Podcast Episode 76: The Spirit of America

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Welcome to Episode 76 of the RetroWDW Podcast: The Spirit of America  – We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows from over the years. We have visited multiple parks, resorts, and just about everything else in between.

Listener Mail

We open the mailbag every month and we are ready to hear from you. Be sure to reach out with questions, stories, memories, and more. You never know if your letter will be read on a future episode: podcast@retrowdw.com

  1. Natalie is our first letter this month and she is excited to share with us one of her favorite spots in the Magic Kingdom. Now keep in mind that if Natalie is ever in the park, you have to give up your seat, as this is her spot. Either way, we love this and would love to hear more about your favorite relaxation spots on property.
  2. Our next message is from Ed and he wanted to discuss the fiberoptic lighting at EPCOT in the cement. How gives us some more confirmation and we also got a photo from Ed. Thank you!
  3. Rick H wrote in about Episode 72: Maelstrom, which has been a fan favorite. He discusses some of the ride systems and how unique they were for this specific ride. We also get a somewhat funny story about how this system flooded the gift shop!
  4. Josue is up next and he did a little fact-checking on our Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure episode. We were curious when we recorded it and Josue filled in the gaps for us. Amazing work!
  5. Next up, we have How clarifying some information we discussed in a previous episode about animatronic figures facing the wrong way. We dig into this to make sure we have it covered completely and perfectly.
  6. Finally, we hear from Jason who has a great story for us. This is almost unbelievable but when you think about it, how cool is this? We have included the photo here for you to see, but if you listen to our show there is a good chance you have a souvenir guide with this photo in it at your house. We go off on a long discussion about sharing rides with strangers, where the photo was taken, and more. Here is a link to the tweet Brian shared, which is a great story as well. Thanks Jason!

Main Topic

This month, we take you through the glorious two-hour special that is The Walt Disney World Fourth of July Spectacular from 1988. This is a commentary on the entire special, which is on YouTube currently on many different channels. Here is the link we used: Click Here.

As we go through this discussion, we look at each section, analyzing how things have changed and also how the special seems just a bit off.

The entire show is filled with celebrity appearances, song and dance numbers, testimonials, and even the Beach Boys. We notice many instances of synergy within the company and even some super early shots of Disney-MGM and the backlot/Streets of America in 1988. Todd leads us on this one as we get into who is who throughout the special. We hope you enjoy this Fourth of July special as we take you back to 1988 and a different era for the Walt Disney Company. Enjoy!

RetroMagic 50 Updates

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July 3, 2022 11:09 pm

I was at WDW in June 1988. The game show “Win lose or draw” was taping at Epcot and at the Polynesian, the syndicate version and the NBC version hosted by Bert Convey and Vicki Lawrence. I was at the Epcot taping and Marc Price and Clifton Davis were the celebrity guest. I bet they taped their part of this special then. I believe Carol Burnett and Bert Reynolds were at the Polynesian taping that NBC version at the same time.

July 6, 2022 3:47 pm

Carol Burnett was sending a signal to her grandmother, not her mother. Her grandmother, who was something of a character, raised her in a tiny apartment in Hollywood after her alcoholic parents divorced. Nanny, as Carol Burnett called her grandmother, gave young Carol stability and encouragement. Though they struggled to make ends meet, Nanny always found money for a weekly trip to the movies. In the age before the Internet and when long distance phone calls were expensive and difficult, the ear tug was a signal that meant “Hi Nanny. I’m fine. I love you.” It’s a simple story of… Read more »

Jungle Jim
Jungle Jim
July 11, 2022 10:55 am

I really miss Jack Wagner’s voice around the parks!

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