The Walt Disney World Transportation System That Few People Know Much About

Walt Disney World opened in 1971 with three places people could stay. There were the Polynesian Village Resort and the Disney’s Contemporary Resort that were both there on opening day and were standard hotels on the monorail line.

Early map of Walt Disney World

Fort Wilderness Campground opened about a month and change later, and it was available for those who preferred to sleep in campers, tents or in the wilderness homes that people could rent.

ABOVE: Rare photos of Wilderness Homes at Fort Wilderness. They began to be replaced with “log cabins” (they’re still just single wide trailers) in the late 1990s.

Back in the very early days of the resort, you could only navigate Fort Wilderness’ 700 acres by walking, or guests staying at the campground could rent a golf cart. But just a couple of years later, people could also take a steam powered train, the Fort Wilderness Railroad, on a 3-1/2 mile ride through the fields and wilderness, and over trestles, to get them from the main entrance to Pioneer Hall, the now-defunct River Country (they simply abandoned that one. Click here to see what River Country looked like in its later years), and all of the camping loops in between.

Here’s what the official Disney blog had to say about the Fort Wilderness Railroad in 2011:

“…The system featured four stream trains that circulated through the campground on a 3½-mile track. The trains’ cars were themed after “plantation locomotives,” a specific style of open-air cars that shuttled consumables, like sugar cane and pineapples, around Hawaiian islands.

“Each of the four trains – decorated in forest green, red, and gold colors – measured just under 115 feet and could seat 90 guests.”

The Fort Wilderness Railroad only ran regularly from 1973 to 1977, and on special occasions from 1977 to 1980. Its full history, including its start up, the multiple reasons why the project was abandoned, and how/why it was almost revived, and then not, is pretty fascinating. Take a look…

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What Are Water Salutes & Why Do Planes Get Them?

A water salute occurs for ceremonial purposes when a vehicle travels under plumes of water expelled by one or more fire fighting vehicles.

At an airport, an even number of vehicles (usually fire trucks supplied with water cannons) will line up and as the plane goes between them, they’ll spray it with plumes of water that are supposed to look like a wedding arch or the saber arch at a military wedding (thank-you, Wikipedia).

It’s rare to see or experience them in person, but water salutes for planes happen here and there to mark the retirement of a senior pilot or air traffic controller, the first or last flight of an airline to an airport, the first or last flight of a type of aircraft, etc.

The event is sometimes called a “shower of affection” and besides the reasons above, there are some secondary things that water salutes accomplish…

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Well, This Is Someone You Don’t Expect To See Working At London Heathrow!

Traveling is an adventure and you never know who or what you’re going to see or experience. People joining the Mile High Club while in their seats on the plane. A concert on your plane. Getting a totally unexpected upgrade on your flight.

So when you arrive at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in London Heathrow and James Corden is there to greet you, serve you drinks, make announcements, and a whole bunch more, you know it’s going to be an adventure. Take a look…

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A Video Tour Of The Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea

Erick Tseng is a former Google executive, where, as the Lead Product Manager, he helped launch and grow Android. He’s now a bigwig at Facebook; he was hired to be the company’s Head of Mobile Products in 2010 and is currently involved in their AR/VR product management team.

In 2015, Erik had the opportunity to stay at the Koryo Hotel, located in Pyongyang, the capital and largest city in North Korea. According to Wikipedia, the Koryo is the second largest operating hotel in the North Korea and one of the few hotels the country where foreigners can stay. Built in 1985, it was intended to “showcase the glory and strength of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).”

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Video of the History & Future of Airports, As Seen In 1958

The first scheduled commercial airline flight took place in 1914. A little more than a decade later, there were enough commercial flights that the Air Commerce Act of 1926 was established to regularize commercial aviation by establishing standards, facilitation, and promotion.

Following the slowdown of the Depression and its aftermath, flight became more and more available to John Q. Public and by the end of the 1950s, flying had become nearly commonplace. With more people in more planes flown by more airlines, expansion was needed at many airports to keep up with the demand.

Dulles was one such airport…

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