Legends of the Lost World

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Legends of the Lost World

A long time ago, in a place very different from the Disney World we know and love now, there existed only the Magic Kingdom, and the two monorail hotels, and a campground with a few golf courses, and some other miscellaneous things. No Epcot, No Disney MGM, nothing but the Magic Kingdom. And the park was a success.....well sort of.

Over the first few years of the parks existance, a lot was added, and one or two rides were taken out, but nothing that was too big of an expense. All in all it was a very cool time for Disney World. The early Seventies were in groove, and from what I've heard, you could expect some swinging parties at the top of the Contemporary, and to a lesser extent, in Tomorrowland.

A short note before I get into the substance of this page. For those of you who are second time, or even third or more, time visitors, you know if you've written to me that its been my policy in the past not to write on things that I haven't experienced myself. But over the past few months I've spoken with my mother and aunt, both of whom were there in the early years of the park's existance, and those of you who have written have given me valuable insights.

Now continuing on with the story. The picture above shows a seventies view of Main Street, which in all actaulity doesn't look that much different from the nineties Main Street. The main difference is what is seen in the back. Absolutely nothing is seen beyond the train station. These kinds of things will be seen a lot in these early pictures of Walt Disney World. From the angle that they're shooting one should be able to see, possibly, some trace of the Grand Floridian, or at least something, I think. If I am wrong, I am sorry. The picture is only meant to serve as an example of how we should be on the look out in the pictures that follow. If something is missing, that's probably becuase it is missing.

My gosh, is there anywhere where these buses won't go. I don't even remember seeing buses on Main Street (although they always roamed the perimeter of World Showcase.)

Today's view of Tomorrowland is slightly different due to the rennovations. As I continue to say in the next page, the Lost World, I loved this look in Tomorrowland, simply because it was such a hoot to see this futuristic view that was prevalent in the 1960's and 70's. It looked like something out of 2001:A Space Oddesy. I loved roaming around Tomorrowland when I was young.

Perhaps the most popular, and most remembered old ride from this time period was Eastern Airlines If You Had Wings

Its hard to say why people loved this ride so much. Perhaps it was the wonderful song, that whenever I ask people about the ride they immediately start humming, or flat out singing. But even more than that....I rode If You Had Wings once when I was a kid, a few years before it closed, and in all actuality, it was an impressive ride. It featured small movie screens which portrayed different views of travel (all of which could be seen thanks to Eastern Airlines). The part of the ride that scared me the most was when they took you in the rooms with the oval shaped screens overhead. I don't remember exactly why that scared me, but I do remember the sensation of flying as being portrayed, and once again if I remember correctly, at one point you skiied downhill. Much like many of you who visited the park in the mid to late seventies, this was my Mother's favorite ride, and I remember telling her that it was going to close when I read in the Disney magazine that Delta Dreamflight was going to take its place.

One of my favorite rides was Mission to Mars. But long before it became Mission to Mars, it was Flight to the Moon.

The ride was, well..., I guess it could be said that it was the only thrill ride in the park when it opened. Pirates of the Carribean, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain wouldn't be opened for a few years after the parks opening. And, at the time, Flight to the Moon was considered thrilling. A predecessor to modern Simulator rides, the ride used seates that depressed during the ride, to give you the sensation of taking off into outer space, as you watched the action on two projectors, one overhead and one on the floor.

Your journey began in Mission Control, with them showing you a souped up sixties style rocket, based around the early vehicles that carted John Glenn and fellow astronauts around on their early missions into outer space.

This ride was great in the late eighties and early nineties for me, because it never had a line, and it was a great ride. It featured some neat graphics, especially when they shot you off into space. It will always remain as one of my favorites.

So, now its time to leave Tomorrowland....and as you turn around to catch one final glimpse....

There's no Space Mountain As was previously mentioned, Space Mountain wasn't build for a few years after the opening of the park. Another thing that seems to be missing is one of my favorites, the Carousel of Progress, which if I am remembering correctly wasn't added until after the park opened.
Quite and interesting, and rare view of the Contemporary from Tomorrowland.

I'll always remember when I was young riding the Davy Crockett Canoes around the Rivers of America.

It was always a good time listening to the cast memeber yell stroke....stroke as you tried to paddle your way around..........wait.........somethings missing here also. Ah..yes, you'll notice that Big Thunder Mountain is missing on the left side, but something else is missing. That's right, Tom Sawyers Island wasn't opened until a year or two after the park opened. So, here, the Rivers of America was truly just a River....

Many people's favorite attraction in Fantasyland was the Mickey Mouse Review, which still exists, even though its in Tokyo. Once again I do elaborate on this a little more in The Lost World. But the principle was simple

Animatronic Mickey and Friends would pop up out of the floor an give a show for the audience. The theater for this has had a long history also. After the Mickey Mouse Revue closed, the theater became a changing area for Cast Memebers. Then, it housed Magic Journeys for a short period of time after Captain Eo opened. Then, that closed, and the theater now continues to house Legends of the Lion King.

As we make our way back down to Main Street, we pass by the fabulous looking Swan Boats, which used to encircle the moat around Cinderella's Castle

This ride is probably the most Forgotten Ride in all of Disney World. People didn't notice when they took it out, and even today people don't recognize whenever I pointed out the tracks for it, that still exist to this day in the moad around the castle (at least in 1995 they did).

As we leave the Magic Kingdom, we see one last view of Main Street, and our two old favorites, the Penny Arcade and the Main Street House of Magic.

I don't think that anything further has to be said about these two, since simply talking about them brings a tear to my eye. They were my ABSOLUTE favorite places to go in the Magic Kingdom, and any other park for that matter, and they are sorely missed.

Some of this material will be repeated in the Lost World...Sorry. I include some of it there too because of the times that the rides closed down.

Walt Disney World Forever