Friday, February 06, 2009

Kingdom Klassifieds, July 1972

Back in the 1970's when Walt Disney World was in her infancy, you could check into your Walt Disney World hotel and be handed a handsome, themed folder made especially for your hotel of choice, and neatly tucked inside would be a number of magazines and leaflets. Your Complete Guide to Walt Disney World, presented by GAF, would be tucked in here, with it's pretty cover of Cinderella Castle (albeit flipped). There would be a leaflet for whatever special activities would be happening during your stay, and you would also find the latest issue of Vacationland Magazine. Most likely you would also find the latest issue of Walt Disney World News, a beautiful 'periodical' - "The Happiest News in the World" - which kept guests abreast of the latest happening at the parks on a monthly basis. Much of it was promotional fluff, with pieces spotlighting the night-time entertainment appearing at The Top of the World that month, the special performance bands at the Magic Kingdom, and more.

Most amusingly the publication went to some lengths to appear to be a real newspaper, reprinting those banal Mickey Mouse daily cartoon strips, and most amusingly of all, including a fake classifieds section called "Kingdom Klassifieds". Reprinted here for your nostalgia is the section from the July 1972 issue of Walt Disney World News. Disney only wishes she were this lightly clever today.

Immediate Openings. A large number of green leafy people to resemble topiary figures of famous Disney characters while authentic topiary shrubs grow in. Long hours. Contact Landscaping Department. *

Housekeeper Needed. Limited light housekeeping duties - mostly dusting. Some night work during full moons. See the "Ghost Host" - Haunted Mansion, Liberty Square.

Driving Instructor. Intensive private instruction for a single student. Name your own salary! Immediate opening. Call Toad at Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - Fantasyland.

Summer Jobs. Need 24 tall thin men to costume as spires and pose as Cinderella Castle during Castle's vacation first two weeks of August. **

Rural Land - Located on island in Rivers of America, Frontierland. Presently occupied by burned-out settler's cabin. Very reasonable price.

For Devoted Tea Drinkers Only. World's largest teacups. Each stands apx. 4' high and has a 200 gal. capacity. Eighteen in all. May be seen at Mad Tea Party attraction - Fantasyland.

Your Own Castle! Live in medieval splendor in this totally unique home. Multi-story structure features Gothic design highlighted by numerous spires and turrets. Surrounding moat suitable for fishing. Drawbridge and spiked gates ensure complete privacy. Contact Cinderella for appt.

Atomic Submarine - Nearly new. Two-year/20,000 league warranty still in effect. Contact Capt. Nemo.

Shrunken Heads, voodoo dolls, assorted safari gear "donated" by previous visitors to this area. Sorry, no calls. Come in person. Trader Sam - Adventureland Jungle Cruise. ***

Attic Sale - Many unique and "unusual" items including ghostly chains, cobwebs, etc. See at Haunted Mansion - Liberty Square.

Pixie Dust - Now you can fly without a plane! A light sprinkle keeps you airborne for hours. Must sell large quantity immediately. Grounded by FAA. Call Tinkerbell - Fantasyland.

Be Noticed. Own A Dragon. 82 feet long. Purebred, green with black markings. Makes a wonderful watchdog! May be seen nightly in Electrical Water Pageant, Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake.

Four Parrots... each from a different nationality. Select from Spanish (Jose), German (Fritz), French (Pierre), and Irish (Michael). All guaranteed talkers, complete with translation dictionary. See at Tropical Serenade - Adventureland.

Free! Dual-purpose Crocodile. Recently swallowed large wind-up clock. Can serve as both unusual pet and timepiece. Alarm set for 5 am. See Capt Hook - Fantasyland.

Most reasonable lodging anywhere! $1.00 per night! First-rate accomodations that even include free meals! Many "interesting" fellow tenants. Kal Kan Kennel Club - Main Entrance Complex.

Wanted: One or two-acre briar patch in South Orange County. Not interested if within five miles of tar pit. Contact Brer Rabbit - Fantasyland.

Lost: MOON FLIGHT with 120 persons aboard, in vicinity of Milky Way on June 10. If located, contact Supervisor, Flight to the Moon - Tomorrowland.

Wanted: Hunny! All grades and quantities. No offer refused! Must satisfy "rumbly in tumbly". Winnie-the-Pooh.

* This is funniest because it isn't so far from the truth. In the 1970's, that transportation ticket at the front of your ticket book was good for transit to the Magic Kingdom via ferryboat, monorail... or tram. Big ugly trams brought guests up the road alongside the Contemporary past a whole lot of nothing for a whole long time. Before long, dozens of whimsical topiaries sprouted alongside the road... plastic ones. There was not sufficient time to allow real ones to grow, but from a distance of a tram, they looked quite good. I've spoken to many early Walt Disney World visitors who are still embittered from when they pulled over in their family cars to examine these creations more closely... and discover plastic, spray-painted green.

** Is this just about the strangest joke you've ever read or what?

*** Trader Sam may still offer wares at the end of Disneyland's Jungle Cruise, but the figure was renamed Chief Namee at Walt Disney World in 1990 via internal contest. The winning entry was "Chief: NAME". The entry is pronounced "Nah-Mi" for the purposes of... not being too obvious, I suppose.


MC said...

I think Disney may be afraid that nowadays, someone would read those classified ads and think they were real and then sue when they find out they couldn't get one of those jobs.

klab said...

there is at least one skipper who still refers to Name as Trader Sam. He usually gives him the Hawaii Five-O intro.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering about the Brer Rabbit one. I visited in 1974 and can't remember seeing anything about Brer Rabbit in or near Fantasyland???