Podcast Episode 45: Holiday Potluck

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Congratulations to JT on their new addition.  Andrew is 3 weeks old. 

Last month was the event, the Lake & Lagoon Discovery Edition tour over at the Contemporary.

Welcome to Episode 45 of the RetroWDW Podcast: “Holiday Potluck” – We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.

Corrections

  1. Todd gets everybody up to speed regarding the Taylor Ham/Pork Roll discussions and research. If you have listened to our previous episodes, this shouldn’t be totally random for you.
  2. We had a listener write in, regarding a live band for Mickey’s Birthdayland. How recalls this and also potentially knew somebody who was involved in the show.
  3. Another listener wrote in, regarding an SNL skit where 20,000 leagues kept popping up, throughout the sketch. Sounds pretty funny -if you have a link, please share it with us. 

Pork Roll vs Taylor Ham discussion.  Todd was hoping that it had to do with a tailor’s tool, called the tailor ham which was a small and tightly stuffed pillow used when pressing curved areas of clothing.  Brian believes it was just the name of the butcher in the area.   

We had a listener write in, regarding a live band for Mickey’s Birthdayland. This was confirmed.   How recalls knowing someone who worked sound and another listener also was a band member.  They speculated that this was a show put on by the Live entertainment division, and they would have used live musicians

Another listener wrote in, regarding an SNL skit where someone new is coming aboard the Nautilus and keeps questioning whether they are traveling 20,000 leagues under the sea and he’s upset because leagues is a measurement of distance.  The guys joked they would write a sketch of 0.008 leagues under the sea.

Listener Mail

  1. Our first message is from one of our newest binge listeners. Jacob’s first visit was earlier than our era, but he has really enjoyed catching up with all the history shared. Pioneer Hall in Fort Wilderness
  2. This next message is from a fan and also a Lake & Lagoon Tour participant. Dan wants to know all about the Fort Wilderness Arcade, which is back behind Crockett’s Tavern & Trails End Buffet. He is curious about the two levels, if it has always been for an arcade and even why… We weren’t totally sure, but maybe a listener or former cast member can chime in. 
  3. Our friend Reese wrote in regarding a sentence or wording on the Progress City display, while riding the Peoplemover. Todd did some investigating and so did a few others, so we are going to dig into this a bit more, but we have some information for you right now.
  4. Keith Beaulie has been doing an amazing job, transcribing our episodes into a legible and functional set of documents. We wanted to give him a shout out and also tell him thank you for taking the time to get this going. The automatic systems just weren’t cutting it, but Keith has really done an amazing job.
  5. Finally, Alan Bowers wrote in to ask why Florida was actually chosen for Walt Disney World. Brian & How go through some of the major reasons and also break down why other locations were not utilized. 

Details: 

This next message is from  a Lake & Lagoon Tour participant. Dan wants to know all about the Fort Wilderness Arcade, which is back behind Crockett’s Tavern & Trails End Buffet. He is curious about the two levels, if it has always been for an arcade and even why… We weren’t totally sure, but maybe a listener or former cast member can chime in. 

Our friend Reese wrote in regarding a sentence or wording on the Progress City display, while riding the Peoplemover. Todd did some investigating and so did a few others.  The words are reflected on the glass, so they are very faint, and it says ‘The City of Tomorrow is a Great Electric City working for you.’ They do not believe it was there in the 1980’s, believe it was added during the Tomorrowland rehab.  Scranton, PA is actually known as the electric city.  How tells that he may have help fix the airplane projection that takes the grandparents from the Disneyland show. 

Keith Beaulie has been doing an amazing job, transcribing our episodes into a legible and functional set of documents. We wanted to give him a shout out and also tell him thank you for taking the time to get this going. The automatic systems just weren’t cutting it, but Keith has really done an amazing job.  This will allow the podcast to be categorized by when topics are mentioned.  Keith’s work began as Lake Buena Vista Historical Society.  Identifying the needs that the team had. Overwhelming support from the volunteers who wants to help the group.

