Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Random Walt Disney World, 1971

I chose a random selection of scans from the recent set of November 1971 negatives gifted to me by good old "Mr. X" (that generous fellow). 

First up is this shot of Main Street Station. Man that structure looks huge! I think Disneyland's version might reach to the bottom of the cupola. I've heard that they did this because everyone in Florida is full-size, instead of 5/8 scale like the people in California. But that might just be a rumor. 

Mr. X was such a die-hard Disneyland fan, it must have been quite a sight to see Florida's train station for the first time.

Here's a nice shot of one of the two-decker "Osceola class" sidewheeler steamboats - in this case it's the "Southern Seas" (the other one being the "Ports-O-Call"). What a nice way to get from a parking lot to the Magic Kingdom! Of course there was the Monorail option (in the background) too. 

I could tell you more about these steamboats, but what I am going to do is recommend that you read FoxxFur's excellent post on the always-awesome "Passport to Dreams Old & New" blog. Check it out HERE! You'll be glad you did, it's amazing in its detail and wealth of information.

And just to round things out, here's yet another nighttime view of the Grand Course, looking down on two Monorails (and some of those koo-koo krazy acrylic trees). The blue Monorail has its doors open - for some reason I did not expect them to swing inward like that. 

Stay tuned for more vintage Walt Disney World photos!


Nanook said...


Love those sidewheeler steamboats. It's such a leisurely (and beautiful) way to approach the Magic
Kingdom from the TTC.

"Koo-koo krazy" - you're beginning to sound a bit like Bob Hope - or someone like that. Oh, and the WDW Monorail trains are just full of surprises - Pixie Dust, and all-!

Thanks again to Mr. X, and you too, Major.

Scott Lane said...

Boy the blue really pops in that last one. Yes that's how the doors used to open. I can still hear the sound they made and the "thunk....thunk....thunk" as the cast members shut them before leaving the station...

Pegleg Pete said...

My family was always too impatient to take the boat to the Magic Kingdom. We always rode the monorail in from the transportation hub and the boats back at the end of the night. Thus I always associate the boat trip with me being incredibly tired from the long day and excited about the souvenirs I'd bought on Main Street on our way out of the park.

Chuck said...

That second photo immediately reminded me of the title page of a well-remembered pop-up book from my childhood.

Scott Lane, I'd forgotten about the "thunk....thunk....thunk." What I love about GDB is how we not only see photos that bring back memories but the commentary can bring back all sorts of other sights, sounds, and smells of places and things we remember and love.

Thanks for the memories, everybody!

Melissa said...

We took the steamboat from the TTC to the Magic Kingdom on our first visit. It really was a beautiful experience seeing it get closer and closer. It really adds to the feeling that you're leaving the real world behind and going to someplace completely different.

K. Martinez said...

Awesome pics. The Main Street Station is indeed grand compared to the Disneyland Main Street Station. I also remember buying a ham and cheese sandwich from the "Station Break" there which was awful. It had that Greyhound Depot food vending machine quality. Not all the Magic Kingdom food was bad in those days though. A fave of mine was the Adventureland Veranda for lunch.

I love 1970's Walt Disney World! Thanks, Major & Mr. X.

Nanook, by the time I got to WDW in 1978 it was the larger ferryboats "Magic Kingdom I & II" as they were called back then that transported guests back and forth between the Magic Kingdom and TTC. I never got to ride the sidewheeler steamboats (pictured here) by approaching the Magic Kingdom from the TTC as they were used for the "World Cruises" from the Magic Kingdom dock along the Seven Seas Lagoon on into Bay Lake by the time I got there. I was lucky though to take a launch out to Discovery Island (formerly Treasure Island) back then. Those memories are so faded now.

Pegleg Pete, I always took the monorail in the morning to the Magic Kingdom and the Ferryboat at night back to the TTC just like your family, but not because I was impatient. It was one of the ways I was able to watch the "Electrical Water Pageant" at night which I loved. It was the perfect topper for the evening to me.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

The ferry boats do offer a great view of the castle upon entering the park. It's almost magical, if you think about it. You see the castle upon the horizon, and then when you're in the boat, it gets closer and closer as you traverse the lake. Quite the nice intro to the Magic Kingdom. Of course, the monorail will always be my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Probably just a question of semantics, but the Mk IV doors opened OUTWARD.

Anonymous said...


I've noticed the same memory effect. It's weird how that works. The memory of those sensations is stuck somewhere, but needs a hook to pull it out. It would be amazing if there was a way developed to do that completely on demand.

What if we never really forgot anything, but what we have forgotten is how to remember it?

Until that technology exists, we have to rely on GDB and the conversations of our friends.

Thanks for the pics, Major and Mr. X, always appreciated.


Steve DeGaetano said...

Major, aren't those doors opening "outward?" =)

Melissa said...

