Friday, April 29, 2011

Walt Disney World picture book from 1972 - Part 1

Today I have something that pre-dates my birth by 11 years. It is the book "A pictorial souvenir of Walt Disney World" from 1972. The big has so much content that I will post it in parts. All of these photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

This cover is absolutely fantastic. I also LOVE the old Walt Disney World logo with the globe mouse in the D. 

WDW was a much smaller place back in the day. Seen here are the Magic Kingdom and it's two opening day resort hotels. The Contemporary and the Polynesian Village.

The walk-around characters of this era were so fuzzy looking. Did you ever notice that?

Beautiful shot of the entrance. This was much different than Disneyland's parking lot in front of it's main gate.

Look in the top right. A glass blower! Imagine going to Walt Disney World and buying a one of a kind souvenir like that. Very cool.

Town square looks very peaceful on this page unlike the mad house it is these days.

Seen here in the top right are the long closed swan boats. A slow leisurely ride around the hub is a great idea, its too bad they didn't last long.

A great shot of the castle which I'm pretty sure would be impossible to replicate today.

Join me on Friday when I post part 2 of the 1972 Walt Disney World picture book!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Disneyland Guide Map From 1997

Today's planned update for crazy merchandise from Tokyo Disneyland got lost somewhere! I promise I will come back to that at some point but for now take a look at this map from an extremely unique point in Disneyland history! I have A LOT to say about this map so lets get started...

That's right! This is the era of Light Magic. What more can I say about this gigantic failure that a million other Disney fan websites haven't said already? For those that don't remember, Jim Hill has a extensive collection of post detailing the development and aftermath of one of Disneyland's biggest failures of all time, including it's impact on the future of annual passes!

Also featured on this cover are several temporary shows based on the animated movies of the time. This was back when Disney had a high budget parade or stage show for every animated movie it released. Notice at this point shows/parades based on Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas, AND Hercules were all running at the same time! 

Also on this schedule is what some (including myself) consider the greatest Tomorrowland band of all time. Voyager!

I'm not going to lie, I never did see the Hercules Victory Parade. At this point I started actively avoiding parades. Nothing wrong with them, just not my cup of tea. I did however see Light Magic at the Annual Passholder preview party. What a nightmare that was! At one point, the parade broke down on Main Street for over 20 minutes! I've never heard Disneyland fans collectively boo something until that night.

WOW! Apparently Disney had never heard of Wall of Text.
(click to enlarge)
Here's where it gets good. At this point in time, New Tomorrowland construction was in full swing. Much of the land was closed off to guests. Notice the Astro Jets are missing! They were closed and removed at this point. Above Tomorrowland on the map there is a giant blue arrow informing guests of the path they can take to reach reach Space Mountain and Starcade. Captain EO (my all time favorite Disney attraction) had been closed for 3 months at the time of this map. I was heartbroken when it closed. Especially considering it was replaced by the TERRIBLE Honey I shrunk the Audience. Surprisingly everything else in Tomorrowland is open, including Circle-Vision.

The classic Kodak advertisement that appeared on the back of guide maps for many years.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fantasmic Soundtrack Cassette Tape From 1992

You may be asking yourself, "What the heck is a cassette tape" Well I will tell you what a cassette tape is! A cassette tape is something your grandma buys you because she is too cheap to spend the extra couple of dollars to get the CD. Anyway...

This is one of those no brainer merchendise items. Am album that features the now classic Fantasmic soundtrack (AND ending music!) PLUS the Main Street Electrical Parade soundtrack! Yes, at one point Disney actually did sell merchendise for one of their most popular attractions of all time! I know, it's hard to believe!
Click to enlarge
 The front of the cassette liner features the beautiful Fantasmic art. I remember going to Disneyland while they were building Fanstasmic and seeing this art on the work walls covering the Rivers of America. At that point (1992) there was no Disney internet community so I had no idea what Fantasmic was going to be!

The back features track names and credits for every single musical piece in the show! You can also see the official names for all the sections of the Main Street Electrical Parade!

For those of you unaware, this is what a cassette tape looked like.
Be sure to join me on Monday when I show some unique merchandise from Tokyo Disneyland!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The orginal Discovery Island. Walt Disney World's lost theme park!

Many visitors to Walt Disney World don't realize there was a precursor to Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. From 1974 to 1999 Disney operated a zoological park located in Bay Lake near the Contemporary Resort and Wilderness Lodge.

Discovery Island was closed in 1999 due to Animal Kingdom offering pretty much the same product and most of the animals being transported to the new theme park.

This is the front of the guide map
The inside of the map shows some of the animals that may be encountered on the island.
As you can see, the park was modest in size. Also unique to Discovery Island is the fact that people had to take a boat to access it!

The back of the map shows demonstration times.

Discovery Island has been closed for over 10 years now but it has its share of fans. Last year, some urban explorers went back to the island and took some great pictures and video! The Discovery Island name lives on as the name of a land in Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

Site news

Today's update will mark the end of daily posts to this blog. But have no fear! The regular update schedule will be Mondays and Fridays. This means I can bring you bigger and better updates every week! If something interesting comes up I will be posting on other days. Thank you for the support you have shown so far! I have a lot more great things to show you in the future so please remember to bookmark, follow on Twitter and tell your friends!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Main Street Electrical Parade Farewell Party collectors card!

The Main Street Electrical Parade farewell party was am amazing event. The entire park was closed to the public and passholders got to enjoy every ride and show with little to no lines! There were also several extras handed out that night. Here is one of them:

The card came is this lovely semi-see through envelope.
The back of the card showed the classic Disneyland logo and for some reason the address. Take a look at that gold seal. Very tasteful!

