Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance was first published in 1997 and was edited by Karal Ann Marling. The book is a collection of essays, including a longer one by Ms. Marling, that takes us in-depth with the processes, thoughts, and philosophies of designing Disney themed spaces. There are 224 pages and the book weighs in at almost 3.5 pounds. It’s a large-format book, which means the concept art and photos are reproduced in a fairly large size.
The exhibit that spawned the book is one that I wish I’d bee able to visit, especially in the late 1990s. As I mentioned in the video, this book was published near the end of the Disney Decade, when Michael Eisner was touting the modern architecture that the Disney Company was proliferating. Eisner was working with the biggest and most acclaimed architects of the day, whenever it was for resorts, corporate buildings, or planned communities. This was all oa time before the advent of blogging and vloggers, so there were very few places to get information about Disney theme parks. (Seriously, how did you ever find out bout the latest cupcake without vlogging?!?!?!) Designing Disney’s Theme Park was also one of the first forays into the scholarship of Disney. Another great title to check out is Stephen Fjellman’s Vinyl Leaves, one of the very best sociological treatises on Disney World and a walk-through of every queued attraction at WDW around 1990. Trust me, you want both of these books!
Additional authors: Neil Harris; Erika Doss; Yi-Fu Tuan; and Greil Marcus.
America on Parade was one of Disney’s first “Just-Over-a-Year” celebrations. America was in a frenzy over the Bicentennial Celebration in 1976 and there was no end to the parades and events over the summer of 1976. You could even attribute Liberty Square and the Hall of Presidents to the fervor over the Bicentennial. The Fall 1975 Disney News offered a preview of the parade that was over two years in the making!
COVER STORY: “America On Parade,” Disney’s colossal tribute to America’s Bicentennial celebration, continues to enthrall guests at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. See page 2 for story and pictures.
Every day becomes a Fourth of July celebration as Disneyland and Walt Disney World present “America on Parade,” a spectacular salute to America’s 200th birthday. “America on Parade” premiered last June as a joyful, colorful, wonderful patriotic pageant of the music, people and heritage of America- both past and present.
Thousands of Disney guests have already watched and cheered as Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck proudly lead the three-quarter-mile-long procession through the center of each theme park.
The 50 giant-size parade units in the fun-filled musical extravaganza depict a variety of historical and memorable moments in the nation’s 200-year past and highlight the contributions and achievements of the country’s people. They present a stylized, whimsical and never-to-be-forgotten festival of America as only Disney can present it.
Towering above the throngs of young and old who gaze with delight and amusement are Disney’s newest creations, the eight-foot-high, doll-like “People of America’-from Indians to auto drivers, Can-Can dancers to Ben Franklin, a Keystone cop to Uncle Sam—they dance their way through America’s history and into the hearts and memories of those who watch one of Disney’s most unique and delightful creations. The parade, which features more than 150 people, is performed at both Disney theme parks daily at 3:00 p.m. During the summer months and some holidays there will be special evening performances of the parade followed by a red, white and blue fireworks display. As an extra attraction, each week the parade will salute one of the 50 states.
The parade’s grand finale features high school and college marching bands especially invited to take part in this bicentennial salute. From the first strains of “Yankee Doodle” to the closing bars of “God Bless America,” Disney’s “America on Parade” is itself destined to become a part of the Americana it celebrates: something to be seen, remembered and treasured for years to come.
Did You Ever Get to Experience Disney’s America On Parade?
A great way to check out the Walt Disney World of the past is through the ephemera (usually defined as brochures and pamphlets) that was produced and distributed. The items were not meant as keepsakes, hence their ephemeral nature, but as a means of advertising. For historians, ephemera is a great way to check prices and changes with the resort over the years.
In 1971, Disney released two brochures about the opening of Walt Disney World.One is considered the pre-opening version and is marked with Opens October 1971 on the cover. The one released after opening is missing the opening date text but includes information on packages and prices. But they both offer some incredible insight into the fledgling Vacation Kingdom of the World.
