Friday, April 15, 2011

Palate Cleanser

My goodness, it's been a long time, hasn't it? It has... in the meantime I've gone to Disneyland and come back with a head full of ideas and not much desire to write them. A lot of stuff has happened to Disney and to the rest of the world too, and not all of it has been great.

What we need is a palate cleanser, hopefully to kick my butt back into gear and to give us all a little relief from drudgery. And since this is Passport to Dreams Old & New, that likely means... seventies stuff. Bright, beautiful, early Walt Disney World goodness to keep us mindful of our priorities.

Shall we?

This early Walt Disney World couple, taken for a 1976 merchandise catalog, may be showing off their spiffy "Collegiate" tees but they're also standing in a spot where taking this photo is today impossible. In the background where the white rail and benches are was the original proposed location for the Tomorrowland Railroad Station; it's also the original exit to the Space Mountain attraction. Today, a massive half round salmon colored arcade blocks this fantastic view.

Wow, look at the line for the Peoplemover!! All those people are going to be happy to have spent their E ticket (yes, it was an E ticket in 1975) on what is arguably still one of the greatest experiences at Walt Disney World. Who remembers the little dioramas in the tiny hexagonal boxes on your way up and down the speedramps (visible in the background here)? Tomorrowland was so awesome.

Look how clean the track is. Tomorrowland hasn't looked this good in years.

Hopping across the Seven Seas Lagoon, we come across this group, also modeling Walt Disney World "Ready To Wear" tees at the Polynesian Village:

Besides Bob-A-Round boats and the Asian Resort expansion pad, let's take time to apprechiate the rich wood grained sides of the Polynesian longhouses long before they were painted cartoonish yellow and the lovely effect of the decorative wood tucked into the peak of that roof before it was alternating shades of yellow, orange and white. The roofs of each longhouse were intentionally rusted to an orange patina instead of being painted that way.

Here's a Rarity I've been looking for for some time: this is the sign for the short lived Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village tobacconist, which as you can see did not lack for seventies "groove". All of the original Shopping Village signs were brilliantly executed craftwork pieces; the sign for "Von Otto's Antiques" was emblazoned on an antique coffee grinder and anybody who stared in fascination at the sign for "Lite Bite" will likely never forget it. This one can't quite compare but it lasted less than two years, so what it lacks in interest it makes up in obscurity!

The following pictures were taken to celebrate the second anniversary of the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village in Eyes and Ears of Walt Disney World, and although they focus on goofy-looking Cast Members, the photos, like most, reveal interesting details at the margins that the photographer did not intend.

It's fun to see the proper scale of this sign which featured an actual spout! It's also fun to see the rather uninspired costumes worn by cast outside of the "Vacation Kingdom"... that blazer with the Lake Buena Vista emblem looks pretty dorky today. The caption for this one is too cheerfully lame not to reprint:
"Modern as well as 'vintage' spirits are the specialty of the Vintage Cellar. Jo Tisdale and Jerry Robinson compare their job with the Haunted Mansion... both deal with the spirit world!"
Well... not everyone got to wear the Mansion green and white, so we'll go easy on them.

This rather assertive mugshot is chiefly interesting for capturing, even if in passing, the interior of Shoe Time. The ladies pictured therein are Jeannie Clarke and Kaye Frampton.

...and we'll go out with this page from the merchandise catalog we've been skirting this whole time. I don' know if these kids are actually in a room at the Contemporary or on a set somewhere, but I suspect that this will bring a smile to even the most hardened heart: