Monday, September 24, 2018

Contemporary Resort Hotel, November 1971

My pal Mr. X took both of today's beautiful photos from the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World. He was just a teen at the time, but he did a great job!

I love this striking image from the atrium (or Grand Canyon Concourse), with the super-cool Monorail at rest overhead, and those very 70's light fixtures that appear to be some sort of mutated version of "mod". The warm glow of the "Plaza Gifts and Sundries" shop beckons us forward - who among us hasn't needed a few sundries while on vacation? I tried zooming in to see what items I could identify, but other than some random glassware, I only recognized a rack of dark glasses. Everything else was a colorful blur.

Next we have this lovely photo of the Olympic-sized swimming pool, with Bay Lake in the distance. You might be tempted to swim in the lake, but, you know, brain-eating amoebas and hungry alligators might be there. Near the big pool was a smaller circular pool for for teens, where rock music was played* 

*Some rock hits in '71: Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones; Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin; Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who; Riders On The Storm by The Doors; A Family Affair by Sly and the Family Stone;  and the rockinest song of all, Rainy Days and Mondays by The Carpenters. To name but a few!

** I used FoxxFur's wonderful Passport to Dreams Old & New blog as reference - if you aren't already aware of it, do yourself a favor and read every post!


Nanook said...


It turns out you hit the nail right on the head. The Plaza Gifts and Sundries shop specialized in 'colorful blurs'. I bought several of them there on different vacations-!

Love the kid standing poolside with that fabulous pair of brown/white striped pants with the flared legs.

And speaking of 'questionable' hits from 1971, let's not forget Go Away Little Girl by Donnie Osmond, Knock Three Times by Dawn, Watching Scotty Grow by Bobby Goldsboro, and One Bad Apple by the Osmonds. Whew.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Judging by the visible activity, that seems to be a gather-'round-and-look-at pool rather than a swimming pool.

December can get pretty chilly in Florida, and even if the pool was heated, the air around it was not. Combine that with a breeze off the lakes and that may explain why nobody's swimming. Either that, or somebody threw a Baby Ruth in the pool.

JC Shannon said...

I think Chuck is on to something, someone yelled "I want all those caddy bodies out of the pool!" I truly believe that all fashion in the 70s was based on a dare. Case in point, the woman in the yellow pants suit with the bee hive do. I would have looked like I blended in with my red bells and white shoes. What were we thinking? Love the Monorail pic, it looks fast even at the station. Thanks for today's scans Major P. Don't forget LA Woman by The Doors.

Matthew said...

@ Chuck and @JC Shannon... yeah what's happening at the pool? It just doesn't make sense unless they all finished a group buffet and are waiting their mother mandated 30 minutes to digest so as not to get cramps.

It seems someone went swimming as there appears to be wet concrete where someone got out (or was dragged out) by the handrails in each corner. Regardless... what great photos of Grand Canyon Concourse and the Monorail. Also, in the pool photo... way out in the distance right side we can see a boat on it's way to Fort Wilderness Campground.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

K. Martinez said...

Both pics are pretty awesome today. I love seeing the WALT DISNEY WORLD MONORAIL SYSTEM lettering on the side of the monorail and the fixtures on the Grand Canyon Concourse are pure 70's.

That swimming pool shot is extra nice too for the view of Bay Lake and the beaches and trees beyond. Thanks, Major.

Chuck, I have a horror story from childhood of diving into an ol' swimmin' hole which apparently was were people chose to dump their Baby Ruth bars into while swimming. From then on it was strictly clear water pools for me.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, maybe a nice tie-dye would count as a “colorful blur”? Nothing says “elegance” like tie-dye. Those striped pants remind me of less-bold pants of my own, from about this same time period. And oh, I could have named lots of other songs, both good and bad!

Chuck, remember, these photos were taken during the Thanksgiving holiday, so it was late November - clearly it was warm enough in the sun to make people want to be outside, but way too cold to hop into that lovely pool. I remember taking my then-girlfriend to a fancy hotel for Valentine’s Day, and we got in the hot tub. When we got out, my bathing suit turned to ice. Yikes!

Jonathan, the funny thing is, I don’t even think that these particular 70’s fashions are that bad. At some point (maybe later 70’s) things really go to hell. I kind of appreciate the bold patterns as a break from the past. And hey, I’ll bet Jim Morrison wouldn’t have minded a pair of pants with stripes like that!

Matthew, see my comment to Chuck - I’m sure it was just too cold. I’m unfamiliar with WDW’s layout, but I think this might be an afternoon photo too; I’ll bet it was dark by 5:00 in November. I noticed the wet cement, and wasn’t sure if that was due to the famous Florida rainstorms, or a crazy swimmer!

K. Martinez, yes, both of today’s photos are extra nice in my opinion… Mr. X did himself proud. And part of me wants details about your swimmin’ hole nightmare, while part of me would rather not know!!

Chuck said...

Ken, I read your comment just as I sat down to eat lunch.

Anyone want some home-made chicken and kale soup? It's already heated up.

K. Martinez said...

Major, Trust me. You don't want to know the details. It makes me sick recalling the experience. I blame Chuck for triggering those blocked memories. ;-)

Chuck, Glad my comment enhanced your lunch experience. I do try to help out a fellow GDB reader from time to time.

Melissa said...

Man oh man, snakes alive, and 46-skiddoo! A big virtual kiss to Mr. X, 'cause ain't no such thing as too much Contemporary Resort!!! No matter how they change her, I'll love her anyway.

Foxxfurr's Contemporary History reports are indeed best of the web, and have filled in so many of my gaps between What Do I Remember and What Did I Imagine.

From the back, the lady in the butter-colkred pantsuit and the brown stripeypants boy look like doubles of my mother's twin and her son, circa early 1970’s. But the closest they ever got to WDW was Marineland or Cypress Gardens, whichever is closer.

Late November looks about right. That's my favorite time at the World: weather is warm enough to be unseasonably warm for us Northerners, but cool enough that we don't melt in long pants. Plus, Christmas decorations are up but Christmas Vacation crowds aren't there yet.

If you zoom in at about center of #2, you'll see what's got everybody gathered around the pool: Baby-Blue Babushka! (Hey, that sounds like a cocktail with vodka and blue Curacao.)

JC Shannon said...

Chuck, the soup sounds great, I'll be right over! Ken, did you yell "doodie?" I would have!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I needed these pictures SO much today. They are my happy place (and time).

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

I should'a known a babushka was attempting to upstage this tranquil scene-! (No trendy stripy pants [slacks] for her-!)

dean finder said...

There appears to be a slide in the background of pic #2 that drops into Bay Lake, amoebas and gators be damned!

Melissa said...

OK, I tended bar for a total of one night, so I feel perfectly qualified to make a recipe for the Baby Blue Babushka cocktail.

Pour 1.5 ounces each of vodka and blue Curacao over ice in a Collins glass.
Fill glass with Vernor's ginger ale.
Garnish with the peel of an orange wedge, wrapped around a cherry and held in place with a cocktail pick.

Brought to you by Gorillas Don't Drink

Anonymous said...

Wow, I love love love the monorail pic. The future is here, and then left again.

Very few people in swimsuits around that pool, must be cold.

@Melissa, "BBB"s for all my friends.

Chuck and Ken, settle down, don't make me come over there.

Thank you, Major.


Nancy said...

Sounds like a great drink, Melissa! I do love all things blue....especially this Monorail!! Totally 70s in this view. I am so in love with the Contemporary Resort. Hoping I can afford to stay there next time I get to visit.

Everyone gathered around seems interested in something there by or in the pool. hmmm

great pics today, Major!!! :-D