Now that you mention it, Ken, I do remember the Magic Kingdom I & II boats. And the main reason we entered that way was that there was a long line at the Monorail Station and the boat happened to be just about to go. Dad said he'd rather take the slower way than line up for the faster, since it would probably even out in the end.

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm assuming those Monorail doors opened automatically, but had to be closed by hand, just like the doors of Disneyland's Mark III Monorails. Seeing those open doors reminds me of Fridays on the New Mickey Mouse Club (the 1970's version) when the Monorail would pull into the Tomorrowland station and the doors would pop open and the Mousketeers would jump out singing, "Welcome, welcome, one and all........" I used to watch it on Fridays just for that opening sequence and any possible glimpse of the rest of the park. That was the day that they showcased amateur talent and featured them performing at various locations throughout the park.

Chuck said...

TM!, I remember watching the show, seeing them performing at the Plaza Gardens, and recognizing the location. Considering I'd never seen a performance or even eaten there by that point in my life, I guess I was developing a "GDB eye" even at the ripe old age of 8.

Now I have the songs for "Discovery Day" (Monday) and "Who, What, Why, Where, When and How Day" (Thursday) stuck in my head. There are worse things I could have stuck in there; a wood axe immediately comes to mind (although thankfully not literally).

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, if Bob Hope said, “Koo-koo krazy”, he must have been extremely cool. I agree, the steamboats would be a wonderful way to arrive at the Magic Kingdom. Somehow it reminds me of the ferry Pinocchio took to Pleasure Island.

Scott Lane, I love sense memories like the “thunk…thunk…thunk…” you mentioned. For some reason those are much more visceral.

Pegleg Pete, ha, my family probably would have been the same way. I wonder how often a Monorail would come along to pick up the next trainload of people?

Chuck, nice, I have never seen that pop-up book! As for the memories, that’s half the fun of doing this blog. The other half is the great comments. And the THIRD half is all of the money that people send me all the time.

Melissa, it all sounds so cinematic, which was likely no accident. Must have been neat.

K. Martinez, how can a place mess up a ham and cheese sandwich?! It’s like four ingredients, maybe five or six if they’re getting fancy. There’s plenty of WDW to come, both from Mr. X and beyond!

The Disney Dudebro, yeah, it’s pretty hard to top a sleek, futuristic monorail…

Anonymous, it’s so funny, I looked at the photo again this morning, and thought, “Wait a minute….”. As usual, I have no idea why I thought they opened inward. I’d blame drugs and alcohol, but… I barely drink and don’t do drugs.

JG, I still find that certain photos will evoke an aroma or sound or other sensation (like the mist from the waterfalls of Cascade Peak) that is surprisingly vivid. It’s one of my favorite things! And once in a while some memory will surface that is so obscure that it does make me wonder how much is in my brain that I just can’t access at will!

Steve DeGaetano, please see my comment to Anonymous…

Melissa, hey, I’ll take a boat ride any time, though I would probably want to get to the Magic Kingdom as fast as possible, at least when I was a kid.

TokyoMagic!, oh boy, the 1970’s Mouseketeers… did any of them wind up being famous? Maybe that one who was in “Facts of Life”… Lisa something… perhaps she was the only one. I’ll bet Marilyn Manson was a Mouseketeer. I have no fond memories of that show, but then again, I was much too cool and mature when that show was going.

Chuck, are you talking about the original MMC? Or the 70’s version? I guess I was too busy watching monster movies or something.

Chuck said...

Major, it's from the '70s version. I still have the soundtrack album I got for Christmas in 1977 (I also still have my childhood soundtrack album from the original MMC, too).

For reference (and your very own earworms), here's Discovery Day (which looks like it was shot at Golden Oak Ranch), Who, What, Why, Where, When and How Day (with English and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles), and Showtime (with the Disneyland footage TM! mentioned above).

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, thanks for those links. You saved me from having to post the Showtime/Friday one.....'cause I was prepared to do it! I remember a lot of the performances were shot at Carnation Gardens and there wasn't very much of the park that was shown other than that opening footage, which was recycled every week. But I do remember at least one time that they had their talented guests perform elsewhere. I remember someone or some group performing over between the Mine Train loading area and Casa de Fritos....sort of like in front of the former Mineral Hall building. I believe it was a Ballet Folklorico act.

Major, Lisa Welchel was the most famous of the 1970's New Mousketeers. Besides starring in "The Facts of Life," she was a finalist/runner-up in the 25th season of "Survivor" and was awarded $100,000 for being the "fan favorite" that season. Now I'm just waiting for a season of Survivor that will reunite Jo, Natalie, Tootie and Blair, with Mrs Garrett temporarily replacing Jeff Probst. Every tribal council could begin with her saying, "GIRLS...GIRLS!!!!!"

Chuck said...

TM!, I have a vague memory of that episode shot in the vicinity of el Zocalo. I don't remember the performance, but I remember recognizing the background.