Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas at the Magic Kingdom, 1971

It's Christmas Eve, and I thought it might be nice to see some photos of The Magic Kingdom during its first holiday season. These were taken at night, so the focus isn't as sharp as we might like, but they're still worth a look.

First up is this view of the giant Christmas tree in Town Square. Look at all those lights! It appears that they were the size of a standard home lightbulb rather than the tiny sort you'd find on a normal-sized tree. It's interesting to see that they were still running the Horse Drawn Streetcar in the dark.

Main Street was bustling on this November evening (the pictures were taken during the Thanksgiving holiday). As is usual for the early days, the decor is looks very much like the sort of thing one might have seen in a real city - some garlands, a few lights, some wreaths and bells. Nothing over the top.

We've moved up the street just a bit, with Cinderella Castle towering in the distance. With the popcorn lights lining the buildings, Main Street always looks like something special is going on. Maybe a Hollywood premiere! But no, it's just good old Main Street. The Omnibus is passing on the right; does anybody know if the upper panel (blank in this photo) was ever covered with mini-posters like their Disneyland cousins?

I'll be out of town for the next few days; but keep checking in - as always, there will be new posts for you each morning. Merry Christmas to everybody!


Nanook said...


Not to worry about running the streetcars at night - the horses at that time had X-ray vision-!

"... the decor looks very much like the sort of thing one might have seen in a real city - some garlands, a few lights, some wreaths and bells. Nothing over the top". Yes - exactly - just how it's supposed to be done - not screaming with excess to the point of distraction.

Merry Christmas, Major, and the rest of the GDB faithful.

Melissa said...

So very festive and cheerful and soothing! Christmastime I the Magic Kingdom, especially on Main St., really is something special.

The decorations are more elaborate now, and it requires a lot of Main Street CM's in their old-timey red and green, to keep traffic flowing, but if you try you can still recapture that feeling of "City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style" that a lot of us don't see as much of at home, or have our heads too wrapped up in our everyday concerns to notice.

TokyoMagic! said...

Merry Christmas, Major, and everyone!!!

Chuck said...

My first memories of riding the streetcar at Disneyland are of a night ride in 1971. It's a different experience than in the morning, and it's always in the opposite direction. I remember them still doing that in the off-season in the '90s, although I'm sure the crowds make that impossible today.

Great way to start Christmas Eve, Major! However you celebrate, Merry Christmas to you all!

JC Shannon said...

It doesn't get any better than the Magic Kingdom at night. Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to all the GDB family. Safe travels to all, thanks Major for the Christmas scans.

K. Martinez said...

Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Chuck, The Main Street Vehicles only operate between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. after which they close and do not appear again until the next morning unless used in a parade.

Anonymous said...

And a Merry Christmas to all out there. Thanks for another great year of posts and comments! KS

JG said...

Wishing Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the Major and the GDB crew.

Here's to another year of studying old photos and remembering Disneyland.


Sunday Night said...

Merry Christmas to Major and all the great people who post here and make my day brighter.

DrGoat said...

Merry Christmas all you Mouseketeers, and safe journeys.
Wish we would have traveled to Disneyland back in the 50s through the 70s. Disneyland was a summer trip from Tucson for us. Did go in 2012 and it was quite an experience. The crowd down Mainstreet and in front of the castle was so huge (and slightly unruly due to strollers and the like), we got led out through the cast members area behind the Penny Arcade side of Mainstreet. Interesting but not worth repeating.

Nancy said...

Love the Main Street lights. Merry Christmas! :D