Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Walt Disney World "Vacationland" Magazine - Part 3

It's Ken Martinez time again! He's back for the third (and final) installment featuring the premier issue of "Walt Disney World Vacationland", from 1971. Heeeere's Ken:

Walt Disney World Vacationland Magazine Inaugural Edition Fall 1971 – Part 3 The Walt Disney World Resorts

As noted in the last post, 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.  This is the final post in this series.

Here is a map of Walt Disney World’s “Vacation Kingdom” representing first year of operation.  I’ve always like the graphic style of this map. 

This is page one of a two-page article “Themed Resorts to Stay and Play In”.  Again, I love the artwork style and description of the hotels.

This is page two featuring more on the first two hotels on the Florida property.  What an easier and more relaxing era it must’ve been at Walt Disney World.

This is page one to another two-page article titled “Fort Wilderness” which covers the campground.   The photo here really portrays a tranquil environment.  I wonder if it’s still that way today.

This is page two of the Fort Wilderness article.

This ends the series on Walt Disney Worlds’ inaugural issue of Vacationland magazine. I hope you enjoyed this series.  Other Disney World stuff to come.



TokyoMagic! said...

I like the graphics on that map too. Was "Blackbeard's Landing" what eventually became "Discovery Island"? I wonder if alligators are running amok on the island, today? Thanks for sharing this historic issue of Vacationland with us, Ken.

Nanook said...


Once again - a fascinating look back at WDW as it was originally laid out. [And yes, TM!] Discovery Island was still referred to as Blackbeard's Island - and although it's mentioned as a place for "picnic lunches" - that little activity will have to wait until 1974, when it would be called Treasure Island. I believe it was in 1976 when the island was expanded to 11 acres, and its final name change to Discovery Island.

These early descriptions of the property definitely bring-back memories from WDW's 'halcyon days'.

Thanks again, Ken, for sharing this magazine with us.

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh thanks, Nanook! And just think of all the fun things that guests could "discover" while frolicking on the shores of Discovery Island if it was still open today....alligators, brain-eating amoebas, and maybe even Big Foot.

Melissa said...

The map is adorable! I think my favorite illustration is Goofy in his tartan on the golf course.

I haven't been back to the Poly since they replaced the indoor waterfall with Trader Sam's. It sounds like a really great lounge, but I'll still miss the scenery.

I guess the recreational offerings at the resorts were even more of a selling point when there was only one theme park.

Thanks again for sharing, Ken, and to the Man for providing the space. I've really enjoyed the Vacationland posts!

Chuck said...

While it looks great in the concept art, I'm really glad that the Contemporary wasn't built that close to the castle.

It's been more than a decade since my last visit, but Fort Wilderness was still pretty tranquil as of 2004. I rented a canoe at the Meadow Trading Post in 1998 to go look for remnants of the Fort Wilderness Railroad. Once I paddled counter-clockwise under the Big Pine Trail bridge, I didn't see another living person until I passed the second bridge under Big Pine Trail. I'd hoped to paddle a loop back around to the canoe dock, but after that second bridge, the channel narrowed, the water became pretty stagnant and I started hitting a lot of debris. It felt like I was in an uncharted wilderness.

Thanks again, Ken!

Emma said...

What a fascinating look at a WDW of days gone by!
Fort Wilderness hasn't changed much from those days from the sounds of that description, and I'm very glad of that. Such a great area to explore even if you're not staying there.
Thanks for sharing!

Emma / SpectroMagical

Patrick Devlin said...

Now I'm nostalgic for a place I've never visited. I kind of like it. Thanks much, Ken, for the time and effort.

Anonymous said...

What Patrick Devlin said.

Thank you, Ken and Major.


Melissa said...

"The Man" should of course be "The Maj."

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, looks like Nanook already answered your question. I don't know about alligators on Discovery Island, but I'd imagine them sheltering in the ruins of nearby River Country. Creepy!

Nanook, Thanks for answering TM!'s question. That saved me some time. Glad you enjoyed.

TokyoMagic! Maybe even Big Foot? There's a cave on Discovery Island were Big Foot stores the stolen life force of Disco Yeti. He didn't want the competition. You see! I constructed my own backstory for an inoperable set piece of an attraction.

Melissa, I like that map too. There's something about WDW's 1970's style graphics that I love. Also, I was saddened when I heard they removed the beautiful waterfall from the Polynesian Resort lobby. I sometimes question Disney's decision making.

Chuck, I have never been to the Fort Wilderness Campground area, but it sounds like it's really removed from the craziness of the rest of the Florida property. I love your descriptions of being isolated in the "wilderness". It makes me want to go there.

Emma, I'm glad you enjoyed today's post. The pace at Fort wilderness sounds more desirable than at the other resort hotels and a great place to get away from it all. I do enjoy watching their Halloween and Christmas golf cart parades on YouTube.

Patrick Devlin, I've only experienced Walt Disney World in the 70's and early 80's. I know I loved it when I was there. I haven't been back since 1984.

JG, Glad you enjoyed today's post.

Melissa again, I knew what you meant about "The Man".

Chuck said...

Besides, the Major is the Man!

Nanook said...

I think we all kinda knew Melissa meant The Maj - but "The Man" works just as well. However... up here in the Seattle area, there's a BBQ joint called Dixie's BBQ, and their hot sauce is referred to as "The Man". The sauce is noted for being fiercely hot - and they mean it. To wit: Those who dared to taste “The Man” often walked out with bumper stickers to advertise their courage: “I met ‘The Man’ at Dixie’s BBQ. Yeah, baby!” (And that was long before Austin Powers).

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, I love hot sauce and the hotter the better. However, saying that, I did try this one chile (I forger the name) and it was so hot that it felt like it was burning my throat, the lining of my stomach and my entire digestive system. That was too much. Still I love a challenge when it comes to hot sauce and I'm sure I wouldv'e been game for trying "The Man" hot sauce at Dixie's BBQ joint. Did you ever try it yourself?

steve2wdw said...

The Walt Disney World of the 70's and very early 80's was a completely different animal than todays complex. It was very laid fact, the illustration of Goofy, from the page two of the Fort Wilderness article, encapsulates the whole feeling of the property. If you were lucky enough to secure a room in the Contemporary or the Polynesian, the whole experience was almost surreal. You felt so removed from the rest of the world, you may as well have been on the moon. It was truly awesome. A walk from todays Wilderness Lodge, along the wooded path (although paved) to Fort Wilderness is as close to one can get to those infant days of the Vacation Kingdom of the World. Although I still love visiting WDW, I long for those early days.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-
I have been to Dixie's BBQ, but it was way back after they first opened - about 1994. I seem to recall trying a tiny bit of The Man hot sauce, but nothing beyond that. I suppose I should go back, but I generally don't like super-hot spicy things; so this seems like a deal-breaker for me if the hype is to be believed.

@ steve2wdw-
I was fortunate-enough to have visited WDW several times during the 70's & 80's and definitely remember that 'laid back' vibe - including at the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village; now more-resembling an outdoor mall. As with everything that grows with great success, Disney has to do what they've had to do, to accommodate the never ending crowds. WDW is yet another example of 'not being able to go home again'. Following many visits as a guest, a friend started working there in 1981, and his position with the Mouse allowed us incredible access both on & off stage. Unforgettable memories, as you can imagine. I will say this, though, during one stay at the Contemporary Resort Tower [probably] in 1977, I remember quite vividly being awaken very early one morning to the "pitter-patter" - HA-! of many thundering "little feet" running down the open corridor passing our room. So much for serene, otherworldliness-! No wake-up calls needed-!