Fascinating 1971 Walt Disney World Brochure

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Disney History, Disney Parks, Features, Imaginerding, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

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Published on December 23, 2013 at 2:00 am with 7 Comments

In a recent trove of ephemeral treasures I was bequeathed, I ran into an amazing Walt Disney World brochure from 1971. If you’ve kept up with my columns at MiceChat, then you know I’m slightly obsessed with documenting the first decade of the Vacation Kingdom of the World and also with looking at the ways that Disney promoted the new endeavor in Florida. This brochure should be considered an opening brochure and not the pre-opening one, which lists the preview center instead of the vacation packages and the text “Opens October 1971″ on the cover. (Check out the pre-opening brochure, here.)

Front Cover

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The use of the Florida flag is pretty spectacular. It warms my heart when I see it in use. The first panel of the tri-fold brochure shows a few of the vacation options you can experience. In the first image, we see the icons that would be in use for many years: Cinderella Castle, the ferry boat and a small sailboat. Obviously, water is important!

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The three images at the bottom of the front panel reinforce the vacation kingdom with water skiing, golf and meeting the famous Disney characters.

Inside Centerfold

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The top half of the brochure features a painting of the proposed first phases of the Vacation Kingdom. We’ve seen similar views of this but I wanted to highlight all of the different resorts and developments.

Polynesian Village

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The large tower and (at least eight) outbuildings provide a much more sprawling and modern take on the south seas-inspired resort. Notice those smaller buildings along Seven Seas Lagoon?

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Those look remarkably similar to the rumor of what’s being built right now for the DVC expansion of the resort. Hmmm…

Asian Resort

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This is still an incredible design. I’ve seen concept artwork for the inside of the main building of the Asian Resort and it looks spacious and very 1970s. The road that is currently known as Floridian Way was originally called Asian Way.

Magic Kingdom

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The most noticeable parts are the many spires of a Space Mountain-type attraction and the monorail skirting the hub around Tomorrowland. It looks like a spur runs to the Persian Hotel and then to the Contemporary resort.

Persian Hotel

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The Persian Hotel has always seemed oddly placed to me. Backing up to Tomorrowland and the Magic Kingdom maintenance facilities, it seems like it would be a more remote resort. Not sure how the monorail would have played out, since most overviews of this depiction show the monorail traveling through Tomorrowland before going to the Persian and then to the Contemporary.

Contemporary Resort

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Not much to say, really, about this iconic resort. It looks like it was built pretty much to plan.

The Venetian

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This hotel would see a rebirth of sorts after the success of the Grand Floridian. Eisner wanted to build a Mediterranean Resort on the same spot. Sadly, the sinkhole that was discovered during construction would have required a massive foundation. The addition of this many hotels would have made the resort monorail loop a bit longer.

Recreation, Entertainment and Relaxation

The inside panel entices guests with an idea of activities and amenities. No mention of My Magic +?

Welcome to a whole new vacation way of life! Here are a few of the adventures in store for you and your family at Walt Disney World:

  • The Magic Kingdom Theme Park — Visit Main Street, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland — as exciting as California’s Disneyland.
  • Resort-Hotels —”live” in the world of tomorrow at the Contemporary Hotel; relax in the South Seas at the Polynesian Village. 1500 luxurious family-sized rooms.
  • Golf — play 18-hole championship courses designed by one of the world’s foremost golf architects.
  • Camping—stay outdoors (with unexcelled facilities) in Walt Disney World’s “Fort Wilderness.”
  • Water sports — swim, sail, and water-ski over miles of lake and lagoon.
  • Nature Trails — ride horseback, pedal a bicycle, or hike along scenic wooded trails.
  • Transportation — forget your car when you get to Walt Disney World — travel by 19th century steamboat, 20th century monorail, and other unique land and water craft.
  • Activities planned for young & old alike. Play “spectator” or join in — there are fishing trips, nature walks, canoeing picnics, hayrides and much more.
  • Relax — bask in the Florida sun along four miles of sandy beaches — or grab a deck chair at Olympic-size hotel swimming pools.
  • Special Shows — watch the fireworks (every night), take a moonlight cruise, see parades of famous Disney characters, enjoy top-name stars.

