Abandoned Disney (8) Adventure Thru Inner Space (2) Adventureland (12) America Sings (1) Animal Kingdom (2) Animation (19) Animatronics (20) Area Music (7) Backyard Imagineering (6) Behind-the-Scenes (39) Big Thunder Mountain (3) California Adventure (6) Captain E.O. (1) Carousel of Progress (12) Castle (7) Characters (6) Club 33 (1) Concept (13) Construction (15) Country Bear Jamboree (2) Death (2) Disney Channel (1) Disneyland (50) Disney-MGM Studios (1) Donald Duck (3) Entertainment (5) Epcot (28) Fantasyland (16) Fess Parker (1) Film (25) Frito Kid (4) Frontierland (14) Germany (1) Hall of Presidents (4) Haunted Mansion (10) Hidden Mickeys (2) Holidays (1) Hollywood Studios (1) Horizons (3) House of the Future (1) Illustration (3) Imagineering (1) John Lasseter (4) Journey Into Imagination (2) Jungle Cruise (15) Lake Buena Vista (1) Liberty Square (3) Lillian Disney (2) Ludwig Von Drake (1) Magic Kingdom (23) Main Street U.S.A (12) Maintenance (1) Management (5) Maps (13) Marc Davis (8) Marty Sklar (3) Matterhorn (6) Monorail (4) Mr. Lincoln (3) Muppets (2) Music (3) Mystery (9) Nature's Wonderland (7) New Orleans Square (6) Orange Bird (2) Paul Frees (1) PeopleMover (10) Peter Pan (2) Photos (1) Pirates of the Caribbean (9) Pixar (5) Pleasure Island (1) Podcast (1) Progress City (1) Props (2) Railroad (2) Resorts (2) River Country (4) Rivers of America (2) Roy Disney (1) Scale Models (21) Skyway (3) Song of the South (2) Sound Effects (2) Souvenirs (3) Space (3) Space Mountain (6) Splash Mountain (1) sSpace Mountain (1) Tangled (2) The Living Seas (1) Then and Now (17) Tiki Birds (2) Tilt Shift (2) Tomorrowland (39) Tomorrowland 67 (8) Treehouse (1) Vintage Disneyland (3) Walt Disney (15) Walt Disney Family (7) Walt Disney Family Museum (1) Walt Disney World (6) Ward Kimball (1) Wonders of Life (1) World of Motion (2) World's Fair (2) Yeti (1)

Orange Bird Photo Hunt


« EPCOT 30TH: A Photo Tour of the Past [Part 2] | Main | EPCOT 30TH: A Photo Tour of the Past [Part 1] »

Walt Disney World in 1971 [Part 1]

October 1 marks not only the anniversary of the opening of EPCOT Center (1982) but the openings of Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World (1971) as well. We present some wonderful color photos of Magic Kingdom taken by a construction worker in 1971. These photos come courtesy of Nomeus of who is the grandson of man behind the camera. These photos are exclusive to

North end of Main Street.

An almost dry moat. Look at the freshly-installed sea serpent topiary.

Tomorrowland spires with a man on top! That's Nomeus' grandfather.

Tomorrowland opened in 1971 without the PeopleMover, Rockettower Plaza, Space Mountain, or Carousel of Progress which would all be visible from this angle today.

Grandfather walking on an unfinished Tomorrowland roof.

A view of the parking lot east of Main Street. Town Square and main entrance on the far right.

Backside of Main Street East.

Grand Prix Raceway. Anyone know what that is on the overpass?

The caves of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. You'll notice the Skyway line and pillar. The grass hill on the left wasn't there for long. It became the second home to the Fantasyland Art Festival in 1973. Later it became the Enchanted Grove stand. Today it's called Cheshire Café.

More 20K! No water yet.

More colorful 20K. In the background you can see the top of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Can you imagine walking around every morning watching the place come to life?? 

 Everyone who wasn’t on the construction crew was invited to visit the Walt Disney World Preview Center. Today you can still drive by the building which is currently home to the Amateur Athletic Union. It’s located at 1910 Hotel Plaza Boulevard near Downtown Disney.

A big thanks to Nomeus and his family for the photos. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we share more of these gorgeous photos.


Related posts:

WDW Before Opening Day 1971
WDW Construction: Magic Kingdom
THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]
Bin Laden Mansion Minutes From Walt Disney World
20K- 1979
20K Lagoon- 1982



Reader Comments (11)

Wonderful. It's rare to see color photos from this period.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJumperJH

I was not there for the original construction but I know that more recent construction is a pleasure to tour. Similarly it's a treat to walk the park early in the mornings before guests arrive.

These photos are a treasure. The colors are very pleasing.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbill ledge

This past spring, I visited WDW for the first time since I was a kid in 1984. We stayed at Saratoga Springs and drove past the AAU building on our way in from the interstate. Just looking at that building, you could tell that it looked like a piece of EPCOT Center had escaped Future World, even though I'd never heard of the Preview Center or the history of EPCOT and the Florida Project.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDean Finder

The 20k photos take my breath away. I'm glad they are using that real estate well because it broke my heart every time I saw the unused lagoon. Those Tomorrowland spires were some great architecture and really represented their "land" well. Great photographs, Nomeus.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM Wilson

awesome! thanks so much for posting :)

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthe nomeus

Wow! Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing these, Nomeus.

Those Tomorrowland spires are breathtaking. Of all the architectural elements that were lost in the '90's refit, I miss them the most.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

thanks everyone!

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternomeus

The "thing" on the Grand Prix Raceway (now Tomorrowland Speedway) overpass could be the machine they used to lay the rail down around the race course.

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMain Street Jim

Thanks for sharing these shots; they're great! The canvas-like texture on the photos looks the same as the Kodak prints I took as a kid when visiting WDW in its early years. Funny how subtle things like that can really bring you back in time. Really enjoyed this stuff!

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex G.

awesome thanks for the words!

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternomeus

This is amazing! thank you very much for posting!

January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRenata

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>