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Saturday
Apr122014

The Flintstones at the New York World's Fair

Yep. The Flintstones visited the World's Fair. Wait... Wouldn't the Jetsons have been a more appropriate choice? Did the Flintstones visit the Disney-built attractions at the Fair??

Hey, it's Sinclair Dinoland below!

Oh look. The Jetsons did go to the World's Fair.

That big "model of the moon" is the Transportation and Travel Pavilion featuring the Cinerama film To the Moon and Beyond sponsored by KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines.

Photo courtesy of Gorilla's Don't Blog

Fred, of course, picks a terrible landing spot: The US Royal Tires Ferris Wheel.

The giant tire was designed by the same architectural firm that designed the Empire State Building. During the fair, Jackie Kennedy rode the attraction. Also, the wheel (without the ride) still stands today, but in Detroit.

The GM building, home of the very popular (non-Disney) attraction, Futurama.

Behind Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har (did all the Hanna-Barbera character go to the World's Fair on the same day?) we see the New York State Pavilion which also still stands today, but is quite deteriorated. 

That pod-looking elevator thing he's in? Yeah, it's still on the fair grounds but it's in pieces just below the towers.

The Flintstones meet the Jetsons... again. This time George Jetson isn't happy.

Looks like Huckleberry Hound is driving a Greyhound Glide-a-Ride tram. There were four different kinds of Greyhound trams "gliding" around the fair. Some offered spieled tours and some just offered just basic transportation.   

Before Fred and Barney really get themselves into trouble, they pass the Swiss Sky Ride. 

The Sky Ride offered four rows of moving buckets, double that of the extinct Skyways at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. Unlike Disney's Skyway, you can STILL ride this same Swiss Sky Ride (now called Skyride) at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. 

What's this about a wooden fish? Dino stole it from Disney's Tower of the Four Winds? Of course our Flintstones comic book doesn't mention "Disney" now, does it? Nor does it mention PEPSI Present's Walt Disney's "It's a Small World" — a Salute to UNICEF, but we all know what it refers to.

Wait. Was there a "wooden fish" on Rolly Crump's Tower of the Four Winds?

It looks like there was indeed a fish. 

Photo courtesy of Gorilla's Don't Blog

This next comic book panel is somewhat accurate in that the Tower of the Four Winds and General Electric Progressland featuring Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress were just down the path from each other.

What's left of Progressland? Not much more than a couple of drinking fountains and park benches. Oh and the Carousel of Progress attraction itself still runs all these years later at Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom.

Can't Fred Flintstone just enjoy the New York World's Fair like a normal person?? He's now climbing on the New York City scale model.

Guess what. You can still visit this incredible model (the world's largest of its kind) in the very building it was originally introduced. And get this. This World's Fair structure was actually built for the New York City Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair. The same building was then home to the New York City Pavilion at the 1964-64 World's Fair. And it still stands today

What's that white building in the background?? None other than the Ford Pavilion, home of Magic Skyway. Unlike Disneyland's Skyway, this Magic Skyway, mostly designed by Walt Disney's people, carried visitors in late-model Fords past prehistoric and futuristic show scenes. Go inside, guys!

 Lastly, the Flintstones and Rubbles take a three-quarter-mile ride on the AMF Monorail.

So, yes, the Flintstones did at least walk past three of the four Disney attractions at the World's Fair (no record of the Illinois "Land of Lincoln" Pavilion featuring Walt Disney's Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln).

 

Related posts:

THEN AND NOW: 1964-65 New York World's Fair
What Remains of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair?
Carousel of Progress Like You’ve Never Seen It
A Disney Artist's Designs for a Hanna Barbera Land
Illustrated Donald Duck

 

Friday
Mar212014

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Construction- Magic Kingdom

It's January 20, 1980. Let's hop aboard the Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat to see the the construction of Walt Disney World's latest E-Ticket attraction.

Wait a minute... TWO Riverboats?? Yes.

Look! A totem pole.

These wonderful photo were taken by Dan Hiller aboard the Riverboat in 1980. The attraction opened ten months later. Disneyland's Big Thunder opened 14 months prior to Magic Kingdom's Big Thunder.

We often hear that the track layout of the Magic Kingdom Big thunder is almost a mirror image of the Disneyland Big Thunder. How true is this? Below we see both mountains side-by-side. The Magic Kingdom layout is, indeed, almost a mirror image, but with bit of added track. 

Here we see the Magic Kingdom version flipped horizontally and placed over the Disneyland version.

Big Thunder Mountain history goes way back and is extremely interesting. From Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland to Marc Davis to Thunder Mesa and Western River Expedition to Tony Baxter and everything since.

Thank you, Dan, for talking these photos back when few people thought of photographing theme park construction.

If anyone else would like to share their old photos of the Disney theme parks, share them with us via our PHOTO HUNT.

 

Related posts:

The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland
Big Thunder Mountain Model
Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain Construction
WDW Construction: Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World in 1971 [Part 1]


Monday
Feb172014

Meet the Man Who Built Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdoms

We recently discovered this lost interview deep within our ImagineeringDisney.com home library. This rare discussion with one of Walt Disney's right-hand men was conducted at Walt Disney World in 1988 in front of a live audience. Join Admiral Joe Fowler (1894-1993) as he tells his story of building Disneyland, working alongside Walt right up until the night before Walt's death, and carrying out Walt's plans for Disney World*.

• Hear how Walt Disney hired Admiral Joe Fowler without him knowing it.

• Join Joe as he shares unique Disneyland construction challenges you’ve never heard before.

• What was Walt’s opinion about roller coasters?

• What’s the real story behind the water on the Matterhorn?

• Hear about some of Walt’s wackier ideas, including freezing Disneyland’s Rivers of America during the winter.

• What was the real relationship between Walt and Roy?

• What was Joe’s involvement with Audio Animatronics?

• What’s the real reason the Stage Coaches closed at Disneyland?

• Hear about escaped circus animals running through Disneyland.

• Joe tells us why he thinks Walt could have beaten any candidate for President in the late 1950s if he wanted to.

• Learn how almost every country in Europe tried to persuade Walt to build a Disneyland on their continent and why Walt refused.

• Hear the reason Walt backed out of his plans for an indoor Disneyland in St. Louis just hours before the papers were to be signed. (The park was to be called Walt Disney’s Riverfront Square).

• What was the “best-kept secret ever known in this country”?

• What was Walt’s travel alias when he was searching for property in Florida?

• Hear the touching story of Walt and Joe spending two of Walt's last 24 hours talking about Walt's plans for Disney World.

 

 

Running time: 1hr 10min.
Format: MP3 Audio File - Joe Fowler speaking

All proceeds go to further theme park research. 


Secure download and transaction facilitated by Sellfy.com

 

 

*At this time Walt Disney World was referred to as simply "Disney World"

 

Related posts:

WDW Construction: Liberty Square
Bob Gurr answers "How do I become an Imagineer?"
WDW Construction: Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World in 1971 [Part 1]
Walt Disney World in 1971 [Part 2]
Carolwood Pacific and Other Backyard Railroads
THEN AND NOW: Walt at Disneyland