The Winter 1972/1973 Disney News magazine has a special insert called Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom Club Family Shopper, which offered some amazing products for your family for Christmas.
Walt Disney World Poster Set. Another Magic Kingdom Club exclusive! This set of original Walt Disney World posters can now bring all the beauty of this vacation resort into your own home. Printed exactly as they appear in the Contemporary Resort Hotel, these 19″x 26″ prints will make an attractive addition for any den, play room, or family room. Family Shopper Price . . . $7.50 a set.
When you consider the cost of inflation, the price of the poster set in 2020 would be $45.00.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the six posters that hung in the Contemporary Resort in 1971 and 1972.
Top of the World
Contemporary Resort Towers
Sheila McRae Sings
Dinner Dancing on the 15th Floor
Five dollar cover charge
Reservations / 824-1000
So, who was Sheila McRae? She was an actress and singer who worked mostly in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. She would have been familiar to audiences from her roles on The Jackie Gleason Show and General Hospital.
Ski Show at the Polynesian Village Beach Friday thru Monday Only 2, 4 & 7 P.M. Trick Skiing, Jumps and Kite Flying…Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Peter Pan on Water Skis
LUAU Cocktails, South Seas Fest & Exotic Show Polynesian Village On the Beach 824-2000
You are invited to participate in the WALT DISNEY WORLD Golf Championship Two $5,000 Celebrity Pro-Am Tournaments November 29, 1972 $150,000 Pro Tournament November 30-December 3, 1972 Ask fir Information
Golf has always been a driving force behind the construction and development of Walt Disney World. The executives at Disney were major golfers and spent many hours at Disney’s Golf Resort partaking in the sport.
Magic Kingdom Hours 8a.m. to Midnight
Main Street Character Parades 2p.m. and 8p.m. Daily
What an interesting poster promoting the hours of the Magic Kingdom. I’m confused by the hours listed (8a.m. to Midnight), since even during the first few years, the Magic Kingdom’s hours would vary. Holiday and summer hours were often 8a.m. or 9a.m. until Midnight, while weekday hours were typically from 9a.m. to 6p.m. Maybe this poster was changed daily? That makes sense to have an easily changeable poster that would promote the daily hours the Magic Kingdom.
It’s also adorable to see the two women peering rather surreptitiously down Main Street.
Fort Wilderness Campground
Trail Riding Daily
For Information “Touch 1”
The Fort Wilderness poster is the most intriguing reference to the Vacation Kingdom of the World from this set. Guests and potential visitors would have early associations with Cinderella Castle, the Polynesian, the Contemporary, or, even, golf, in relation to Disney World. But Fort Wilderness was still a new and evolving experience for the time.
The poster displays three people with horses as they navigate a scrub trail. The image seems blurry, at first, until you realize the photographer has placed a pine tree in front of the subject. The focus is still on the people, but it makes you feel as if you are hiding behind the trees and you’re spying on the riders.
Do You Remember Seeing These Posters? Did You Own Any of Them?
Something that fascinates me is how Walt Disney World was presented and marketed before and after the construction period. Most people were familiar with Disneyland and Disney’s attractions at the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair. But how do you market and promote a 43 square mile vacation resort?
Let’s find out!
The Fall 1971 Disney News: Official Magazine for Magic Kingdom Club Families (September, October, November) offers an update concerning the construction on the fledgling Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World Resort. The report is from the regular In and Around Walt Disney Productions section and each issue offered news from Movies, Wonderful World of Disney, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World.
What is interesting are the numbers that are presented and what they are promoting to the Magic Kingdom Club families. There was also an advertisement to watch the opening of Walt Disney World on NBC-TV.
Let’s take a look at the progress of construction as we near the opening date. The images in the text are photos and scans I have in my archives that illustrate the topic but are not from the Disney News publication.
… After doubling its work force in three months to 8,000 construction workers on site, Walt Disney World is literally racing the calendar to an October opening . As of this writing (June)- … The man-made Seven Seas Lagoon-a mile wide and three fourths mile long-is now fully ready for sailing or swimming . At a dry-dock near Bay Lake, the first of two 19th century-style side-wheels teamboats is nearly ready for launching. Tests are completed on its walking beam engine with a giant rocker arm unlikeany built in this century.