Finally, Alan Bowers wrote in to ask why Florida was actually chosen for Walt Disney World. Brian & How go through some of the major reasons and also break down why other locations were not utilized.  Hiring of Harrison Buzz Price.  Florida was researched heavily UCF.  Compare rainfall between NYC, Anaheim and South Florida.  Trade offs in the weather to operate year round.  Florida already had a built in tourism base.  They used a statistical model to determine how many visitors they would have They projected a 6 million attendance in 1969 in Florida.  They had experience in Missouri where they attempted to build an indoor Disneyland.  There were various problems, chiefly that in an established city there were a lot of power players who wanted a say in aspects of the park.  A lot of other logistical reasons why St. Louis was not chosen.  They wanted a virgin landscape where they could do things their way. He wanted to build a city, not just a theme park.  Once the roads were planned for the area, Orlando became the best contender in Florida.   

Thank you for all the emails, tweets and comments you have sent our way. We try to respond to almost everything and do our best to pick unique questions for the show. 

Questions, Comments & Concerns

We love feedback and hearing your memories!

Drop us a line at podcast@retrowdw.com or call us and leave a voice mail at 978-71-RETRO. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Map News

For our latest event, we put together a really special giveaway. This one-of-a-kind collectors map is truly amazing and you really need to get one for your home or office. The details Jason drew, the small Easter eggs – it is just insane. If you would like your own, please visit our ‘Donate’ page – the entire donation is tax deductible and you will get this amazing work of art. Be sure to share where you end up hanging your posters and show us those custom frame jobs!

Audio Rewind

Our audio rewind this month turned out to be background music from The Germany Pavilion in EPCOT Center!  The winner is Ryan/Katie Welsh, winning the 1992 Burger King Calendar. Great job and thanks for playing along to everybody!

If you think you know the answer to this month’s audio rewind, email us! contest@retrowdw.com – This month the winner will receive one of the Lake & Lagoon Vacation Kingdom
All entries due 1/10/2019 and a random winner will be selected.

Prize Pot

Prize Pot #2 has begun! Each month, we add a vintage or classic item to the pot. The winner will be announced in December and they get it all. Follow along as we add items and remember, each entry/guess of the audio rewind gets you an entry for the prize pot. Thanks for playing along!The Land Entrance

2018 Prize Pot #2 Contents

  • WDW Resort Pocket Sewing Kit (See It)
  • The Official Album of WDW/Disneyland on vinyl, sealed! 
  • 2018 D23 Gold Member Kit – Featuring Mickey’s 90th Birthday (see it & its contents)
  • Disney News collection from the 1990s
  • Numbered & Signed Vacation Kingdom Lake/Lagoon Poster

We used the “Phone-A-Friend” from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, to call JT’s sister. She is stationed live, inside The Land Pavilion, to have a random person pick a number. This number correlates with over 500 guesses and emails for the second half of 2018. The winner of the 2018 Prize Pot Par #2 is…… Paul Zimmerman! 

Main Topic

Magic of Christmas at Walt Disney World – 1991

Starting us off, Brian takes us through this vintage VHS. This was sold alongside the other VHS tapes – A Day at The Magic Kingdom, A Day at EPCOT Center, and A Day at Disney MGM Studios. We discuss how Santa takes us on a journey, throughout the resort, about what is done for Christmas at WDW. There are some hidden gems in this video that have not really been seen too often. This will be a fun watch around the holidays, so be sure to check it out

