Podcast Episode 2 – Amongst the Plexiglass Trees

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Welcome to Episode 2 of the Retro Disney World Podcast.  We have had lots of great feedback thus far, we hope you continue to enjoy our retro presentations!


The regular crew is all here, Todd, Brian, How & JT are all present and accounted for. How kicks off the podcast with the correct story behind the crying alligator gag in the Jungle Cruise from the last show.

Main Topic

The team starts by mentioning their favorite part of the Contemporary Resort, from there we dive into the overall design, the association with US Steel and how the rooms were constructed. JT gets to say “Like a chest of drawers” a few times while Brian imagines the construction view from Roy’s Cabin.

Todd struggles with the escalator size and continually gets lost in the Grand Canyon Concourse.

We move on to the North & South wings and then ask “What would you pay to stay in a retro Contemporary Room?”

Todd once again mixes up Shari Lewis and Phyllis Diller as we move up to the Top of the World. The commercial discussed during the show can be viewed here: US Steel Contemporary Resort Hotel Construction Commercial

Guest Star

We welcome Chad from wdwmap.com to the show to discuss his amazing reproduction Paul Hartley map of WDW that hung in the rooms at the Contemporary and Polynesian Resorts.

Audio Puzzler

Congratulations to Carolyn for winning the Episode #1 Audio Puzzler, the answer was “Foot Power Scene” from World of Motion. . If you think you know the answer to the audio puzzler, email us! podcast@retrowdw.com  We will enter all correct answers into a drawing for retro prizes! All correct answers will be entered into a drawing in December 2015 for a Paul Hartley reproduction map from wdwmap.com!!

Viewer Mail

From David, we discuss a retro WDW Globe souvenir, one that How purchased a number of years back  – Send your questions to podcast@retrowdw.com.

Film Restoration

We watch and discuss a retro film that has been restored with Pixcel and Imageworks. Follow along with us as we add color commentary to this film: Contemporary Resort – 1970s Shag and Flair – Restored Home Movie HD

Listener Memories

Keep the calls coming, sharing your memories and giving us feedback. If you would like to call and leave us a message, please dial 978-71-RETRO.

Tweet at us, send us a Facebook post or message, tag us on Instagram or send us your thoughts.

We hope you have enjoyed this episode! If you have any questions, suggestions or find errors please email us podcast@retrowdw.com.

Next Month

Be sure to check back with us very soon for Episode #3 when we pay a visit to Fort Wilderness.

Until next time, “Do not pull down on the safety bar please…I will lower it for you…”

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March 1, 2015 2:41 am

Loved the ep- yet had to comment on negative characterization of the wing rooms! We greatly preferred these to tower rooms in the late 70s-80s, with the old marina, beach and pool it was the best place to be- not only was it quieter than being on 7 Seas, but you could walk out your sliding doors right on to the beach, walk over to the poolside bar, or just stumble onto a ferry for a trip over to FW or Discovery Island. I remember how nice it was not having to go anywhere near the bustle of the tower… Read more »

Nicholas DiMaio
February 19, 2018 10:52 am

Excellent podcast episode. It’s further worth adding the Contemporary, as with most remodels, fell victim to losing itself in mismatched or misdirection throughout the years. This place was designed in the 70s mindset but in many ways still looks delightfully dated today. It only took Disney about 40 years to do something to try to pull this resort into the next century but still finds itself at odds to define “contemporary”. It’s worth noting that the Contemporary still had early 70s elements and leftovers all the way up until 2007-2008 or so, including those steel fountain lamps, Concourse Sundries sign… Read more »

B.J. Major
March 9, 2021 4:56 am

As far as I am aware, there is not another hotel in the world that has a monorail going through the center of it. That alone would keep the Contemporary futuristic. I don’t know what exactly it is that makes that hotel look dated to you, but I strongly disagree. I happened to love the plexiglass trees that have long since been removed and I also loved the theming of the entire hotel. I genuinely miss the way it looked in the 1970s.

April 21, 2019 8:53 pm

I have just started listening about a month ago have decided to start at the beginning of them. I just finished listening to the great podcast of the Contemporary. First off I wanted to share my link to the USSteel commercial. Its clearer then the version you have a link to. I came across it when I started doing research myself back around 2005 of how the Contemporary Resort was built. This copy actually came from the USSteel website buried way deep in some folder. This was way before it was easily accessed all over youtube and now facebook. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJNzmydrivI… Read more »

October 11, 2019 10:28 pm

I was sooo excited to listen to this episode as this was our hotel in ’77. For a kid who’d never been in one until then, it was absolutely fantastic and probably set the bar way too high from that point on! :0 If anyone has any suggestions for where to find Contemporary ephemera from ’76 or ’77, I’d love to hear any tips. Have an auto-search set up on eBay but I know there must be other options out there. Thanks!! 🙂

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