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The First Christmas… At Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom holiday parade, 1971“Tin Soldiers Will Join Mickey Mouse and Pluto In Daily Magic Kingdom Holiday Parades”

These days, Walt Disney World pretty much has Christmas down to a science (although things seem to have gone off the wheels a bit this year, but I digress). These pictures, taken from the Walt Disney World News in December of 1971, show how the resort celebrated its very first holiday season.

Christmas wreath in the Magic Kingdom, 1971“Old-Fashioned Holiday Wreaths”
Shop window on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, 1971“Gifts for Family and Friends Fill Walt Disney World’s Shops and Boutiques”

Auntie Pearl checks out some souvenir scented hand soaps in the window of the Emporium. Love it. I want fancy things from Walt Disney World! But wait, check this out:

Wonderland of Wax shop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, 1971“The Wonderland of Wax on Main Street is Full of Holiday Scents and Bright Colors”

The Wonderland of Wax! What a great picture. I love the giant medieval chandelier of hanging candles. You can almost smell the candles through the picture. This fantastic store (not to be confused with the House of Wax, which is very different) was tucked away at the end of east Center Street. The white wooden door you see in the picture would have connected the Wonderland of Wax with the Cup’n Saucer China Shop next door. The Cup’n Saucer is now Uptown Jewelers.

The Wonderland of Wax became the Main Street Candle Shop in 1981, and by 1984 it was again renamed Holiday Corner. Luckily for candlephiles, the Holiday Corner featured the smell of “warm max that the candlemakers use to produce snow men, decorative candles, and other creations-with-wicks.” By 1986 the location became the Main Street Christmas Shop, and it disappeared completely by 1988.

Here’s my favorite of the pictures:

Christmas tree in Contemporary Resort, 1971A Most “Contemporary” Christmas Tree”

How cool is that? The Grand Canyon Concourse, decked out for Christmas in 1971. How great is that tree? I want that in my front yard. Or I’d settle for a color version of this photo. Also note the fantastic lighting fixtures on the concourse. Now that’s what I call Christmas… of the future!!

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