The Walt Disney World Wayback Machine – 1973 and The Walt Disney Story

Having merely returned from a research trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, I was really ready to take my time in what is my favorite part of all of the lodge. I spent an ideal portion of my day on Main Street, USA, and was offered once more to my formative years, walking down the street, folks in tow, marveling at the points of interest, sounds, and likely, the House of Magic.

So, on this arrange of my WayBack Machine, I wanted to pay attention to a time when the Magic Kingdom was however in its relative infancy, and a lovely, however extinct Main Street, USA enchantment.

(Lou borrows four quarters from his dad, plunks them into the WayBack Machine’s coin slot, and devices the dials for 1973).

The sounds of Tony Orlando and daybreak singing “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree” are in short drowned out by way of the sounds of children giggling, educate whistles, and a ragtime tune being carried out on piano.

I’m on Main Street, USA throughout the spring of 1973. There is not any EPCOT Center. No Blizzard Beach. Not even a Port Orleans or Grand Floridian. The Magic Kingdom IS Walt Disney World. Well, for now, anyway.

What you CAN to find proper right here now is The “Wonderful World of Water” Ski Show, a brand spanking new enchantment known as “Tom Sawyer Island”, or perhaps a rootin’ tootin’ “Country and Western Spectacular” show with stars like Anne Murray, Faron Young and Freddie Hart. These mini-concerts will also be going down throughout the evenings at the Tomorrowland Terrace (you presently can to find Sonny Eclipse showing there), the Diamond Horseshoe (sadly, you are able to now to find an empty building there), and the Fantasy Faire (where you are able to now play in Ariel’s Grotto).

You might also however adventure along the Rivers of America on regarded as one in all Mike Fink’s Keel Boats, or for the person who’s merely not sweating enough throughout the Florida heat, you and your family can power your own little canoe on the an identical body of water because of Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes. (no swimming, please). Don’t even get me started on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the Skyway. (Lou wipes away a tear, blames the heat, and moves on)

I’d love to start off with a breakfast with a couple of of my favorite characters, alternatively we won’t see something like that for a while now. Speaking of which, where is Holidayland? It’s supposed to be between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, alternatively, oh smartly. And what about Thunder Mesa and the Western River Expedition? So wait – you may well be telling me we’re going to get the “Plaza Swan Boats” alternatively NOT Thunder Mesa? Oh, the humanity.

Anyway, let’s get once more to Main Street – this eastern seaboard, Victorian-era type town, with construction and portions that have been found out throughout the overdue 1800’s.

I might in truth spend hours (or should I say, “pages”), talking about merely the shops, each and every supply and extinct, the construction, the house home windows, details and so much more, alternatively I’ll have to save some that for every other trip. However, what I want to focal point on is something which you’ll not really take note all that smartly. Let’s head on over to the Main Street Exposition Hall… I suggest – The Gulf Hospitality House.

Along with Tom Sawyer Island, it Walt Disney World’s newest enchantment. Located adjacent to the Hospitality House, The Walt Disney Story depicted Walt’s lifestyles from his early formative years days in Marceline, Missouri, to the arrival of Mickey Mouse and the advance of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

The enchantment carried out in a theater constructed explicitly for this film. The film itself was a project that began in June of 1969, and wasn’t completed and previewed until March of 1973. In order to appropriately tell Walt Disney’s lifestyles stories, a group of workers of more than 200 other people at Walt Disney productions pored over 75 hours of interviews performed with Walt faster than his untimely loss of life on Dec. 15, 1966, ten days after his 65th birthday. One of the principle folks was Bill Bosche, an artist and producer who worked for Disney for more than 30 years. Taking excerpts from the ones interviews, Walt Disney posthumously narrated a large number of his private autobiography.

This 23-minute film would play at the same time as at each and every Disneyland and Walt Disney World, with the WDW fashion opening in April, 1973 and being trustworthy on May 6 of that exact same year. It would someday run until October 5, 1992. This enchantment was unique first of all in that it was, identical to If You Had Wings, unfastened (as Walt Disney World was however the use of a discount device of ticketing), and was sponsored by way of Gulf Oil, the an identical sponsor of the enchantment building.

The theater was built on the south west side of the Hospitality House, and even had a separate entrance constructed. Looking at the Main Street Exposition Hall nowadays, the short staircase to the correct of the development’s primary entrance was firstly created for the Walt Disney Story.

Inside the development, the long hallway which made up the queue house was filled with Disney memorabilia, along with the regarded as one in all a sort Oscar given to him by way of the Academy for the 1937 masterpiece Snow White. Unlike a standard Oscar statue, this one had seven smaller Oscars at his side. You might also find a scale type of the Nautilus, used in Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. (Until now not too way back, it’s good to have found out that exact same type throughout the Living Seas queue. It is unknown whether or not or now not it’s going to keep when the Nemo-ization of the pavilion is complete).

