Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Retro Disney Blast

I'm on vacation this week, visiting my parents in the mountains. I was going through some family photos when I happened upon some pictures of our first trip to EPCOT in the fall of 1984. We spent the morning at the Magic Kingdom, then headed over to EPCOT. Much to my dismay, my parents marched right past all the marvelous Future World pavilions so my mom could go to Morocco and shop. While she was rooting through the gift shop in search of who-knows-what, my dad snapped this picture of my sister, my grandmother, and I:


As you can see, I was not happy to be in Morocco. My poor grandmother was doing her best to put a happy face on the situation, but for a six-year-old there are few tortures worse than having to sit and be bored when there are exciting experiences around the corner, just waiting to be had. Fortunately, my mom soon finished in Morocco, and we headed off across the World Showcase, pausing to snap this picture:

We finally did make it to Future World, where we rode Journey Into Imagination, World of Motion, Horizons, Universe of Energy, and finally Spaceship Earth. At the end of the day, my parents took this picture of my sister and I outside Earth Station:

Sadly, it didn't occur to either of my parents to take more pictures of Future World's architectural wonders, but I suppose it never occurred to them that in years to come some of them might not be there anymore. Many people complained that EPCOT Center was too staid and "adult" to be appealing to little kids like the 1984 versions of my sister and I, but I can tell you that I was excited and inspired by what I saw that day. True, I was already prone to spend recess pretending to be Captain Kirk while other kids were pretending to be Autobots and Decepticons, so I'm not saying I was a typical six-year-old. Still, those few hours spent in Future World almost 25 years ago continue to affect me to this day. I'm not sure if Mission:Space, Test Track, or The Seas With Nemo and His Computer-Generated Friends are capable of working the same magic on today's kids.

As an added bonus, here are some pictures from my very first trip to the Magic Kingdom in 1981:

The monorail on approach to the Magic Kingdom station. The monorail has always been one of my favorite things about Disney World, and it looks just as sleek and futuristic now as it did the year the first Space Shuttle launched.

Finally, here's a picture of my chance meeting with Mickey Mouse. This is before the Magic Kingdom had designated Character Greeting Areas, and the characters roamed the park. Of course, I understand why things have to be more structured now, but it's nice to remember a simpler time.

I'll be back next week with an honest look at the plusses and minuses of FastPass. Thanks for reading!


  1. Fantastic pictures!

    Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Very nice! You make me feel old, though. ;-)

  3. Great pics... I was about the same age, in the same place at the same time, and I felt the exact same way about Morocco. It was the kiss of death for a kid who wanted to be riding Horizons... Motion... Imagination... Energy... Spaceship Earth...

    Now most of those are gone, but at least I enjoy Morocco more :)

  4. What happened to this? "I'll be back next week with an honest look at the plusses and minuses of FastPass."


Thanks for taking the time to comment!