Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Scenes From the Magic Kingdom, June 1979

I finally scanned some more Walt Disney World slides - there's quite a lot of them sitting in various boxes, waiting for somebody to love them. Today's their day!

I never get tired of photos of the entrance to Tomorrowland, with its distinctive towers and fountains. Space Mountain looms over everything!

Look at all the pigeons (seagulls?) on top of that building! Poop city.

I love the tropical lagoon theme for the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction, and the way it evokes Captain Nemo's "Vulcania" hideout in the middle of an extinct (?) volcano. This is how I want my swimming pool to look at my fourth mansion.

Artist Harper Goff hit a home run when he designed the iron-clad Nautilus submarine, looking suitably Victorian - though perhaps giving an early glimpse of things to come with the Industrial Revolution. The toothed prow and tail fin could rip the hull of any wooden sailing ship that dared to tangle with Captain Nemo.

Below the surface, many varieties of fishes live and frolic (fishy frolics!). These Sea Bass (or Groupers) enjoy all the attention from the people in the submarines. At one point, an underwater microphone reveal the Lovecraftian sounds that fish make. 

Stay tuned for more from Walt Disney World!


"Lou and Sue" said...

Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine

Pegleg Pete said...

Ah, the Magic Kingdom at its peak – and with two of my favourite features: the much-missed original entrance to Tomorrowland and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea! Even though it doesn't look like it was an ideal day to be at WDW weather-wise, these pictures have certainly made my day. Thanks, Major!

Andrew said...

That structure those birds are sitting on is the curved roof of the Circle Vision theater. Here's a "now" view for you (though this is actually not up-to-date with the recent color scheme changes in preparation for the Tron attraction). It definitely looks different, to say the least. I always love vintage WDW pics. Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I agree with Pegleg Pete's opinion of the Magic Kingdom in these photos. It was the Magic Kingdom at its peak. The Mickey Mouse Revue was still there (last year) and Big Thunder Mountain was coming. The park still had most of if not all it's opening year attractions.

You have quite a bit of WDW slides sitting in various boxes waiting for somebody to love them? Bring them on because I'm ready to love them. 1970's Walt Disney World is the best. Thanks, Major.

stu29573 said...

Having ridden both, I would say that 20,000 Leagues was the better of the two sub rides, if only for the amount of "high adventure" involved. I loved this ride! Then, about the time I was going to introduce my daughter to it, it went down for "referb"...and never came back. In its place we got a Pooh play area. Talk about insulting! They finally did something good with the real estate with the "New Fantasyland" expansion. But I still miss my subs...

DrGoat said...

Nice photos Major. I've been a fan of Harper's version of the Nautilus since I first saw it way back when. Such a unique design. I For my first test learning to do Autocad, I drew up the Nautilus of course.
Although I've never been to WDW, I can appreciate all the great architecture and goodies that reside there.
I think those rascals are just lining up to audition for the remake of The Birds, but since everything will be CG, I think they're out of luck.
Lou & Sue, every time I see a seagull, that's what goes through my mind. Darn those Pixar people, but thanks for the laugh.
Thanks Major. A little bird and I were talking about how much GDB means to some of us. Especially now, so a big thanks from us to you.

DKoren said...

Love the Nautilus pictures! 20,000 is one of my favorite movies of all time, and the one to make me want to be a submarine captain when I was young. Of course, I wanted to command *this* submarine, not just any old submarine. I second the comment that GDB is one of my daily highlights in these trying times. All these awesome pics never fail to make me smile. Thank you.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, seagulls it is!

Pegleg Pete, my understanding is that it rains frequently at WDW; maybe those clouds moved through and some nice sunshine came along later in the day. And based on what I’ve heard about the Florida heat, maybe a little overcast would be welcome! It doesn’t look as good in photos, I admit.

Andrew, I thought that might be the Circle Vision theater. Because it’s a circle! Thanks for the link to the “now” (sort of) version!

K. Martinez, I remember the Mickey Mouse Revue being heavily featured on one of my WDW Viewmaster reels. I love classic Disney songs, but am not so sure I’d enjoy a show of limited-motion AA figures performing them. Maybe you had to be there? As for the other WDW slides, it’s just like Disneyland slides… there’s some really good stuff, a lot of the same old thing, and some pretty “blah” stuff too.

stu29573, I do love the Captain Nemo/Nautilus theme of the Florida subs. I have no doubt that it was a great ride! The Anaheim version had the nostalgia factor, since it dated back to 1959; I loved that one too. Bummer that your daughter never got to enjoy 20,000 Leagues. When I heard that it was replaced with Pooh’s Playful Spot, it was clear that they’d put in the cheapest, least-effort feature. I’m glad it’s at least something better now.

DrGoat, yeah, Harper Goff really knocked it out of the park with the Nautilus. I don’t know how it could be improved. Maybe with flames painted on the sides? Drawing it in Autocad would be a fun way to learn that program! Think of those birds, full of dropped french fries and popcorn. Blah. Thank you for the kind words!

DKoren, one of the things about the 20,000 Leagues movie is that it just looks so darn good. Beautiful sets and cinematography. Once in a while, they’d show a clip of it on the old Disney TV show, and it would make me wish I could see the whole movie! Now with Disney+, I can watch it 24 hours a day if I want, ha ha. Thank you as well for the nice compliment!

