The Walt Disney World Waterski Show

Water Skiing Show - DayWhen I started looking through the Bill Cotter photos, I was just amazed at how many gems and awesome photos are included.  The content and history is amazing and I almost don’t even know where to start! Well I think I have found a solid topic that I’d like more info on, and will be doing some more research like usual.  The infamous WDW Water Ski Show.  Some people may not know this even existed, but according to legend there was a choreographed ski show that took place on the lakes: Bay Lake & Seven Seas Lagoon.  This was to entertain people at the different resorts and I’m sure it did.  I do believe this is where we get those famous images of Goofy and other characters skiing behind a boat and hanging on for dear life.  I have posted four Bill Cotter photos of what looks like setting up for the ski show, Pluto zipping by at night, Donald cheering on some other night skiers, and some super safe no life jacket skiing.  I also found a quick clip on YouTube that looks perfect for our favorite era of Disney Entertainment. 

Pluto and Goofy waterskiing at nightMy questions are simple, and maybe our readers can help with the search.  What years did this run? Was it performed on both lakes? Why did it shut down? Finally, what in the world is with the night skiing? Did they perform a ski show in the middle of the night for some reason?  That one really has me confused, but I hope you enjoy the photos.  Post a comment or link below if you find some interesting facts,pictures, or even film of the infamous WDW Water Ski Show.

Waterskiing show

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January 18, 2018 3:14 pm

I remember seeing Goofy and Pluto water ski a few times in the mid 80’s. It was during the summer months in the morning, but it was just Goofy and Pluto and there were no ramps or any elaborate stunts of any kind. They launched from the Transportation & Ticket Center boat dock while my family and I were waiting for the Ferry Boat to the Magic Kingdom, I got the impression it was just some thing they did to entertain guests before the park opened, but the mid 80’s morning entertainment I saw may have been a scaled down… Read more »

lakeland jahmes
lakeland jahmes
January 10, 2019 11:01 pm
Reply to  Tims-Stuff

I just found my old Disney photos from the 70’s and ran across pictures of goofy water skiing. I was too young to remember where. The ticket and transportation center make sense. The Polynesian is in the background.

WDW 71-77
WDW 71-77
April 16, 2020 6:15 pm

The WDW ski show was performed in the mid
seventies. It was performed on Seven Seas Lagoon directly in front of the Magic Kingdom monorail station. Not aware of any character ski shows over on Bay Lake. It was an effort to spread the guests out in the Magic Kingdom.
Only it existed back then and could get crowded. Just it, the Poly, the Contemporary, the Golf Resort (military resort now) and Fort
Wilderness. “Those were the days.” Lol

Randy B
Randy B
August 1, 2021 4:03 pm
Reply to  WDW 71-77

Actually the water ski show started when the park opened. I was a Day 1 employee in Recreation, I actually started in July of ’71. Disney hired a bunch of very talented skiers away from Cypress Gardens, and they put on a Cypress Garden’s type show, as shown in the video above.

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