Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WDW Postcard Folder, Part 1

Well, what do you know! Ol' Major Pepperidge is kind of forgetful. GDB pal Warren Nielsen sent some scans of a vintage Walt Disney World postcard folder that he picked up during a 1976 trip to the World. There are "26 colorful photos", most of which are charming early views of the place - I wish I could have seen it like that!

First up is the cover, of course. I'd forgotten about that logo, the "D" with the mouse-eared globe. They should bring that back!

Inside the cover is this tempting description of some of the many wonders you could expect to find in Orlando. It actually downplays the Magic Kingdom, and plays up things like golf, sailing, and other recreational experiences.

Since I am unclear as to what order the remaining images should go, I'm just going to randomize them. Man, Adventureland looks beautiful, I would happily join that group of guests for a guided tour.

The Grand Prix Raceway looks so amazing, and yet I've been told that it is smaller than the Autopia at Disneyland - in fact it has been pared down over the years. Why? They have all of that land!

If you're in Florida, you need to work on your golden tan. Or get the whole family to tan so that you'll look good in your Christmas postcard. I can't help wondering if, between alligators and brain-eating amoebas, does anybody actually swim in the lakes at the park anymore?

What a lovely picture of Cinderella Castle, with those wonderful Florida clouds. Is that canal part of the moat? Is that where the old Swan Boats used to navigate?

Here's a beautiful aerial photo for the back cover. I can only imagine how much development has been added in the ensuing 40 years. I know that the square piece of land jutting into the Seven Seas Lagoon is where the never-built Asian Resort was going to go. 

There are lots more scans to go - so stay tuned for three more posts! Many thanks to Warren Nielsen for sharing these scans with us.


Nanook said...


More memories from WDW. That certainly looks lie a Swan Boat waterway canal to me.

Thanks Warren & The Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

The Grand Floridian was eventually built on that square piece of land jutting out into the lagoon (in 1988).

Looking at Adventureland from that same angle today, that beautiful view would be blocked by Aladdin's Flying Carpets, which was plopped down in front of the Tiki Room. There are also some spitting camel statues that were shoehorned into the area at the same time. I wonder if the camel "spit" contains brain-eating amoebas?

Thank you for sharing this with us, Major and Warren. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this postcard folder!

K. Martinez said...

I love the original logo and font of Walt Disney World. Especially when it had its "Florida" flag.

I read that no one is allowed to swim in the lakes anymore and the Sevens Seas Lagoon is now roped off at its beaches since the incident with the alligator and child. I doubt many guests hang out on the beach anymore like shown in this pic. Those days are pretty much over.

I sure wish Disney built the Asian Hotel. Of the three proposed but unrealized hotels, it looked the nicest. I think it would've been great. As for the Polynesian Village Resort, it grew over the years and now practically touches the TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center).

Thank you for sharing from your collection, Warren. I love 1970's Walt Disney World.

JC Shannon said...

Great scans today. I especially like the art in #1 and #2. That is a great shot of the Castle, and Adventureland. So many great pamphlets and foldouts to be collected. And yes, I need 'em all! Don't I wish. Thanks to Major and Warren for sharing them with us. Can't wait to see the rest.

Melissa said...

Yeah, in the early days they really emphasized the World as a sort of well-rounded vacation destination rather than a theme park. And the advertising was focused more on adults than children.

I LOVE the Mickey Mouse floatie in the 5th picture! And that view of the unspoiled Sunshine Pavilion plaza without the Aladdin traffic-jam-creator, er, I mean ride, is just lovely.

steve2wdw said...

These postcards bring back lots of fact I think I have all of these (and many more) stashed away somewhere....
Adventureland...true TokyoMagic, those pesky carpets have blocked that view of the whole Sunshine Pavilion, a travesty for sure. For those who haven't visited the MK, the bridge that crosses the canal is the exit bridge to the Swiss Family Island Treehouse...and yes, the Swan Boats plied this section of waterway too.
Grand Prix Raceway....over the years it's been truncated due to the addition of Mickey's Birthdayland/Toontown Fair, and even again for Storybook Circus. Rumor has it that it's going to get a Tron-treatment for the 50th, as the Tron coaster is going in and over parts of it.
Beach Party....The story goes, that this photo was taken along the north shores of Bay Lake. As you can see, the Contemporary is WAY OFF in the background.
Castle and Canal....yes, the Swan Boats also travelled this section of canal, which is still there.
Aerial View.....Ahhhh, the Seven Seas Lagoon. Besides the Asian Hotel, which was supposed to take the square parcel (now occupied by the Grand Floridian, directly across fate lagoon, between the TTC and the Contemporary, is a rounded section of shoreline....the proposed Venetian Hotel was supposed to be there. Later, Eisner announced the high-end Mediterranean for this site, but from what I've been told, every few years they attempt to put pilings in and they just disappear into the earth. I would think that modern construction techniques would remedy this unstable land, but I'm no engineer! Beyond the Contemporary is some cleared land. This was originally cleared for the Persian Hotel, also never built. It became a boneyard of sorts and also CM parking. When the subs were decommissioned, they were sent to that parcel to sit for a very long time. Such a sad ending for such beautifully crafted steampunk subs.
Looking forward to your next batch! Thanks

JG said...

