Columbia Harbour House Preview Lunch
Currently, the D23 website lists the Columbia Harbour House as opening sometime in summer, 1972. The first edition (or so) of Dave Smith’s excellent Disney A to Z listed the opening at October 1, 1971. That was changed by the current 5th edition.
It can be difficult to track openings and closings at Walt Disney World, especially if it’s not listed at Mike Lee’s amazing Widen Your World.
UPDATED INFORMATION AT THE END OF THE POST!
The closest I can find to an opening date would be targeted around this clipping from the June 17, 1972 Eyes and Ears cast member newsletter:
Doris Ann Petrovich, left, and Marie White were two of many employees who enjoyed a “pre-view” lunch at the new Columbia Harbour House restaurant in Liberty Square. Both gals work at the Town Square Cafe.
Based on the bi-weekly publication of the Eyes and Ears newsletter, we can assume that the lunch took place sometime the week before publication. I would hazard that it was the first week of June, 1972.
Another image from the May 20, 1972 Eyes and Ears shows a preview of all some of the construction projects in progress and scheduled. One image shows a family walking by the front entrance to the Columbia Harbour House.
The Columbia Harbour House is about to open in Liberty Square.
If you take a closer look at the photo, you can seethe construction is still going on through the doorway.
Trevor Clor (DRASABREED on Instagram) sent me a wonderful selection of photos from his grandparents 1971 and 1972 trips. One photo from the Skyway shows a packed Fantasyland with the Columbia Harbour House and a vista of Frontierland peeking over the building.
What’s interesting to note is that the photo is dated Feb 1972, and based on the groupings, I assume the images were from January or February 1972. If you check out the Columbia Harbour House building, there is no external signage. And, yes, that line is for the FantasylandSkyway Station.
I took the following image sometime in the past few years and I’m not sure when it was installed. Any ideas?
I found the following image in the Spring, 1973, WDW Vacationland Magazine.
The Columbia Harbour House is only one of the many fine restaurants available in the Magic Kingdom.
The guests in the image are still fairly well-dressed. I do wonder if this was a photo taking during the cast preview lunches in mid-1972.
Do you have any more specific information on the opening dates of the Columbia Harbour House?
John and Steve over at The Hyperion Review Podcast helped out with some research and found this enticing bit of information from Newspapers.com:
It looks like we’ve gotten closer to an actual opening date from this article from the Orlando Sentinel from June 11, 1972. Special thanks to John and Steve. Make sure to check them out and follow them on twitter!
I would assume that the opening date would be on Saturday, June 10, 1972 or Monday, June 12, 1972. I can’t wait to dig deeper into this!