Monday, October 16, 2006

Theme Parkeology 101: Disney World 1979

Good morning class.

I was doing some excavating recently and happened upon a very interesting discovery; a large envelope of promotional items relating to a 1979 Walt Disney World vacation that my father had squirreled away in a far corner of a bedroom closet. Consisting of a promotional magazine, a Vacation Guide, and a Magic Kingdom Club Membership Guide, the collection of materials provides an enlightening snapshot of what the World was like near the end of its first decade of operation.Some interesting facts and figures:
  • The ticket system was still in place: A-10¢, B-25¢, C-50¢, D-75¢, and E-90¢. A 3-day unlimited Magic Kingdom Passport cost $29.75 for an adult, $26.75 for junior, $14.75 for child.
  • The Polynesian Revue and the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue each cost $15 per adult, $12 per junior and $8 per child.
  • A buffet breakfast at the Top of the World restaurant at the Contemporary Resort cost $3.75.
  • The Walt Disney World Village (now Downtown Disney Marketplace) featured 27 specialty shops and the Empress Lily restaurant.
  • Eastern Airlines was the official airline. National Car Rental was the official car rental company.
  • Both Coke and Pepsi were available. Coke sponsored the Main Street Refreshment Corner and the Tomorrowland Terrace; Pepsi sponsored the Country Bear Jamboree, the Mile-Long Bar and the Pecos Bill CafĂ©.
  • The Monorail Club Car was a lounge on the Contemporary Resort’s Grand Canyon Concourse. Cocktails ranged in price from $.75 -$2.75.
  • Guests could borrow Polaroid cameras and Polavision movies cameras for free at the Camera Center on Main Street. You only had to pay for the film.
The WORLD Magazine was not so much a magazine as a travel brochure. It described the Magic Kindom as ". . . six themed lands, over 45 attractions and more than 70 restaurants and shops that can fill at least two days with unending adventures and limitless food." The final page promoted up and coming Disney films including The North Avenue Irregulars, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, and The Black Hole, and rereleases of 101 Dalmations, Lady and the Tramp and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Finally, here's the cover to the Walt Disney World Vacation Guide.

There is certainly no mistaking the 1970s from that photo!

Well, that's it for today. Don't forget your assignments for next class--Birnbaum pages 53-77 and Sehlinger 336-370. See you then.


Dida said...

What a thrilling find! We just traveled from CA to the Magic Kingdom earlier this month and boy oh boy the prices have skyrocketed!!!! I wish I could travel back in time for my next trip.