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  1. #16

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    Re: February 19, 2009: Defunct Magic Kingdom

    The Plaza Swan Boats was a beautiful attraction. Seeing them silently glide through the waterways in front of the castle added a truly magical touch to the park. And the boats themselves were exquisite.

    Werner, any chance you can post a photo of the actual Swan Boats so everyone can see what's missing?

  2. #17

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    Re: February 19, 2009: Defunct Magic Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Dewd View Post
    Werner, any chance you can post a photo of the actual Swan Boats so everyone can see what's missing?
    I wish I had the rights to some Plaza Swan Boat photos. I would write a Yester World article about this long lost attraction. (If any MiceChat readers have old vacation photos of Walt Disney World from the 1970s and 1980s, I would be very interested.)

    The article that I posted has tiny photo of a Swan Boat on the cover of the WDW Guidebook.

    There's an article, including photos, at Widen Your World: Widen Your World - The Plaza Swan Boats
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  3. #18

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    Re: February 19, 2009: Defunct Magic Kingdom

    I know a little about the history of some of these now defunction attractions, and why they are still there.

    1. Swan boats. This attraction was one of the early attractions at the Magic Kingdom, mostly because they wanted to make sure that there were enough rides. You don't actually see much on the Swan Boat ride, which I did go on, so when more attractions were added it wasn't felt that this was needed before. If you didn't know about the swan boats, then you might mistake the landing area for just a place to enjoy the area around the castle, i.e. it blends in well. For many though it is a sad reminder for those who liked it. However, this has happened before. Remember the boats that used to circle the Tree of Life? This was because animal kingdom was sorely also in need of rides, it closed because guests were upset as there wasn't enough (or anything) to see and people were expecting the Jungle Cruise. Rather than deal with complaints, they closed it.

    There was talk of making the swan boats a sort of smaller version of storybook land canal boat (a disneyland classic), however, with the world of Disneys Fairies, i.e. Tinker Bell, basically so little girls could see miniature version of Tinkerbell and friends around the castle. This is technically still on the backburner, but with the economy the fad of Fairies may fade away before it is built. The basic engineering would be to build a miniature berm so that only people in the boat could see the various scenes of fairies, and perhaps other magical disney characters as well, problem was everything would be to one side of the boat and guests on the opposite side wouldn't get as good a view. On every attraction every seat is supposed to be a "good seat" so regardless of how good the show is, nobody feels cheated.

    2. Mike Fink keel boats. Yes the landing is still there, it is well themed though so it doesn't detract *too much* from the area, and it would cost more to tear it down which would generate speculation about what would go in there. Remember across the river one place that is a shadow of its former self? That's right, Aunt Polly's where you could get more than soda out of a machine (I remember when they had food) this also is in disrepair. There were talks 3 years ago about tear down the keel boat landing, and putting in a restaurant companion to the Haunted Mansion, namely a victorian type counter service restaurant with a sort of show and "artifacts" and heavy themes related to the haunted mansion. Now, since most people don't really remember the keel boats, and since it sort of looks like it should belong there aren't much plans, but yes, this area of the park needs more attention.

    3. Fantasyland Skyway. This IS an eye sore, a blatant reminder of what was. When the fantasyland rehab of walt disney world gets done this is history to make room for new ride ques or possible the dwarfs mine car ride. Time will tell, but suffice to say Disney is waiting until the whole area is closed to do something about this.

    4. Tomorrowland Skyway. Another eye sore. Presumably when Tomorrowland is updated in the future this structure could be torn down to make room for a new E-ticket type attraction rumored to eventually be in the works for Disneyland's tomorrowland . . . until then nobody wants to budget leveling the building if something doesnt replace it.

    5. Shops/attractions on Main Street. When the Magic Kingdom opened there were plenty of shops that weren't extremely profitable, but this was on purpose as it was all part of the "show", now everything is converted into a plush store. I personally think this is because no one appears to be involved with ensuring the overall experience and feel of the park, whereas whatever manager is in charge of shops looks at the bottom-line . . . unlikely to change significantly in the future sadly.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 02-19-2009 at 06:46 PM.

  4. #19

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    Re: February 19, 2009: Defunct Magic Kingdom

    Widen Your World is a GREAT place to read up on extinct WDW attractions.

  5. #20

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    Re: February 19, 2009: Defunct Magic Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post
    I wish I had the rights to some Plaza Swan Boat photos. I would write a Yester World article about this long lost attraction. (If any MiceChat readers have old vacation photos of Walt Disney World from the 1970s and 1980s, I would be very interested.)

    The article that I posted has tiny photo of a Swan Boat on the cover of the WDW Guidebook.

    There's an article, including photos, at Widen Your World: Widen Your World - The Plaza Swan Boats
    The Swan Boats were gorgeous, I was expecting some kind of tiny paddle boats in the shape of a big plastic swan. It's a shame they took this attraction out! There are a few "keepers of the flame" still at Disney®, but for the most part it's just a greedy corporation hell bent on pleasing shareholders and maximizing profits at every turn. There's no financial reason why they couldn't throw billions of dollars into improving the U.S. parks and bring them back to the Walt era.

    As we slowly slip further and further from 1966, the Disney corporate machine has been inching its way into the physical manifestations of Walt Disney's work, the way the company has already completely taken over the more readily changable visual parts of his work (new Disney films). In the 1970's and 1980's, there were still PLENTY of Walt touches, but here in 2009 the company has had many years to chip away and we are now facing more Disney® than Walt Disney at the parks.

    In the 1990's I was hopeful that the decline was just a fad and that sooner or later Michael Eisner would come to grips with his responsibilities, or someone would come in to replace him who would. Sadly, the Disney corporate machine is cranked up higher now than ever with dubious movie-tie ins of classic rides, nonstop reliance on Pixar for "innovation", steep price hikes every year, and teenie-bopper crap EVERYWHERE.

    They throw us a bone every now and then (such as the DCA rennovation) to let us know that "they still care" (yeah right), but Walt's legacy is slowly eroding with every Hannah Montana poster and Buzz Lightyear/Woody character shoehorned into some razor thin connection with an attraction.

  6. #21

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    Re: February 19, 2009: Defunct Magic Kingdom

    Spot on post Werner! THANKS! My first trip to WDW was last June and I found the same "reminders of defunct attractions". They were much easier to find than at Disneyland. I thought the Tomorrowland Skyway station was beautiful, I guess I'm stuck in the early 70's! Check out my Skyway post from last summer (Blog link).
    To view old Disneyland and Theme park tickets, visit my blog at:

    http://vintagedisneylandtickets.blogspot.com/

  7. #22

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    Re: February 19, 2009: Defunct Magic Kingdom

    I would REALLY like to see them do a new show for the Diamond Horseshoe! I always go to the Golden Horseshow to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at Disneyland, and I was so looking forward to seeing a totally different show at WDW's Diamond Horseshoe -- and then I learned that they didn't do one anymore! It made me sad.

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