I'll bet a Florida Adventureland is great.

But Florida sounds like Australia, where everything is trying to kill you.

Thanks Warren Neilsen and Major for sharing the photos.

I can't decide if I want to stay at the Polynesian or the Grand Floridian.

Any recommendations?


steve2wdw said...

....and I completely forgot about that world famous wave machine. In the aerial picture, it's in the water, connected to the island directly north of the Poly (opposite the white sandy beach)!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it might have been one of the short-lived U-boat canals. Torpedos, los!

TokyoMagic!, oh interesting, I didn’t know that that’s where the Grand Floridian went. Aladdin’s such a fun movie, it’s amazing that instead of doing something really great, they decided to not even try, and made a “Dumbo” knockoff. Also… spitting camel statues???

K. Martinez, I suppose the “Florida” flag was needed so that people knew that there was a park besides the one in California. Judging from eBay, there are still many people who don’t know the difference between Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I’ll have to look up artwork for the Asian Hotel, I’m not really sure what that was supposed to look like.

Jonathan, I’m a Disneyland ephemera collector, and it is never-ending. I would assume that WDW has even more stuff, given that there are so many parks within its borders. I’m sure there are some very dedicated collectors out there who won’t be outbid on are items.

steve2wdw, I would definitely expect someone with your nickname to have a pretty good collection! Wasn’t there room to add Mickey’s Birthdayland without cutting into the Grand Prix Raceway? What happened to Walt’s excited pronouncement that they had room for all of their ideas, or something to that effect? Seems like they need most of that room for additional hotels. That Tron coaster sounds cool, but isn’t the one in Shanghai inside a large building, like Space Mountain? At that point maybe they should just remove their little car ride, if they can’t show it a little respect. It drive me a bit crazy when I hear that so many wonderful concepts were planned, only to wind up as parking lots, boneyards, and other dumb things.

JG, my pal Mr. X says that Florida’s Jungle Cruise surpasses ours by leaps and bounds, and he is a Disneyland fan. I’m curious if you get any recommendations about hotels; Mr. X likes the Grand Floridian, but he is one of those people who is all about amenities. He loves to be pampered!

steve2wdw, thanks for pointing out the wave machine! At first I thought those fine white lines were waves in the water, but then I realized that they are just scratches on the postcard.

Melissa said...

"the proposed Venetian Hotel was supposed to be there. Later, Eisner announced the high-end Mediterranean for this site, but from what I've been told, every few years they attempt to put pilings in and they just disappear into the earth."

Reminds me of Swamp Castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

"When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. And that one sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Son, the strongest castle in all of England."

Melissa said...

"I can't decide if I want to stay at the Polynesian or the Grand Floridian."

Of the two, I would personally probably go with the Polynesian. The guest rooms are a teeny wee bit larger, but there's also the proximity to the Kona Cafe for Tonga Toast and Kona coffee press pot, Captain Cook's for Dole Whip, and two bars' worth of tropical drinks. Also, the view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the Poly beach is gorgeous.

JG said...

@Melissa, thank you. Those are all good reasons.


Dean Finder said...

I don't mind if they update the Grand Prix Raceway. It's kind of a shoehorn in Tomorrowland - it was Indy 500 themed to make it an easy sell to Goodyear, who wasn't going to sponsor a Peoplemover at WDW that wasn't propelled by Goodyear tires.
The Tron coaster building will be outside the berm behind the Raceway, and the queues will cross it, so the Raceway shouldn't be shortened.

Warren Nielsen said...

JG, I will second Melissa's rec of the Poly. The first time we went to WDW (1976), we stayed off property (finances being what they were) but decided if we ever got back, the place to stay would be the Poly. On our second or third trip, we spent one night at the Golf Resort (before the DoD took it over) then moved up to the Poly, and on our last trip there (2007) we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. That was OK too, but gee whiz. We can look out our back window and see evergreen trees here at home. Don't need to do that in Florida, so Poly it would be. The Grand Floridian struck us as just a wee bit too snooty for our taste. And the Contemporary is, well, too contemporary.

I'm glad everyone is enjoying these scans. Thank you, Major, for posting them.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Warren, I appreciate your advice.