Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Magic Kingdom

Today I am happy to present more photos graciously shared by GDB reader Warren Nielsen - this time it's more photos from the Magic Kingdom, circa 1976.

We'll start with this lovely shot of the plaza in front of the Pirates of the Caribbean building. So different from Disneyland! I love the Spanish-style architecture - everything looks so neat and clean, with no extra clutter to mess things up. 

There's the Barker Bird! He has a wooden leg, an anchor tattoo on his bare chest, an eye patch, and even a hat and a bandanna. He couldn't be more piratey!

This next one (taken from the Admiral Joe Fowler) looks toward the Diamond Horseshoe - check out the swarms of people heading inside. There are two people on the upper balcony, presumably cast members? Maybe they are meeting for a smooch or two.

Have you ever had an anvil fall on your head, and afterwards you hear the sounds of a steel drum band? Well, at the Magic Kingdom you can completely remove the anvil from the equation. I'm all for it.

Here's proof that 1976 fashions were the best fashions. Nothing could possibly top them, and it's useless to even try. In this photo we can see the Country Bear Jamboree building, along with the Mile Long Bar, where everyone liked to get drunk. I assume. 

Looks like something is under construction to the right, behind that brown wall - any idea what is going on?

THANK YOU to Warren Nielsen! There are more photos to come from him.


Nanook said...


Well, I don’t know if the 1970’s had the best fashions, but it’s hard to argue with that pair of stripy pants on that gentleman in the first image. Talk about ‘form-fitting’-!!

Sure love the Magic Kingdom when it looked like this. It does bring back old memories.

Thanks Warren.

TokyoMagic! said...

I sure do like that little "piratey" barker bird! Does anyone know if he is still there today? I've been to the Magic Kingdom five times and now I can't recall if I ever saw him in person. Getting old is horrible. Don't do it, I say!

I also don't remember if the Mile Long Bar is still there at the Magic Kingdom. I know I saw it at Tokyo Disneyland, but the last time I visited, they had ripped theirs out to expand the indoor seating area for the restaurant next door. Such a shame. I always thought the name and the gimmick with the double mirrors was a clever idea.

Patrick Devlin said...

Well as a never-been I can't orient the barker bird to the facade in the first shot. Any help?

Nanook said...

The Mile Long Bar closed on January 5th 1998. It is now the Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.

@ Patrick-
I can’t exactly remember where he was located in relation to the “midway”, but look HERE for a more-encompassing image.

Pegleg Pete said...

Great pics today, Major and Warren! I can recall being very excited when Caribbean Plaza opened. It seemed so well-themed and I remember wishing it could have been a bit larger and more of a 'land' unto itself.

I'm not sure what that Frontierland construction could be. The later '70s guidebooks don't really show anything at that spot other than a ticket/info booth a ways farther back (this may have become what is now Big Al's merchandise kiosk). Nowadays the riverfront is lined with other similar small food and merch concessions along that stretch.

K. Martinez said...

The first pic is defenitely postcard worthy. Caribbean Plaza was one of my favorite areas of the Magic Kingdom and I always appreciated the fact that

The pirate Barker Bird was originally location inside the attraction at the exit ramp (moving gangplank), but was later relocated outside the attraction. and was relocated outside. Since TokyoMagic! asked, the Barker Bird was removed in 2006 when Jack Sparrow was added to the attraction.

Patrick Devlin, If you look at Major's photo you'd go to the right and around the corner to the facade facing north. That is where you'd see the Pirate Barker Bird.

K. Martinez said...

Guess I didn't finish my first sentence. Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I always appreciated the fact that the Magic Kingdom did things differently than at Disneyland. That's one of the reasons I also like the Small World facade in the Magic Kingdom despite fans putting it down. It's different. Having it all the same would be boring and repetitive.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, I'm always too slow to post my comments. I see you already beat me to it after I clicked "Publish Your Comment". Hopefully the image I provided a link to will further enhance and explain to Patrick the location of the Pirate Barker Bird.

steve2wdw said...

Love this group of in Frontierland is probably just cement work, as it's just the river to the right. In the foreground you can see where big patches of pavement have already been replaced. As this is the parade route, I'm sure that America on Parade is requiring more constant refurbishment of the avenue. Eventually, the stonework down the middle gets removed, too. As far as the Mile Long Bar goes, it was eventually swallowed up by the neighboring Pecos Bill Cafe, and those doors are now the main entrance to the restaurant.

Chuck said...

My sister and I were pulled up on stage at the Diamond Horseshoe during the magic act when I was 10 and she was 7. It wasn't Wally Boag, but it was definitely his shtick. What I remember most is being made the butt of his jokes. Not much has changed in the intervening 39 years.

Thanks, Warren, for sharing!

Patrick Devlin said...

You guys rule most triumphantly, I must say... I think I'm oriented. Now from KM's remarks that the North side is the exit side and the Major's first pic is centered on the entrance facade. It looks, anyways, like that group is headed in. Thanks.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

Yes, your links definitely helped. And you also included the bit of info regarding the bird’s original location - which I was too lazy to include. Thanks.

Warren Nielsen said...

Major, thank you for posting a few of my pics once again.

Ken Martinez, post card worthy? Really? Wow! That's pretty high praise. Thank you!

I am happy that everybody is enjoying these.


TokyoMagic! said...

Ken....Oh, man! You mean the Barker Bird lasted that long? I must have seen him a few times then. I wonder what the reason was for removing him after 30+ years? I'll just blame Jack Sparrow, because Jack Sparrow ruins everything, doesn't he?

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook and Steve, thank you for answering my second question about the Mile Long Bar. That's exactly what happened to the Mile Long Bar in Tokyo DL. It's too bad. I always enjoyed going in there and seeing Max, Buff and Melvin "hanging around."

Anonymous said...

@Warren Neilsen, thanks for sharing your pictures. WDW has so much more space than Disneyland, and the clothes are terrific.

@Tokyo, yes, Jack Sparrow ruins everything.


Melissa said...

I was having pangs of nostalgia until I saw that stripey butt, at which point I was just having pangs I didn't understand.

The main sign for the PotC attraction was changed from what you see there to a big, dramatic black sail on a freestanding pole. I think they were trying to create a more "serious" impression to draw in fans of the movie and thought the poor Barker Bird was out of place.