This was sold in the parks as a souvenir.  This was sold alongside the other VHS tapes – A Day at The Magic Kingdom, A Day at EPCOT Center, and A Day at Disney MGM Studios.  This was a way of advertising and getting the information shown to friends and family.  In the 2000’s VHS and DVD vacation planners had very similar content.  The Magic of Christmas at WDW opens with Santa in his workshop opening letters around a fire.  Santa opens a letter from a 6 yo girl named Karen who’s family was going to be in WDW at Christmas and she was concerned if there was anything to do and if there’d be anything special for Christmas.  Santa writes back to Karen describing all the wonderful things throughout the resort, about what is done for Christmas at WDW.  The video was pretty well done.  Santa describes all the fun things that WDW does for Christmas and also tells Karen that he and Mrs. Claus make a special visit there every Christmas Day for the live parade.  They open up in warehouse number 9 to show all the preparation for Christmas with Mickey, Goofy, Pluto & Dopey and you get to see all the Christmas decorations and supplies.  The Toy Soldiers for the parade just sitting there since they haven’t come to life yet.  They turn the lights on and all the parade characters start dancing around to “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”.  Santa turns into Santa Goofy and Chip & Dale, Donald, Daisy all show up to party.  Looks like it was filmed at one of the MGM Studios soundstages.  The first stop after the warehouse is with the seven dwarves here they are decorating with wreaths and garland.  They talk about the Main Street bakery making Christmas treats and in the bakery they have the 2nd edition of the Cooking with Mickey cookbook.   Santa tells her how Center St is used for sleigh pictures.  They went to Mickey’s Christmas Carol shop in Fantasyland and they talked about the Country Bears Christmas Special.  Santa tells about who is decorating the other resorts.  At the Grand Floridian, the White Rabbit, Alice and the Queen of Hearts are decorating and they show the creepy Victorian mannequins.  The on to Yacht & Beach Club where Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, Tic Tock are decorating & Peter Pan joins in to help.  Fort Wilderness, Pluto is running around and decorating.  They always seem to have people on the balcony at Pioneer Hall & horses walking right by in the promo shots of Fort Wilderness, even though that never happened.  The newest resort was Port Orleans and Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear are decorating.  Brer Fox is balanced on a ladder that is balanced on one of the jester’s noses.  After the resorts, Santa tells her that everyone has to help at EPCOT Center decorating because there is so much.  There is a cool aerial shot of the left side of Future World with Horizons, World of Motion.  They talk about World Showcase saying Merry Christmas in the different language and the Toy Soldiers visit the UK Wooden Soldier Toy Store.  The Robin Hood characters promote the Christmas performances.  There are some all white reindeer that are dancing around.   The jitney bus was used to being the characters all dressed in holiday outfits.   They sing a Christmastime song, just repeating Christmas time over and over.  Then they show the Christmas Trees, first the Magic Kingdom Tree with Tinkerbell & fireworks.  Then the EPCOT tree with Illumination there.  Then he describes all the trees at LBV and the other resorts.  Then he describes the every year is New Year’s Eve at Pleasure Island.  The Jolly Holidays Christmas Show at the Contemporary was described.  Jiminy Cricket is at the Disney Village Marketplace and they have great video of the inside of the Christmas Chalet which became the World of Disney.  They show the animated windows that used to be there.  One of them Scrooge McDuck seems to be having a seizure.  The Nativity Show is mentioned with a panned shot of the show.  The outfits seem a bit out of place as they are dressed in Victorian garb.  The theme of the show is that the shop owners of the Disney Village also brought gifts to the baby Jesus.  Some of the best video of that show are in this video.  Caroling at WDW is discussed, the Voices of Liberty at EPCOT and also caroling at the resorts.  Snow White is at The Disney Inn, leading Christmas Carols in the lobby.  All the other characters who decorated leading carols at the resorts they decorated.  Two nights of the candlelight professional on the stairs of the Magic Kingdom was shown.  The video ends on Christmas Day Parade starting with Mickey leaving his Toon Town House and joining his friends.  And finally, shots of the parade and Santa on his sleigh.

1994 Holiday Trip

1994_November_G&G_WDW_0093Next up, Todd shares a very unique gallery from his grandparents, when they visited in November of 1994. We see lots of great holiday photos, new Tomorrowland under construction, the amazingly classic 90s Grand Floridian rooms and so much more. Be sure to take note of the sleigh photo-op on Center Street! These have that great 90s look, color and focus, which we discuss why… Hope you enjoy these!

There are about 120 holiday photos, new Tomorrowland under construction, pictures of the Alien encounter & the clear globe.  There are picture of the Continental Airlines 727, down the aisle into the cockpit with the navigator in the cockpit.   Todd’s grandparents stayed at the Grand Floridian, and the pictures include all the poinsettias decorating the front entrance, the doorman in the Victorian outfit roasting chestnuts in the courtyard.   rooms and so much more. There were photos of GF being decorated, so there are pictures of the skeleton of the tree, the crates with pieces on it and then the completed lobby.   There were also pictures of the Grand Floridian rooms, the fancy soaps (not the regular Mickey Soaps) in the bathroom & and the phone in the bathroom.  There are pictures of the Magic Kingdom, and there are pictures of them in the sleigh photo-op on Center Street.  There are a lot of photos of the Jolly Holidays show on the stage at the Grand Floridian.  And the pictures end at EPCOT showing a lot of the great decorations and included the tunnel of light.  They discussed that the small lenses, and the high speed film had really dark colored photos of the 1990s.  They weren’t super sharp, and they also had date stamp in the corner.  There were also shots of something being filmed on the shore of the Grand Floridian, possibly Thunder in Paradise? The last photo is Father Christmas and a young girl in traditional garb in EPCOT. 

