A pristine Magic Kingdom from Nov ’71 – Restored Home Movie footage

@BrianPMiles was nice enough to send me a reel of film that he obtained from a garage sale. The film canister said “Florida November ’71” and he took the chance that there was some WDW footage on it. Well his curiosity paid off, sandwiched between visits to Silver Springs and other Florida attractions was pristine footage of the Magic Kingdom in November 1971 – at this point this is the earliest post-opening film of WDW that I’ve ever seen.

After the obligatory pan of Main Street USA, we can see the Christmas decorations are up for the holiday season. A view from the Plaza restaurant shows construction just beyond Tomorrowland and the original yellow Swan Boat landing. From there, the film dives into a world of scenery and landscape – beautifully showing how the park was just after opening. Incredible shots of 20k, Fantasyland, and the Sunshine Tree Terrace. The now famous Jungle Cruise Frogs make their appearance at the 3:17 mark followed by the remainder of the attraction, sans any dense foliage. Shots from the Seven Seas Lagoon and Main Street round out the day followed by some wonderful shots of Liberty Square, Frontierland and Tomorrowland all lit by twilight. The film ends at sunset, panning over from one of the bridges on the hub with just a hint of the castle in silhouette.

Enjoy and be sure to say thanks to @BrianPMiles via twitter!

Technical Notes: The film was in incredible shape, we literally didn’t do much to it other than some grain reduction, sharpening and some minor color tweaks. There was some in-attraction footage, specifically Mickey Mouse Review, Small World, Tiki Birds and Country Bears – we left this footage on the cutting room floor as most of it was very dark and grainy. We have better footage of those attractions coming in the next few weeks.


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August 15, 2014 2:27 am

Another great job! Shots of the frogs, but also the Tomorrowland Terrace under construction, and a weird stage coach parked in Main Street?

And by far the best view of Merlin’s Magic Shop I have ever seen.

August 15, 2014 3:53 am

“Weird Stage Coach” is the Borden’s Milk Delivery wagon.. they sponsored the Ice Cream Parlor for about 10 years and sold Ice Cream from carts…

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