Remembering Disney’s Magic Kingdom Club

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

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Published on May 20, 2013 at 1:00 am with 13 Comments

I was perusing a 1972 Disney News researching another MiceChat article when I ran across this great ad for Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom Club Family Shopper. When you’re used to seeing the Walt Disney Company taking advantage of every marketing opportunity it’s kind of odd to see this two page ad that focuses on just a few things. So, what was the Magic Kingdom Club?

Werner Weiss’ site, Yesterland, has a great article about the history of the Magic Kingdom Club.

Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom Club (MKC) was created in 1957 as a unique marketing vehicle for the new Park. The Club offered discounted and special-value ticket media to the employees of large companies, industry and military throughout Southern California. It was an immediate win-win formula: MKC provided a free employee benefit while the participating organizations promoted Disneyland by distributing membership cards and materials. In many ways, MKC was the forerunner of today’s airline and hotel loyalty membership programs by instilling the sense of a special beneficial relationship.

Let’s take a look at some of the items Disney thought that Magic Kingdom Club members would want to purchase for the 1972 season.

Mickey Mouse Crystal Paperweight

This handsome, Belgium-cut crystal paper-weight features an inlaid glass caricature of Mickey Mouse. It’s the perfect idea to keep any desk in order. Each weight is specially hand crafted and is available to Magic Kingdom Club members exclusively. Family Shopper Price…$16.95

GAF “Klomp-It” Game

GAF was a corporate sponsor for Disney parks from 1970-1979 and was featured heavily in the advertisements in and about the parks. GAF sponsored any photo- or film-related shop and the ubiquitous photos spots (check out my article on the Kodak Photos Spots) throughout the parks.

This new children’s game features two, 3-Dimensional color View-Master kits starring the Disney characters at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The game accommodates two to four players, and will add o your family’s holiday season enjoyment. Family Shopper Price…$5.95.

I love the image of the family playing the Klomp-It game. They’re at Disneyland and sitting at a table in front of the Mine Trains Through Nature’s Wonderland. Anyone know anything else about this game or have fond memories of it?

GAF Super 8 Movie Camera

This is a perfect way to record all your special family gatherings and memories. GAF’s new deluxe Super 8 Camera features:
-Low-light warning signal.
-New custom molded, pistol grip.
-Trigger lock.
-Electric motor drive.
-Easy cartridge loading.
-Sturdy die-cast metal construction.
Your first roll of color film along with an invitation to join the Disneyland Film Club is included. Suggested retail price–$79.50. Family Shopper Special…$49.95

Posters

Every single one of these posters is fantastic and completely strange. I love that Disney was so eager to sell a product that was only on display at the Contemporary Resort. Especially since they were dated posters. My favorite has to be the Magic Kingdom Hours poster. Those two ladies look ready to take on the (Walt Disney) World!

Walt Disney World Poster Set. Another Magic Kingdom Club exclusive! This set of original Walt Disney World posters can now bring all of the beauty of this vacation resort into your own home. Printed exact;y as they appear in the Contemporary Resort Hotel, these 19″X26″ prints will make an attractive addition for any den, play room, or family room. Family Shopper Price…$7.50 a set.

Top of the World (check out my article on the Top of the World, here)
Contemporary Resort Towers
Sheila MacRae Sings
Dinner Dancing on the 15th Floor
Five dollar cover charge/reservations

Ski Show at the Polynesian Village Beach
Friday thru Monday Only 2, 4 & 7PM.
Trick Skiing, Jumps and Kite flying…Donald,
Goofy, Pluto and Peter Pan on Water Skis.

LUAU
Cocktails, South Sea Feast & Exotic Show
Polynesian Village on the Beach
Reservations

Magic Kingdom Hours
8a.m. to Midnight
Main Street
Character Parades
2p.m. and 8p.m. Daily

You are invited to participate in the Walt Disney World Golf Championship
Two $5,000 Celebrity Pro-Am Tournaments
November 29, 1972
$150,000 Pro Tournament
November 30-December 3, 1972
Ask for Information

Fort Wilderness Campground
Trail Riding Daily
Nightly Campfires
For Information “Touch 1″

Disney Character Tankard Set

This is a fun way to let the Disney characters star in your own home at refreshment time. The set of eight 12 oz. tumblers features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto. Tankard set available to MKC members. Family Shopper Price…$7.50/set.

Action Viewer and Cartridge Set

Imagine the thrill when your children discover Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy under the tree on Christmas morning! Handsome, rugged, easy-to-use Movie Viewer, just snap in the Super 8 Cartridge and enjoy full color Walt Disney Movies – anywhere, indoors or out. Price includes Movie Viewer, and Cartridge with Walt Disney Cartoon, “The Lonesome Ghost.” Family Shopper Price…$5.50.
Additional Movie Cartridges also available. Choose from six Disney cartoons and classics:
A. Three Little Pigs
B. Good Scouts (Donald Duck and Nephews)
C. Snow White
D. Cinderella
E. 101 Dalmatians
F. Pinocchio
…$2.95 each

Order Form

Just in case you wanted to order…

I’m still surprised at the way that Disney marketed their characters and corporate sponsors before the advent of the Eisner synergy.

