Originally posted October 1, 2018
Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971, which makes it 47 years old today. To celebrate that special day. we’re sharing a video, restored in HD in 2015, that is the epitome of the popular Disney park in the very early 1970s.
As per Wikipedia, The Magic of Walt Disney World is a 1972 documentary featurette that was produced by Walt Disney Productions. Filmed at the then-new Walt Disney World resort, the film served as a tour of the Magic Kingdom theme park, the resort hotels and other areas within the “Vacation Kingdom” known as WDW. Released theatrically with “Snowball Express,” it was narrated by actor Steve Forrest.
“This is a great film,” said reviewer Kevin M. “Not only does it give a snapshot of Walt Disney World at the time it was made (1972), it also gives a glimpse into the culture of Disney at the time. They wanted to portray the “vacation kingdom” as a place that not only gave the public Disney-fied entertainment, but was also a controlled/safe environment for the guests. Disney World opened at a time that contained greatest societal upheaval in the U.S. in the 20th Century: the Vietnam War; civil Rights and “Black Power”, the Women’s Movement, etc. Whether you agree or not, Disney wanted to create a place that was cut off in many ways from the the strife and pressure of the outside world.”
Looking at the video now, it can remind us of a quieter and simpler time, before FastPasses, Advanced Dining Reservations, and doing Disney “commando style” were near necessities, but also before smart phones kept us in constant communication with the world outside “The World.”
Anyway, enjoy the video. Happy birthday, Walt Disney World!
** A HUGE thank-you to RetroWDW for the transfer and restoration of this piece, and to Bill M. for the heads up about this video.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary