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Entries in Magic Kingdom (23)

Wednesday
Oct272010

THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]

Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom

(Click on photos to enlarge) This part of the series was a delight to photograph! Liberty Square has changed so little over the years and most of the changes are nice additions. A few changes are not so great-- The maroon canopy in front of the Haunted Mansion is a drag, blocking the view of the Mansion as you wait in line. The removal of the old antique shop is super sad, though Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe certainly has it's charm. The addition of the Liberty Bell replica (photo set 3) is fancy, even though "Pennsylvania" is spelled wrong-- or just different than it's spelled today-- as it is in the original bell. The Mike Fink Keel Boats we once loved to ride no longer dock at Liberty Square (photo set 2) or anywhere else. But at least we can still see the dock house. (Thank you, Haunted Mansion FastPass for no longer filling this great space). At last the "wedding ring" in Haunted Mansion pavement is gone. Oh wait, it never was meant to be a ring!!! It was part of the gate sawed off that loosely resembled a small ring... but this is a discussion for another day.

Liberty Square may just be the most underrated land at Walt Disney World but golly, it's the most beautiful, relaxing, patriotic, nostalgic place to sit on a rocking chair, listen to animatronic presidents, or reenact colonial public punishment by voluntarily inserting yourself into wooden stocks.

 

Related posts:

Then and Now: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]
Then and Now: Epcot Future World [Part 1] 
Abandoned Disney: River Country Then and Now [Part 1]
I Miss Paul Frees

 

Saturday
Oct232010

THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]

In the first post in our new "Then and Now" series we bring you early Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland shots from decades ago compared to ones from now.


(Click on photos to enlarge)

 

  

Looking through vintage photos of the parks is fun enough but comparing the photos to the actual park is and thrill... sometimes a depressing one. (Can a thrill be depressing?)  I do have to say though that I was happily surprised this trip to Magic Kingdom at what still remains as I compare everything to early photos.  Plants and trees are much larger of course and a lot of things have different color schemes (too much purple for my taste), and a lot has been added--- mostly clutter.

Clutter. I need to write a post about clutter. Not construction clutter or food wrappers on the floor but cluttery design. Do we have to keep haphazardly pasting objects over well designed, aesthetically-pleasing, world-class architecture?? Are we to believe that "more is more"? Is the addition of all these merch carts and food carts really more important than the once breathtakingly beautiful sites they now block? OK--- another post for another day....

The "Then" photos throughout the series are from vintage souvenir pictorial books, slides, postcards, and other printed material.  The "Now" photos are taken by blog staffers.

When taking photos we try to stand as close as possible to the exact spot the original photographers stood.

 

Related posts:

Then and Now: Liberty Square [Part1]
Then and Now: Epcot Future World [Part 1] 

"Then" photos- copyright The Walt Disney Company- used for reference and comparison purposes only.

Tuesday
Oct192010

Carousel of Progress Like You’ve Never Seen It

As a boy I was entertained to no end by the cleverness that was Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.  Today I enjoy it just as much-- Laser discs and all.

Here we get a look at our favorite animatronic family and their surroundings from all new angles. Photos provided anonymously with statement that they were taken with permission a number of years ago. **May contain partial animatronic nudity!**

 
I too spent a bit of time working on-set at Carousel of Progress and noticed a few interesting things.  First of all, it was great to work with some of the very same props seen in photos and video of Walt with the Carousel sets.  Few things at Walt Disney World were around for Walt to enjoy so this attraction has great meaning.

I thought it was fascinating that inside the cups and other dishes there are screws and other tiny pieces of hardware for Maintenance workers to easily access.

The printed paper props (newspapers, calendar, etc.) are made up of stacks of the exact same print.  If the top print wares out or goes missing, the subsequent layers of paper are identical.  Was this always the case? Don’t know.

The stages are not as deep as I would have thought.  I had suspected the center core of the building be be much smaller- that the stages went further in.

Rover has a two-piece shell of fur (head and body) that easily pops off.  Until recent years, his fur was glued directly to and animatronic components and had to be cut away and sewn back together every time the dog was maintained.

The television Grandma is watching is driven by 8mm film projectors running footage from the basement below- the ballroom dancing footage and the boxing footage (for when Grandpa’s asleep).  “Give’m a left you big lug!”  Here you see an actual piece of dancing scene film stip thrown out after breaking:

 

Preview of Things to Come

In our new and upcoming series we compare the old to the new and see what remains the same.  Golly this will be fun!

 

This post is intended to be a simple study of attraction staging with no intent to spoil illusions.  Please do not photograph or visit backstage areas without permission.

 

Related posts:

A Look at the Progress City Model - Then and Now
Horizons Animatronics Found Under Carousel of Progress
America Sings
 
HORIZONS MURAL, "The Prologue and the Promise [High Res]


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