New Year’s Eve Every Night!

Finally, How takes us to our favorite night out at Pleasure Island! We go through a small history of the park and then into how the original idea was scrapped. New Year’s Eve, every single night became a huge deal and also had a nightly countdown. The entire park had many changes throughout the years, which we discuss and also look into some of the clubs. Don’t forget – time this section up right to do a vintage/retro countdown on New Year’s! Hope you enjoy this look at Pleasure Island! 

Finally, How takes us to our favorite night out at Pleasure Island! They had confetti cannons, parties, live DJs. When Pleasure Island opened in 1989, it was not New Year’s Eve every night.  Pleasure Island opened on the same day as Disney MGM Studios.  All the marketing was on the story of Adam Merriweather Pleasure.  There were plaques on each of the buildings in the park explaining the origin of the building and how each building had a function.  The story of after the Disney Village, but before Disney Springs was that in the 1940’s there was a wild, eccentric gentleman who was exploring the Kissimmee river, Adam Merriweather Pleasure built a city dedicated to sail making and exploration, and all kinds of crazy stuff.  Pleasure went missing, and the town was left abandoned.  Disney found the builddings and converted the buildings into modern day dance clubs.  One of the things that opened was Videoopolis East, a dance club for teens.  Some of the clubs kids could come in accompanied by adults, some were adult only.  It was $10 to get in.  Pleasure’s motto was All For Fun & Fun For All.  In April 1990, the marketing changed because it was not doing as well as Disney had hoped.  Videoopolis East went out, Cage came in.  Pleasure was gone, but the Funmeister character came in.  The Moon dressed up like Mac Tonight surrounded by confetti and New Year’s Eve, every single night became a huge deal and also had a nightly countdown. The Disney Magazine introduced Stan Freese, the entertainment producer of Pleasure Island who worked closely with WDW Entertainment to come up with new concepts for the clubs.  Zephyrs was the rock & roll club and the concept was that there was a space ship inside, the live band was called the Tine Rovers and played 1950’s – 1980’s music because they were time travelers, which then changed to rock and roll beach music.  At the far side, the West Side, there was the West End Stage and a courtyard.  It was free until 7pm. It was a hard ticket, initially blocked off.  They changed to a bracelet system when they opened AMC theaters and Bongo’s because there was a reason to allow people to walk through.  Once they got rid of the roller skating part of Zephyrs, it became strictly 21 and over with liquor everywhere.  Zephyrs had strange architecture, it was partially open water, one part was box, and there was an oval roller skating rink with windows along the back.  Mannequins was where Morimoto Asia is now.  The stage show for New Year’s Eve started in 1990.  “At the top of Hill Street, a live band urges partygoers to dance in the streets.’  There was a Blues Brother’s Style band or the alternate World Beat Band for the street party.  It was at 11pm M-Th and 12pm Friday and Saturday.  There were party favors handed out, New Years Eve hats, and they had the full countdown. It was a festive atmosphere and they got the crowd very excited.  The stage show changed a number of times over the years, the costumes were very excited.  The Pleasure Island Explosion was the dance company.  They had pyrotechnics, confetti cannons for the new year.  The Adventurers Club cast talked about how the Club would clear out near time for the new year celebration.  There were promises made to do an entire episode on Pleasure Island in the future. 

 

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Be sure to check out our previous Christmas podcast episodes too:

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Next Month

  • Join us next year, for our first episode of 2019! We want to thank you for listening all year, joining us on our tours and also thank you for any merchandise you purchased or donations you made. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s!

(Enhanced show notes by Donna, May 2021)

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