The Emporium looks quite different from the Disneyland version. All of that gingerbread frippery, and those thin elegant columns, along with the Federal style (?) windows - - very striking. The windows contain plush animals (a glimpse of things to come!), including Pooh bear. 

Next is this nice shot of the Liberty Square Fife and Drum Corps, looking spiffy in their tricorn hats and uniforms. In the center of the band a young boy is involved in some ceremony, and he seems to be taking his role very seriously. He's gonna get him some Redcoats! In the distance, we see what I believe is the riverboat landing.


Nanook said...


Such lovely night photos, with that nice warm, healthy glow in the first image.

It certainly looks as if the building in the background is indeed the riverboat landing.

Thanks, Major.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great pics today, Major – and so crisp for nighttime shots from that era! Does anyone know if the Magic Kingdom still has anything like the Fife and Drum Corps?

stu29573 said...

The boy was probably being sworn in as a "Son of Liberty." He would have gotten a copy of the Constitution as well. Pretty cool stuff!

Chuck said...

Pegleg Pete, I haven't been able to find a definitive history on the Magic Kingdom's Fife & Drum Corps, but it appears that it's has come and gone over the years. An initial entertainment offering in 1971, they disappeared in 1980, then made a comeback at some point (perhaps "points") later (http://allears.net/ae/issue394.htm), to be disbanded again in 2000, a victim of Pressler-era budget cuts (http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2000-05-01/business/0004290208_1_magic-kingdom-walt-disney-disney-world). I have been unable to find any references to the Liberty Square Fife & Drum Corps from after 2000 (although my research hasn't been exhaustive).

A separate "Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps" operated at Epcot for 21 years, disbanding in September of 2014 (http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/08/new-entertainment-experiences-coming-to-world-showcase-at-epcot/). A video of their final performance can be found here: http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/spirit-of-america-fife-and-drum-corps/news/03oct2014-video---the-spirit-of-america-fife-and-drum-corps-final-performance-at-epcot's-america-adventure-pavilion.htm .

With the ups and downs of these particular musical groups, there's always the possibility that they may return again at either Epcot or the MK. I'm confident they'll be there for the Tricentennial.

K. Martinez said...

What Pegleg Pete said; great nighttime photos.

Chuck, I was aware of the two different Five & Drum Corps but didn't know their collective history. Thanks for the extensive research as always. And isn't the "250 year" milestone in 2026 the next big one? That's only ten years away. I'm hoping to be around for that one.

Again Thank you Mr X. and Major. Always enjoy 70's WDW.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, now that I have scanned all of the WDW night photos, I can verify that the building is absolutely the riverboat landing!

Pegleg Pete, wait until you see Mr. X’s daytime photos!

stu29573, wow, that would have been very cool… I wish they still did stuff like that. I’ll bet that boy (now in his 50’s) still remembers that day vividly.

Chuck, I hope that the Fife & Drum Corps does return; it seems as if the themed lands matter less and less. Having a colonial-style marching band is awesome - but yes, it costs the park money. Arg. Even relegating them to Epcot feels like a copout, but I guess it was better than nothing.

K. Martinez, they could bring it back with Olaf, Chewbacca, and who knows, some other character that will be popular in ten years.

John Starr said...

Great photo. As a ten year old in the early 1970's, I was picked as one of those child participants at during a daylight Fife and Drum performance at Liberty Square, Disney World. I still have the medal they gave me that day.