10 September 2013

For All Who Believe

1972 would have been the first summer that the Magic Kingdom, and the greater Walt Disney World, would be open for family vacations. Time enough had passed to work out the kinks and get the park and resorts ready for the massive throngs of summer families. It was in April of 1972 that Jack and Jill, the children’s magazine that began publishing in 1938, would run a story on Walt Disney World. After all, what better way to attract families than to entice and capture the imaginations of the families’ youngest members?!?!

So, let’s see just what they talked about to entice those vacationing youth…

“Fifteen miles southwest of Orlando, Florida, is a magic land where castle towers rise high above the shimmering waters of a tropical lagoon, and where Mickey Mouse leads an 86-piece orchestra in a spectacular revue of foot-tapping, spine-tingling Disney tunes.

“This is Walt Disney World, a true Magic Kingdom. Opened in October 1971, it is a stunning tribute to the man who brought joy to millions of youngsters all over the world. Patterned after California’s Disneyland, Disney World is a large-scale replica of the happiest of dreams. Visitors to the Magic Kingdom can stroll down Main Street, where horseless carriages and omnibuses carry those who want to sit back and wave to pedestrians. There’s an ice cream parlor on the corner, a silent-screen movie theater, City Hall, and a turn-of-the-century style restaurant where patrons may sip on imitation mint juleps on the cool veranda and watch what’s happening on the square. A German band may perform, or a parade of Disney characters may saunter down the street; Donald Duck and his friends always stop to shake hands.

“Courageous visitors may want to enter through the portals of the Haunted Mansion, where 999 mischievous haunts do their best to terrify even the bravest soul. A chain of moving chairs, appropriately called “Doom Buggies,” carry visitors past spectral sights that outdo the wildest imagination.

“Down the street is the Hall of Presidents, an awesome recreation of the American presidency. Animated figures of our leaders, from Washington to Nixon, make history come alive. Abraham Lincoln’s voice and mannerisms are spellbinding.

“For a change of pace, Frontierland offers a country-western jamboree starring banjo-playing, drum-beating bears. Big Al, a gigantic grizzly, steals the show with his “Blood on the Saddle” routine.

“Ever wondered how the Swiss Family Robinson lived? There an island treehouse in Adventureland. It rises more than sixty feet above crocodile-infested waters, and it’s the most fun tree to climb! It has a secret look-out with a view of all Adventureland. The Jungle Cruise takes those on safari through primitive lands inhabited by Indian elephants and hippopotamuses. A delightful part of Adventureland is the “Tropical Serenade” – visitors are introduced to happy voodoo magic which turns colorful birds, delicate flowers, and fierce jungle gods into music hall performers. The songs are truly bewitching, and everyone leaves humming the tunes performed by the Tiki Room cockatoos and parrots.

“Fantasyland – where wishes come true and the stars in your eyes never go away. Cross the moat and enter through Cinderella’s Castle. Stop to visit Snow White – but beware of the witch; she casts all sorts of spells. A very special part of Fantasyland is the Small World attraction, where animated dolls of many lands sing and dance during a water-borne musical; there is so much sight and sound that boat riders are entranced at each turn made by their craft. Stop for lunch at Fantasyland’s Pinnochio Village Haus “Restaurant, and then join Captain Nemo on his undersea perils; submarines take passengers past ruins of sunken city and dangers face by the crew of the Nautilus.

“The come up for air – way up – and ride the Skyway to Tomorrowland. Visit the future via a mammoth space ship.

“Two elegant hotels cater to Disney World guests. There’s the charming Polynesian Village, where visitors can use chopsticks to eat sweet-and-sour pork and watch Tahitian fire dancers. The 1,057-room Contemporary Resort features an open mall lobby that’s larger than a football field. A glass-walled penthouse restaurant provides a dramatic view of the entire Magic Kingdom. Top name popular, folk, and rock groups perform at the Contemporary Resort.

“There’s boating, golfing, horseback riding, tennis, bicycling, and swimming. And there are miles of white sandy beaches that just invite strolling.

“A monorail takes visitors from one end of Disney World to the other. The thousands of Magic Kingdom hosts and hostesses do their best to help visitors enjoy their stay. A happy time is guaranteed for all who believe – even just a little bit – in magic.”

No comments: