26 October 2010

Yesteryear comes to life

One of the joys of visiting Walt Disney World during its first few decades were the guide books available to walk guests through attractions, shows, dining, and shopping options. These pamphlets not only included a double page map of the park, but they also included full pages dedicated to lands or pavilions of a park. Each exploration included blurbs about the variety of experiences available in the area, photographs, and easy to read directional map. Perhaps the most memorable section of the maps, at least in my own memory, is the clever use of characters and slogans for each land in the Magic Kingdom.

Shere Khan and Mickey in safari gear perched above the phrase ‘Adventures In Far-Off Lands,’ tell the tale of Adventureland, while Huey, Dewey, and Louie, dressed in Native American outfits, startled a cowboy garbed Goofy in a Liberty Square and Frontierland model that claims ‘Colonial History And Frontier Fun.’ This use of classic characters and imaginative wordplay served to beckon guests in and left a lasting impression.

The thick guide books harkens back to a simpler day when a ride aboard a runaway mine train was all that was needed to make or break a successful visit to Walt Disney World. Huh, I guess guide books and guide maps may have changed over the years, but that simplistic feeling of joy can still be found in Walt Disney World.


Anonymous said...

I LOVED those brochures! I can't believe I didn't save any of these from my trips in the 80s and 90s. I guess as a kid/teenager it wasn't high on my priority list, but I sure wish I had them now!

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

This is so funny because I am helping my mom redo her Disney albums from our trips in the 80s. I just found her EPCOT guide from 1986. Quite a different look from today's. My DS5 didn't believe me that it was from WDW! :-)

Ryan P. Wilson said...

Tim, these are some of my favorite pieces to look back at. Sure, there have been changes to the parks that can be seen by looking back, but, honestly, they're just plain fun to peruse!

Beth, they're very different than today's guides, but I think both the maps from then and today are perfect representations of their time. I love that your son didn't believe that they were from WDW!

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

And Ryan, he is still talking about it today. This morning he was looking at a Magic Kingdom map from our last trip (I keep a few in with his toys and books) and says, "Mommy, see this is a Disney map. You can't trick me!" One of these days he'll believe me! :-)

Jason G. said...

I love how the old Epcot guides (from the same era) included a map of each pavilion as well, indicating the location of each of the shops, restaurants and attraction located in the World Showcase and Future World pavilions. It gave the park a sense of scope and just made it easier to plan your journey specific to each pavilion, and not just an overal mishmash like the new maps. Now those shops lost their identities in the maps and the listing of experiences are kinda crammed along the margin. It's a very hectic format. (The print quality ain't great either as one day of map usage/folding and they become seriously degraded!)