Spaceship Earth

Witness The Firepower of Disney’s Spaceship Earth!

I believe that if you were to travel back in time to 1977. In an effort to interview the overjoyed and dazzled audiences that were leaving Star Wars. Then ask them to share what they felt was the most mind-blowing moment of the film. I am referring of course to moments that just made the audiences jaws drop.

In general I would be willing to wager that two moments from Star Wars would stand out. For the first time viewers I should add. The reveal of how large the Star Destroyer is as it chases down the Tantive IV.
star-destroyer-star-wars

Of course in the first film they went by Imperial Cruisers – it wasn’t until The Empire Strikes Back they earned the moniker of Star Destroyer. I would make the case that the second awe-inspiring moment was the introduction of the Death Star itself.
death-star-star-wars

Having said all of that and coming from someone who saw it in 1977. There was very little in Star Wars that didn’t make me want to constantly live in that universe. As a matter of fact I still love all things Star Wars and look forward to Rogue One as well.

Apparently that is a sentiment shared by the folks at Walt Disney World. As they’ve transformed Epcot’s Spaceship Earth into…the Death Star!
spaceship-earth-epcot-death-star-powering-up

An appropriate choice as the 18-story geodesic sphere naturally looks a little like that fearsome battle station. The design of course helped by the mind of Ray Bradbury, who also wrote the original storyline for the ride.
epcot-1982-06

Spaceship Earth

Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Spaceship Earth -ahem – battle station!

[Via] Disney Parks

A very big thanks to Andrew Liszewski of io9 for the heads up on this transformation. I would very much like to be in attendance at Walt Disney World to see this demonstration myself. At the very least I can take comfort that Rogue One is only a mere week away from released to theaters!

Why not Water-Ski at Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney World, as everyone is told, is a magical place. During your visit you can meet Mickey Mouse, visit the famous castle and maybe catch a ride or two… oh and of course you can water-ski too.

That last part was true in 1976 when this wonderful map was produced. As you’ll see in some of the close-ups below, the Magic Kingdom was a very different place in the 70’s with as much emphasis placed on enjoying a round of golf as looping around the park on the monorail.

walt disney golf

I found this great map and lots more over at the now-defunct Imaginerding Blog. Thankfully the creator of the site has kept the Blogger-powered site available after upgrading to a full website.

magic kingdom

I wonder if the latest Magic Kingdom map reflects the era of the “selfie” that we now live in? Gone are the innocent times of simply standing back and taking a picture of Mickey with your proper camera, like the picture above!

A Dream Called Walt Disney World (1980)

A Dream Called Walt Disney World

A recent holiday to Disneyland Paris has me feeling all nostalgic for the true Disney experience – Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I’ve only visited Walt Disney World once, in 2003, but that experience has never left me and I long to return to what was a very magical holiday.

Whilst I wait for my two young children to grow up enough to make the transatlantic flight, I’ll just have to keep myself entertained with videos like the one below, a 1980 VHS promotional film that does a wonderful job of selling the Disney magic.

I love how the Electrical Parade finishes the film – that same parade with that same music remained in place during my visit more than 20 years later and I hope will still be in place when I next return.

Walt Disney World Promo Letter from 1985

I recently picked up a bunch of folders and scrapbooks from my childhood. One of the heaviest in the bunch was the scrapbook dedicated to my family’s 1980s trips to Walt Disney World in Florida. We went in 1983, 1984 and 1995. These roadtrips to the Sunshine state are some of my favorite childhood memories, so I decided to start opening up the books and scanning what is in them for perpetuity. This means I get to share some of my memories here on the site.

First up is a promo letter about the Star Spangled Summer that Disney wants us to enjoy. These letters were sent out to anyone who wanted them, along with other promo material. To me though, they were a symbol of the promise of our next trip and I would hang them on a clipboard that was next to my bedroom door, so I could see it every morning before I left my room. This one from 1985 was special, because while I would get letters in future years, this would be the last year we would go to the park in the 1980s and the last time ever with the whole family.

Click on the letter for a larger version.