Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WDW Memories - Discovery Island

Like many others, I grew up a child of Walt Disney World. My parents took me to WDW for the first time in 1972. I was four years old at the time.

I have few specific memories of that first visit. I remember being scared to cross the gangplank into the Nautilus, and a souvenir Donald Duck baseball cap (complete with a duck-bill that squeaked when squeezed!). Even though I can't remember much from that first trip, it certainly made a big impression. Let's just say I was hooked.

The resort was a *much* simpler place in the 1970's, but it was no less magical for it. One of our family traditions in those early years was to visit Bay Lake's Discovery Island.

Here are some scans from a Discovery Island map from 1979:


(click on the thumbnails below for high-resolution images)


It's fun to compare the maps to see just how differently Disney marketed "Treasure Island (1974)" from "Discovery Island (1979)". In 1974 it was all about pirates (sound familiar?), but by 1979 the theme was focused on wildlife (mostly birds).

Notice for example how "LOOKOUT POINT" became "BIRD'S EYE VIEW", and "MATES AND MAIDENS (Ye olde restrooms)" becomes "HIS TERN/HER TERN (restrooms)".

I have to admit, the 1974 concepts look very cool (and in fact seem to foreshadow the version of Tom Sawyer Island we see at Disneyland today), but for me the late 70's Discovery Island was a welcome change of pace from the Magic Kingdom and remains one of my treasured WDW memories.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A brief explanation...

Hi there,

Thanks for all the welcoming comments from the Disney-sphere.

I wanted to let folks know that I created this blog as a way to occasionally offer Guest Posts to the fine folks at Imaginerding.

As the name of the blog implies, there's already a wealth of great content out there. I hope to post when I find something sufficiently unique to say. I'll have to see what sort of schedule I can maintain, but my initial target is once-a-month-ish.

Until then, I leave you with some of my favorite details from underneath the Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle:



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Disneyland Details - Holiday Decorations

Details abound in Disney Parks, and Disneyland in December is certainly no exception. The holiday decorations are a visual treat.

As you would expect, everything blends seamlessly with its visual and thematic surroundings. Be it the turn-of-the-century elegance of Main Street, U.S.A:

11 - Main Street - Interiors (41)

...the rustic garlands in Frontierland:
02 - Frontierland - Scenery (12)

... the home-spun charms of Big Thunder Ranch:
10 - Big Thunder Ranch (31)

... the nutcracker toys outside It's a Small World:

11 - Small World (12)

... the festive ornamentation of New Orleans Square:
05 - New Orleans Square - Details (11)

... or the refined interior of the Club 33 lobby:
04 - Club 33 (25)

Then there's the fabulous holiday overlays like Haunted Mansion Holiday:

09 - Haunted Mansion Holiday (12)
09 - Haunted Mansion Holiday (17)

... and Small World Holiday:
11 - Small World (23)

11 - Small World (48)

But the visually inquisitive are often rewarded with additional hidden gems. For example, am I dreaming, or are there Heffalumps flying overhead in Critter Country?

Critter Country - Scenery (20)

The diminutive residents of Storybookland have also gotten into the act:
10 - Storybook Land Canal Boats (19)
10 - Storybook Land Canal Boats (32)

Toontown is awash in these details. Look at the sporting theme in this wreath adorning the Horace Horsecollar Gym:

02 - Toontown - Scenery (27)

... and the pyrotechnics hanging outside the fireworks factory:

02 - Toontown - Scenery (29)

It looks like Donald has made use of some handy nautical rope in his decorating:

02 - Toontown - Scenery (20)

The detailing continues across the esplanade in DCA. Check out this wreath hanging outside the Rushin' River Outfitters:

02 - DCA - Golden State - Grizzly River Run (14)

All images were taken in December, 2007.

You can see high-resolution versions of these images on