When you think about the development of the different iterations of Fantasyland, it’s difficult to put the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland into perspective since it was so overshadowed by the 1983 Disneyland redo. In 1971, Fantasyland was a revolutionary design and reflected more about what Walt had originally intended. The Magic Kingdom version was still built for the stroller crowd, but the Imagineers tried to create a more European feel. You can look at the progression to see how Fantasyland developed: Disneyland 1955; Magic Kingdom 1971;Disneyland New Fantasyland 1983 and Tokyo Disneyland Fantasyland 1983 (an interesting combo of Magic Kingdom 1971 and Disneyland 1955); Disneyland Paris Fantasyland 1992; Hong Kong Disneyland Fantasyland 2006; and, finally, Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland 2012.
Let’s step back in time to look at the 1970s Magic Kingdom Fantasyland. The following images are all from the 1974 a pictorial souvenir of Walt Disney World.
I shared this image as the bookend to my previous post. It’s a great shot of the castle from Tomorrowland (the image always reminded me of a scene from Cinderella).
Dumbo the Flying Elephant has always been a staple of the Magic Kingdom-style parks. This version operated with only ten flying elephants and no water features (it would be redone in 1993 adding six more elephants). It’s a fairly iconic view with the castle, the carousel and a Fantasyland building (was it the Royal Candy Factory or the Round Table?).
A good friend of mine brought my attention to this photo a while ago. She called it Child Vs. Dwarf. It always seemed to be part of the marketing that Walt Disney World tried to do early on with random character interactions. I’m hoping that’s her parents’ shadows on the castle wall behind her.
A more interesting look at the cast member costume from the days of yore.
Was this image taken from the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet? You can see the mixture of architectural detail that mixes the renaissance fair look of the 1955 Fantasyland with the European Village style we’ll see in the 1983 Fantasyland. Besides, who wouldn’t want to take a Skyway trip right now?
A rare inside shot of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride that shows off the dual track design. The guy in the red vehicle really does look surprised!
The Mickey Mouse Revue, which lasted from 1971-1980 before being shipped off to Tokyo Disneyland.
Another former Fantasyland attraction, Snow White’s Scary Adventures. It’s interesting to see how Disney photographed and presented their dark rides.
Nope, not proof that Gene Hackman visited the Magic Kingdom, but it shows that the Mad Tea Party used to be uncovered, like the one at Disneyland. The Florida sun proved to be too much and we would see this attraction covered within eight months and a cover for the queue of the Haunted Mansion soon after that.
I’ve written more about the Fantasy Faire stage featured in this image than anyone could possibly care about, right?
I’m assuming that Disney took this photo from the Skyway. It’s a great nod to the outdoor cafes of Europe, yet it feels so hastily placed to me.
Our last photo is a fantastic view of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage. It’s a beautifully posed shot of the enormous lagoon that was a fantastic bookend to Fantasyland.
Is there something you really miss about the 1971 Magic Kingdom Fantasyland?
ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor
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