If you dabble in the world of points and miles, chances are you’re a member of one or more airline loyalty programs. But have you ever wondered why loyalty programs started in the first place? I did. Here’s what I found out.
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.
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…
New York City has a lot of cool, old buildings that go as far back as 1652, and I personally love to find pictures of what they looked like when they were being built (well, maybe not the one from 1652 LOL), or were still very new. I enjoy seeing how they may have changed over time, not to mention what the surrounding neighborhood looked like in the background. You know, stuff like this:
The problem was that if I was walking around NYC, I could rarely learn about the building as I was walking around. At least, not with stopping to look it up. And if I waited until I got back to the hotel or home, I’d forget what I was going to look up or I couldn’t appreciate seeing the old photos with the real thing right in front of me.
But it looks like someone has fixed that problem…
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…
If there’s one thing you can say about Disney parks, it’s their attention to detail. At the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (WDW) you can see claw marks on the floor of Country Bear Jamboree, Mickey Mouse heads on the manhole covers, hoof prints of the ghostly horses pulling the hearse at the Haunted Mansion, and so many other things.
I think my favorites are the examples of attention to detail that most people wouldn’t even know about or notice, but they’re there anyway. In Liberty Square alone, there are two lit lanterns in a window of the Hall of Presidents (to represent Paul Revere’s “one if by land, two if by sea). There are 13 lanterns hanging from the Liberty Tree to represent the original 13 colonies. And if you listen to the background music in Liberty Square, it’s played with period instruments so it can be historically accurate. Historical accuracy is also represented in the raised sidewalks of Liberty Square.
There’s one other piece of attention of detail in Liberty Square that a lot of people miss AND don’t know about. To be frank, it’s a crappy nod to history…