Tuesday, July 10, 2018

More Walt Disney World, 1976

GDB pal Warren Nielsen sent more scans of slides from his 1976 trip to Walt Disney World! That's still the early days.

Warren says that this one was taken while aboard the Richard F. Irvine steamboat. The "Admiral Joe Fowler" had been in the Magic Kingdom from day 1, but the Richard F. Irvine was added in 1973. Across the water we see Liberty Square, with the ubiquitous Cinderella Castle looming over all.

Not only is Cinderella Castle big, it is extra-pointy. Possibly one of the pointiest of all Disney castles (with the exception of the castle that will be built in Hong Kong).

Here's a neat vantage point... high up in the branches of the Swiss Family Treehouse, with the rooftops of several Adventureland buildings below us. 

There's the Haunted Mansion, looking pretty un-haunted. It's imposing because of its size, of course, but how can a place so tidy and sunny be filled with ghosts and ghouls? Love the bat weathervane! As you can see, an awning has been added to the exterior queue to protect guests from Florida's hot summer sun. 

Who's the leader of the band? This guy! An orderly crowd has lined up to watch Mickey as he greets everyone. I just noticed the "Silhouette Bar" sign in the upper right - it pleases me that they continued the tradition of naming shops and eateries "bars" (like the Yacht Bar and Space Bar at Disneyland). 

As always, many thanks to Warren Nielsen for sharing his personal photos!


Chuck said...

WDW early days! When the castle's forced perspective worked best and high concept theming was still king!

Can't help but note here how odd the HM's layout looks here, with its unbalanced basement entry. Although I really have no issues with the finished product, there are times when I wish we had something that better matched the Liberty Square theming and was more symmetrically laid out along the lines of this concept, published in this article at Passport to Dreams.

Thanks again, Warren, for sharing!

K. Martinez said...

I love the first shot of Cinderella Castle towering over Liberty Square and the Rivers of America like it's standing watch over the different realms and villages of its "magic" kingdom.

Also visible from the Swiss Family Island Treehouse on the horizon is the Tomorrowland Terrace's hexagonal dome stage cover.

Major, you mention the tradition of naming eateries "bars" at the Disney parks. I like the tradition of naming eateries "terraces" (like Tomorrowland Terrace, Tahitian Terrace and River Belle Terrace) as well.

Thank you, Warren. These are wonderful pics from my favorite era of Walt Disney World.

Pegleg Pete said...

Thanks Major and Warren – these are some great shots of the Magic Kingdom. That second photograph gives us a good view of the Swan Boat Landing back when the boats were still running and that Haunted Mansion vista is especially nice. As for the Shadow 'Bar' – all of the 1970s guidebooks refer to it as the Shadow Box – ie. the silhouette-making shop – and none of them refer to an attached eatery or 'bar'. I thought perhaps the signage issue was just a trick of calligraphy but, zooming in, it really does appear as if it says 'bar' rather than 'box'. I do like the thought of a 'Shadow Bar', conjuring as it does images of some shady Weimar-era dive – although I'm not sure that would necessarily fit in with the rest of Main Street...

Melissa said...

I would have loved to experience Liberty Square awash in Bicentennial Fever

stu29573 said...

In the second picture you have a pretty good view of the Swan Boat docks. I never rode them, but I did use the abandoned covered area as a out of the way place to relax and watch fireworks. Alas, after the hub remodel they are no more...sort of like the idea of relaxing while watching the fireworks.

JC Shannon said...

Thanks to Warren and Major for these great pics. Love the Haunted Mansion photo. It is postcard worthy, perfectly framed. And the picture of Mr. M himself is great. I had forgotten how big the castle was. Great photos all.

Nanook said...

What everyone else said. Thanks, Warren.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I guess I am so used to the way the Florida Mansion looks that I like its big rambling appearance. That piece of concept art is very cool, but… I personally still like what they actually built! It’s all subjective of course. I never really knew that you entered that Mansion via the basement, but having it “up on a hill” certainly makes it more impressive. The basement entry makes me think of a side entrance or servant’s entrance.

K. Martinez, but what about how pointy the castle is?! It’s the most important thing! Like you, I always love little glimpses into other lands. You’re right, those designers love terraces too! I wonder how that idea started?

Pegeleg Pete, thanks for pointing out the Swan Boat landing, I had no idea what that structure was. It really is a shame that they got rid of such a unique ride - slow, relaxing, beautiful. Interesting if the guidebooks really do refer to the Silhouette shop as the “Shadow Box”, though it definitely says “bar” on the sign.

Melissa, that would have been pretty awesome! I sometimes see photos from that era and you’ll see a woman in red, white and blue striped bell-bottoms. What could be more perfect?

stu29573, I wonder if there is such a thing as an “out of the way place to relax and watch the fireworks” at the Magic Kingdom any more? It it’s anything like Disneyland, they are doing away with any area that does not generate revenue.

Jonathan, it’s photos like these (from WDW’s early years) that make me regret that I never saw this park at its peak. I’ll just have to use my imagination…

Nanook, next Monday I will be sharing something quite different from Warren - very atypical for GDB, but hey, as a Major, I can make those tough decisions!

Melissa said...

"stu29573, I wonder if there is such a thing as an “out of the way place to relax and watch the fireworks” at the Magic Kingdom any more?"

IMO, the best quiet, out of the way places to watch the fireworks are outside the park. The roof of the Contemporary, the beach at the Polynesian, and a large area at the transportation and Ticket Center all have a good view, and the sound of the show piped-in