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Orange Bird Photo Hunt



Entries in Walt Disney World (6)


Photo Hunt!


Dig through your basement, search through Grandma's attic, it's time for the Photo Hunt.


We are looking for old Disneyland and Walt Disney World photos.

Remember your mother making you and your siblings stand still for those obnoxious pictures? Or that uncle with the new camera slowing you down when you wanted to run to Adventure Thru Inner Space? Today the old photos they took are little treasures. We just need to dig them up and share them with the world.


What kinds of park photos?

Anything old. Like 1980s and earlier. Or even more recent things that don't exist anymore. Horizons photos perhaps. Or people in the lobby of Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree. Or photos without people in them. Maybe a photo of a cast member selling balloons or people eating in an old restaurant. Or hotel. Anything that is not seen today! Or photos of things seen today that might look a little different. Your photos are faded and scratched? Not a problem. We love those kinds. Feel like they are not interesting enough? "Uninteresting" photos sometimes tell the best stories or include some rare thing in the background.

What will we do with them?

So many great things. We always need old photos when writing new posts and doing research. We would love to post some of these photos just for the fun of showing them to the world. There are so many mysteries that need to be solved and your photos might be the key. Of course we won't sell them or use them for any kind of monetary gain.


Want to share a story that goes with your photos??

Absolutely. That would thrill us.


How to send them?

Email them to Large numbers of photos might require multiple emails. That's ok. Have only one photo? That's perfectly fine too. Include a little info about the photos. Include dates if you know them. If you know nothing about the photos, send 'em anyway. If you wish to receive credit for the photos, include the name, alias, and/or link you'd like us to include in the photo credits. Other special instructions are welcome as well. We are flexible.


What else?

Pay? We can't pay for the photos but we can help you share them with fans like yourself. We guarentee these photos will further this fun and wholesome Disney history research.



This week I dug through countless boxes and albums looking for early shots of the parks. I had that little fantasy running through my head that Grandpa might have taken a photo of the Frito Kid or the Progress City Model when it was above Carousel of Progress or the Orange Bird animatronic. No luck. But the photos I did find were super fun to discover.

Here's one from the early 80s (above). My father was taking the photo. I remember this trip and that Fantasyland was finally open again. During the previous trip it was closed because they were building "New Fantasyland". My brother and I are wearing matching striped socks and short shorts. At least the whole family wasn't matching. In a later Walt Disney World trip I remember we all wore matching shirts. When we left the hotel (some cheap place on 192) my dad slipped back in the room and came out with a different color shirt and made sure my mother didn't notice. On the Monorail she figured it out and we kids thought it was hilarious.


Begin the hunt today! 


See the Photo Hunt UPDATE.



WDW Before Opening Day 1971

Walt Disney World opened 40 years ago today. Here we bring you photos of some of the work that went on before Opening Day- October 1, 1971.

On the left (below) you see the foundation of Cinderella Castle taking shape and the utilidor tunnel being built under what would become the castle moat. Now on the right you see the same tunnel but covered in dirt. What looks like a trench next to the covered tunnel is not actully the tunnel. I imagine it was the last bit to be filled in or was used to access something. Notice the underground offices, shops, utility access, storage, etc. behind the castle foundation. This area exists today under Fantasyland.


Below you see the back end of the castle with views of restaurant construction and what is now the Castle Suite.

Looks like a fancy tool for inserting strands of hair into this Jungle Cruise lion. In more recent years I remember using a needle with half its eye cut off with the point inserted into a wooden handle.

Notice the maquette of the gorilla holding the rifle next to the full size figure of the same gorilla.

Check out the guy in back of the station wagon filming the elephant on its way to the Jungle Cruise.

Anyone know exactly where this yellow building is today? I always figured it was in downtown Orlando but really, I have no way of knowing.

UPDATE: Thanks to comments by World Famous Dave Ensign and Cousin Orville we have the location of the "yellow building". Seen here is the building in Plant City (as predicted by Dave) at the corner of Highways 39 and 92. The photo from Google Street View (as found by Cousin Orville) shows the building today almost exactly how it looked 40+ years ago. Mystery solved!

Speaking of where things are today... below we bring you a little bonus. A quick search on Bing Maps shows us an old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Nautilus submarine at backstage Epcot of all places. And right in front of it, an old Jungle Cruise boat. Yep, still hanging around. Used now and again for special events.

Before any of the above photos were taken, this model was built:

Click to enlarge and look closely. Clearly on the right you'll see the never-built Thunder Mesa. Look in the background. Behind John Hench on the right, is that a model of the Magic Kingdom Monorail Station? Towards the center it looks like a rather large model of the Contemporary. And to the far left, a tiki bird!

Happy b-day, Walt Disney World. You haven't changed a bit.

Thank you, The Story of Walt Disney World Commemorative Edition for the great pics. All photos ©Disney.

Related posts:

Magic Kingdom Map Found in a Main Street Wall
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
THEN AND NOW: MK Adventureland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]
Disneyland in 1955
EYE CANDY: National Geographic Aug '63



How Early is too Early?

Alright, I have another question I’d like to put out there.

These pictures were taken on November 2nd. Now, I love Christmas as much as the next person, but I tend to be one of “those” people that like Christmas to start after Thanksgiving and end after New Years. That being said, I realize there are many who just can’t wait that long and would like Christmas to start earlier and last longer, but November 2nd? Am I off my rocker to say that this is really pushing it? The BGM was seriously playing Christmas music.

Now the top two rebuttals I usually get when I start saying this stuff are “But Lilly, not everyone can come during Christmas and this gives more people the ability to experience Christmas.” My opinion on this is... well, too bad. If you want to see the park at Christmas, come during Christmas. I personally don’t want to see Christmas in November, so it’s a little annoying to have it take over my trip when it isn’t even Christmas time.

Number two is, “But they spend so much money on their Christmas stuff and it takes so much effort to put it all up, they really need to get the most use out of it as they can.” I’m not buying this one either. After all, they use the same stuff year after year and I actually think it makes it all more special when it’s only up for one month instead of three months. The one exception is The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Walt Disney World, because that really does take a lot of time to put up, so I’m okay that they start in September, but I still wish they wouldn’t light them until late November. They will be lit from November 8 to January 3 this year.

All I’m saying is, Christmas is a special and fun time and I would really like it to remain special and fun. When it starts so early, I feel like it’s being shoved down my throat instead of being special and fun.



Related posts:

I Love it When They Get Things Right
Disney Characters... Maybe We Should Rethink a Few Things
After All It’s a Step in the Right Direction
Walking the Politically Correct Line