Monday, May 07, 2018

Warren in the Magic Kingdom

Here are five more wonderful photos from Orlando's Magic Kingdom, thanks to GDB reader Warren Nielsen, from a visit that he took with his wife Kai back in 1976. Warren provided some brief notes for some of the pix...

"The paddlewheeler Richard F. Irvine. Google says it was rebuilt and renamed in 1996". Warren is right! It is now Liberty Belle. 

Does anybody know anything about those floating buoys (or whatever they are)? I would understand why they were there if they had to mark snags or sand bars, but there aren't any of those here. Perhaps they mark the location of explosive mines left over from WWII.

Dead ahead is the Riverboat landing, on two glorious levels. So fancy! With this slightly closer look at one off the buoys, there appears to be a small sign, though I can't read it. I can write, but I can't read. 

There's Warren! What did he do to deserve such punishment?? This is such an odd feature to include in the Magic Kingdom. Which is why it is cool! Does anybody know if it is still there? Notice the smaller stocks for naughty children, to our left.

Behind Warren we can see the landward side of the Riverboat Landing seen in the previous photo.

Kai poses next to the floral Mickey Mouse portrait; I've always found it interesting that Disneyland uses an older version of Mickey, while the Magic Kingdom uses the version in which his eyes have pupils.

And finally, a photo from the Tropical Serenade (aka their version of the Tiki Room). A waterfall has parted to reveal that frightening tiki god, with two animatronic birds. I assume that this was part of the pre-show?

Thanks as always to Warren Nielsen for sharing his personal photos!


Pegleg Pete said...

Great photos today, Major – the Magic Kingdom as I remember it from childhood. And thanks, Warren, for sharing.

Stu29573 said...

1. I seem to remember there being measurements on the signs...but that makes no sense because they're floating...hmmmm...
2. The stocks are still there.
3. Yup that's the Tiki pre-show.
Great pics today!

K. Martinez said...

On FoxxFur's wonderful WDW blog site "passport to dreams old & new" is an article titled "Park Mysteries #7" which discusses the buoys along the Rivers of America. Great stuff!

I love WDW's pillory (the stocks) in Liberty Square. It's a nice little detail. It's too bad we can't put certain people in those stocks and throw rotten vegetables and fruit at them. Take that! Whooooosh! SpLat! Now that would be an 'E' ticket attraction!

steve2wdw said...

After operating Disneyland for over a decade, when WDW designers were at work, they definitely took what they learned from DL and applied it to the new example being the two level boat house for the Liberty Square riverboats (remember from '73 to '80 there were two). As the riverboat approaches the dock, guests aboard are directed to the lowest level of the ship, where they'll disembark, while guests waiting to board, do so on the second level. An ingeniously efficient system of guest movement, allowing the turnaround of riders to be a bit shorter, allowing for a higher theoretical hourly capacity. Guests exiting the riverboat could exit right, (hidden from view in this photo), ending up on the main thoroughfare closer to the Frontierland entrance, roughly in front of the Diamond Horseshoe, or to the left, which also served as the exit ramp for the Keel Boat attraction. Although the keelboats no longer operate, the keelboat dock house still survives and during busy periods, is used as overflow queue space for the Haunted Mansion. Guests are directed down the right side of the riverboat/keelboat exit ramp, through the old keelboat dock house, up the old keelboat ramp entrance, and into the normal HM queue. Another great way to get guests out of the walkways during the busiest of MK days.

Melissa said...

Warren's a witch! That explains everything!

(Just kidding, Warren; it's awesome to see you and Kai again.)

It's always great to see the Magic Kingdom without today's crowds. It's really hard to see a lot of details like the stocks these days, because the crowds are just always so thick.

At first I thought picture number for was flipped, because of the backwards “Mickey Mouse” text on the T-shirt of the photographer to the left (right next to Mr. Beardsley there). But then I noticed that the train station sign reads correctly, and that the back of the shirt has a back view of Mickey. His front must be on the shirt front, with regular text. Cute!

To the left of the steamboat landing, you can see the Haunted Mansion sticking up through the trees. The trees are a lot taller now, and hide more of the facade, but you can still see a lot of the Mansion from the decks of the boat.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

The Rivers of America in WDW still looks gorgeous even 42 years after this photo. Have never seen the Disneyland version, but I have a feeling that WDW blows it out of the water, quite literally. :D

K. Martinez said...

Forgot to say thank you. Thanks, Warren for sharing your personal collection with us. These great pics are of my favorite decade at Walt Disney World. Great stuff!

@steve2wdw, thanks for that extra bit of info. Love stuff like that. I sure do miss the Keel Boats here in Disneyland.

steve2wdw said...

Just for bearings sake, actually Melissa, that's the Hall of Presidents peeking up out of the trees, with the Columbia Harbour House restaurant in front of it. The HM would be out of view, behind the foliage on the very left side of the river, just beyond the floating marker.

steve2wdw said...

