Walt Disney World: New Horizons

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello, everybody! Summer will soon be upon us, and I fully intend to make use of that glorious season to return to two of my most prevalent ideas on the forum. I intend to return to Disneyland Maine, and as for the other...well, as we all know, @MANEATINGWREATH has started a very unique project called "Mirror Disneyland", which is basically his vision for what Disneyland could have been like if WestCOT did become a thing. And that inspired me to once again take a look at ideas regarding my home resort. So, if you're ready, prepare to let your imagination roam free!

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There is a place where where amazing things happen just to put a smile on the face of a child...

Where skies sparkle in moments of wonder that get to live forever as your memories...

A place where brothers and sisters actually get along, and families get to experience that rare delight of simply being family...

There is a place where magic lives...


Welcome to Walt Disney World.


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Walt Disney World: New Horizons




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Introduction
If you’ve ever had a dream, and had that dream come true, then you probably know a little something about the magic of Walt Disney World. Walter Elias Disney was many things: an animator, an entertainer, a family man, a pioneer in movies, television and in the modern-day theme park. But above all else, Walt was the very definition of inspiration. Time after time, this man has inspired people to follow their dreams and shoot for the stars, no matter what the circumstances. To this day, thousands of people continue to be inspired by the legacy of Walt, particularly the legacy he left that is Disneyland.


Perhaps the most audacious experiment in a career filled with audacious experiments, Walt Disney built this "happy place" in the hopes that it would create a whole new form of family entertainment. "Disneyland really began," Walt said, "when my two daughters were very young. Saturday was always 'Daddy's Day', and I would take them to the merry-go-round and sit on a bench eating peanuts while they rode. And sitting there, alone, I felt that there should be something built, some kind of a family park where parents and children could have fun together."

And on July 17th, 1955, Disneyland opened its gates to the world, and welcomed its people into a place like any other amusement park. Disneyland was never meant to be just another "county fair" or traditional amusement park. Instead, guests found themselves immersed into a land of three-dimensional fantasy. It was - and remains - a place where the world of today was left in favor of yesterday and tomorrow, fantasy and adventure.

But, old Uncle Walt was always looking for ways to "plus" his craft. He had heard that only 5% of people east of the Mississippi River (75% of the country’s overall population at the time) came to Disneyland. Plus, he disliked how other businesses were springing up around Disneyland, and wanted control of a much larger area of land. And so, in 1959, they began to look for land for a second theme park/resort to supplement its Californian brother. In November of 1963, Walt flew over Orlando, Florida. Seeing the well-developed network of roads, including the planned Interstate 4 and Florida's Turnpike, with McCoy Air Force Base (which would later become the Orlando International Airport) to the east, Disney selected a centrally located site near Bay Lake. Although they used fake company names in order to get cheaper prices on the land, the news soon was made public, and on November 15th, 1965, Walt announced that Disney World was being built.

However, thirteen months after the announcement was made--December 15th, 1966--Walt passed away from cancer. But his brother, Roy O. Disney, did not want to see his brother’s final dream fade away, so he deliberately postponed his retirement to oversee construction of the resort’s first phase. He even had the resort's name change from Disney World to Walt Disney World. In his own words: "Everyone has heard of Ford cars. But have they all heard of Henry Ford, who started it all? Walt Disney World is in memory of the man who started it all, so people will know his name as long as Walt Disney World is here."



Although the resort opened on October 1st, 1971, the resort's official dedication would take place twenty-four days afterwards on October 25th, 1971. On that day, all eyes turned to Town Square as Roy dedicated his brother’s final dream.

"Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney... and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place ... a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn — together."
— Roy O. Disney, October 25, 1971

Today, Walt Disney World continues the legacy of Walt’s dream, bringing joy and laughter into the hearts of those who wish to unlock its magic. Here we find acres upon acres of vacation paradise, where endless enjoyment, fascination, illumination and a lifetime of happy memories are less than a dream away. The following is, for your enjoyment, a virtual tour of how I would personally change things at this wonderful place. We will go over the four parks of the resort: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney's Hollywoodland and Disney's Animal Kingdom, as well as take a few detours to explore some other points of interest. Of course, there will be plenty of surprises ahead, so keep an eye out. But for now, I invite you to sit back, relax, and make sure your hands, arms, feet and legs are inside the Internet at all times, because our adventure is just about to begin...
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Disney Square




Our adventure begins amidst the color and excitement of Disney Square, the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort. Formerly known as the Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney Square is an accessible, spectacular port of transportation and travel, the air is filled with wonderful atmospheric music of the Disney Canon. Lush gardens, fountains and trees set an inspired threshold to the exciting worlds of make-believe that lie just beyond its borders.