… Six miles of monorail beams are in place and the first of six monorail trains is undergoing tests in Walt Disney World’s “roundhouse.”
… On the isthmus between Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon, finish work is well underway on the spectacular Contemporary Resort Hotel. All of its 1057 pre-assembled room units are in place. Suites, restaurants, shops, and convention and banquet halls are taking shape.
… Across the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Polynesian Village site, nearly half of the 500 rooms, built in an assembly plant four miles away, have been lifted into place. Other areas of the Village are on schedule.
… The Main Entrance complex, which will provide guest reception and lost-and-found facilities, pet motel, and ticket booths, is 70 percent complete.
… Construction is underway on 230 campsites in nearby Fort Wilderness camp grounds to provide accommodations for Walt Disney World guests who prefer to bring their own hotel. … Exteriors are complete on such varied structures as a steamboat landing and keel boat dock, Colonial tavern and Alpine Chalet, Main Street Emporium, and Haunted Mansion.
… Walt Disney World will employ more than 6,000 operating workers at opening, and surveys forecast a first-year total attendance of 10-million guests.
Looking for more information about the construction of Walt Disney World?
The Story of Walt Disney World Video Review
It’s amazing to think of how many photos that Disney published concerning the construction of the Magic Kingdom and the hotels. You don’t see Disney doing much of that today.
FTC Disclosure: In some cases, a copy might have been provided by the company for the purpose of this review (but not on this post). This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!
In the Winter 1978/1979 issue of Disney News (Vol. 14, No 1), there is an article on the Disney Archives, which was located in the Roy O. Disney Building on the Burbank Studio lot. The building was the original administration building for the studios and held the office for Roy O. Disney. Currently the Archives are on the first floor of the Frank G. Wells Building.
Enjoy the article!
All of us enjoy a stroll down memory lane from time to time, but rarely do we have the opportunity to make a sentimental journey that compares with a visit to the Walt Disney Archives.
Located at the Disney Studio in Burbank, the Archives is a museum for nostalgia buffs, a library for historians and scholars, and a veritable treasure chest for Disney devotees This intriguing research facility was established in 1970 to collect and preserve an infinite variety of materials relating to Walt Disney and the entire Disney organization. However, the Archives is historically significant for the entertainment industry as well as Walt Disney Productions. According to Disney archivist Dave Smith, not all film studios have made the effort to preserve their history and have consequently lost a wealth of information.
Several separate endeavors anticipated the formation of the Disney Archives. Historically conscious secretaries and Disney employees had saved letters, memos, character merchandise and other “collectibles” In addi tion, the Studio Records Center had saved important legal and financial documents, while a clipping service had stocked Disney publicity files since 1924. During the late sixties, the Disney family and Studio management recognized the need for an organized resource center where one could readily obtain information dealing with all the facets of the now expanded and diversified Walt Disney Productions.
In 1970, Dave Smith-a former UCLA reference librarian who had interned in Washington’s Library of Congress-joined the Disney organization to supervise the establishment of a suitable archives facility. The present Archives found a permanent home on two floors of the new Roy O Disney Building at the Studio in 1976.
A visit to the Archives is like peering into a time capsule of film history, although much filed information focuses on Walt Disney , the man, and his family Letters, personal effects, tape recordings and speech transcripts, personal gifts, and photos from the famous and infamous, office furnishings, awards, Disney family genealogy and more than 8,000 family photos help record the life and career of the man named “Showman of the World’.’
In addition, a complete collection of domestically published Disney books, magazines and comic books has been cataloged, along with foreign publications. An impressive music library includes records produced by the Walt Disney Music Company, plus discs released on other labels, tape recordings and sheet music.
The fascinating visual story of each Disney animated classic is told with original sketches, storyboards, animated drawings and painted cels. And, a storehouse of publicity materials, physical models, negatives and photographic stills document the development of Disney Theme Parks, resorts and future projects.
Another boon to researchers is an accumulation of indices, catalogs and files – providing quick access to annual and stockholder reports, merchandise licensees, military insignia produced by Disney, plus studio personnel and talent biographies
The Archives houses a colorful assortment of costumes and props from old Disney movies. Although Studio films are stored in separate vaults, the Archives helps to locate original cartoon prints or vintage films.
