I've talked about my love of souvenir guides before and I constantly find myself pulling those books off my shelves and taking a trip back to vintage Walt Disney World. 1970s and 1980s Walt Disney World was a vastly different vacation than you can have today. It's not only fun to see the strange fashions, but also to see the attractions and areas that are gone.
I started sharing photos from the guides on Instagram (which you can also see on Twitter) and realized that it would be a fun column for my Mice Chat readers. I took the images from four different sources and I'll tell you about them as we go. Are you ready for a trip down memory lane?
The first source is a magazine-style guide that was published in 1978. It was quite obvious that is was geared towards businessmen that would hold conventions and meetings at Walt Disney World. Doesn't the cover make you think about the Vacation Kingdom of the World as an outdoor and activities lover's paradise?
I have seen this image used in a few publications. I assume that everyone is lined up for the afternoon parade, including the guests on the Omnibus. Can you imagine watching the parade from the top of the double decker bus? Check out the colors of the balloons, too.
Who doesn't love tikis? The section on the hotels spends time describing the amnities and the resort grounds.
I found another Bob-A-Round! If you want to learn more about the short-lived watercraft, check out my article on it.
I love maps of Walt Disney World. The included map has a caricature of the Magic Kingdom that is fantastic. Check out the ornamentation on the Haunted Mansion. Tom Sawyer's Island and Pirates of the Caribbean got squished together. Notice the 20,000 Leagues sub?
Wait, you mean these people aren't at the Magic Kingdom? Apparently, this is what you do at the Golf Resort. You dress up and drink wine.
We zip on over to the Village Marketplace. What caught my attention was that you could drive up to the Empress Lilly.
The advice offered is that it will take at least three days to enjoy all of Walt Disney World's activities.
Goofy did a lot of water skiing in the 1970s.
The last image was to advertise the convention facilities. Is it a New Orleans party? Are those flappers? We might never know!
The next book is a 1991 souvenir guide about the Magic Kingdom. Minnie has some nice blue eye shadow.
Goofy spent the 1970s skiing and moved on to weightlifting in the 1980s. Dig those Disney made Chuck Taylor's.
This was the former West Center Street at the Magic Kingdom before the 2001 expansion of the Emporium (we lost the Harmony Barber Shop original location and the Livery Stable, Champion Cyclery and Chinese Hand Laundry facades). It corresponds to Flower Street at Disneyland.
A shot of the quaint, tree-lined Main Street, USA.
A sneak tiki!
The Haunted Mansion before the addition of the canopy. You can see that the entrance is through the family crypt and that the lamposts really make a difference in the lighting of the spooky house.
I love this shot because of the planter/bench in front of the Carrousel. And the skybucket!
An image from the exit of Space Mountain. The future is full of exploding stars, right?
Another guidebook from 1991, this one is called EPCOT Center: a Treasurebook of Memories.
Are you a SMRT-1? Check out the guy in the back on the corded phone. I am assuming it was a way to listen to the exhibit.
The Exxon oil rig. Some of the Future World Pavilions didn't have promotional space and the companies were afforded space in Communicore.
Horizons. 'Nuff said.
The banner says: EPCOT Center World Fest, a Ten Nation Celebration. This might need to be a future column!
Fezzes are cool! Mickey hangs out in Morocco.
The double decker World Showcase bus in France! The World Showcase buses operated like the Friendships (also pictured) and only stopped at a few pavilions around World Showcase.
This photo is spectacular because of the popcorn container. I just wish the kid would move his left hand so I could see the logo.
The back cover of the book features Pluto, Mickey and Minnie decked out in their Future World finest. I can remember the days when rainbows equaled the future! It also looks like they just landed from the Mother (Space) Ship (Earth). Get it?
The 1991 souvenir guide to the Disney-MGM Studios features some great shots, too. Mickey has made some interesting fashion choices over the years. I wonder if he was directing or producing?
Goofy is not to scale. Or he is having a Godzilla-inspired fantasy.
Real traffic and fog during the construction of the New York Street backdrop.
I love it when it is obvious that Disney used castmembers and their families in promotional shots. They look too polished to be sweaty and tired vacationers. Check out the guy in red in the middle; great expression.
Herbie the Love Bug in the Residential Street of the Backlot Studio Tour.
This is the best shot from the whole post. it is an ultra-rare photo of the Catwalk Bar which was located above the Soundstage Restaurant. From what I can find, the Catwalk Bar closed permanently in 2000.
Do you have any specific memories to share about these photos or other long-gone attractions? Do you have a favorite time period of Walt Disney World history?
Even better: any photos of the Catwalk Bar?
ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor
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