Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Disney and more Time machine - Back in time to 1964 : Walt Disney and the New York World Fair attractions
The 1964 World Fair gave a lot of work to WED Enterprises - now " Walt Disney Imagineering " - as the Imagineers were designing four different attractions for it. But thanks to them, the future of Disney theme parks will be changed forever.
One of them is known now as "Great moments with Mr Lincoln" , and here is Walt with WDI sculptor Blaine Gibson and Lincoln's head sculpture.
The second one was a flume ride full of little audio-animatronics - " It's a small world " - and here is Walt standing with Mary Blair.
Here is a video of Walt presenting the model with Mary Blair.
This next picture was shot inside the World's fair pavillion and is coming from a special report issued in the National Geographic magazine.
The third one was the great " Carousel of Progress " , who stunned at that time the audience with its great audio-animatronics figures and i will comeback on this one later.
Of course, the AA of Mr Lincoln and Carousel of Progress were opening the door for the future Pirates audio-animatronics, but Walt was so happy with the small world boat system that this last attraction lead to the development of a Pirates of Caribbean flume ride - instead of a "walk-through" as it was envisioned at the beginning.
And, of course, there was the Magic Skyway attraction that WED created for the Ford pavillion using Ford cars to move the audience through scenes featuring life-sized audio-animatronic dinosaurs and cavemen. The dinosaurs scenes that the visitors watched in their trip back in time are now part of the primeval world at Disneyland - and then were recreated at Epcot's Universe of Energy .
But the vehicle system - at the world's fair guests were seated in Ford vehicles lead to another transportation system well known by Disneyland and WDW guests : the People mover.
Let's have a closer look to it, now, with this Youtube video, a clever editing of pictures of the Magic Skyway attraction at the world's fair, with the original audio commentary by Walt himself.
Always at the 1964 world fair, visitors could ride another amazing attraction, but the General Motors "Futurama 2" was not designed by WED enterprises. Ironically, Disney had earlier been asked by General Motors to produce their exhibit, but he declined.
Futurama 2 depicted life 60 years into the future, this time 2024. Scenes showed a lunar base of operation, an Antarctic "Weather Central" climate forecasting center, underseas exploration and "Hotel Atlantis" for underseas vacationing, desert irrigation, and land reclamation, building roads in the jungle and a City of the Future. Visitors rode through the dioramas in 3-abreast chairs on a ride train. The Futurama exhibit was sponsored by General Motors and proved to be, too, one of the most popular exhibit at the World's Fair with more than 26 million persons attending the show in the two 6-month seasons the Fair was open.
Here is a General Motors promotional film following a young boy as he rides the Futurama 2 ride.
Let's end with this great eight-parts videos showing the whole Walt Disney goes to the World's Fair TV Special!
Photos: copyright Disney and National Geographic
Videos: copyright Disney for the two first videos
All my thanks to the different people for the youtube links and specially to Disneylandtourguide2 for the Walt Disney at the World's Fair videos.