12 February 2010

Plans and marvels

Plans and marvels
Ryan P. Wilson

Just beyond the borders of Downtown Disney, among the towering resorts of Hotel Plaza Blvd., previously known as Preview Boulevard with good reason, are two buildings that have a permanent place in the history of Walt Disney World, as well as a say in its future.

Walt Disney World Preview Center

In 1970, this small structure, on the edge of Lake Buena Vista and what would become the Vacation Kingdom, was the first Walt Disney World building to open to potential guests. For twenty-two months, between January 1970 and October 1971, potential guests could visit the Preview Center guests could purchase preview postcards and other souvenirs, view concept art, speak with hostesses, make reservations for the Contemporary and Polynesian resorts, wonder at the six-hundred and twenty-five foot model, and take in a showing of the 21 minute long film Project Florida.

While the Preview Center Closed with the opening of the Magic Kingdom in 1971, the building, parking lot, and spot along the shore of Lake Buena Vista still remain. Although the front of the building now reads Amateur Athletic Union, it still stands tall as the first home where guests could experience the magic of Walt Disney World.

Reedy Creek Improvement District

Just next door, and sharing a cut-through in the parking lot, is the home of the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID). Founded in 1967, the District was created by the Florida Legislature to provide governmental services to land that Walt Disney dreamed would become his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. As the twenty-five thousand acres of Walt Disney World began to be developed, it was clear that the original plans for the pastures and swamps of Central Florida had changed, but the purpose of the RCID is still the same. The District provides sewage and water, construction codes and inspections, emergency response services, and the maintenance of roads and bridges, among other services.

The land of Walt Disney World is continually being developed and refurbished, as well as protected for its natural and intrinsic beauty. The Reedy Creek Improvement District has been there through the forty years of growth and will continue to be there for the growth and protection of the land and its inhabitants, all from the comforts of its amazingly designed glass structure with Lake Buena Vista as its panoramic backdrop.

1 comment:

Ed South said...

Easily two of the most awesome buildings on property! I love hanging on to that early 70's vibe!