Besides maintaining and enhancing these incredible collections, Dave and his assistant, Paula Sigman, perform service-oriented activities for Disney employees and the general public. Dave is often called upon to authenticate artwork, Walt’s signature, souvenirs and other memorabilia.
Although many authors have utilized their professional assistance, Dave and Paula are eager to further increase general awareness of the Archives. The repository is open to all Disney employees and by advance appointment to qualified students and writers. Providing accurate and exclusive Disney information is a most challenging and rewarding occupation … as Paula explains, “It’s exciting to give our people not just what they ask for, but morel”
Going back though Disney magazines and newsletters, you run into a lot of different things. How Disney handles the holiday season throughout the years through the covers of it’s publications can offer some insight.
Disney News was the official magazine for the Magic Kingdom Club.
Walt Disney World ‘s “Christmas Holiday Parade” is literally fantasy in motion – a moving world of brilliant colors, beautiful music, and famous Disney characters.
The holiday season gets an measure of color and gaiety when the Toy Soldiers march in Walt Disney World’s annual Christmas Parade.
So, what was the Magic Kingdom Club?
Well, it was sort of like a loyalty or reward program that was created in 1957. The Magic Kingdom Club offered discounts to large employers, the military and industries in Souther California. It went nationwide with the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971 and would soon become the largest leisure employee benefit program in the country. It was replaced with the very short-lived Disney Club in 2000.
Eyes and Ears is the official cast member publication of Walt Disney World. It’s an amazing research tool. Once you hit the very late 1970s, the production value of the newsletter increased drastically and the covers started having full-color art.
Pinocchio, Figaro and Jiminy Cricket wish us Happy Holidays and grace the December 22, 1978 cover.
What could Mickey’s present be?
Mickey is waiting on opening a present on the cover of the December 21, 1979 issue. The tag says do not open until Winter 1980. Not to ruin the surprise but this has to be an engine for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
The December 25, 1981 issue has Goofy and Pluto delivering holiday presents. No, I won’t say anything about the discussion about Goofy and Pluto both being dogs.
This is the cover from the Fall 1977 Disney News, the Official Magazine for Magic Kingdom Club Families.
On the right side of the image, you can make out the flote dock. The left side of the photo offers a glimpse of the entrance to the Empress Lilly. What caught my attention, though, are the lamposts along the walkway.
Long before Imagineering’s Living Character Initiative gave us Lucky the Dinosaur, Turtle Talk with Crush and Remy at Les Chefs De France, we experienced many different forms of audio-animatronics at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. More recently, guests have been entertained by Push the Talking Trash Can in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom and his cousin Pipa, the Talking Recycling Can, at the Animal Kingdom.
One of the antecedents of Push and Pipa was a nearly five-foot tall electronic robot named GYRO. Not much exists about GYRO online, but I did run across this small article and photo in the Fall 1985 Disney News publication on page five:
GYRO. Friendly Disney magic at WDW
SAY HELLO TO GYRO! What’s 4 feet 10, weighs a portly 150 lbs., has a blue body, and a golden head encasing a computerized brain that controls its electronic senses? It’s GYRO—the very latest in electronic robots. GYRO strolls about the grounds of Future World in Epcot Center at Walt Disney World, conversing with guests who marvel at its mobility and intelligence. When they ask how GYRO works, however, the robot is evasive. And because it talks, guests often stare into GYRO’s 12-inch screen of a face and say, “Okay, who’s in there?” The robot’s honest answer is, “Nobody.” Only micro chips and lots of electronic wizardry. –Disney News, Fall 1985, page 5.
When you search for GYRO on the interwebs, you run into a lot of information on Gyro Gearloose, a character created by Carl Barks in 1952 as part of the Scrooge McDuck universe. I happened to luck out with a link to the always informative, educational and entertaining site Walt Dated World. Alison has a fantastic photo on her site. Make sure you stop by Walt Dated World and tell her how much you appreciate the work she does!
Anyone else have any shots of GYRO on the loose?
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