Sunday, September 19, 2010

Buena Vista Obscura: Captain Cook's Followup

Just a brief addendum and followup for those of you whose appetite was whet by my previous post regarding that ubiquitous early Polynesian Village lounge, Captain Cook's Hideaway. This functions as both an extension and a rectification of my previous post.

I can now say with more certainty that I have identified the original location of Captain Cook's Hideaway, and it was not where I thought it was. In my original post I indicated that photographs of the establishment seem to be rare. Although pictures of the entrance and inside certainly are, almost any early promotional photograph of the Polynesian Village is certain to contain some part of Captain Cook's Hideaway... ...assuming the photograph is an exterior view, taken from the air.

Here's just one example, taken from "The Magic of Disneyland and Walt Disney World".

Based on the foliage growth and completeness of the Golf Resort in the background, I think this photograph was taken no later than 1974. If we move in closer the item of interest, typically, is right on the crease of the page, which I have rejoined digitally. Take special note of the circular structure in the lower left.

This outdoor patio is certainly the original location of Captain Cook's. There's a palm tree growing right up through the middle of it. The location of all other original Polynesian eateries has safely been established to be inside the lobby structure, and Captain Cook's Hideaway is the only original eatery which advertises an outdoor area:

"CAPTAIN COOK'S HIDEAWAY Dockside cocktails served inside or outside at the Polynesian Village. Open from 11 am until 2 am. Entertainment." - Walt Disney World News, Vol. 1 No. 1, October 1971

"For guests desirous for a dark rendezvous and the strains of a haunting guitar, Captain Cooks Hideaway provides both, as well as an outside patio romantically bathed in soft candlelight." - Walt Disney World Vacationland, Spring 1973

So here it is, the Captain Cook's Hideaway dockside patio. Though the torches ringing the patio burn bright, and it may not be dark enough yet to get the full effect of a romantic candlelight, it is bright enough to see that palm tree extending through the patio on the left and that circular building out by the pool in the background. This means that Captain Cook's Hideaway occupied a spot *just west* of the current location of the food court it later gave its name to, and where the indoor arcade is now. This image is from the 1977 "Walt Disney World ... a pictorial souvenir".

"Time takes on a leisurely tempo in the romantic South Seas environment of the Polynesian Village. As guests wander along palm-lined paths beside tropical pools, the throb of Tahitian drums announces the nightly torchlit luau held on the white-sand beach i front of the low-silhouetted guest "longhouses"."

As originally constructed almost every room in the Polynesian Village faced the water.


Previous Buena Vista Obscura entries:
Captain Cook's Hideaway
The Lake Buena Vista Story: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four
The Golf Resort

"Snapshot" series at Passport to Dreams Old & New:
Olde World Antiques
The Great Southern Craft Company