Wednesday, July 25, 2018

WDW Vacationland

It's time for another post featuring an item from the collection of Ken Martinez! This time it is selected pages from an issue of "Walt Disney World Vacationland" magazine, circa 1973. Here's Ken:

Walt Disney World Vacationland Magazine Spring 1973 – The Magic Kingdom 

In Walt Disney World Vacationland magazines post is the first of two posts for the Spring 1973 issue.  The cover is a little worn, but it does provide an unusual view of the recreational water activities in the Vacation Kingdom.  In this image we are above Bay Lake looking eastward towards the Contemporary Resort Hotel and Seven Seas lagoon beyond.

Thought I’d share the introduction page.  You can see the shape of the 43 square mile property at the bottom of the page.  The Magic Kingdom/Vacation Kingdom was at the northern most part of the property.

Zooming in we can see the ticket prices.  What a deal!  Disney is into having those “Blast to the Past” events these days.  I think it would be sweet if Disney would include “Blast to the Past” pricing for those events too?

The Magic Kingdom was under two years old at the time of this publication.  Love the Fantasyland West view with the Skyway and original “it’s a small world” entrance.

Love the image of Cinderella Castle with the Hub Waterway in the foreground.

Here we have a rare photo of the Admiral Joe Fowler cruising past the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square.  The Main Street Emporium sure looks more ornate that it’s counterpart in Disneyland.

And here we have the page of extinct attractions with the exception of Country Bear Jamboree which is still hanging on albeit in edited/shortened form.  Luckily, during my visits to Walt Disney World in the 70’s and 80’s, I was able to experience 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Skyway, the Plaza Swan Boats and the Mickey Mouse Revue.  The memories are pretty faded though.

One of the things that surprised me on my first trip to Walt Disney World back in the 1970’s was that Monsanto was the sponsor of the Circle Vision 360 presentation and Goodyear was the sponsor of the Grand Prix Raceway.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s article.  There’s one more article from the Spring 1973 issue of Vacationland Magazine.  Stay tuned.

MANY THANKS to Ken Martinez! I'll have another post from him coming up soon.


Nanook said...


You're not kidding about the image of the Sleeping Beauty Castle - it's one hell of an image-!

As nice an idea as having "Blast to the Past" pricing for events of the same name - that merely sounds like attendance suicide. Any sort of deal of that magnitude would produce potential attendance numbers forcing the park to be closed shortly after it opened-! But keep that good thought, nonetheless.

Thanks, Ken, for posting this issue of WDW Vacationland. Looking forward to part 2.

TokyoMagic! said...

I remember that cover photo from an issue of Disney News Magazine. It's such a great aerial photo. I wonder when they stopped using the "kite fliers" in the ski shows? Heck, I wonder when they stopped doing the ski shows? For some reason, I'm guessing that it was before the alligators and brain-eating amoebas showed up in the water.

I love all the vintage pics, especially of the extinct attractions. I wish I had been able to experience the Swan Boats and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attractions. I'm glad that I was at least able to experience WDW's Mickey Mouse Revue after it was packed up and sent to Tokyo.

Is that giant tiki head in the Adventureland pic, one of the Liki Tikis? I was just reading somewhere (but now I can't remember where) that those tikis didn't originally spit on guests when the park first opened. Who is it that comes up with these ideas to have tikis and camels that spit on guests in Adventureland and a chili dog-eating Stitch that belches in your face in Tomorrowland?

Thanks for sharing more of your collection with us, Ken!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ken for this. WDW looks amazing here. Even a flower market, which is probably long since gone.

I'll have to break down and go the next time there is an Orlando convention in my specialty.

Thanks Major.


stu29573 said...

Unfortunately that view of the castle no longer exists. With the hub rebuild a few years ago, most of the green space was replaced with concrete paths. It makes the whole place look much smaller. They said it was to help with the crowds, but they seemed worse, not better on my last trip.
20,000 Leagues was a favorite for me (and a lot of people). When it was removed, we got...nothing. Then we got a Pooh play area...Finally after a few decades we got the new Fantasyland expansion. I like it ok, but I would rather have my subs back. Sigh...

zach said...

Thanks for sharing, Ken. I enjoy these images from the past. I still have not visited WDW after all these years. Living on the West Coast makes it a little harder. If I visit now it won't look much like it did but that's the time period I'd most like to see in person.

I was always fascinated by the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues. Even if it was the same ride as the Subs in DL it just looks cooler in the Nautilus. Oh well. Fun stuff,


K. Martinez said...

Nanook, I didn't realize WDW had a Sleeping Beauty Castle. I learn something new every day. ;-)

TokyoMagic!, Gators and amoebas and bears, Oh my! I never heard that before about the Liki Tikis. Next time the promotion for "Show Us Your Disney Side" comes up, I'm going to the park and spit on visiting guests and when park security asks me what I'm doing, I'll simply explain that I'm a spitting Disney camel and I'm showing my "Disney Side".

JG, If you do go, I'd love to hear about it. Glad you enjoyed.

stu29573, I'd take 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea back any day over what's there now. As for the new concrete hub, from what I've seen online, I'm not a fan of it. I'm beginning to think the Disney Parks have become too popular for their own good.

David Zacher, The only experience I've had at Walt Disney World was from 1978 to 1985, so while I know a lot about the Florida property, it has been well over thirty years since I've returned. I know from reading, that it's a whole different beast today.

JC Shannon said...

In 1973 I was "flying the friendly skies" so a trip to the Magic Kingdom would have been most welcome. Love the pic of the Admiral passing the Haunted Mansion. I was shocked by the prices! I worry that park prices will get so high that your average family won't be able to afford it anymore. Thanks to Ken and Major for the great scans.

Nanook said...


Oh well. That just goes to show you my editing skills are a bit suspect at times.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, ooooh....if they ever do another 24 hr. "Show Us Your Disney Side" costume party, like they did back in 2015, it would be hard NOT to go as something that spits or belches. But I think it would be even more tempting to go as a "hen" and wear a sign around my neck that reads "$10"..... I know, I just can't let that go!

stu29573 said...

Cause it's so stuuuuuuuuuuupid!!!

Melissa said...

Okay, my father getting upset about paying $14 for a one-day passport in 1983 makes a little more sense if you could get a private tour guide and entrance to seven major attractions for half that price a decade earlier.

K. Martinez said...

JC Shannon, I'd think by now the average family probably only goes once or twice each generation because it has become so expensive. It's been that way for a while though.

Nanook, I've done it myself. In fact at first I thought you were queuing off my writing and I was the one called it SBC. Speaking of Disney castles it would've been kind of cool if Disney did a Snow White Castle as the centerpiece of one of their other "castle" parks. I don't know why they haven't.

TokyoMagic!, I like your idea about a ten for a hen. Don't be like Elsa and Let It Go! Keep it going and festering until the A.A. hen short circuits and explodes and the feathers go flying.

Melissa, I was thinking about your story of your father not being happy with the cost when I saw the earlier prices too. I agree with him. I do remember paying something like 7.95 for entry and 15 ticketed attractions at the Magic Kingdom back in the late 1970's. I had gone to other non-Disney theme parks at that time and the prices were pretty closely matched.

Melissa said...

I always thought it would be kinda fun to dress as Clara Cluck for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

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Chuck said...

"the average family probably only goes once or twice each generation because it has become so expensive."

Yep. Last WDW trip was 2007; last DL trip, 2009. But GDB is free!