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Beachin’ Bertha

In the early days of Walt Disney World, watercraft were a fundamental element of new parks. When the Magic Kingdom opened alongside the rest of the resort in 1971, any number of rafts, launches, steamships, and ferries took to the waters of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon for shakedown cruises. The Rivers of [...]

A Model Kingdom, 1968

One hallmark of Walt Disney World since its very earliest inception is the ambitious master plan; the sweeping, grand vision which is slowly whittled away and watered down once the practicalities of construction and the vagaries of history take their toll. While the construction of the resort in the late 1960s involved a massive amount [...]

Watercrafting – Layin’ Keel, 1975

One of the many operational issues facing Walt Disney World when it opened in 1971 was inadequate transportation capacity. Walt Disney Productions simply ran out of time before the resort’s debut, and so the Magic Kingdom opened without enough operational monorails and watercraft to bring visitors in from the Transportation and Ticket Center. Every moving [...]

Cruise To Discovery Island

How about a musical interlude? This clip from 1978′s Christmas at Walt Disney World is supremely goofy and random, but at least it’s not as horrifying as the Clinkers (although they make a cameo at the beginning of the clip!) and grotesque megababies. It also gives some sweet footage of aquatic recreation on Bay Lake [...]