Having just returned from a study journey to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, I was really able to consider my time in what is my preferred element of the total resort. I put in a wonderful portion of my working day on Main Road, United states, and was introduced again to my childhood, walking down the avenue, mothers and fathers in tow, marveling at the sights, appears, and indeed, the Home of Magic.
So, on this installation of my WayBack Device, I desired to focus on a time when the Magic Kingdom was nonetheless in its relative infancy, and a wonderful, however extinct Primary Street, Usa attraction.
(Lou borrows 4 quarters from his father, plunks them into the WayBack Machine’s coin slot, and sets the dials for 1973).
The appears of Tony Orlando and dawn singing “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree” are quickly drowned out by the seems of young children laughing, train whistles, and a ragtime tune currently being performed on a distant piano.
I am on Main Road, Usa in the spring of 1973. There is no EPCOT Center. No Blizzard Seashore. Not even a Port Orleans or Grand Floridian. The Magic Kingdom IS Walt Disney World. Effectively, for now, in any case.
What you CAN discover right here now is The “Wonderful Globe of Drinking water” Ski Display, a new attraction known as “Tom Sawyer Island”, and even a rootin’ tootin’ “Region and Western Magnificent” show with stars like Anne Murray, Faron Young and Freddie Hart. These mini-concerts will be using area in the evenings at the Tomorrowland Terrace (you now can uncover Sonny Eclipse carrying out there), the Diamond Horseshoe (regrettably, you can now find an empty developing there), and the Fantasy Faire (the place you can now enjoy in Ariel’s Grotto).
You could also still experience alongside the Rivers of America on one particular of Mike Fink’s Keel Boats, or for the particular person who’s just not sweating ample in the Florida heat, you and your household can energy your personal small canoe on the very same entire body of h2o thanks to Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes. (no swimming, you should). Do not even get me commenced on 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea, Mr. Toad’s Wild Journey and the Skyway. (Lou wipes away a tear, blames the warmth, and moves on)
I might enjoy to start off off with a breakfast with some of my preferred people, but we will not see one thing like that for a even though now. Talking of which, exactly where is Holidayland? It really is supposed to be among Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, but, oh effectively. And what about Thunder Mesa and the Western River Expedition? So hold out – you are telling me we’re likely to get the “Plaza Swan Boats” but NOT Thunder Mesa? Oh, the humanity.
Anyway, let us get back again to Principal Road – this japanese seaboard, Victorian-period model city, with architecture and factors which have been identified in the late 1800’s.
I could actually commit hrs (or need to I say, “internet pages”), talking about just the retailers, equally present and extinct, the architecture, the home windows, particulars and so significantly more, but I am going to have to help save that for an additional journey. Nevertheless, what I want to target on is something that you may not really bear in mind all that effectively. Let us head on above to the Main Road Exposition Hall… I mean – The Gulf Hospitality Residence.
Along with Tom Sawyer Island, it Walt Disney World’s newest attraction. Found adjacent to the Hospitality House, The Walt Disney Tale depicted Walt’s lifestyle from his early childhood times in Marceline, Missouri, to the creation of Mickey Mouse and the improvement of Disneyland and Walt Disney Globe.
The attraction performed in a theater built explicitly for this movie. The movie itself was a task that started in June of 1969, and was not concluded and previewed right up until March of 1973. In get to accurately explain to Walt Disney’s existence tales, a workers of more than 200 people at Walt Disney productions pored in excess of 75 several hours of interviews conducted with Walt prior to his premature dying on Dec. fifteen, 1966, 10 times soon after his sixty fifth birthday. One particular of the theory contributors was Monthly bill Bosche, an artist and producer who worked for Disney for much more than thirty many years. Getting excerpts from these interviews, Walt Disney posthumously narrated significantly of his own autobiography.
This 23-moment film would play at the same time at the two Disneyland and Walt Disney Entire world, with the WDW model opening in April, 1973 and currently being dedicated on Could 6 of that exact same year. It would at some point run until finally October 5, 1992. This attraction was distinctive to begin with in that it was, much like If You Experienced Wings, free (as Walt Disney Planet was nevertheless utilizing a coupon program of ticketing), and was sponsored by Gulf Oil, the very same sponsor of the attraction constructing.
The theater was built on the south west side of the Hospitality Residence, and even had a different entrance created. Looking at the Major Road Exposition Hall right now, the short staircase to the proper of the building’s major entrance was at first created for the Walt Disney Story.
Within the creating, the long hallway which manufactured up the queue region was crammed with Disney memorabilia, like the a single of a sort Oscar provided to him by the Academy for the 1937 masterpiece Snow White. Unlike a standard Oscar statue, this 1 experienced seven smaller Oscars at his aspect. You could also uncover a scale product of the Nautilus, employed in Disney’s twenty,000 Leagues Below the Sea. (Right up until recently, you could have identified that same model in the Residing Seas queue. It is unidentified whether or not it will remain when the Nemo-ization of the pavilion is full).
