Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rare WDW Magic Kingdom Circa 1971 Pictures




As promised last week - and i'm a little bit late, sorry! - here is fantastic pictures of WDW Magic Kingdom shot in 1971,  after the park opened. It's very rare to find good shots - or, simply, photos - of the Magic Kingdom after its opening and i'm sure you will enjoy these great b&w pictures!

Let's start as usual by 1971 guests walking in Main Street U.S.A, towards the castle .








Two interesting things to note in all the pictures: first, you'll see that in any lands there is not a lot of people. Now it would be unthinkable to have such few people in the Magic Kingdom but in fact, just like any others Disney parks, it took some years for WDW Magic Kingdom to have the attendance that they have now.
And, two, also note how the people are dressed,  only with this we can feel how this era is now far from us.





Arriving at the castle...











Liberty Square in 1971!





Walking towards the Haunted Mansion...








Liberty Square River Boat sailing on Frontierland river...








In Frontierland, a meet and greet with the bear character from Song of the South, which will be later one of the main character of Splash mountain.





The Davy Crockett Canoes!





Let's move to Fantasyland! Again, note how there is a few people only in the land.








The Fantasyland shot above was probably shot from the skyway that we can see on the pictures below.








Sorry, unfortunately no pics of Tomorrowland. However i have a few more with this one of guests on their way back to WDW Monorail...





...and this great one of the Contemporary Resort...





...and this last one showing guests in the small boats of Seven Seas Lagoon. But i don't know what are the buildings sin the background, does someone know? Is it the Polynesian Resort?




Now, would you like to see color pictures, shot a decade later? Of course you want! So, come back in a few days for the third part of the article!

Pictures: copyright State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe that is the disney village, they were located where disney saratoga springs resort is today. If I remember correctly they were town houses which disney rented or sold. It was a resistanal community called the disney Insituite.

Anonymous said...

The last picture is on Lake Buena VIsta looking at the original Disney Village Resort which became the Disney Institute and then eventually replaced by Sratoga Springs Resort

David Sokol said...

Those buildings are the villas that were behind Downtown Disney. They are in the location that became the Disney Institute and is now Saratoga Springs. This picture is not from 1971.

Anonymous said...

The bottom shot looks to be taken on the lake at the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village.

Anonymous said...

Those boats are at the Lake Buena Vista Resort near the Disney Village, not the Poly b

Keith Mahne said...

The buildings in the background in the last picture was part of the townhouse style condos at the old Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village which is now Downtown Disney.

Anonymous said...

The last photo would appear to the building across the lake from the Disney Village Marketplace. The buildings have been replaced with Saratoga Springs/Disney Institute structures.

steve2wdw said...

Really great pictures here....Very nice photo of the original Liberty Square Riverboat, Admiral Joe Fowler. It had two smokestacks like the Mark Twain at Disneyland. In 1973, it was joined by a second riverboat, the Irvine, a one stacked ship. The Fowler was destroyed (accidentally) while being lifed in dry dock. It's bell is currently on board the Mark Twain at Tokyo Disneyland. Also notice that the walkways in Liberty Square have cobblestone down the center (representing the sewerage drains from Colonial time). I'm guessing they were changed out for the current pavement, due to parade floats getting caught in them. In the last picture, the body of water is actually at the Lake Buena Vista shopping village, and the buildings are the original Vacation Villas. We stayed in them in '76. Saratoga Springs resides in that location now. Thanks for the Retro pictures. They bring back a lot of memories.

Anonymous said...

I think the photo with the boats is the lake by "Disney Village Marketplace" or what we know call "Downtown Disney"
If I'm not mistaken, those building in the back are around the area where now is the Saratoga Springs Resort

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

Nice pictures!

I really miss the Magic Kingdom of the late 80's/early 90's of my childhood, very similar to the one from those pictures.

It is perhaps the only Disney park that became worse with time. It had the epic 20,000 leagues under the sea attraction, the greatly missed skyway, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, The Timekeeper, Dreamflight... and nothing nearly as good replaced those great attractions. Now we have a New Fantasyland with a lot of Princesses Meet and Greets and no substance, the not boring (at least for me) Buzz...

Disneyland on the other hand improved a lot in those years, with great additions such as the also epic Indiana Jones, a proper Toontown with the Roger Rabbit attraction, Star Tours 2...

Another thing; unlike Disneyland that is crowded in most days of the year, in the low season months we can still enjoy the MK almost as empty as in those pictures. Five years ago I arrived at WDW in January the 20th and stayed there until February the 5th and the parks were almost as empty as the MK is in those pictures; it was great!

butter said...

Great to see they actually had SHADE trees installed.

I guess now they forgot when they took them out that it gets to a heat index of 110 degrees in the summer.

Who need shade...we have to see that stupid catle show 17 times a day!

Graydon said...

The last shot of the "water Sprite" boats is actually taken looking at the lake behind the then Disney Village. The buildings are the Vacation Villas. A part of the original Disney Village Resort.

Anonymous said...

The two-story buildings in the background of this picture are the original vacation villas of the Lake Buena Vista community.

These were eventually torn down and replaced by the villas that are now part of the Saratoga Springs resort.

These Vacation Villas were were actually one of four varieties that were scattered across the Saratoga Springs site - including Treehouse Villas, Fairway Villas and Club Lake villas. There were also four residential home prototypes called Grand Vista Suites that were also located in the same complex. The latter were part of a WDW housing community prototype project that eventually got abandoned (a true predecssor to the town of Celebration and the Golden Oak Community.

George Taylor said...

Those are amazing photos!

The buildings you mention are the Club Lake Villas.

http://www.imaginerding.com/2008/02/daily-figment-164-lake-buena-vista.html

They didn't open until 1973 at the earliest (might be closer to 1975) so I wonder when some of these photos were taken.

Jonathan Twedell said...

I think the boats are actually the Downtown Disney (then Disney Village) boats and the resort in the background is the Disney Villas (Village Resort?) where Saratoga is now.

Mitchell Stankowicz said...

For the final pic. According to my 1972 Disney annual report, those are town houses Disney built and had planned to lease out to actual residents. It seemed to be a scaled back first phase of making the Disneyworld into a working city. I don't know what happened to those buildings though as this booklet is from 1972. It says the buildings are along a golf course. The guide also mentions a commercial center opening shortly and an industrial park opening in 1973.

Mitchell Stankowicz said...

For the final picture, I have a 1972 Disney annual report that says the buildings were Townhomes that were leased to corporations.

Eric Davis said...

The building is the old Disney Inn hotel that is now Shades of Green

Anonymous said...

The last picture isn't of The Seven Seas Lagoon but rather of the lake in what was then called The Walt Disney World Village, and what is now Downtown Disney. The buildings are part of the resort that used to be down there as well.suacure

rdonack said...

The last photo is of the Club Lake Villas that were part of the original planned Disney Village Resort. In 1996, the Villas became part of the Disney Institute. These would be demolished and the entire area became Sarasota Springs.

Anonymous said...

the last picture might be the places that used to be where saratoga springs is now...my family stayed at the lake buena vista villas a good while ago...i think they are it

Anonymous said...

2 odd things I noticed, there is only 1 child in the entire set of photos, and there are no strollers anywhere.

Justin Connors said...

I would kill to go on the skywalk. Too bad it was way before my first visit :(

FoxxFur said...

Incidentally, the aerial photo looking south over Magic Kingdom is from at least 1973 and probably later.