One of the nice things about the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is that it doesn't sit in the middle of a "city." When driving to the park, you enter the Disney property and then drive for quite a while past undeveloped stretches of land before you ever get to the park. Along the way, there are a few billboards advertising attractions at the various parks. The first one that you pass promotes the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the Disney Hollywood Studios Park. The elevator car is actually animated and wobbles around continuously.
This advertisement is for Mission Space at Epcot. I'll have more to say about that attraction when I post pics from Epcot, but for now I'll just hold my tongue. The Monorail beam behind the sign is the route that connects the Magic Kingdom with Epcot.
This last billboard is for the movie "It's Tough To Be A Bug" which is an attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It reads, "Catch a 3-D Flick" (my seventh grade history teacher always referred to movies as "flicks"!) This sign actually faces the traffic that is leaving the Magic Kingdom.
Now we're at the entrance to the parking lot.
After parking, you can catch a tram that will take you to the Transportation and Ticket Center where you buy your park tickets and then take either a monorail or ferry to the main entrance of the park. This was my park ticket.
And this is the cover of the park map and guide that was being handed out.
The park was having special Halloween event nights, just like Disneyland.
If you look closely in this next pic, there is a rope across the front of the Monorail queue. They had just closed it off and were making everyone go to the Ferry dock. It seems like most people want to take the Monorail, so I'm guessing they do this to keep the line from getting too long.
So it's off to the Ferry dock we go....it's sort of like cattle being herded.
Here as part of the "herd", we wait for the Richard F. Irvine ferry boat to dock.
The Polynesian Resort Hotel sits just across from the dock. This hotel opened on October 1, 1971, the same day that the Magic Kingdom officially opened it's gates to the world.
The park can be seen off in the distance on the other side of the Seven Seas Lagoon. That black crane to the right of the photo is a part of the New Fantasyland construction.
Here's the view looking back at The Polynesian.
The ferries also pass the Grand Floridian Hotel, which opened in 1988.
We're getting closer......
....and even closer. The Admiral Joe Fowler ferry boat is approaching after dropping off guests at the park entrance.
Before reaching the dock, we pass The Contemporary Resort Hotel which also opened on October 1, 1971. I do not like the new Disney Vacation Club tower that was built next to The Contemporary. It does not match architecturally and I think it makes The Contemporary look less significant.
For those that aren't familiar with The Contemporary, here's a better pic showing it's unique shape. I took this back in 2007 and I just now realized that construction on the new tower must have already begun. Note the dirt just to the left of the hotel.
Okay, we are finally at the park! The train station is decked out in special bunting for Halloween
Let's look at that 1975 slide again that I posted before my trip.
I tried to stand in the same spot to take my pic. After a little bit of cropping, we have a "before and after" comparison.
Here's the Magic Kingdom's City Hall......
.....and the Fire Station.
These cast members were "Walking right down the middle of Main St. U.S.A."....at least that's the song that they were singing. It reminded me of Marie Osmond's performance on the 1985 Disneyland 30th Anniversary Special.
There were quite a few themed scarecrows positioned around Town Square. I took this first pic during the day, but snapped photos of all of them before leaving the park that night.
I like the extra touch on this one with the sugar leaking out of the sack and into the planter.
Speaking of sacks of sugar.....these jack o' lanterns sit in the same general area of Town Square as Disneyland's giant "Mickey" pumpkin.
Halloween trim adorns all of the lampposts on Main St.
This part of Main St. used to be West Center St. and contained an outdoor flower market. A few years back, they actually built another building in what was the open portion of the street and extended the Emporium over to the shops on the other side of the street. Geez, how badly did they need that additional space? And for what.....just to sell more plush toys? How sad is that? I hope they never do that at Disneyland!
Here's the interior of that new addition....
....along with some turn of the century Halloween displays.
Further up Main St, the Horse-Drawn Trolley had stopped in the Plaza.
That gave me the perfect opportunity to recreate another shot from my 1975 Walt Disney World Post. Note how the large trees in the Plaza have all been replaced with smaller ones.....just like Disneyland's Plaza.
And while we're in the area, let's get a "today" shot of Cinderella's Castle to compare to the vintage slide from that same post.
We will just crop it a bit and VOILA!
The last slide in that post included a shot of some topiaries near the Castle.
The only topiary I could find that close to the Castle today is this sea serpent, but it appears there used to be more at one time.
And last up for today, we have a couple of statues from the Plaza. Both Donald and Pluto are dressed up as "Musketeers."
I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!
Photos of Walt
6 hours ago