Welcome to 50 Days to 50 Years! Take a stroll down memory lane as Disney fans from across the web come together to countdown to Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Each day we will bring you a new year and a new blogger sharing their most memorable Disney moments. Today, Paula (aka LeagueCityMouse) from The Magical Mouse Pad is taking us back to Walt Disney World 1972.
Walt Disney World 1972 Highlights
The Magic Kingdom of 1972 was quite a different place than what it is today. The E-Ticket attractions of the day included The Hall of Presidents, The Jungle Cruise, It’s A Small World, 20,000 League Under the Sea, The Country Bear Jamboree and The Haunted Mansion. Some major events during the year 1972 include:
- The opening of The Olde World Antiques shop in Liberty Square
- The opening of Merlin’s Magic Shop in Fantasyland
- Eastern Airlines sponsorship of a new attraction in Tomorrowland, call If You Had Wings
- Four locomotives are built for use in a new railroad to operate in the Fort Wilderness Campground
- The Walt Disney Story makes its debut in Town Square
- Construction begins on Space Mountain in Tomorrowland
In less than a year from the park’s opening on October 1st, 1971, the park growth and success appeared evident. Maybe that’s what attracted my parents to take myself and my brother to Disney World in the spring of 1972. It seems odd to me that we would have even gone. I grew up in a modest household. My dad worked in the shipping and receiving dock of a chemical plant; my mom, a stay at home mom. We never took extravagant vacations, never flew, and never went out of state except, as it turns out, to go to Disney World. I guess the marketing geniuses were at play even back in 1972, enticing the world to come see this magnificent park.
One Little Spark
So, in the Spring of 1972, my parents packed up my brother (6) and myself (1) into the station wagon for the 3 day drive to Orlando from Texas. Now, having kids myself, it must have been an adventure. I don’t think I could stand the drive without the aide of technological gadgets. Traveling must have been different back then.
Being only one, I obviously don’t remember the trip, except through stories and pictures. We stayed offsite somewhere in the complex of new hotels built up in the area. Thirty-nine years later, my mom doesn’t remember a whole lot about the trip. It must have been a good time, as 6 years later, we returned and continued to return over the years. I can’t say my love of Disney grew out of that first trip, but that trip did spawn multiple trips and countless memories over the years. It’s like Figment says “One Little Spark”.
50 Days to 50 Years
Having no memory, I can’t write about the details of the trip in 1972, but I do have quite a few photos that I can share with you. Besides the fabulous attire of the 70’s, the park appears to be a much different place than today. Immature trees, less landscaping, and more open spaces. I hope you enjoy my the walk through my family’s visit of 1972.
Tomorrow we will bring you 1973, courtesy of Mike (aka DisneyDad) blogging at Growing Up Disney.