North, we find the Magic Kingdom; south, the Parking Center; west, the Polynesian Village Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, in addition to Disney's Wedding Pavilion and the Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses; east, the Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and the world-class Contemporary Resort. The Walt Disney World Monorail and WEDWay PeopleMover offer simple, sophisticated transportation throughout the Resort, with the Monorail servicing the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, and the newly built PeopleMover servicing Disney's Hollywoodland and Disney's Animal Kingdom. The elevated network, once thought to be that of science-fiction, is now in line with science-fact, an accommodation for all guests, save those who wish to explore by foot or automobile. A small but beautiful set of walking trails and man-made woods look to the shore of Seven Seas Lagoon, a staple since the resort was built. The 100-acre lake is home to real beaches and water sports; fishing, parasailing, and water skiing among others.



Here in this square, beauty is the thing that is stressed the most. Almost every remnant of the original, outdated Transportation and Ticket Center has been demolished; the sole survivors being the Monorail Station, the Bus and Taxi area, the Ferryboat Landing, and the Parking Center. The current crop of ticket booths have been demolished in favor of a new style, similar to the ticket booths found at Disneyland's Main Gate. The canopies for these booths, while still keeping the Disneyland style, will be much larger, and feature old-timey fans whirring over guests' heads, to help alleviate the hot Florida heat. Anyways, here at these ticket booths, you can purchase tickets or Annual Passes. There's even a special will call booth for those who purchased reserved tickets.


Once past the ticket booths, the beauty of Disney Square really starts to kick in, and helps set the stage for what lies ahead. In the dead center of Disney Square, a bronze statue of Sorcerer Mickey conducts the colored waters of the Fantasia Fountain, an ornate "compass" of sorts. With its marching broomsticks and jumping fountains, the four cardinal points of the Fantasia Fountain direct us toward the various points of Disney Square.


Mickey's Gift Station has been removed, and turned into Disney Square Imports, a gift shop selling all matter of merchandise and necessities. If you forgot to bring something with you, or if you'd like to pick up a last-minute gift for a loved one, this is the place to do it! Disney Square Imports is designed and decorated with crates and suitcases--the latest "imports" to arrive. In this circular gift shop, the walls are decorated with exotic locales as seen in the Disney movies, done similarly to the artwork at the World of Disney store in Disneyland Paris. Disney Square Imports also serves as the home of Lost & Found, and there are ATMs found just outside. Furthermore, Bus & Taxi Pick-Up can be found just a few feet away, where it's always been ever since the days of the TTC.


The western half of the complex is mainly comprised of the Gardens of Magic, a beautiful garden filled to the brim with gorgeous landscaping and vegetation and features many different Disney character topiaries and hidden "Easter eggs" that guests can enjoy finding. At night, the gardens transform as they glow with the recently patented bio-luminescent technology, making the landscaping, vegetation and pathways glow with a magical vibe. Along the banks of the Seven Seas Lagoon near these Gardens is the Ferryboat Landing, offering ferry and water taxi rides to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.

Also found here, the old Lost & Found building has been removed and replaced with the Village Market, a restaurant/bistro that usually opens about an hour and a half prior to park openings. This is a good place to go if you want to get breakfast in before you head to one of our parks for a day of fun. Coffee, pastries, eggs and bacon are on the list; and during the day, salads, fruit, sandwiches and desserts are provided for lunch and dinner. The Market also features an outdoor eating garden, offering dramatic views of the Seven Seas Lagoon.



Art by @MonorailRed

The most prevalent aspect of Disney Square is the Transportation Station, a combined hub for PeopleMover and Monorail access; marked by its blue, white and silver color scheme and Mediterranean style architecture, adding another sense of elegance to the Square. With our excitement mounting, we rush inside the Transportation Station and hop aboard the next monorail, which has just pulled in...

"Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas."

 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
All right, guys, here's one more post for the day. I might as well give you a sneak peek of the wonders that await us...

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Where better to begin our adventures inside the Walt Disney World Resort than with the park that started it all...

Magic Kingdom


Here, the magic of dreams coming true begins. Inspired by, and building upon, the legacy of its Californian counterpart, the Magic Kingdom is a remarkable design in immersion and focus on the Guest Experience. If there's one thing that the Magic Kingdom prides itself over, it's the fact that everything is a form of storytelling. We, the audience, will physically experience one adventure after another, seldom as spectators, but almost always as “participants” in the drama. In contrast to the county fair or carnival known the world over, the Magic Kingdom, like its fellow parks, is a seamless, thematic epic. The harmonic blend of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy act in compliment of the wild animals, alien creatures, and storybook castles waiting beyond the front gate.