Which item would you have ordered for Christmas? Any thoughts on the “Klomp-It” game or the Disneyland Film Club?


Have you downloaded the Season One Soundtrack of Communicore Weekly (The Greatest Online Show™)?

Visit the Communicore Weekly store to download 19 of the best songs you’ve ever heard! Includes Bathroom Break, Five Legged Goat, and some rare Season One songs!


ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at [email protected].

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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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  • Amy VandenBoogert

    I was a member of the Magic Kingdom Club in the late 90s, just before the program was discontinued. I might still have my old membership card somewhere.

    And that Action Viewer – I had one those when I was a kid! Those things were so cool because you put in the cartridge and then cranked the handle on the side to watch the “movie”. You could watch it the normal way or crank in the opposite direction to watch it in reverse! I remember owning the “Lonsesome Ghosts” one (and a few others) and spent hours making it go forwards and backwards.

    • WesternMouse

      Me too! I was playing Epic Mickey recently and recalled that same toy, but couldn’t remember exactly what it was. Thanks for clearing that up for me MC! Running that story backwards was great–especially the part in the beginning when I was able to make the footprints of the ghosts disappear in the snow.

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    I had that set of glass mugs, until I dropped and broke Mickey. Then I sold the rest in a garage sale. :(

    And that GAF Super 8 camera! Who else had one of those?! Memories!

    • Sparky

      It wasn’t a GAF one, but I had a Super 8 movie camera! Used it to shoot Super 8 movies at Disneyland and other local theme parks from 1982 through 1989 when I finally gave in and bought a camcorder.

  • Johnny

    What a great find, George! A reminder that back in the early days Walt Disney World was more than a theme park, it was the Vacation Kingdom.

  • ex-wdi

    I love how it says ‘insure’ instead of ‘ensure’ on the order form. No spell check in the 70′s!

  • BrianFuchs

    As I finished reading this article, I found myself wishing I could travel back in time with several hundred dollars and load up on these items, so I could sell them in mint condition the present time.

    So I went online to see what these have recently sold for:
    I saw an ended auction for the Action Movie Viewer with several cartridges at $35. The condition was fair. It was actually a Fisher Price product, but had some Disney cartridges.

    The GAF Super 8 camera is available all over the place. The model 102 is worth less today than it was back then.

    The paperweight and mugs were too ambiguous to find an exact match today.

    If I could bring one thing back form the list, it would probably be the Klomp-it game. I saw one in good condition sell for upwards of $50. In mint, unwrapped condition, I imagine I’d be able to get it onto an episode of Pawn Stars. Of course, the reality is I’d probably unwrap it and play it with my kids…

  • LoonAZ

    I had one of those Action Movie Viewers too! Oh the hours spent watching Lonesome Ghosts frame-by-frame. :) What memories this article brings back. I remember feeling so special that our family had a Magic Kingdom Club Card (not all my friends were so lucky). And membership came along with the perks of the option to subscribe to the Magic Kingdom Club magazine and being able to purchase Magic Key ticket books (at a discounted rate). No more left over “A” and “B” tickets…No sir! Magic Key tickets were good for any ride. A full book of “E” coupons if you desired.

    I sometimes wonder what the park experience would be like today if we were still limited to buying tickets and ticket books.

  • dazyhill

    My family were Magic Kingdom Club members for years until Disney killed the program. We still have all of our Disney News magazines from those years.
    I never had one of those GAF/Fisher Price movie viewers but my doctor and dentist growing up had them in their waiting room so I got to play with them there.
    Those posters are really strange. I wonder how many they sold. The trail ride poster is not all that accurate.You can’t go off on your own -at least not when I did the trail ride in 1997.

  • Timekeeper

    Awesome, Disney ought to bring those cool products (in some form or another) back and sell them for future Destination D’s in Florida. :)

    Timekeeper

  • Sparky

    My first visit to Disneyland was in December of 1980. I didn’t yet live in Southern California. The friend that I went to the park with had a Magic Kingdom Club card, so we were able to get a Passport, which was pinned to our shirts and allowed us access to all attractions. While I kind of regret not getting to experience the A through E tickets, it felt pretty great at the time to just be able to walk into any attraction. By the time I moved here in the summer of 1982, they had done away with the ticket books. But, I was a member of Magic Kingdom Club through my job from 1983 until they ceased the Club.

    Back in the 1970′s when I was a kid, I used to write to Disneyland Public Relations occasionally for info about new attractions. One time, they included a copy of the Disney News magazine. Even though it was for Magic Kingdom Club members at the time, the nice Public Relations people let me subscribe to it. (Can you imagine that happening today?) I was a subcriber from about 1973 when they were celebrating “50 Happy Years” until the stopped publishing the magazine and still have them all.

    Thanks for the nice look back at the MKC! It was a nice reminder of the less corporate days of Disney when they genuinely cared about doing nice things for the fans.

  • Gullywhumper

    I used to belong to Magic Kingdom Club, I also had a view master and collected all the Disneyland and Walt Disney World cartridges.

    • George Taylor

      The WDW Viewmaster was one of my first memories of ever seeing the Haunted Mansion.

      Thanks for the comment. :)