In last week’s column, I looked at some vintage images from a 1974 pictorial souvenir of Walt Disney World and got pretty nerdy over a park bench. There must be a lot of WDW nerds out there because you folks asked for more. So, let’s go deeper this week. I got an email from Ed K., who sent along an image from the 1972 Souvenir Guidepack that offered another view of one of the images I featured. It’s another example of Disney re-using an image or set of images many times.
As I mentioned in the last column, the image looks like a relaxing afternoon at a beach. We’re obviously near the Contemporary, but from this angle, it’s hard to tell where the photo was taken or if it was a composite. We had lots of great comments. What do you think?
Ed K. sent me an email with the following image. He commented: “It’s the same “family” as the 1974 book, just in a different pose!”
Right away, I noticed the caption, “Relaxing on the beach of the Seven Seas Lagoon.” Geographically, this seems impossible because the monorail beam is always between the Contemporary Resort Garden Wings and Seven Seas Lagoon. You wouldn’t have an unimpeded view of the Garden Wings from anywhere on the Seven Seas Lagoon. Of course, it sounds so much better to say Seven Seas Lagoon than Bay Lake in public relations material.
I’m assuming the image from Ed was taken first. The smaller boat is closer in Ed’s image and it looks like the guy in the white trunks threw the ball. Although, the blonde on the left has her arm extended as if she threw it. Check out that Mickey flotation device/seat. The guy in the white shorts was sitting on it in my image.
It’s still too difficult to tell where the image was taken. I did a post in 2008 about Discovery Island and I took a screen image of a satellite image. You can see the Garden Wings on the left side of the image. Because we can’t see the Contemporary Tower in the images from 1972 and 1974, it had to have been taken from an odd angle. My thought is that, if it isn’t a composite (which seems unlikely because we have two different images), then it had to have been taken from the north shore of Bay Lake (the part cropped out of the top of the image below).
The image below is from a larger scan that Ed K. sent me. I highlighted the area in light blue where I think the photo was staged. They were on a sandy beach which limits where they could have been. Since we can’t see the tower, it has to be at an angle that just shows the Wing with an island behind it. The small island to the right of the South Garden Wing could be the background of the image. If you look at satellite imagery today, the area in blue is more marsh-like than sandy beach.
But why would they take a photo without the iconic Contemporary Resort Tower? And wouldn’t the pier/boat area be visible in a photo from that area?
The next image is from Walt Disney World, the First Decade. It’s an aerial view of Blackbeard’s Island (renamed Treasure Island in 1974 and ultimately Discovery Island in 1976) with the Contemporary Resort under construction. The dock was one of the first things constructed on the island. About 55,000 cubic yards of soil was added to the island in 1973/1974 to build it out for use. It changed the shape and the level of the island drastically. So, they could have taken the photo from the shore of Discovery Island but it seems highly unlikely considering there wouldn’t be trees behind the North Garden Wing (on the right-hand side of the image below) because of the parking lot and tennis courts.
So, where does this leave us?
Does anyone even care?
I’ll leave you with a palate cleanser, of sorts. The following is a fantastic image of Main Street, USA with Seven Seas Lagoon as an unusual backdrop. It’s a late afternoon shot with people exiting the park.
So, what do you think about the photos? Any idea where they were shot?
ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at [email protected].
Be sure to visit Imaginerding.com for Disney book reviews and more!
I am one half of the incredibly talented, handsome, charming, sanguine, lucent, refulgent, beguiling, hilarious, perturbable, welcoming, sentient, loquacious, side-splitting, mesmerizing, scintillating, lustrous, invigorating, incandescent, inescapable, rollicking, perceiving, wayfaring, devastating, steadfast, cinematic, whelming, imposing, irrefutable, breathtaking, carefree, witty, sparkling, joyful, indulgent, coquettish, snarky, historically accurate, festive, award-winning, enigmatic, thematic and intelligent duo behind Communicore Weekly (the Greatest Online Show™). You can find them on the Mice Chat Youtube Channel.