Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Walt Disney World, November 1971

I have a few beauties (and one "snoozy") from Walt Disney World (circa 1971) for you today!

First up is this very pretty shot from Main Street U.S.A. as the night was falling (has fallen?). A packed Omnibus passes the Penny Arcade as the sidewalks teem with people. I love the way the scene is lit by the glow from the buildings. Note the hints of Christmas decor in the background.

That young girl was very nearly squashed by the Omnibus, but she managed to leap to safety at the very last moment. Love all of those 1971 fashions, including Mr. White Necktie on the top level of the Omnibus.

From much earlier in the day, we have this lovely shot approaching Main Street Station under a flawless blue Florida sky. It must have been pretty impressive in person! I generally hear about the heat and humidity of the Magic Kingdom, so it's interesting to see guests bundled up in coats, jackets, and sweaters.

And lastly for today, this shot from inside the Grand Canyon Concourse with one of the Monorails, fast asleep after a long day. It's not the most spectacular view ever, but I'm saving a good one for the future!



In the very early years of Walt Disney World the Magic Kingdom didn’t stay open very late during the wi yet and the park issued some near gate flyers letting guests know that Main Street shoos , restaurants and attractions would remain open so guests could enjoy “Turn-of-the-Century America” ironically MOST of these flyers show art work of Disneyland’s Main Street and the ever Omni-present OMNIBUS!!

I love seeing early Walt Disney World images like these!

K. Martinez said...

I like the Main Street Station photo with palm trees. Interesting seeing the clear blue sky since in humid climate there are usually clouds. Those people are probably super excited as they approach the entrance to the then brand new Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World. Thanks, Major.

Tom said...

Wonderful! Just a little hint of those awesome plexiglas(R) trees in the Grand Canyon concourse makes that last shot a winner in my book.

I can only imagine how it must have been to experience WDW in its debut year.

Nanook said...


The first shot definitely evokes a great feeling, certainly reminds me of many trips there. As does the shot of the “main gate”, with a classic blue, Florida sky. (And as for our friend with the white necktie, he’s merely a Mafia Don out for a good time....)

Thanks, Major.

steve2wdw said...

Positively beautiful shots in todays edition of GDB.....and I find any shot of a "fast asleep" monorail, to be spectacular.

Anonymous said...

These are really fine pictures. Main Street looks so inviting.

Your commentary makes me wonder if any guest has ever been run over by a vehicle. I'm sure some would have deserved it. Wondering if the CM drivers are contemplating it.

Also, very important not to disturb sleeping monorails, they can be quite violent when alarmed. Never get between a monorail and it's cub.


JC Shannon said...

Love the glow of the magic hour Main Street photo. I can feel the anticipation in the air, as park goers prepare to spend the day at the Magic Kingdom. That electric feeling you only get at the parking lot and gate. Magic for sure. Where the the Mark I, II, and III look to me like sleek, fast transportation of the future, the IV, V, and VI look like blocks of cement with windows IMHO. The Mark VII brought back the magic for me, and I love it. More like Walt and Bob's original vision. I spy a babushka in photo #1! Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I would love to see some of those early gate flyers. Don’t know if I ever have. I can believe that WDW might have closed at 8 o’clock or so, but when Mr. X was there it was the Thanksgiving holiday, and he said it was very crowded, so I would assume that they had later hours. Who knows!

K. Martinez, yes, the sheer size, and those palm trees, really make Florida’s Main Street Station feel quite different from the Anaheim version. I usually love the Florida skies with those white fluffy clouds, but that rich blue is pretty nice too.

Nanook, ha ha, I thought the same thing about Mr. White Tie - he must be a “made guy”. Even at the Magic Kingdom he is wishing he could whack somebody.

steve2wdw, I really do particularly love that first photo. Definitely an “I wish I was there” view.

JG, when you observe the way guests ignore oncoming vehicles at Disneyland, it seems almost inevitable that somebody has been at least bumped by an Omnibus or Horseless Carriage. However, I’ve never heard of any instances of that sort of thing.

Jonathan, I agree with your opinion of the WDW Monorails; I understand that they need to be larger because they are actual modes of transportation, but I am sure not fond of that “learjet” design. There are probably many people who love it more than anything, though. It’s interesting to see early WDW concepts, where the Monorails look more like the bubble-domed Mark II and Mark III types.

Melissa said...

It's Knitwear Knight in the Magic Kingdom - hoods and ponchos for everybody! There are days, and especially nights, in winter time when even we Northerners need a little warm clothing at WDW.


Back when company employees got great rates in the off season I went to Walt Disney World often - usually in January - and several of those visits were FREEZING COLD!!! Even for a Californian!! Several times WDW gardeners rushed to place these donut shaped blanket things around the bases of palm trees to keep them warm and smudge pots were set up around the resort. One visit I was wearing a leather coat and ask it got colder the leather stiffened to a shell-like feel. To sit down on the WEDWAY PropleMover I had to take the coat off because it was “crunching” as I sat back in the seat!!!

Chuck said...

Are those exit turnstiles in the middle of the walk there in the third photo? Interesting to see how low they are; must not have been much fear of gate jumpers, although there is a white-hatted, blue-shirted security guy standing casually nearby.

JG, does this monorail's cub look like a Mark V?

Dean Finder said...

I know the WDW Main Street vehicles stop running by late morning since the crowds make it impossible to run safely.