More Vintage 1971 Walt Disney World Photos

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Disney History, Features, Imaginerding

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Published on December 17, 2012 at 4:01 am with 16 Comments

Last week, we ran some great vintage Walt Disney World photos from Trevor Clor. You all liked them so much that I’ve got even more for you this week! These photos were taken by Trevor’s grandparents, Robert and Corliss Marowske, and are dated February 1972 (though, that’s just the date the film was processed). The first photo does show some Christmas decorations on City Hall, so that gives us a pretty good clue as to the season – these photos were very likely from December of 1971. You can see the previous article here.

We’ve got some Christmas decorations up at City Hall! The clock reads 3:35, so I would assume that the three o’clock parade has finished and the crowd is starting to disperse. So, let’s head down Main Street.

It’s a busy Main Street! You can still see the trees that used to line the shops. Notice the signage over Casey’s Corner? Oh, wait, it was called Refreshment Corner (Coke Corner) until 1995.

We’re getting late in the afternoon. The lights are coming on and you can see the difference that the trees make in the feel of Main Street and the Hub.

What  different view of the forecourt! Notice how visible the Fantasyland buildings are behind the Castle?

As we head into Adventureland, let’s take a look at that lady’s hair.

The growth of the foliage around the Treehouse is pretty amazing after 40 years. Of course, it’s an almost great shot of the trash can, too.

What a superb shot! Obviously, the photographer was framing the castle, but I love the glimpse of the second story of Adventureland.

We’ve got a few shots of the Jungle Cruise. A few things have changed and not just the growth of the jungle.

Those gorillas are still working on turning over that jeep!

It’s okay; they’re all wearing their trunks.

Such a great perspective from the Skyway. You don’t see photos from this angle very often. You can see the Enchanted Tiki Room in the back. If you look towards the top left, you get a sense of the town atmosphere created by the rooflines in Liberty Square and Frontierland.

Also, the Columbia Harbour House didn’t open until 1972. There’s no signage on the building (even today, there are only a menu plaque by the door and a rooster sign that signifis the restaurant), so I wonder if this photo pre-dates the February 1972 mark or the signage was late. Dave Smith’s excellent Disney Encyclopedia lists the restaurant opening on October 1, 1971, but we know it didn’t open until 1972.

I could look at Skyway photos all day. The triangular planters are fantastic. The building in the lower-right corner was a camera-related store in the late 1980s, selling film and other film-related needs. According to a few early GAF Guides, it was a ticket booth. Anyone know for sure?

A great shot of 20,000 Leagues. You can see the show building and the monorail beam to the roundhouse in the background.

The Contemporary Resort parking lot is pretty full!

Tomorrowland is looking a little bleak in this photo! At least you can see the end of the area. When Space Mountain was built, there was a great little waiting area for people that weren’t quite interested in Space Mountain.

What a fantastic photo from the Frontierland side of the Rivers of America. Tom Sawyer Island is still just a dream. You can see the uncovered queue of the Haunted Mansion. It truly looks like the spooky house on the hill. Notice the entry to the Mansion actually looks like a mausoleum? It’s a view you can’t see today. It’s also a great shot of the riverboat and the dock.

What did you notice about the changes over the past 40 years? Are they changes for the better or worse?

Again, a special thanks to Trevor Clor for submitting these fantastic photos from his grandparents, Robert and Corliss Marowske.

Do you have any older Walt Disney World photos or video you’d like to share? If so, please email [email protected] and I’ll be happy to feature them in a future article.

ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor

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About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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Comments for More Vintage 1971 Walt Disney World Photos are now closed.

  1. Great Article George

    As I said in the last article, the Magic kingdom has come a long way and it is vgood to see some defunct rides when they were operating.

    Hopefully, you have more images to show us over the coming weeks

    Thanks Again George


    • Thanks!

      I really love vintage photos. When I was double checking a building, it led me into a two-hour research moment (meaning I went through two or three boxes of brochures and maps to hunt down a fact) that led me into another future post…

  2. It’s amazing to see how much the trees and plants have grown in the last 40 years…it’s crazy to see how “empty” it all looks without the trees!

    Also, you’d think after 40 years, those gorillas would find a new mechanic!

    • Hey…if it ain’t broke…no, wait…ah… never-mind.

  3. In general, I’m a huge fan of trees, but the Magic Kingdom could sure use a pruning initiative.

    • I’m not sure where you think they should prune. They’ve removed all the large trees from Main Street and installed shrubs in the hub in place of the beautiful old trees. It leaves Main Street all the way to the castle looking bare and not as warm and lived in as it should. The deforestation of the Magic Kingdom has not been a positive thing for the park.

  4. I miss the trees in he hub. I know it was for line of sight, but they really added a nice atmosphere.

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. In the picture from the skyway, the kiosk in the bottom center was a ticket booth. The building to the right was the camera store. I’m a geek, what can I say?

    • Thanks! I spent some time researching and found the Castle Camera shop :) but I wanted to confirm that the small building was a ticket booth. I know it was turned into a film stand after the tickets were done away with.

      • Exactly, it became a film booth, and over time the camera shop went away…

      • Same thing at Disneyland in front of iasw–the old ticket booth is now a film kiosk.

        IIRC, in MK’s Tomorrowland the ticket booth backed up to Grand Prix Raceway and later became a DVC location.

        Oddly, the only booths I remember at both parks are Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

      • Ticket Booths:

        Let me think….there was one in AdventureLand at WDW, very close to the entrance to the Jungle Cruise.

        There was one on Main Street, but I can’t remember where – I think it was near the train station, maybe on the exhibition hall side?

        And if memory serves there were two ticket booths in FantasyLand, one in the location we’ve been discussing, the other just outside of Mr. Toad.

  6. “As we head into Adventureland, let’s take a look at that lady’s hair.”

    *falls over laughing*

    • I’m glad that somebody saw that!

      Thanks, Amy.

  7. It is cool to see the skyride. As everyone points out, Disneyland and Magic Kingdom Tommorowland areas really lack the sense of motion they had when the skyride, submarines, monorail and people mover were all running together.

    I have an old book I found in a used book store called “The Magic of Disneyland and Walt Disney World”. It appears to be from around 1979 and it also has some great shots of the parks in their glory days. (As well as a lot of feathered hair.) I’ve seen it available on the Internet and highly recommend it for fans of classic Disney park pics.

  8. Interesting to see Disney Legend Mark Davis’s new show additions in this Florida Jungle Cruise in Feb.1972 that would later be added to Disneyland’s. The 26 foot Python Snake in the tree looked even more realistic when it was done at Disneyland. Now its all black and needs repainting. as Disney Legend John Hench approved it back then. I’m a Shel Silverstrin fan of The Giving Tree and all that they add to the parks. Hate to see the mature trees go. They are just expanding as the parks do.