Thursday, December 28, 2017

Walt Disney World "Vacationland" Magazine, Fall 1971

I have been a big fan of Disneyland's various magazines, from the early "Disneylander" issues, to "Backstage Disneyland",  to "Holiday" (the precursor to the "Vacationland" titles), and even "Disney News". But there were "Vacationland" magazines specifically geared to Walt Disney World, which is pretty cool! I might have one in my collection. Ken Martinez will be sharing scans of this first issue over a series of three posts. Here's Ken:

Walt Disney World Vacationland Magazine Inaugural Edition Fall 1971 – Part 1 Walt Disney’s Dream Becomes a Reality

Like its sibling park in Anaheim, Walt Disney World had its own Vacationland Magazine published quarterly.  The articles shown here are from the inaugural edition of the magazine focused on Walt Disney World and other area attractions.  While I know this is the first issue, I’m not sure how long Walt Disney World’s version of the Vacationland magazine lasted.

The first article in the inaugural magazine is “Walt Disney’s Dream Becomes a Reality” which serves as an introduction to the newly built “Vacation Kingdom of the World”.

What I enjoy about these early magazines are the photos and descriptions of what’s in store for the visiting and vacationing guests to Walt Disney world in that first year.

(Major here... I love the photo of the animatronics from the "Hall of Presidents", featuring William Henry Harrison chatting with President Burt Bacharach).

Here’s the continuation of the article.

Here’s the final page of article with an ad for Marineland.

There’s more to come from this inaugural Vacationland magazine including articles on Cinderella’s Castle, Liberty Square and the Disney World resorts.  Hope you enjoyed today’s post.

Thank you very much to Ken Martinez for sharing this fun, early look at Walt Disney World!


Nanook said...

And I was so certain William Henry Harrison was chatting-it-up with John Cullum. Shows you what I know-!

This post is bringing back more memories, as I've seen this publication - but a very long time ago. Fascinating to see it again and the things included.

Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to seeing the next installment.

Unknown said...

I usually am luke warm to stuff from the Florida relatives but the familiar look of this publication has me happy to see it and left me eager for more. Thanks so much...

Scott Lane said...

Harrison and Bacharach were no doubt discussing the benefits of Martini & Rossi on the rocks vs neat and where Angie Dickinson hid her handcuffs while off duty.

Chuck said...

I love the evocative description of the Haunted Mansion - it "resembles the nightmare architecture of Edgar Allan Poe: gloomy granite laced with wrought iron, a dagger-shaped belfry, and a gargoyle doorway that looks like the entrance to a massive tomb." I am getting chills just reading it.

Also not sure that I've ever read before that WDW's Main Street is intended to evoke the Eastern Seaboard at the turn of the 20th Century, but it makes perfect sense.

Thanks, Ken! Looking forward to the next installment.

JG said...

Ken and Major, this is a lot of fun. Like others here, I think I have seen this before. Amazing how little things come back.

Thank you.


Melissa said...

Chuck, I've read that the look of WDW's Main St. was inspired by Saratoga Springs, NY.

The little paragraph at the end about imagination being a valuable resource was so sweet.

Thanks, Ken and the Maj!

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, Yes, it was a long time ago. Hard to believe in just a few short years WDW will have been around for half a century. But then, we've been around longer than that.

Patrick Devlin, Glad you enjoyed. There's more to come.

Scott Lane, Ha, ha! I remember Martini & Rossi on the rocks and Angie Dickinson too! It's hard to believe she is now 86 years old.

Chuck, I thought for sure you knew that WDW's Main Street was based on the Eastern Seaboard. There are several Eastern U.S. influences found in the Magic Kingdom including the Haunted Mansion which resembles mansion estates found along the Hudson River Valley in New York.

JG, hope it jogged some good memories for you.

Melissa, the quote from that last paragraph at the end of the article I first heard when watching "The Magic of Walt Disney World" on television way back in 1974. It must've had an impact because that quote has stuck with me ever since.

Thank you all for the kind comments today and I hope you're enoying holiday season.

Chuck said...

Melissa & Ken, I'm under the weather today and my brain is a bit befoggled, but other than Main Street Station's Saratoga Springs influence, I wasn't consciously aware of any direct inspiration other than a small town at the turn of the century. I guess I have read far too much about Disneyland and sort of skipped over that part on the WDW source material and made assumptions. Either that, or I'm a lot sicker than I thought. Which reminds me - is the sky supposed to be plaid?

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, Of course the sky is supposed to be plaid. Is it any other way? But, there are other worlds than these. I hope you get better.

Melissa said...

Plaid sky at night, piper's delight.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Considering how this old magazine really wanted to hype the new Disney World resort, I'm surprised that they didn't mention anything about Walt's proposed EPCOT project. Though I'm sure at the time, that idea was long dead along with Walt, RIP.

Interestingly enough, I decided to do a quick Google search to see if Marineland was still around. Sure enough, it was. Oddly enough, according to the census, the town that it's located in only has 16 people living in it. Huh!

Melissa said...

@TDD, they briefly mention EPCOT in the second image, but it's definitely brief enough to miss

My Grandma and aunt went to the Marineland park in FL when I was a kid. I remember she brought back a souvenir pen shaped like an orca.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...


Mea Culpa. I guess that's what I get for commenting without properly reading everything on the blog entry. Now excuse me while I wipe egg off my face.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. I visited Saratoga Springs briefly last year and it reminded me of the WDW Main Street...