The hallway was filled with not only shows, but the appears of Disney’s classic film music as properly. At the conclude of the hallway were entrances to two similar, three hundred-seat theaters. Between the two sets of doors was a mural with a hundred and seventy Disney people. Up till the mid 80’s characters from new releases were added for each film up until the Fantastic Mouse Detective. One particular of these theaters was reworked and now displays traditional Disney cartoons. The doorway to the other (now unused) theater can be seen at the again of the Corridor.
The film itself took Friends on a shifting journey through Walt’s personal and expert life, and concluded with his strategies for Disneyland, eventually WDW, and most importantly, EPCOT the city. The film was presented on a specially-made screen, developed to give friends the impact they were searching by way of a virtual scrapbook of Walt’s life. It was offered as a photograph album, with unusual audio accompanying pictures and illustrations.
The submit-show region was always in a condition of alter. It confirmed everything from programs for the growth of WDW, to the futuristic EPCOT Center. Most notable was the quick display of the product of 1 of WDW’s latest projects, the Western River Expedition. In addition to a working design, Hoot Gibson, an audio-Animatronic owl, advised Attendees he would be the star of the attraction. He also described some of the processed of AA, and was accompanied by an Animatronic storybook, which flipped internet pages as he instructed his story.
The Walt Disney Story shut from June of 1981 right up until October, 1982 to grow to be property to the EPCOT Middle Preview Centre. The original film was replaced with one particular that much more specifically outlined Walt’s dreams of his futuristic city. In Oct, 1982, when EPCOT Middle opened to the public, the Preview Centre was taken off and the original movie returned.
Just six years later on, although, The Walt Disney Story was removed after again, this time to preview Walt Disney World’s third topic park, the Disney-MGM Studios. It was renamed, aptly enough, “The Disney-MGM Studios Preview Center.” Oh of course, our good friend the owl was redressed yet again, perched in a director’s chair, and narrated this as well.
Soon after the Studios opened in 1989, The Walt Disney Story returned when once again, but closed completely in Oct 1992. Disney explained that the authentic movie had deteriorated so significantly that it could no longer be demonstrated in the theater.
The unique exit from the movie took Friends into the Disneyana Collectibles store, which unfortunately is lengthy long gone. It can be argued that this store, with its great collectibles, was the initial of the pattern in direction of getting themed stores at the conclude of attractions. It experienced wonderful products this kind of as commemorative plates, authentic hand painted animation cels, and a variety of limited version reproductions. You could also make a reservation for a seat at the Diamond Horseshoe Jamboree even though there.
To maintain the film and keep on to make it obtainable to Visitors in the foreseeable future, it was unveiled in a significantly abbreviated edition on VHS tape in 1994. Sadly right now, the movie is unavailable on DVD, other than any remaining copies of the 100 Year of Magic DVD, which had a considerably shorter, pan-and-scan version, minus the unique opening and ending.
In October 1996, the developing that once housed The Walt Disney Story became the property of the Walt Disney Planet 25th Anniversary Welcome Centre. Like the previously “preview centers” ahead of it, the developing was stuffed with types and reveals introducing the Disney Cruise Line and other impending assignments. The Welcome Heart shut in 1997, and the displays removed. It afterwards hosted the “Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcome Middle”
Although the mural is still there at the back again of the theater, most of the unique displays are prolonged absent. The remaining kinds are themed in the direction of pictures, as the developing is now sponsored by Kodak.
(To get a extremely tiny sampling of what this attraction was like, I very recommend having time to go via the displays and film “Walt Disney: A single Man’s Desire” at the Disney-MGM Studios).
As we get prepared to head again property (darn this genuine occupation of mine), we can see some symptoms of factors to occur afterwards this year, like the Plaza Swan Boats, which will ply the waterways of the Magic Kingdom, the Fort Wilderness Railway (hop on boards quickly, as this will not be close to for prolonged), and some new attraction known as “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Nah, that’ll never ever capture on.
On a personal note, I often stroll by means of the City Square Exposition Hall, to reminisce about the former attraction, look at the displays and see what me on the horizon. It saddens me to see this kind of a wonderful, personal tribute to Walt obtaining gone by the wayside, and the constructing remaining virtually vacant for all intents and needs. That getting said, I did do a little snooping, and it appears like there may be some thing new on the horizon for element of the creating… Preserve your eyes and ears peeled!
In any case, I can see by the docks up ahead that… oh wait. Improper attraction.
Err… What I intended to say was that this is likely to do it for this set up of my Walt Disney Globe WayBack Equipment. www.piratesandprincesses.net to return to the Magic Kingdom of 2006 and appreciate Stitch’s Grea… ah neglect it.