That card itself is attacked to some beautiful artwork of the entire parade lineup in front of some iconic attractions. Notice the the seal on the card and envelope say "Disneyland Collectors Series II" This is of coarse a continuation of the original Disneyland Collectors Series cards that were given out one a day during the 40th anniversary in 1995. I'm not sure if there were any other cards in series II. 

The MSEP Farewell Party and the Light Magic premiere party marked the end of the full park annual passholder parties and great FREE items like this.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Walt Disney World Trip Report From June 2010!

For today's update I am re-posting a trip report I originally posted on the MiceChat forums last year. Enjoy!

This trip was amazing for many reasons. First off we were celebrating my BFF Ray's graduation from college, and second I finally asked my girlfriend of 10 years to marry me! This trip was made even more special by the fact that it was with all of my best friends in the whole world and it was their first time visiting WDW.

Trip stats:
Dates - May 29 to June 5, 2010
Number of people in party - 5
Hotel - Port Orleans Riverside
Parks visited - DHS, DAK, MK, Epcot

For this trip I opted to take more video than pictures. I edited this video so we could remember our trip forever. (It's a 20 minute video which is a bit long)

On to the pictures!

Day 1

If we look a bit sleepy it's because we took the red eye flight. We left at 10:30PM (Los Angeles time) and arrived in Orlando at 6AM!

This is the crew. From right to left Jen, Ray, Blaine, Me in the back right and Jaana in front. It was Ray, Blaine, and Jaana's first time visiting WDW.

After pool time and a few long naps we finished off day 1 with dinner at Citricos.

My choice was swordfish!

This beauty was for dessert. It was delicious but I cant remember what the hell it was called. Banana something.

Citricos is located in the Grand Floridian. I had never been in this hotel before but I can see why they call this a deluxe resort.

This was the hotel we stayed at. Port Orleans Riverside. I love this place!

The hotel grounds are very beautiful.

Day 2

Our first park of the trip was Disney's Hollywood Studios.

This attraction is great and filled with many wonderful Disney artifacts. I would love to have this in Disneyland or DCA when DHS inevitably gives it the boot.

This was in the prop room before the "backlot" tour. It looks familiar but none of us could remember where its from.

This brought me back to 5th grade.

We left real Hollywood to visit fake Hollywood and found this!

Gaston is the man!

This was my first time seeing the Little Mermaid stage show but I was surprised by the great production values! It's actually a good show.

Dinner on day 2 was the build your own pasta bar back at our hotel. I'm not sure if each food court has these but it's the best value for food we saw in all of WDW. It's $10, they give you and ton, and its delicious!

Day 3

Day 3 brought us to Animal Kingdom. It's just as beautiful as we remembered from last year.

Everyone loved Everest.

We saw this HILARIOUS picture while walking through one of the trails.

Everyone loved Yak & Yettie. This was one of the best meals we had on the trip.

Day 4

By the time day 4 rolled around everyone was exhausted. We all had to switch from CA to FL time and wake up way earlier than our rock star life styles normally aloud.

Magic Kingdom's hub is awesome. I love how big it is, and the fact that it is surrounded by a moat.

Jen is not happy about Magic Kingdom's inferior Pineapple Whip. I agree with her. It's good, but I got to say Disneyland's is a lot better. Sorry WDW fans!

I said the same thing last year but I am so freaking jealous that WDW has Country Bear Jamboree. Look at that portrait, I could look at that for years and still laugh.

This Donald decoration is great. By the way, Philharmagic is a great 3d movie. I love the super wide screen they use.

At this point in the day everyone is beyond exhausted. We had ridden everything so we decided to take a couple of laps in the very back of the train to relax for a bit. Jaana, Blaine, Ray and Jen may or may not have fallen asleep during this. But that's just speculation.

When we got of the train we saw dark storm clouds were rapidly approaching the Magic Kingdom.

Aaaaaand then it rained. At this point I thought that they would cancel the fireworks and ruin my plan to propose to Jen during the fireworks...

I had heard that the line to get into the dessert party could get long. We decided to head over at 7:30.

I know that gluttony is a sin but lord have mercy on us. We are about to stuff our faces.

The excellent staff prepare the amazing desserts we are about to shove down our gullets.

After a short wait our table was ready for us.

I'll let that speak for itself (and yes it is as good as it looks)

At this point everyone is uncomfortable with the amount of food we have consumed.

So long story short the rain stopped at the last minute and the fireworks went off as planned. I positioned Jen to the front of the balcony and...

busted that ring out right in her face. She said yes!

So after 10 years I finally popped the question.

After the fireworks the park closed and we headed back to the hotel. Mission accomplished!

Day 5
Thursday was a day of rest and relaxation. We slept, ate, played in the pool, slept some more, and then got ourselves ready for our final day in the parks.

Day 6

Unfortunately we missed the Epcot premiere of Captain EO by a month. We still wore our EO gear.

Goodbye HISTA. Please NEVER come back!

This is my arty farty shot of Spaceship Earth.

Mission Space gets a lot of hate but it's a pretty solid E ticket. And it has Gary Sinise in its pre-show so that makes it even more awesome.

Lunch at Tokyo Dining. Jen and I actually thought this was a downgrade from when we went last year.

Everyone was looking forward to the Grey Goose Slushy in France. It looks like it did not disappoint.

We must have watched the Disney Must Do channel (the one with Stacey <3 ) at least 20 times during the trip. She said to try the pretzel and beer from Germany so Downbeat did!

We finish the night with Illuminations.

And with that our trip comes to an end. The next day we packed our things and headed back to Los Angeles. It truly was an amazing trip, probably the best one I have ever had.

My Flickr page with even more pics from this trip

Thanks for looking at my trip report!