Time for another Looking Back adventure, this time around from the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in August of 1995. Hard to believe that was now 20 years ago! Let’s take a look around and see what we can see.
Welcome to the Magic Kingdom! You know the old saying that you can’t see the forest for the trees? Well here, you almost can’t see Cinderella Castle for all of the trees in the Central Plaza (also known as the Hub). As you may know, or as you probably realize if you have been there in the past several years, those trees have been cut down to provide better views of Cinderella Castle, especially these days when they have shows that are actually projected onto the castle. Can you imagine how people would complain if they couldn’t see all of that from the north end of Main Street USA? Personally, I always did like it with those trees there, and I was sad to see them go. I like how they added one more layer between Main Street USA and the rest of the park. But that’s just me.
Before we make our way down Main Street USA, how about a stop at Main Street Station for a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad? The Lilly Belle engine is in the station waiting for passengers to board. This has always been one of my favorite Walt Disney World Railroad photos, and it still hangs on my wall to this day. If you follow along at the Disney Railroads Discussion Board, you will know that the Lilly Belle has been away being refurbished for some time now, and we are all still wondering when it might make its return.
As we walk down Main Street USA, here is a view of the street. I always like looking back at these photos to see what people were wearing at the time. Styles in clothing and hair have changed quite a bit since then, sometimes for the better, sometimes not so much.
At the end of Main Street USA is a relatively new addition, the Partners Statue. The statue was actually added sometime between my April 1995 trip and this trip, so this was my first time to see it. I took quite a few photos of it, but this one was my favorite. Once again, this one has been on my office wall for many years, too.
Now we are in Adventureland, where adventure lurks around every corner. Around the corner from here is the Aloha Isle, where you can find a Dole Whip. But don’t look for it now, because it has swapped places and names with the Sunshine Tree Terrace. Confusing, isn’t it? But maybe that makes it a little more adventurous to see if you can find your right snack in the right place.
Here is a view of Frontierland from the Rivers of America. No, we weren’t walking on the water. Instead, we were on one of the watercraft going around the river. I do like this view of Adventureland, because it lets you focus more on the buildings and atmosphere than on the crowds of people that are usually in the street there.
Here is another “across the water” view, this time of the Big Thunder Mine. I have always enjoyed how the Magic Kingdom has so many wide vistas with so much to take in. And this also shows you that the mine entrance is a bit higher up than the rest of the area, just in case you didn’t realize that when you are rushing to get in.
The watercraft that I previously referred to for our trip around the Rivers of America was one of the Mike Fink Keelboats, and pictured here is the Bertha Mae, which along with the Gullywhumper made up the keelboat fleet. It is too bad that those are gone now, because they were quite fun to ride. Even though the scenery is the same as from the Liberty Square Riverboat, it was a much different experience. And the live guides were always entertaining.
Next up is Fantasyland. Here is a view of Cinderella Castle as it peeks out from behind Cinderella’s Golden Carousel. It reminds me of a similar photo I took from our recent visit, except that the carousel roof is now colored differently, the large trees are gone, and the carousel is now named Prince Charming Regal Carousel. Several things have changed since those old days.
And speaking of the carousel, here are just a few of the horses from it, all lined up and raring to go. Even though carousels just go round and round in a circle, there is still always something interesting about them, which shows why the carousel is still there in this age of high-tech, high-speed thrills.
We move on to Tomorrowland next, to see the stage show Galaxy Search, which was in the now-removed Galaxy Palace Theater. As I mentioned in the previous Looking Back post, I liked that the show had a live band, even though the character voices were all pre-recorded. That has always been cool to me. The show was a somewhat cheesy talent search somewhat similar to Star Search, which was a popular television show back then. But it had the characters, so of course it was popular.
The big finale of the Galaxy Search show was when a large alien named “The King” made an appearance. It is hard to get a good feel of the size of The King from this photo, but right below him is a person’s hat, so you can see that he was huge. And of course he looked and sounded a bit like Elvis, as you can see. This robotic dinosaur figure was actually first used in the short-lived Splashtacular show at the fountain in Future World at Epcot, so it was interesting to see them find a new use for him after his first appearance didn’t last too long. I could have done without the Elvis part, but it was cool to see something so large move so well.
After the show ends, we walk back to Main Street USA for another ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad. Here, the Roy O. Disney engine is pulling into the station to pick us up, and as you can see the engine still has all of its patriotic decorations. This is another of those photos that is on my office wall. Still a classic.
As the day winds down, here are a few evening photos before darkness arrives. The new Tomorrowland was still new back then, and I liked this view. I still do, actually, all these years later. The clouds and the evening sky make it even better, though.
Let’s rest for a minute in this quiet corner of Main Street USA. Always interesting that most people pass these places right on by as they make their way to do “fun” things. The older I get, the more fun this looks to me.
Here is another view of the Partners statue, with Walt Disney pointing down the street and saying, “Mickey, you could see a representation of where I grew up much better if those big trees weren’t in the way.”
And as we go, here is a nice evening view of Cinderella Castle. Since that time, they have modified the color scheme slightly, but overall the castle still has just as much charm now as it did back then. Ah, the good old days.
That’s it for this time! Check back later for more in the Looking Back series!