Thank you for returning to our series, 50 Days to 50 Years. If you are just joining us on our nostalgic journey through the last 50 years of Walt Disney World, please follow #50Daysto50Years for all archives. Today we are honored to welcome Kristen from The DVC Mom’s Traveler. Gratefully, as she presents Disney World 1984.
Especially in the corporate arena, 1984 was a huge year in Disney history. Sadly, Roy Disney left the board of directors and a huge battle over control of the company began. By the end of the year, Michael Eisner would be recommended to become CEO. After a unanimous vote he was elected Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Company.
Walt Disney World 1984 Highlights
At Magic Kingdom, the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade attraction opened in Frontierland. In EPCOT, Bistro de Paris opened it’s doors. Impressively, the Morocco Pavilion was brought to life.
The summer of 1984 was the summer of my 8th-grade graduation trip. Just imagine- two weeks in Disney with my Aunt! (And my Grandma came to join us half way through.) We stayed at the Villas (which no longer exist) for a week. Afterward, we moved to a Disney trailer on Jack Rabbit Run at the Fort Wilderness Campground. (Which also no longer exists in the 1984 form.) Incredibly, I can remember that for the very first time our Disney hotel room was over $100 a night. Today I would happily pay that price!
“Keys to the Kingdom”
My favorite Walt Disney World memory from 1984 was the opportunity to take a “Keys to the Kingdom” Class. Keys to the Kingdom classes were daylong seminars that kids could take while on vacation in WDW. Luckily, I was able to take one in Art and one in Entertainment. Before your trip, you were sent a textbook and workbook that took you through the basics of the programs offered at Walt Disney World. The classes would meet early in the morning at the Ticket and Transportation Center. Once all of us participants had gathered they would be taken on a day long tour of the parks and backstage areas that had to do with their specific topics.
In my entertainment class we were taken back stage to the rehearsal areas and taught a brief parade routine. Amazingly, we were shown where the parade floats were kept, toured costuming, and talked to entertainers about their jobs with the Walt Disney Company. In the art class, we met with animators, and learned how to draw Mickey Mouse for ourselves. I loved the adventure, and kept the textbooks for a long time. Incredibly, the classes were a fantastic opportunity for young Disney fans to see what career opportunities they could have with Disney. (And not to be confused with the more recent walking tour.)
Additionally, here’s an aerial view of vintage Disney World 1984:
This post was contributed by Kristen Kirk; Mother, Wife, Foodie, Wine Geek, Coffee Snob, Homeschooler, Jazz Lover, and total Disney Fanatic.
As Kristen’s blog describes, she is “what happens when Cinderella grows up”. Perfectly said! From youthful memories, like the special one Kristen describes above, to the more mature moments that every parent can appreciate, Disney continues to supply the “happily ever after”.
Tomorrow, Mike (bless his heart) returns to the series once again! The My Dreams of Disney author will give us a glimpse at Walt Disney World in the year 1985.