The hallway was filled with not most simple displays, alternatively the sounds of Disney’s antique film songs as smartly. At the highest of the hallway had been entrances to two an an identical, 300-seat theaters. Between the two devices of doors was a mural with 170 Disney characters. Up until the mid 80’s characters from new releases had been added for each film up until the Great Mouse Detective. One of the ones theaters was remodeled and now shows antique Disney cartoons. The door to the other (now unused) theater may also be spotted at the back of the Hall.

The film itself took Guests on a moving journey during Walt’s personal {{and professional}} lifestyles, and concluded at the side of his plans for Disneyland, someday WDW, and most importantly, EPCOT the city. The film was offered on a specially-designed computer screen, designed to supply guests the have an effect on they have got been looking by way of a virtual scrapbook of Walt’s lifestyles. It was offered as {a photograph} album, with unusual audio accompanying photos and illustrations.

The post-show house was always in a state of change. It showed everything from plans for the expansion of WDW, to the futuristic EPCOT Center. Most notable was the brief display of the trend of regarded as one in all WDW’s newest projects, the Western River Expedition. In addition to a working type, Hoot Gibson, an audio-Animatronic owl, urged Guests he would be the celebrity of the enchantment. He moreover outlined one of the vital important processed of AA, and was accompanied by way of an Animatronic storybook, which flipped pages as he urged his story.

The Walt Disney Story closed from June of 1981 until October, 1982 to turn out to be area to the EPCOT Center Preview Center. The distinctive film was modified with one that further specifically outlined Walt’s wants of his futuristic the city. In October, 1982, when EPCOT Center opened to most people, the Preview Center was removed and the original film returned.

Just six years later, despite the fact that, The Walt Disney Story was removed once another time, this time to preview Walt Disney World’s third theme park, the Disney-MGM Studios. It was renamed, aptly enough, “The Disney-MGM Studios Preview Center.” Oh positive, our pal the owl was redressed all over again, perched in a director’s chair, and narrated this as smartly.

After the Studios opened in 1989, The Walt Disney Story returned once another time, alternatively closed utterly in October 1992. Disney discussed that the original film had deteriorated one of these lot that it will now not be confirmed throughout the theater.

The distinctive move out from the film took Guests into the Disneyana Collectibles retailer, which sadly is long long gone. It may also be argued that this store, with its superb collectibles, was the principle of the fad towards having themed stores at the end of sights. It had superb items similar to commemorative plates, distinctive hand painted animation cels, and reasonably a large number of limited model reproductions. You might also make a reservation for a seat at the Diamond Horseshoe Jamboree while there.

To stay the film and continue to make it available to Guests one day, it was introduced in a much abbreviated fashion on VHS tape in 1994. Sadly nowadays, the video is unavailable on DVD, versus any final copies of the 100 Year of Magic DVD, which had a much shorter, pan-and-scan fashion, minus the original opening and completing.

In October 1996, the development that after housed The Walt Disney Story grow to be the home of the Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary Welcome Center. Like the earlier “preview amenities” faster than it, the development was filled with models and displays introducing the Disney Cruise Line and other upcoming projects. The Welcome Center closed in 1997, and the displays removed. It later hosted the “Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcome Center”

While the mural is still there at the back of the theater, lots of the distinctive displays are long long gone. The final ones are themed towards footage, for the reason that building is now sponsored by way of Kodak.

(To get a very small sampling of what this enchantment was like, I extraordinarily counsel taking time to transport all the way through the displays and film “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream” at the Disney-MGM Studios).

As we get ready to head once more area (darn this particular activity of mine), we will see some signs of things to come back again later this year, identical to the Plaza Swan Boats, which is in a position to ply the waterways of the Magic Kingdom, the Fort Wilderness Railway (hop on boards rapid, as this won’t be spherical for long), and a couple of new enchantment known as “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Nah, that’ll not at all catch on.

On a personal remember, I steadily walk all the way through the Town Square Exposition Hall, to reminisce regarding the former enchantment, view the displays and see what me on the horizon. It saddens me to seem such a superb, personal tribute to Walt having long gone by way of the wayside, and the development final just about vacant for all intents and purposes. That being discussed, I did do a little snooping, and it looks like there may be something new on the horizon for part of the development… Keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Anyway, I can see by way of the docks up ahead that… oh wait. Wrong enchantment.

Err… What I meant to say was that this is going to do it for this arrange of my Walt Disney World WayBack Machine. Time to return to the Magic Kingdom of 2006 and revel in Stitch’s Grea… ah omit it.

So, until our next trip together to Walt Disney World, I invite you to be told further about one of the vital important secrets and techniques and methods, history and a laugh knowledge regarding the “Vacation Kingdom of the World” at and on the Disney podcast, now not too way back named Best Travel Podcast of 2006.

Thanks! Sssssssssseeeeeee ya!!!

The article first gave the impression throughout the August 29, 2006 issue of ALL EARS® Weekly Newsletter

For further minutiae and a laugh details about WDW, check out the Walt Disney World Trivia Book or Ask Lou, where the writer answers your questions about Walt Disney World and posts weekly articles with further in depth history, secrets and techniques and methods and stories!

way of Louis Mongello

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