Friday, October 18, 2019

Walt Disney World, November 1971

It's time for two more wonderful photos from Walt Disney World, when the park was only two months old. A mere baby! These are courtesy of our friend Mr. X, who took these himself.

We'll begin with this particularly awesome exterior of the Grand Prix Raceway (sponsored by Goodyear). I personally don't ever recall seeing this attraction from this perspective; and although it still feels a bit spartan (the trees are still saplings), I love the "retro 70's" look.

Zooming in to the left, you can see the "grandstands" - I'm a little unclear as to whether guests could just sit there and watch if they didn't care to go for a drive, or if it was all part of the queue.

Let's pause for a little bit of vintage people-watching!

Next is one that is not as spectacular, but still interesting to me! It's a photo of the bed (a child's bed?) from one of the Contemporary Hotel rooms. It doesn't look very fancy, but the 70's orange and pink is kind of awesome. There are probably plenty of photos from the early WDW hotels, but I've never seen one like this before.


Nanook said...

Oh - that bedspread [and pillows]-!

Thanks to Mr. X.

andrew said...

The "grandstands" are part of the queue. You go over the bridge over the tracks into the middle and are then separated into the left / right lane. It's probably the one part of the ride that hasn't changed since opening

TokyoMagic! said...

I do like the color combination on that bedspread!

In that first pic, there is either a yellow Skyway bucket hiding behind a tree, or else they were growing grapefruit in Tomorrowland.

Andrew said...

Man, I had no idea how bare-bones the car ride used to be at Magic Kingdom. It has a much more elaborate sign now, though the structure at the entrance is pretty much the same. Thanks to Mr. X for both of these fun pics!

Scott Lane said...

That is one heck of a long line for the Speedway! Granted at this point there really was no Tomorrowland to speak of, but still...

"Lou and Sue" said...

The bedspread and pillows are so loud that it would be hard to sleep! The colors remind me of one of the Disney gift bag patterns from the past - that I do love (on a gift bag, that is).

Thanks, Mr. X and Major!


Alonzo P Hawk said...

Nice photos. I always love a little vintage people watching. The dad with the Spaulding Smales bucket hat kinda jumps out. Thanks for posting.

Melissa said...

Hooray for Mr. X! Lately I've been hearing it in my head as "Mrx." Rhymes with "perks."

That retro 1970s look was big in the 1970s! It makes for great Vintage People watching. I loved the Vintage People; my favorite song of theirs was "In the Navy Leisure Suit."

Check the kids in the matching purple shirts right behind the stroller - I'll bet my sweet bippy that's velour.

My childhood suitcase was the same colors as that bedspread. I guess I had good taste after all!

Early MK photos are dear to my heart; thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the room looks so spartan. I wish there were more pictures of the interior of that room!

Andrew, I figured it had to be something like that - how many people would just sit there and watch the ride without going on it themselves?! Thanks for the info.

TokyoMagic!, that is one of those rare rectangular grapefruits that they used to grow in Florida!

Penn. Andrew, I’ll have to look online, I have no clue what the Grand Prix Raceway sign looks like these days. Much like early Disneyland, I find the simplicity to be charming.

Scott Lane, yeah, there wasn’t much else to do in Tomorrowland as far as I know, and the Autopia is always popular anyway. I would have taken one look at that line and though, “Oh no”.

Lou and Sue, I dunno, I don’t think that color combo is so bad. It’s bright, but not in an ugly way. What do I know. At least it’s not teal and purple (a popular Disney color pair for many years).

Alonzo, I have no idea who Spaulding Smales is. Why does “Spaulding” always sound like the name of a spoiled rich kid?

Melissa, I prefer a nice burgundy-colored suit myself. And yes, I’ll bet you’re right about the velour. I used to have a couple of velour shirts back in those days, I remember a sort of yellow one that I especially liked.

Nanook said...

In the close-up image, isn’t that a CM wearing that red/white striped jacket, with his back to us - presumably scooping ice cream-? Also, down front, almost as if a-part of the person blocking our view - there’s a wonderful example of dark brown/light brown/white striped pants that would be so at-home in 1971-!

Steve the fisherman said...

I agree that room looks more spartan than contemporary to me.

Chuck said...

There are grandstand seats on the other, track-facing side of the yellow building (see here for a more recent photo).

For those who have never seen it in person (not going to use any names, Major & JG), an in-depth description of the attraction can be found here.

And that bedspread reminds me so much of the ones in my mother's old bedroom at my grandmother's house, only they was in blues and greens. Pretty sure she bought them in 1969 when my mother and I went to live with her while my dad was in Vietnam.

Chuck said...

"...were in blues and greens." I was learned in grammar better than what I done wrote firstly.

Dean Finder said...

I thought the CM (I hope) in the red and white costume with the crown-styled had was on a Fantasyland prison work-release program.

Major, Spaulding Smales was the spoiled rich kid in Caddyshack

What's the guy in the white shirt facing the camera holding (best seen in pic 3. Looks like some kind of wizard's pipe.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I'm surprised that queue area is uncovered. Those waiting would probably get miserably hot (and wet for about 15 minutes every afternoon) in the summertime.


steve2wdw said...

Ahhhh...very early Tomorrowland. Love it! In reference to the skyway bucket...if you look closely through the building, under the "Goodyear" portion of the sign, you can see the turn station of the skyway. Buckets leaving the Tomorrowland station, way out of frame, to the right, traveled up a steep incline to the first tower, leveling out until the second tower, where they dropped down into the turn station. Here at the turn, the skyway buckets disengage from the cable, and roll down a track around the corner, where they reconnect with the cable to continue on towards Fantasyland, to our left in this photo.

The Raceway sits opposite to the large, northern block of Tomorrowland, which housed Flight to the Moon, a small food outlet, Mickey's Star Traders, and the Tomorrowland Terrace. The concourse between the Raceway and this northern block, now is full of beautiful trees, and planters filled with flowers and interestingly pruned shrubs.

Melissa said...

Dean Finder, that does kind of look like a pipe stem, doesn't it?

Could be a pen or pencil, except I'm not sure why he'd be holding it right then and there. Unless it's a recently-purchased souvenir?

Could be a Slim Jim or some other kind of jerky snack.