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Welcome to Episode 21 of the Retro Disney World Podcast: “Listener’s Choice Q&A” – We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.
This month we took a call for all of your questions; things you want to know, different things you remember and even some memories that we have forgotten about.
- We start off in Epcot discussing Figment and the Imagination Pavilion. The discussion also moves onto Spaceship Earth regarding continents projected with lasers and the Laserphonic Fantasy show on World Showcase Lagoon!
- RJ McBean is discussed with binaural audio and also our MGM Studios Opening Day Episode.
- A listener asks about a mention in the book Realityland about the Bay Hill Cottages and where Roy stayed, not Roy’s Cabin, during the construction of WDW. How & Brian have some seriously detailed information on this.
Links: Realityland book | “Sully” Sullivan’s book | Bay Hill Club & Lounge | Episode 17 |
- Todd’s book is discussed and compared to the current generation of WDW, analyzing his old tips and tricks.
- The Dreamfinder book, written by Ron Schneider – From Dreamer To Dreamfinder – We had a listener ask about this title and we give you some history on Ron.
- The anniversary cakes are discussed and also mass cake serving to park guests.
- Anthony asks about the AM radio station loop. How mentions a more in-depth article by the Parkology website.
Enhanced Notes (May 2021):
Scott Marchino asked if the original Journey Into Imagination attraction had a gift shop at the end. He has memories of seeing a lot of Journey Into Imagination merchandise, and he’s not sure if it was there or at the Centorium. How described that outside of the pavilion, near the fountains that there was a Kodak photo center and they also had a lot of plush, figurines, and Captain EO merchandise when it came out. There was also a Figment Meet & Greet near the pavilion. When they redid the ride to Journey Into Your Imagination which was the 2nd incarnation and the public complained because it was boring and excluded Figment & Dreamfinder. They reimagined the ride to put Figment back in the ride in 2003. And at that point there was a lot of Figment merchandise & the Meet & Greet was in a room called Figment’s Place. It was a giant Figment, no longer the puppet. There was a lot of artwork in that room that they just recently demolished.
Did they ever project the outline of the continents onto Spaceship Earth during the fireworks around 1985? In 1986, the green laser outline was projected at the Laserphonic Fantasy show on World Showcase Lagoon.
Joe Lanza asked a question about 1989, the 3D binaural soundsations recording at MGM Studios, and why the listeners name was RJ McBean, believes he saw an image of the recording process in a book or magazine once. How experienced the attraction and then made his own version. How walked around WDW for 2 years recording. He does not know where the name came from. He is researching. Believes it was done by an internal team that went on to do the 3D sound for Alien Encounter. That was recorded in the Orlando facilities.
Merle Mann was reading the book Reality Land and there is reference to Roy & a few others living at the Bay Hill Cottages during the construction of the park. From William “Sully” Sullivan’s Disney Legends book an employee of Disney from Disneyland. First assignment was to be in charge of the Hilton Inn South. At the time there were no hotels or anything within a 10 mile radius of the property except for Guy’s Corner the gas station/convenience store. They rented the Hilton Inn South for a period of 18months so they could train Disney Employees on how to run a hotel, because Disney had never been in the hotel business. They were putting some people up there and some up a The Gold Key Inn, which was not the best location. They bought 5 houses off Apopka Vineland Rd. for the executives, Roy Disney, Joe Fowler, and John Hall (original contractor) had permanent houses and there were 2 others that were open for people who came in from California. They sent the hotel chefs and maids over to take the care of the executives. There was only a handshake deal for the Hilton South Inn and the owner complained about them sending staff over to the houses. He calculated the loss of about 50K for the costs of taking care of the Bay Hill Cottages. In June 1968, Disney bought 5 identical lakefront houses on Tibbet Bay Dr in the Bay Hill neighborhood. Each house is 1500 sq feet 2 bedroom, 2 bath. They look like typical late 1960’s houses. Disney owned these houses until 2001 when the Disney Hospitality Recreation Corporation sold the houses to TBHC Inc. which is the holding company for Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Country Club & Lodge. The Bay Hill Country Club rents these houses. David Koeing’s Realityland, Fowler cabin was right next to Roy’s so they could have impromptu meetings.
There is a difference between these homes and the homes discussed in Episode 17 which told the story of the people who lived on WDW property so that the regulations could be met so they could form a government for these areas. There was the City of Lake Buena Vista, City of Bay Lake, and there was also discussion of a mythical cabin demolished at Fort Wilderness.
Daniel Star asked about Todd’s book. The Very Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World which was distributed on bulletin board sites at no charge. Later changed it to Walt Disney World Made Simple continued to update the book until the early 2000. There are tips, tricks, and fun facts. Standing for the Haunted Mansion in the years before Fast Pass. There were 2 queue lines and the tip was to go left in order to get the cool breeze off The Rivers of America. Had the Disney Future Attraction and animated feature list. Updated with all the potential things that were going to open. Scoured the annual reports and got a number correct.
Andrea Janowiak asked about the book that DreamFinder wrote. Ron Schneider, the original DreamFinder from 1982-1986 wrote From Dreamer To Dreamfinder. He was also one of the opening crew of the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. The book includes anecdotes from the time that he worked at Disney, including one of the anniversary parades where he got to ride own Main Street USA as DreamFinder. It also includes his time at Universal Studios from when they opened in 1990. He was one of the people who wrote the original Blues Brothers show. The book also talks a lot about themed entertainment.
