Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Magic Kingdom - Arriving & Halloween Stuff

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!


A Snow White Sanctum said...

I like taking either one, but I've never been there when they roped off the monorail and made you ride the ferry instead.

Terrific "before" and "after" pics comparing your earlier trip to this one. Also like the Musketeer statues. Looking forward to more trip reports.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Love the before and after pics - you rock!

They did the same thing when I went in 2008, take the ferry or else! I went back mid day on Saturday and the Monorail was a walk on (no ropes) the ferry wasn't even running, I prefer the Monorail!

RIP - West Center Street.....

P.s. (re: your previous post) Man I love those PeopleMover things at the Orlando Airport - its like a free attraction! They're pretty fast too!

Davelandweb said...

Thanks for the photos! Oh Lord...I pray nobody in Anaheim gets ideas when they see the Center Street "remodel."

TokyoMagic! said...

SWS, I prefer taking the Monorail for that glimpse of the Mary Blair mural inside The Contemporary Resort. One of these days, I guess I should just drive or walk over to the hotel to get a better look.

VDT, for fans of PeopleMovers and Monorails, it really is like having a WDW attraction at the airport!

Dave, yeah...it makes me cringe when I think of them doing that in Anaheim. Even though they put a restaurant there already, at least it's outdoors and could be removed easily.

Major Pepperidge said...

Cool "Tower of Terror" billboard! Ha ha, you're going to hold your tongue regarding Mission Space... uh oh! TokyoMagic! didn't like it! The photo of the entrance to the parking lot is interesting... all I see in the distance is trees. And YES, I would want to take the Monorail, dammit. I would hate to be forced to take the ferry. What if this was my first (or only) visit to WDW?

Great views from the ferry, anyway! Something has been added to the upstairs center window of the train station... any idea what it says? I never knew that WDW's "West Center Street" was gone. Weird. Check out that new picture of the Horse Drawn Streetcar... it feels so sterile compared to your 1975 photo.

Awesome 2nd post... I hope these go on for a long time!

Dan Alexander said...

That Tower of Terror billboard has been there for so many years! I'm surprised they haven't switched the 3D Bugs Life movie one for Everest yet. I did not notice the Mission Space one on my last visit (I remember seeing one for Test Track---is that still there somewhere?).

I totally missed out on riding the ferry boats to the Magic Kingdom on my last visit. I can remember seeing Pluto on water skis on my very first visit.

Great trip reports, TokyoMagic!

TokyoMagic! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I guess I gave it away.....no, I do not like Mission Space! They actually opened up the Monoarail queue again, but we were already crammed in on the Ferry dock and we were going to be getting on the next boat so we stayed there. I guess if you really wanted to take the Monorail, you could just hang back and wait for them to open up the line again. We just didn't realize that was what they were doing....we actually thought there might be a problem with the Monorail. That top portion of the train station window reads, "Railroad Office" and the lower portion reads, "Keeping Dreams On Track - Walter E. Disney - Chief Engineer." I'm glad you asked because I would have never zoomed in to read it otherwise. Who knew that they gave Walt his own window? Does he have one at Disneyland?

Dan, I love that TOT billboard so I had to get a pic of it! I'm also kind of surprised that they didn't do an Expedition Everest board. I do remember the Test Track one, but I didn't see it. It may actually be located closer to Highway 192. I never drove that far down World Dr. on this trip. I remember as a kid seeing pics of the characters water skiing. Do they do that anymore?

Anonymous said...

Wow, megapost.



outsidetheberm said...

Nice report! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great, great job on this article.

Connie Moreno said...

Thanks for the cool pics! I have been there for the actual Halloween party but would love to spend a whole day there taking in the Halloween decorations.