There’s always something special happening at Walt Disney World.

For reservations or information about resort-hotels, camper-trailer facilities, motor-inns and conventions, please write Walt Disney World Hotels.

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I just love this line art. WIth boats above and below, it almost looks like the teacups are floating (Bob-A-Round Teacups?)!

Back Panels

Again, it’s interesting to study the copy and see how Disney promoted the Vacation Kingdom of the World.

STAY and PLAY in the “Vacation Kingdom”

Walt Disney World is a completely new kind of vacation experience. Here you’ll find all the fun of California’s Disneyland—and many new attractions created especially for Walt Disney World. And that’s just the start . . . here you can dine in the banquet hall of a medieval castle . . . sail for miles, or sun on the beach of a Polynesian Village . . . watch the sunset from the deck of a 19th century steamboat…ride a swift monorail train right through the “lobby” of a resort-hotel as contemporary as tomorrow.

These adventures, and many more, await you and your family at Walt Disney World. Come for the day . . . or better yet plan to stay for your entire vacation. Walt Disney World offers recreation, family entertainment and relaxation all together for the first time . . . a whole new vacation way of life.

Plan now to leave the world of today behind . . . make your destination Walt Disney World . . . the Vacation Kingdom of the world.

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I do love maps. This one gives us a good physical representation of the space taken up by the hotels and the route of the monorail.

Vacation Package Plans

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Another section of the back panel shares the vacation packages that you could choose. Remember, that Disney was still using coupon tickets for all of their attractions.

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I’ve always wondered if the drivers of the various forms of transportation actually asked for the resort ID card or the transportation ticket. Anyone know?

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I just love running across older material like this. Especially anything that lists prices! I’d also love to see Walt Disney World release some simpler marketing material like this.

What do you think the Vacation Kingdom of the World experience would be like today if the other resorts had been built?


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ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor

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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7 Comments

Comments for Fascinating 1971 Walt Disney World Brochure are now closed.

  1. Thanks, George! Excellent!

    I wish we could time travel and take “Vacation Kingdom” package (for 3) for $270.00!
    ($90 for those cool, one person speed boats included!)
    Of course, that would be before the Gerald Ford/Jimmy Carter area high inflation of the 1970s.
    And we’ll take the Poly, Magic Kingdom view, please. :)

    Oh wait, they didn’t have MagicBands and three FP tickets (1 for an E ticket!), per day–so forget it. ):

    • ^^ correction: “era,” not “area.”
      Also, if I could I’d add “the” before “vacation”
      and delete my snotty MagicBands comment at the end.

  2. ^ ^ P.S. To time traveling self: buy lots of Micorsoft stock in April of ’75 and Apple stock in April of ’76. Sell all the Microsoft and most of the Apple before March 10 of 2000 tech crash and invest it all in real estate. Sell all real estate before August of 2007. I’ll send a lottery # and date and Superbowl results soon. When DCA opens don’t go on Superstar Limo and at EPCOT don’t see the Kitchen Cabaret! Maybe buy Disney stock before 1983 and sell it soon after Frank Wells dies ten years later. Tell Disney not to make “John Carter.”

    –Tom Sinsky

    • ^^MiCROsoft.

  3. I wish that the Asian Hotel would have been made. It looked great and the rooms looked like they were right on the waters edge. Supposedly some of the roof line would have been visibl from Adventureland. I remember the empty square plot of land that was there, waiting for construction to begin.

  4. George . . . . Bob-A-Round Tea Cups!!!

  5. Regarding your question about transportation tickets: with your admission ticket came a transportation ticket. At the monorail stations, they actually had turnstiles and a cm who would tear part of the ticket off. Ferries also had the turnstiles and ‘usually’ a cm would tear the ticket. Bus drivers would only ask to see the transportation ticket. And that was only enforced sometimes. As I recall if you used up the parts (there were two – one for each direction) of the transportation ticket, you could get another for 10c