Monday, January 25, 2010

One If By Land, Two If By Sea ~ Now it's 1973!

You all are looking forward to a lot of reading, right? That's good, because I've got a lot of writing that's currently in "test and adjust". Yes, that's a lot of writing by *my* standards... I may not be prolific, but when I write something, I write it up BIG. :)

But never mind that. Let's peek into the Columbia Harbour House! Yaay!

It's 1973 and everybody is enjoying their fish, chips, and "fried specialties". This restaurant wasn't ready for opening day or even opening year, bowing in early 1972, and was to be called The Nantucket Harbour House at first. Harbour House-o-philes know immediately that this is the second floor seating area right near the bay that looks down into the main service kitchen, so I don't need to tell you that. Let's check in on what Disney says about this place:

"The Columbia Harbour House, specializing in seafood dishes, is filled with the atmosphere of an 18th-century seaport meeting place, where whalers fresh from long months at sea ate hot food with gusto and downed mugs of steaming tea."
- Walt Disney World Vacationland, Spring 1974

...Really? Steaming, hot tea? Did somebody make a typo? Isn't this a little risque for Disney? Did Roy O. okay this? Yikes.


Michael said...

Awesome. I want to go to there.

Stephen said...

Just curious--do you know why they decided to change the name from "Nantucket" to "Columbia"? More liberty-esque, perhaps?

Kurt Miller said...

How was this room altered by what you mentioned in your last post regarding them walling in the upstairs kitchen of the CHH? Awesome post, BTW. Love the early WDW stuff.

Unknown said...

Check out the guy in the orange shirt and tie! Maybe he was park management checking out the food!!!

Maybe you should do some before and after pics... :)

Steve said...

What intrigued me in the picture was the cast member costume. Stripes? I know that by 1975 the costume is solid blue. I think it would be interesting to know why the costume pattern changed so quickly. It may have been part of the Nantucket to Columbia change, but why?

My first thought was that the change to solid costumes would be more fast-food like but in reality most of the fast-food costumes in 1975 were richly patterned (e.g., Pinocchio’s or Adventureland Veranda). Striped costumes were worn at Pecos Bill and at Coke Corner.

My next thought was maybe that stripes really did not work for Liberty Square but then the Liberty Tree Tavern costumes from 1975 had stripes, albeit thin/irregular instead of bold/flag-like.

No big deal but it did get my curiosity.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I ate in that very same spot this December during the Keys to the Kingdom Tour.

Dana said...

You actually solved a question I had been wondering for some time!
Someone gave me an old map of the MK, but there is no date on it to give me a time frame of when it was sold. The one oddity on the map is that in the location of Columbia Harbor House is a resturant called Nantucket Harbor House---I guess that means my map is from either pre-opening or very early in the park's history.

Here is a link to the picture of my map:

FoxxFur said...

The reasons why the name was changed remain a mystery to me. Whereas "Nantucket Harbour", to me, is wonderful and evocative, "Columbia Harbour" is just sort of confusing. There is no Columbia Harbour. There's a Columbia neighborhood in Boston which is on a peninsula jutting into the harbor, is this what they were thinking of?

The upstairs kitchen is a few paces away from here, Kurt. The easiest way to get to it is to ascend the south stairs. What's directly in front of you once you're on the second floor is the walled-in kitchen. It's obvious if you know what you're looking for.

Dana, that map was sold for the first few years at Walt Disney World (yes, mistakes and all). It was finally updated in 1974 / 1975.