The Story of Walt Disney World 1971 and 1976 Editions

Cover of the 1976 Edition

Collecting Disney books can be an arduous task when different editions and releases come into play. We know that there are four version of the Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center book (you can learn about three of them at this post) based on when the books were released.

The Story of Walt Disney World is another title with multiple editions. This book was the second major publication piece released by the company to help promote and explain what Walt Disney World was. This book is a fantastic look back at the Vacation Kingdom of the World during its heyday of the 1970s. This was a different time for the Company and they spent a lot of money and energy showing you how they created the magic of Walt Disney World.

When you start to look at the different editions of the book, there doesn’t seem to be many differences. The most obvious difference is the almost two-page map that is included in the book. There are also some minor differences in the photographs on certain pages. After discussing the different editions on Twitter with Scott Otis (@otisney) and @EPCOTExplorer, we realized that there were many editions published each year from 1971 to 1980 (at least).

Back of the 1976 Edition

The following is a fun-style map of Walt Disney World from 1976. If you click on the image, you will notice that the artist emphasized the leisure activities. It is an obvious focus of a mid-1970s vacation at Walt Disney World where you would spend two days at the Magic Kingdom and the rest of the week playing golf, tennis, boating and horseback riding.

The 1971 edition is similar, save for a few small changes in some of the photographs and the following map.

This is a well-known map, since it shows the various hotels that were never built. This was also the map that was in the guest rooms at the Polynesian and Contemporary Resort.

The image is from the fantastic Walt Dated World.

I pulled the image above from a video about U.S. Steel that I featured on this page about the construction of the Contemporary Resort.

10 thoughts on “The Story of Walt Disney World 1971 and 1976 Editions

  1. I remember just pouring over this book time and time again as a kid. I was (and still am) obsessed with the Jungle Cruise and there are one or two great photos in there of the making of the Jungle Cruise

  2. Ryan, which version do you have?

    theelfqueen, was the exhibit fun?

    David, I love how radically different this book is from most everything else published by Disney.

    Shelly, do you have a favorite Disney book?

  3. Thanks for this article and the scans of the books. My first trip to WDW was in 1976, and my Dad bought this book, and it’s probably the most treasured Disney item that I have because it’s pretty much my first and it’s something that I shared with my Dad.

    Recently, I found another copy on eBay and bought it with the intention of scanning it and not having to worry about messing up my copy. Until I read this article, I didn’t realize there were various versions of this book, so I took a look at the one I just got, and it’s the 1971 version. Sweet!

    The things you learn from reading good Disney blogs… 🙂

  4. I grew up with the 1976 edition, with the updated map. My dad just bought the 1973 edition and sent it to me. It has the older map with the 3 “future” resorts, and Thunder Mesa. 😀

  5. Wow, I was unaware of two editions. I’ve owned the 1971 version for years, since I was a little kid. I own that as well as a 1965 guide to DL. You’re the first I’ve seen on a fansite to address this book. Thanks!

  6. Hi it’s Alison from the Walt Dated World website. Thank you for including a link to one of the pictures on the page . My site now has a new address of waltdatedworld.com. If you could update the link on your post I would appreciate it. Thank you!

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