Vintage Disney World Opening Brochure
What Do You Think About This opening Disney Brochure?
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Please welcome Sarah to ImagiNERDing! Sarah is the owner of Carolina Blogging’ (a great site for bloggers that live in North and South Carolina). She’s taking her family to Walt Disney World and is blogging about the process, sharing her experience as she plans a trip to the Vacation Kingdom of the World.
For most families, June and July are months full of planning for summer vacations, visiting family and friends, cookouts, pool parties and plenty of time outdoors. For us however, we can’t wait for the summer to be over. Why, you may ask when summer just got started? This is because we are going to Disney World!
That’s right. We are counting down the summer days until August when we will be packing up the car and hitting the road in hopes of making this summer an epic one before the kids head back to school. We are going all out as we start our vacation with plans of lounging in the pool at the Pop Century Resort, dining in style at the Boat House Restaurant in Disney Springs and experiencing what Disney has to offer with two whole days in the parks (Magic Kingdom and DIsney’s Hollywood Studios)!
Before we make our way down to Florida, we have got a ton of planning to do and a few questions to be answered. It has been at least twenty five years or more since either my husband or I have visited the parks and a lot has changed, but we have always remembered the magic of Disney. In fact, this will be our first “official vacation” together after having been married for seven years this June! We feel like a bunch of “Disney Newbies”. We’ve put a lot of work into planning an unforgettable vacation with our kids before they get too old to experience the true magic of Disney that we vividly remember as kids.
Fun Fact: One of my first memories of Walt Disney World dates back to 1989 with my family when 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was an attraction that you could ride. I remember vividly walking down the metal stairs into the vessel with my parents as if I were Capt. Nemo. I remember the eerie sounds of organ music setting the scene for what would become one of my most unique Disney World memories. Peering out through the “submarine” ports as it glided along the track, I saw scenes from the movie including scuba divers, tropical fish and treasure chests.
I don’t think we could put an age limit to the experience of Disney anyways. Mickey Mouse has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. From Saturday morning cartoons to the occasional movie in the theater, the characters from Disney have formed many memories of childhood happiness. These are memories I wish for my children to have an opportunity to make as we visit Disney World.
A quick background on me and what I’ll be blogging about before, during and after our trip. I am a frugal and food blogger. I met George of Imaginerding through one of my blogs, Carolina Blogging. I remember one of my first conversations with George as he shared his love for all things Disney and his Disney book collection!
P.S. – If George has not shared his book collection recently, I am humbly calling him to action to do so. He has books on Disney history, travel, food and more.
Early in May when my husband and I started planning for a trip, I knew I wanted to share my experiences as a family of four and our adventures in traveling to Disney World. Since our trip would include experiences outside of my blog niche, I saw Imaginerding as a perfect opportunity to document our experience to share with others.
Before we start our epic adventure, I wanted to share a few tips of what we have discovered so far. Stay tuned for future blog posts breaking down some of the main points to consider when visiting Disney World. We have done a considerable amount of research when it comes to pricing for tickets, eating at the park, the Disney Meal Plan, hotel stay and more.
I invite you to follow in our adventure and share your tips for making a visit to Disney a memorable one!
Follow me right here on Imaginerding as I share more post from this series, “Planning a trip to remember – Disney World”.
Do you have any advice for Sarah and her family?
Sarah is a frugal and food blogger over at TheHotMessKitchen.com. A corporate employee by day working in the field of technical support and blogger by night; Sarah talks about recipes, kitchen tips, sensible and frugal living on her blog. She can also be found writing about her travels and sharing tips for bloggers at CarolinaBlogging.com. And now for the fun facts: first roller coaster with her dad was the Lock Ness Monster at Busch Gardens, first date with her husband was at Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens in October 2004 and one ride she will never ever ride is the Ring of Fire at the fair.