Cool MK Attraction History Bits


Well-Known Member
The only fact I can add is that Splash Mountain opened in 1992, and it necessitated making the MK Railroad change to riding thru/over it.
However, I do have a few questions-
1. Does anyone know what year the Buzz Lightyear attraction opened?
2. Is the Buzz Lightyear attraction in the same place as Timekeeper, the one with Robin Williams and Rhea Perlman and the "lean rails" was?
3. Is there any history to the paddle wheel boat in the Splash Mountain "Zip a dee do Dah" scene?
2. No, it fills the former location of If You Had Wings/Delta Dreamflight. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor occupies the former Timekeeper building.

3. I don't know about the Magic Kingdom version, but for the Disneyland, the paddle steamer may have been recycled from America Sings, since that's where most of the Audioanimatronics came from. That's just a guess about the boat, though.


Well-Known Member
For Main Street...Le Chapeau used to put names on hats using two old industrial sewing machines. They only offered one color thread, and it was yellow/gold. The sewing/name writing was all done by hand, thus the only available font was basic cursive. Because of how the names were sewn, they had to connect all the letters. It was a skilled craft! If you ever had an opportunity to watch them work, they were amazingly fast! You probably already know about the old hand crank phone. It was supposed to be like the old-fashioned experience of a 'party-line' phone, which meant you shared a line with your neighbor. Sharing lines was done to get a phone line for less money. Sharing a line meant you had to take turns making calls, and if you happened to pick up your receiver while your neighbor was on the phone, you'd hear their call. So the one in the gift shop featured a stranger's conversation if you picked up the receiver. Party lines were still available as late as the 1980's!

For years, I didn't really know much about the barber shop, but they (used to) offer a special experience for a child's first haircut. Before the internet ruined it, at least. They'd make a big deal of raising the chair, and giving the child Mickey stickers as a distraction while the worked. They wrapped the first lock/bit of cut hair in a tissue sealed with a Mickey Sticker. the cut also used to include Mickey shaped glitter (if the child was old enough), and a set of Mickey ears. instead of the child's name, the Mickey ears said, "first haircut." More recently they use the new electronic monogram sewing machines and they say, "My 1st haircut." the barbershop used to be walk-in only, but more recently it was mostly by appointment. It is currently closed.

I can also tell you the former Camera Center is long gutted- or was at least a year ago.

Brer Panther

Well-Known Member
1. Does anyone know what year the Buzz Lightyear attraction opened?
Yes, it opened in 1998.

3. I don't know about the Magic Kingdom version, but for the Disneyland, the paddle steamer may have been recycled from America Sings, since that's where most of the Audioanimatronics came from. That's just a guess about the boat, though.
No, the boat's not recycled from America Sings. There wasn't any paddle streamer in America Sings. The animatronics on the boat are indeed recycled from America Sings, though.


Well-Known Member
Main Street had an old timey photo studio. You could dress up in turn-of-the-century clothes (appropriate to the era of Main Street), and your group posed on a mock-up of a luxury Pullman car. I'm glad my parents forced us to do this. We hated it at the time, because obviously, we would have rather been on rides, but now those pictures being back great memories from our family trips ik the 70s and 80s.

I have no idea when this studio closed, but I would estimate sometime in the late 80s-early 90s.

I remember a similar set up by pirates. We had a photo taken there around 1991 in color, happy times


New Member
Keep em comin!
I can help with the history of the Pirates of the Caribbean and Caribbean Plaza, if you'd like. I found out that in the original 1967 plans for the Florida Park, they did include the Pirates of the Caribbean. It was omitted from the plans for the Park by December 1967. However, it was greenlit for the Magic Kingdom in December 1971, two months after WDW opened. It was designed between April and August 1972 with construction beginning that September. The show building was erected during the late months of 1972 with the entrance building and Caribbean Plaza following behind. By Summer 1973, the construction had included not only the show building's interior (which apparently took months), but the entrance building and part of Caribbean Plaza. Now Caribbean Plaza (referring most to the north side of the complex with the shops, restaurant, and bandstand) opened in full in April 1974. The Pirates ride, along with the House of Treasure (which was opened for a few days that month, probably for the press), opened in December 1973. The exit plaza (which is between the restrooms, old Caribbean Arcade, exit doors from the Pirates, and the House of Treasure) was more of an atmospheric experience than a strict merchandising operation (which is the case nowadays).

The Pirates ride itself had many operational difficulties when it first opened with the ride system (one problem that hasn't gone away, it seems).

Here is a table of opening dates for Pirates and Caribbean Plaza:

Late November-about December 14, 1973: the previews for cast members and other ride testers (likely from WED or MAPO)

December 15-17, 1973: Opening weekend with press previews on the 15th and 16th and guests being allowed to ride for the first time. There is a debate over the dates because some of the local newspapers have shared different details on when it happened. The House of Treasure was briefly opened at this time, but it was not clear as to the extent of merchandise sold during those few days or so. It would remain closed until early 1974.

Late February 1974: The House of Treasure was opened fully.

April 1974: The entirety of the north side of Caribbean Plaza (which included everything from the bandstand to the Golden Galleon shop on the border with Frontierland) opened up.

Between September and December 1974: The Caribbean Arcade had opened in an alcove adjoining the "exit plaza".


Well-Known Member
Mid 1970's - was there a Welch's Red and White Grape Juice stall in Fantasy Land? IIRC, they sponsored something too.
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