Monday, October 1, 2018

EPCOT Center Pre-Opening Items: Commemorative Ticket, Booklet & Map


In honor of EPCOT's 36th anniversary today, we're going to take a look at some pre-opening EPCOT souvenirs.

One year before EPCOT Center opened, Disney began selling special commemorative opening day tickets.


The ticket could be used at either of Walt Disney World's two parks, but not until after EPCOT Center opened.


This ad for the commemorative tickets, was featured in the Winter 1981/82 issue of Disney News Magazine.


That price of $30 for three days, seems like it would have been a really good deal, especially for a limited edition commemorative ticket. Here is what the prices were for Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in early 1982, prior to EPCOT's opening.


By the time EPCOT had opened, prices for one-day tickets (for either park) had gone up two dollars for Adults and Juniors, and one dollar for a Child's ticket.

I actually found this EPCOT pre-opening booklet on the floor of the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland, back in 1982. It was originally handed out to cast members only, during special EPCOT Center "previews" that were held in the Opera House's auditorium.









I picked this map up at Disneyland back in 1982, right around the time that EPCOT was opening. The maps were free and were available in the Carefree Corner on Main Street.




Note the building for Horizons is already shown on the map as a coming attraction in 1983. The Living Seas pavilion would go into that open lower right corner of Future World in 1986.


Happy Anniversary, to Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Battlestar Galactica & The Wonderful World of Disney's 25th Anniversary!


Forty years ago this month, the science fiction television show, Battlestar Galactica debuted. The following summer, "Battle for Galactica" opened at Universal Studios in California.

Battle for Galactica was an "experience" that was part of the Universal Studios Tram Tour, from 1979 through 1992. The "Glamour Trams" would suddenly come upon a vehicle on the side of the road with two "Cylons" at the controls and they would warn the trams to "Halt!" In the middle of the road was a large spaceship and as the doors to the ship opened, the Cylons would order the trams to drive aboard.


(Incidentally, the Battle for Galactica show replaced the "Rockslide" special effect that had been a part of the tram tour since 1974.)


I took this pic of the Cylon vehicle back in 1979. Their spaceship can be seen in the background.


My dad took these next two shots inside the spaceship/show building.


That's the "Imperious Leader" sitting up there above the Cylon. The Cylons and the Imperious Leader were all animatronic figures.


An actor dressed as a Colonial Warrior would suddenly appear to rescue the "captured" guests, by engaging in a battle with the Cylons. Lasers beams would shoot out of the Cylon's and the Colonial Warrior's guns. At least one of the Cylons would fall apart by splitting right down the middle, as if he had been cut in half by a laser.


Universal even had a walk-around "Cylon" character.


Unfortunately, the medieval tower (from the 1965 movie, The War Lord) in the background of this next pic, was torn down in 2001.


And now, let's take a look at the TV Guide listing for the Fall 1978 debut of the original Battlestar Galactica series.



The premiere was three hours long!


Also on TV that night; the World of Disney, which was showing Dumbo, as part of Disney's 25th anniversary on television.



There was an article about Disney's anniversary in that issue.




There was also an article about the making of Battlestar Galactica. I guess 20th Century Fox was concerned that the TV show was going to borrow too much from their recent mega-blockbuster film, Star Wars.






Let's see what else was on TV that week. It was the "First Time On TV!" for Airport '77. Universal Studios' Screen Test Theater show was actually themed to Airport '77 in the late seventies and early eighties.


Charlie's Angels was starting it's third season. Farrah Fawcett was returning to the show for her first of six "forced" guest appearances, following the breaking of her contract after season one.


Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk were having their season premieres that week.


Disco fever was at an all-time high! Billboard was hosting it's own "Disco Party" on KCOP's Channel 13.


Jon and Ponch were delivering a baby at a discotheque on CHiPs.


And Rerun was entering a disco contest on What's Happening! HEY! HEY! HEY!


Here are some of the faces that were appearing at the Emmy Awards that year.


And the nominees are.....uh, were:


Just in case anyone is interested, here's footage of the "Battle for Galactica" attraction as seen during the Universal Studios Tram Tour back in 1984:





And here is the 25th Anniversary of the Wonderful World of Disney television special that was mentioned in the Disney article above. (It had actually aired the previous week.) Just a warning here....this might very well be THE WORST television special, out of all Disney TV specials....EVER!





Friday, August 10, 2018

Places I've Never Been - Raging Waters Waterpark (1984)


This is the second in my series of "Places I've Never Been" posts.

Raging Waters waterpark opened on June 18, 1983 in San Dimas, California, and is still operating today on a seasonal basis. This is a current map of the park:


Even though I have never been to Raging Waters, some of my family members visited the park back in 1984. Here are some pics from that visit.

Looking at that small octagonal building to the left of the slides, and checking the current map of the park, these first two pics look like they are of "Drop Out."




I can't find these two water slides on the current map. I suppose it's very possible, that these slides could have been replaced by something bigger and better in the last 34 years. (**POST UPDATE** - I've been informed that these slides were called "Rampage," but they are no longer standing. Does anyone know where they were located or what replaced them?)




These next two pics show the "Speed Slides," which are still in use at the park.




I wonder if this little man-made beach still exists today?


This pic appears to have been taken from a road above the park. The large roundish building in the middle of the photo, looks like it's the main building located just inside the park entrance on the current map. There is a beach just to the left of the building and on the far right, some intertwining water slides can be seen. I'm sure this view has changed drastically in the last three and a half decades!


We'll end today, with an advertisement and an article from a 1983 Los Angeles Times advertising supplement. Both of these predate Raging Waters' grand opening by one week.



I hope everyone enjoyed this little visit back in time, to Raging Waters' early years!

**POST UPDATE** - The following video is from the Nickelodeon show, "Wild & Crazy Kids." This particular episode was filmed at Raging Waters, circa 1990, and has some really good footage of all three slides/attractions pictured above ("Drop Out," "Rampage" and the "Screamer" Speed Slides). Special thanks to Eric, from the "...But It Wasn't Always That Way!" blog, for sharing the link to this video!