....and the rooftop with cupola between the Hall of Presidents and the dock building is the roof of the extended queue for the HoP. During the bicentennial celebration of '76, the HoP went from an "E" ticket, to a complimentary attraction, and the lines were enormous. As the queue isn't really needed anymore, the space became a covered "market" for baked potatoes and such.

Patrick Devlin said...

I've never seen them close up but I would have guessed that the Imagineers were just recreating 18th century channel buoys. They's be marking salient navigation points and hazards to boot. Just my left-coast guess, though.

Nice shots Warren and thanks for the time and effort. Same to you Major...

JC Shannon said...

Thanks Warren for the great shots. Photo one is perfectly framed and I feel like I am on the Mighty Missippi. In photo #3, Warren is unfortunately upstaged by the guy in the plaid pants (I want 'em). The bouys are indeed markers and were placed at the approach to a harbor. The bells warned during the day and the lanterns at night. The ladder is for attendents to climb to light the lantern. At this time, aboard the riverboat, they would lead sound the bottom twelve feet would be "mark twain". Sammuel Clemmons writing name came from his days as a riverboat pilot. Thanks Major.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Warren. These are great. I've never been to WDW, but I do enjoy the pictures.

Thanks Major.


Melissa said...

Thanks, steve2wdw - I thought that corner looked a bit boxy for the HM, but that's where my brain wanted it to be! But now I can see that the angle's all wrong for the view in my head.

Major Pepperidge said...

Pegleg Pete, Warren gets all the credit for today’s post!

Stuart Powley, Jayne Mansfield’s measurements? I’m amazed that the stocks are still there. Thanks for the info!

K. Martinez, I will definitely go read FoxxFur’s “Park Mysteries #7”… I probably read it long ago, but the way I forget things, it will all be new to me again. By “certain people”, do you mean the cast of “The Jersey Shore”? ;-)

steve2wdw, I really do think that the two-level riverboat dock is a genius idea, plus it looks cool. Thank you for the excellent comment full of great info!

Melissa, I prefer the old “If he floats, he’s a witch; if he sinks, he was innocent”. Talk about lose/lose! I’m kind of amazed that so many people seem to be fine with the crowds at both parks (Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom) these days - for me it’s the biggest deterrent. I’m glad you pointed out that t-shirt, what a great idea.

The Magic Ears Dudebro, with the shortening of Disneyland’s Rivers of America (for Star Wars Land), I agree that the Florida version seems to be the superior one these days.

K. Martinez, I just found a whole box full of Walt Disney World slides, almost all from the early 70’s. You know things are bad when you forget a whole box of slides. Trouble is, they often show the same things over and over, just like at Disneyland.

steve2wdw, have you ever met “steve1wdw”? I hope you are friendly ;-) Stay tuned for a few beautiful photos from Liberty Square from our pal Mr. X, circa November 1971.

Patrick Devlin, channel buoys? Why, in my day a river pilot had to know every inch of the river, in daylight or in darkness! Every sand bar and snag! Kids these days.

Jonathan, thanks for the info about the buoys. I assume that the lanterns did not need to be lit by hand. As for the plaid pants, could anybody wear them as well as that stylish dude??

JG, I’m the same… have never been to Florida at all, but love photos from the early years especially.

Melissa, that's what you get for viewing the blog while standing on your head.

steve2wdw said...

Major....I don't know if there's a "steve1wdw".....I chose 2 as "to", because I always want to go 2 WDW! I've been told I'm! Can't wait for more Liberty Square and MK in general. Love this blog as I love both DL and WDW.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures, Warren! I only visited once before 1994, and I wish I had taken more views back then.

I also would have thought that HoP was Haunted Mansion from the location, not remembering how windy (not to be confused with windy!) the river is It has been too long since our last visit; planning to be there for the 50th as we were at Disneyland!

K. Martinez said...

Major, Absolutely! The cast of "The Jersey Shore" will do perfectly. Just give me time to gather the rottenest tomatoes I can find.

Glad to hear more 1970's WDW is coming even if it's the same thing over and over again. That's my favorite kind. ;-)

Warren Nielsen said...

Melissa, I have another pic of the Haunted Mansion taken from the riverboat that I am pretty sure I have forwarded on to the Major for future use. And Kai never called me a witch, but she did accuse me of being Grumpy from time to time. And that explains a lot. (And I am not kidding!) ;)

Major, you are correct about lose/lose. I don't swim a stroke and imitate rocks in the water. Glub glub.

Stuart Powley, I haven't looked at the link Ken Martinez gave us yet, but my guess those buoys presented something like what was found on the river years ago. Another Disney touch of detail.

JC Shannon, the little girl in the lower left is what always makes me chuckle. Her expression is like 'How do these things work?'

Major, thank you!

Warren Nielsen

Melissa said...

I just finished rereading a childhood favorite, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, which is set in Colonial New England and in which the stocks feature prominently in several scenes. So that came immediately to mind.