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Tag Archives: 1970s

October 15

October 15, 1971 – Life Magazine Features Story on Walt Disney World

“The new site is Florida, but the air is pure old Disney.”

On October 15, 1971, Life Magazine wrote an article about the opening of Walt Disney World, which had opened only two weeks prior. The article about the park, entitled “Disney Moves East,” features several pictures from the opening day festivities, while discussing the changes and “lessons learned” from the park in Anaheim. The article also introduces characters that guests can meet in the park, as well as the attraction Mickey Mouse Revue, featuring Audio-Animatronic figures of classic Disney characters.

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September 9

September 9, 1973 – The Attraction General Electric Carousel of Progress Closes in Disneyland

“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, just a dream away.”

On September 9, 1973, the Tomorrowland attraction General Electric Carousel of Progress closed in Disneyland, preparing for a move to the new Walt Disney World Park in Orlando, Florida. The attraction, originally operating as a marketing attraction for General Electric at the 1964-1965 New York’s World’s Fair, had operated in Disneyland since the summer of 1967, and was replaced by another Audio-Animatronic show called America Sings. The area it once occupied is now inhabited by the Tomorrowland Expo Center, which features the Star Wars Launch Bay and the Super Hero HQ, while the Carousel of Progress attraction still operates in Walt Disney World.

August 6

August 6, 1970 – Yippies Invade Disneyland

“The youths, who were participating in what was called a Yippie ‘invasion,’ had shouted obscenities and had pulled down red, white and blue bunting hanging near Disneyland’s make believe City Hall.”

On August 6, 1970, the Youth International Party, known as “Yippies,” held a “takeover” of Disneyland. Among the activies and groups attending included a Black Panther breakfast at the Aunt Jemima Pancake House, a liberation of Minnie Mouse by the Women’s Liberation, and meeting of the Self Defensive Collective at the shooting gallery in Frontierland. As the intention for this day had been made public, Anaheim law enforcement had been placed on high alert and given riot training, as they have been told that the Yippies would be heavily armed and planning an attack on the Bank of America on Main Street. Though it had been predicted that between 20,000 and 200,000 Yippies would show up to the park, only about 300 actually participated in the events.

Though several caused some strange activities that day, nothing serious occurred in the park until about 5pm, when two groups of Yippies boarded the rafts and headed to Tom Sawyer Island. After they replaced the United States Flag with the Yippie flag and attempted to get a rise out of nearby tourists, park officials decided to take a preemptive strike and close the park before there were any altercations between the Yippies and the park guests. As the Yippies were pushed down Main Street, they were greeted with a band of guests singing “God Bless America.” This led to another altercation, and another swift push to get the Yippies out of Disneyland. While there was some minor damage done to the park property, the overall protest did little to disrupt the park’s operations until the early closing.

June 24

June 24, 1972 – The Specialty Shop Crystal Arts Opens in Disneyland

“Etch marks the spot at this Main Street, U.S.A. mainstay!”

On June 24, 1972, the specialty shop Crystal Arts opened on Main Street in Disneyland. Presented by the Arribas Brothers, the store creates special pieces based on Disney characters and places, as well as glassware and tiaras that guests can have engraved. Versions of this store have also opened in Walt Disney World (opening in 1971) and Tokyo Disneyland (opening in 1986).

April 8

April 8, 1974 – The Nature Preserve Treasure Island Opens in Walt Disney World

On April 8, 1974, the nature preserve Treasure Island opened in Walt Disney World. Renamed Discovery Island in 1977, it was an 11.5-acre wildlife sanctuary to several types of exotic and engendered animals and birds. It was originally planned to have a theme based on the live action film Treasure Island; although that idea was quickly scrapped, some remnants of the idea remained, including a wrecked ship on one of the area’s shores. The area was closed on April 8, 1999 and has been left abandoned. The area is not to be confused with the part of Animal Kingdom also known as Discovery Island, though Animal Kingdom has since taken over Disney’s animal conservation activities.

April 1

April 1, 1974 – Pioneer Hall Opens in Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness

“Here tonight: the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue! Fun for All!”

On April 1, 1974, Pioneer Hall was built in Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Resort. The hall is the resort’s home to its dining facilities, as well as the popular Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. A buffet is offered during the musical revue, with reservations filling up rather quickly for the two-hour show. Also included in the building is P & J’s Southern Takeout, Trail’s End Restaurant, and Crockett’s Tavern.

March 24

March 24, 1972 – The Country Bear Jamboree Opens in Disneyland

“Have a knee-slappin’ good time at Country Bear Jamboree!”

On March 24, 1972, the Audio-Animatronic attraction Country Bear Jamboree opened in Disneyland’s Bear Country (now Critter Country). Based on the original Walt Disney World attraction that opened in 1971, the attraction features 18 bears singing and dancing in a country-music themed show. The attraction had been planned since the 1960s, as it was originally intended to be part of the Mineral King Ski Resort. The Disneyland attraction was renamed the Country Bear Playhouse in 1986, but was eventually closed on September 9, 2001; it was replaced with the new Winnie the Pooh attraction.