Friday, May 18, 2007

Park Mysteries, #2

So here's a quick new one. Pictured below you will see two windows located to the right of the exit of Pirates Bazaar gift shop, attatched to the end of what was once the Caverna de los Piratas arcade, later Lafitte's Portrait Deck. But you know what it looks like to me? A quick service location, possibly drinks or Ice Cream.

Call me crazy, but I've poured over every Magic Kingdom guide published between 1973 and the opening of EPCOT and I've never found an entry for a quick service stand located here. I did learn that the dining rooms of what is now El Pirata Y El Perico housed The Golden Galleon and La Princessa de Cristal - which I'd love to see photos of sometime if anybody ever digs any up - which was then, I assume, absorbed into El Pirata at the same time Pecos Bill expanded in 1998 and destroyed much of the character of the surrounding establishments. But no juice bar. My 1980 guide lists the Veranda, its' attatched Dole Whip stand, Sunshine Tree Terrace, El Pirata and The Oasis, which is exciting until one realizes that that was next to the exit of The Jungle Cruise (and still is).

One theory is that the windows could've been added later (although they're made of the same material as other windows in Caribbean Plaza), when the photo shop existed, and could've feasibly served as pickup locations for photos once they were processed. Or maybe they were just nice windows which just so happened to have been designed with a ledge for transactions and a capacity-concious twin. I still think it was an Ice Cream window.

One thing which supports that they could've been added later: there is only one lantern hanging above the two windows and you know very well that Disney would've had two lanterns had it been intended to be a walk-up service counter area. There isn't even a covered up outlet for a second lantern.

Anybody have any ideas?


Anonymous said...

I recall you could drop off film and have it developed the same day for hour pick up at that location in the early/mid 90's. -Mike

FoxxFur said...

Excellent! Looking into it now...

Anonymous said...

I think the film drop off is spot-on. I also believe that there was a "dress up like a pirate and have your picture taken" thing in that location as well.. although that may have been in the former shop that is now being used as storage for the main shop.

FoxxFur said...

That was in the main area. I've been looking into the film drop off, which is the most sane explaination I've heard, but park maps of that vintage show a photo drop off spot which could be there - or at the Crow's Nest, which has always been a Kodak film shop. I'm trying to get a date on when Crow's Nest opened, so I can rule out that as a possibility and resolve that mystery!

Lou Mongello - said...


I've been meaning to write for some time to let you know how much I enjoy your work here. For quite some time, I thought I was the only one who sat and studied some of these obscure details and elements throughout WDW. After reading your blog (and spending some time in the parks with Jeff from 2719Hyperion), I know that I am sorely mistaken - and quite happy about it! :)

I'm going to try and pull some old docs i have from the late 70's to see if I can ID when this may have been in existence. Jeff and I walked the area for a while last weekend, and the photo drop-off idea seems plausible, specially due to the relative size of the venue (which now appears to be used for storage as well). If you look at the top of where the green doors open in your photos, you'll notice there was a light fixture there at some point.

As for the pirate photo, I thought that was located near our outside the shop's exit. Hmmm... could this have been a photo pay/pick-up area?

Anyway, great work once again!!