JC Shannon said...

I like the look of the Nemo Subs, but the nuclear boats at Disneyland are still my favorite. Not a fan of the scuba tank yellow paint, though. Great shots of Tomorrowland in it's heyday. I completely agree that GDB is a great place for a laugh and a smile. A big thank you to Major!

DrGoat said...

I've got to find a better way to share a photo with those interested. The Pinderest thing is a bit wonky. I tried Google Photo but evidently I'm not internet savvy enough to make that accessible to anyone else. Anyone have any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I agree, I have loved the Harper Goff Nautilus since I first saw it. I have a vivid memory of visiting the Disneyland exhibit as a kid, and my disappointment (!) when it was gone.

I had to wait years to see the movie, and then in a drive-in theater of all places.

I have it saved on Disney Plus, but I am almost afraid to watch it for fear that it won't hold up in these days of digital monsters, etc.

I was all primed to visit WDW and ride this version, which seemed like a fine inspiration on the part of the Imagineers, and now that it is gone, my desire to visit WDW is greatly diminished.

Major, let me add my thanks to those of the other Junior Gorillas, GDB is a highlight of my days, and especially now. The digital cracker barrel here in the Internet Market House is the closest I have to a social life lately.

Thanks and best wishes to everyone.


Nanook said...

Lovely images, all. Thanks to the image from Andrew, it's easy to see how the entrance to Tomorrowland has changed. And once again, we are met with the "more is never enough" theory of everything Disney does these days. Yeah, there are a lot of colors and thingamabobs jutting-out from everywhere, but it appears to be more of a big mess than any sort of coherent design.

Thanks, Major, for bringing back memories from my favorite time at WDW.

Melissa said...

I’ll never forget the feeling of walking through that Tomorrowland entrance for the first time. I know the word “magical” gets thrown around a lot, but I can’t think of s better word at the moment. It really fired my imagination as a kid. It was like walking into a city in the sky.

See bass? Yes, I do!

Omnispace said...

I never got to see those Tomorrowland spires for real. They were just too far away. When I did visit, WDW Tomorrowland looked like Andrew's picture. This past March I was glad to see things changing back to the original 70's design.

Likewise for the subs, but these are really cool photos of the attraction I never rode. My favorite part of the 20,000 Leagues movie was the cool diving hatch in the bottom of the sub. If I could do that I'd be happy.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, hey, I like the nuclear subs just fine! It’s just hard to compete with those amazing steampunk subs. For me, anyway. I wasn’t crazy about the yellow paint, but ultimately it didn’t affect the ride itself that much. Thank you, Jonathan!

DrGoat, hmmm, let me ponder on what might be a good way for you to share a photo or two with interested folks. I might not get back to you until after the holiday…

JG, one of the few modern collectibles that I have purchased is a beautiful model of the Nautilus. It lights up! I’ve had it sitting in a box in storage, but it really should be on display. Or else I should just sell it, I guess. Seeing 20,000 Leagues at a Drive In sounds pretty fun! I think the movie holds up, and it sure looks great; yes, you can tell things are miniatures, and the squid would look way cooler these days, with CGI, but for a 60+ year-old movie, it’s pretty great. James Mason made a great Captain Nemo.

Nanook, I guess somebody feels that anything with clean, uncluttered lines is a waste of space. Glad you enjoyed these!

Melissa, I am sure you’ve mentioned here before, but what year did you first go to WDW?

Omnispace, the spires were too far away? Not sure what you mean. You couldn’t walk right past them? I can’t help thinking of what a truly spectacular Tomorrowland might look like; just like at Disneyland, it kind of feels as if they tried to keep within a budget, rather than going big. I’d love it if the Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland operated on multiple levels, with overhead walkways and such. The diving hatch was cool, I think I’ve heard people refer to it as a “moon pool”, but I don’t know if that is really what it was called.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, the way you're displaying pictures on Pinterest works fine for me. Cool Nautilus! And great 1954 Christmas picture of you!

As for the other WDW slides, it’s just like Disneyland slides… there’s some really good stuff, a lot of the same old thing, and some pretty “blah” stuff too.

Major, even the "blah" stuff is great material for GDB. Everyone chimes in with fun comments. Heck, even when the pictures are missing, the comments are fun!

Thanks, Major!

Melissa said...

My first visit was in 1983, so not too long after these were taken.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa, do you recall what month? I was there in May 1983; and I’ll eventually scan my husband’s slides from that trip, if the Major wants to post them.

Melissa said...

Sue, it was February. We just missed each other!

Dean Finder said...

You get a glimpse of the Peoplemover cars in the first and second photos just to the right of the spire, as they come out of the "If You Had Wings" overhead viewing section of the ride.

Omnispace said...

Major, it would have been nice to walk up to those spires but they were in Florida and I was in California.

Dean Finder, good job seeing those Peoplemover cars in the shadows. It's probably good they were protected from those birds.

Chuck said...

Those sea bass look crabby. Definitely ill-tempered.

Agree that this was peak WDW, even though I only saw it this way on one vacation in May of 1979. Still looking for 10-year-old me in the photos. You never know...

Thanks, Major!

stu29573 said...

Nice Austin Powers reference! Extra points to Chuck!