Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Walt Disney and the 1964 New York World Fair - Part Two : Artwork and pictures

The 1964 New york World's Fair is remembered as the event where Walt Disney imagineers designed and perfected the Audio-animatronics. As we know, WED Enterprises was responsible for the creation of four shows at the Fair. Let's have a closer look at them with original artwork and historical pictures.

The Ford Motor Company pavilion presented Disney's "Magic Skyway" one of the most popular exhibit at the fair, using Ford cars in an early prototype of the Omnimover system to move the audience through scenes featuring life-sized audio-animatronic dinosaurs and cavemen.

Above and below, two renderings showing the exterior of the pavilion...

A model of the pavilion...

And the final result.

Meanwhile, at WED Enterprises, Disney Imagineers were working on the dinosaurs and cavemen Audio-animatronics. Here is Walt with some of the dinos...

And here he is with one of the cavemen

At the World's Fair, guests could watched from the outside the vehicles moving inside the building.

Here is an artist rendering of the loading area...

And a rare picture of the loading room.

Here is a rendering of a preliminary - and quite futuristic - concept for the attraction.

If these litlle wheels in the middle of track remember you something, it's normal, as the cars were moving with the same system used for Disneyland and WDW people mover.

Some pictures of the inside of Magic Skyway where guests meets dinosaurs and cave men.

Another pavilion was the Illinois pavilion, where guests meets a life-like Abraham Lincoln recited his famous speeches "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln." WED sculptor Blaine Gibson created the head sculpture of Lincoln. On the picture below, here he is with Walt.

For the General Electric pavilion, the imagineers created the beloved Carousel of progress where the audience seated in the revolving auditorium saw an audio-animatronics presentation of the progress of electricity in the home. The Sherman Brothers song "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" was as we know composed for this attraction.

Here is a picture of the pavilion...

And a rendering of a first concept for the inside of the Carousel.

Another concept-art shows the last scene of the Carousel, the house in the future.

Here is Walt standing near the AA of the show...

...and a rendering of the Carousel of Progress building at Disneyland when the attraction was moved in the park after the Fair closed.

Of course, one of the most popular pavilion was the one for Pepsi with the It's a Small World attraction. Here is a picture of the pavillion...

And here is Walt with the model of it, on the second picture you can see Mary Blair.

Walt and Mary Blair presenting the concept sketches of the attraction.

A rare picture of Mary Blair at work on the design of the attraction...

And some of Mary Blair designs for the ride.

Here is Walt standing near of the model of a scene.

The Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco will open soon and on the site is a special exhibit about Walt Disney and the 1964 World Fair from where some of the pictures above are coming from. More pictures and videos HERE.

Let's end with two panoramic pictures from Major Pepperidge of the excellent Gorillas don't blog site who will show you how the World Fair looked like in 1964. Try to find where are the pavilions created by WED!

I would like to add this interesting artwork of the World Fair monorail going through a building. This was not designed by Disney imagineers, but when i saw it i instantly thought about the Contemporary Resort. When they were at the World Fair in 1964 the imagineers saw very probably that scene in real, and who knows if it was not part of their inspiration for the Contemporary at WDW?

You will find other pictures and great videos of the World Fair in the part one article HERE.

All pictures and artwork : copyright Disney

Panoramic pictures from the Gorillas don't blog site

Ford pavilion exterior picture : copyright Bill Cotter

Walt and cavemen picture : copyright Time-Life


Matt said...

OH MY GOD! THIS is why I love this blog.

Thanks for sharing man

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great updates, we really appreciate it.

By the way, pavilion is the correct spelling. I know that en francais it is pavillon, with two ls, and there are two ls in million, but it really is spelled pavilion.
Common mistake, easliy learned.

Mark said...

Fantasic post! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Great post! nice pictures of Disney world. really amazing!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice Artwork and pictures, putting great effort for excitement and fun.

Major Pepperidge said...

Great post about one of my favorite subjects! It would have been nice if you had credited the two panoramic pictures to me, since I spent quite a bit of time knitting them together for my blog.

Alain Littaye said...

To Major Pepperidge: I am so glad you left this comment as i wanted to give the right credits for the panoramic pictures and i couldn't remember where i found the pictures and find back your site! I will credit you right now and also add your blog in the "other websites link" section!
Thanks again!