Erin – There was a question about the anniversary that were on display near the front gate in the parks. In EPCOT there was a cake displayed for the 5, 10, and 15 year anniversaries near spaceship earth. One year it was in the shape of the Horizon’s building. They also had a Chevy Cavelier parked nearby because they were giving away a car a day. They also had it in the Magic Kingdom near where the Partner’s Statue is now. They did actually have giant sheet cakes on the anniversary day that they gave out to the people who were at the ceremony. On Walt’s 100th birthday they had a giant sheet cake with his picture on it that they gave out to guests. In 1986 when the Living Seas Opened and they made a cake for the fish and Mickey was in the aquarium giving it to them.
Anthony Violante is trying to track down the AM radio station loop. It was similar to what was play on the monorail. It included park hours, events of the day and remind you not to leave your pets in the car. There is no full recording, but there are snipets and outakes that can be found. Jack Wagner was the narrator initially, then it was a dialogue between Pooh and Rabbit. The original radio station was 1030 and was broadcast out of the castle. When EPCOT opened they started radio station 810. They had stations coming in and going out of the parks. They lasted until the mid 1990s. There is a more in-depth article by the Parkology website. There was a very different less elaborate approach to WDW, so the radio station was the first introduction to WDW.
Thank you so much for all of your questions, this is just a small sampling of the topics we discuss from our listeners. Not everyone made it to the show, but thank you so much for contacting us. Please contact us with your questions, comments and concerns; we love hearing from you – firstname.lastname@example.org
Huge number of correct responses this month. Congratulations to our winner, Christina, she guessed “Spectromagic”. Christina won the Disney News issue from 1985.
Prize Pot Items
As you may have heard, our year end prize this year will include a different prize from every month. So far, we have:
- An Orange Bird Yo-Yo from January
- A brochure from The World of Motion given away in February
- The March prize is a Golf Resort Mickey head logo golf bag tag
- An Epcot Center salt and pepper shaker set
- A Disney Glass Candy Dish
- A Tomorrowland Handbook
- A copy of ’84 Disney News
- and new this month……..a copy of The Walt Disney World Explorer CD Rom AND expired Discovery Island Tickets!
The pot will continue to grow each month with new and exciting prizes! To win the prize pot in December, just answer any audio rewind question each month for one entry.
We gave you the listener, a chance to answer a number of easy and super difficult trivia questions. In this episode, you hear our own How Bowers attempt the same questions our listeners did… See how he did and also see which listener won! Our listeners won some 3D printed items; a Peoplemover car & EPCOT Center Logos. Thanks for playing along, hope you were able to answer some of these great questions.
Interview with Ted
Ted Linhart is in the studio to discuss his passion, Disney documents. We hear all about his website, The History of Disney Parks Documents. Ted has an amazing collection you have to check out. Hope you enjoy our interview with him.
Ted has a large collection of Disney memorabilia. Historical documents that he is now posting on his website at Disneydocs.net . The collection includes many documents from the early days of Walt Disney World and also the selling of the idea of EPCOT to the potential corporate sponsors and well as Disneyland and the 1964 World’s Fair. Always loved WDW and the parks and Walt’s vision of the future. He loved Horizons and thought that embodied that vision. He has always been a collector, and as the rides started to disappear, he wanted to preserve that and searched for things. Van Eton Galleries had an auction of a person’s collection and then they had other sales that included a lot of the documents through those auctions. Not many people are interested in the Horizons documents so that he can obtain them for not too much money. Project 90, RCA was trying to sell to Disney their state of the art at the time communication system for WDW. He has the document, “Project 90 an Executive Summary, the integrated communication system for Walt Disney World” with a picture of Progress City on the cover. It was an internal document that was owned by one of the people who worked in WDW. RCA provided the first computer system and communication system for the hotels. The most interesting documents he has are those on things that did not materialize. He has a Mineral King document. He has seen attraction documents – concept art sketches for a land or ride at EPCOT that was never built, but they are not in his collection. He has a proposal for “Oriental Disneyland’ which eventually became Tokyo Disney. The document is from early 2000’s and while the name of the park changed, it is still called Oriental Land Company. He has lost some auctions, but has not lost something that he wants. The one document that he had to have was a cast member brochure from the Carousel of Progress that he got at his top dollar, that he would have been disappointed if he didn’t get. Todd has a 1969 Complete Edition of WDW that has a corporate note from Pete Smith attached to it, and they will scan it so it can be on the website. There was a letter that Walt Disney was writing to Monsanto and congratulating them about their House of Future that they had created. He’d like to see a Walt Disney Letter about the Carousel of Progress or The Submarine Voyage, but he doesn’t know what he’s looking for normally. He first visited Disneyland starting 1975, and didn’t go to Disneyworld until 1985 and stayed at the Golf Resort. He has been to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and plans to visit every park. He loves Horizons, Carousel of Progress, Spaceship Earth, and Soarin’.
Corrections & Comments
Comment on the 1975 video of America on Parade. He talks about a segment with Thumper, Flower & Bambi, where Thumper is jumping up and down on a log and wanted to know what the location was. The location was the window of the Emporium on Main Street because Bambi was re-released. Any time a movie is released they would change the window there. Now it is just a best of. How heard in the department where they did the window displays, that they had a book from the early 1900’s of different mechanical movements and how to create them and they used them to create the windows.
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The RetroWDW Event
November 19-20, D23 will be hosting an event at Walt Disney World. Our group is planning an event that weekend where you can interact with us, look at some vintage WDW artifacts, host a guest and even record a live podcast. This is all in the planning stages and we will be ironing out the details over the coming months. We are planning The Retro Disney World Lake & Lagoon Tour with your favorite hosts, showcasing all of the vintage pieces that are still there. Some of the final details will be shared with you on our next episode, promise!
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(Enhanced Show Notes by Donna, May 2021)