Once through the ornate turnstiles, we glimpse the sight of a a turn-of-the-century train station, fronted by a beautiful flower bed, complete with a floral depiction of Mickey Mouse's smiling face right in the middle. Suddenly, we hear the familiar call of a steam whistle. A beautiful steam engine chuffs its way along the track, halting with a hiss. The beauty and grandeur of steam travel is captured in the romance and excitement of the Walt Disney World Railroad, a grand-circle tour of the Magic Kingdom.


From aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad, we view the many sights and sounds along the rails, giving us a sneak peek at the six cardinal realms of the Magic Kingdom:

Main Street, U.S.A.
"Here is America at the turn-of-the-century, looking towards the promise of a future full of promise, discovery and liberty. For those of us who remember the carefree time it recreates, Main Street will bring back happy memories. For younger visitors, it is an adventure in turning back the calendar to the days of grandfather's youth."

Adventureland
"Here is adventure. Here is romance. Here is mystery. Tropical rivers - silently flowing into the unknown. Windswept tales of danger on the Seven Seas… Temples containing both treasure and curse... The unbelievable splendor of exotic flowers… The eerie sound of the jungle - with eyes that are always watching… This is Adventureland."

Frontierland
"Here is the story of our country's past. The Wild West is reborn in this cinematic portrayal of the American Frontier. The mythos of Pecos Bill and Davy Crockett establish the colorful drama and adventure of the Old West in the exciting days of the covered wagon and the stage coach. Frontierland is a tribute to the faith, courage and ingenuity of the pioneers who blazed the trails across America."

Liberty Square
"Here is a time in history when a new nation was destined to be born. This is the time of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the time when colonists made known their intentions to rise up against tyranny, the time when freedom was on everyone's minds. Liberty Square is based upon the spirit of America and the ideals of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'"

Fantasyland
"Here is the world of imagination, hopes and dreams. In this timeless land of enchantment the age of chivalry, magic and make-believe are reborn and fairy tales come true. Fantasyland is dedicated to the young and the young at heart, to those who believe that when you wish upon a star your dreams do come true."

Tomorrowland
"Here is the future that ‘never was’ - or could be. The past, present and future coexist among the kinetic towers, soaring spacecraft, and alien creatures of this galactic starport. Tomorrowland celebrates man’s quest through time to realize his fondest hopes and dreams for the future. Here, imagination gives birth to innovation. Here, 'what man can conceive, man can achieve.'"

All the things we see are pointed out to us by a heard-but-not-seen old-timer, who fully embodies the traveling vagabond "everywhere-I-hang-my-hat-is-home" spirit. The train takes us past wonders we'll see once we get inside the park: an ancient jungle, a metropolis of the future, a burning settler's cabin. Along the journey, we'll make stops in Frontierland and in Fantasyland.

Excitement mounting, we pass underneath the train station through one of two tunnels located on either side of the flower bed. A plaque above each tunnel bears the inspired phrase:



An iconic attribute to any Magic Kingdom, posters line the tunnel walls, offering a taste of the coming attractions and adventures.
 
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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Main Street, U.S.A.




What was America like at the turn-of-the-century? Perhaps it was something like this recreation of everyone’s hometown. The sights and sounds of fun nostalgia are everywhere...and I do mean everywhere. There’s a friendly greeting at the old City Hall. The measured pace of the horse-drawn streetcar as it trots up and down the street. And then there’s the hiss of live steam as a vintage locomotive pulls into Main Street Station. Dozens of happy guests walk up and down the street, chatting happily, or not-so-happily, amongst themselves as they pop in-and-out of the various shops and restaurants nestled along the sides of the pavement. Main Street is the essence of hometown America at the dawn of the twentieth-century. The scent of freshly baked cakes and candies and the twinkling pin lights outlining the gingerbread trim of the colorful buildings evoke a small-town atmosphere. Rows of specialty shops carry a colorful variety of old-time merchandise. At night, the thoroughfare glows in the flickering light of gas-lit streetlamps and seemingly thousands of miniature electric lightbulbs strung amongst the sides of the buildings. Main Street, U.S.A., is engaging proof that the best of yesterday can still be found today.

Time seems to soften amid the orchestral rhythm of ragtime and the clopping of horse hooves. As the stress of contemporary life gives way to the quaint charms of yesteryear, we find ourselves in a little town at the turn-of-the-century. Main Street, U.S.A. is a sparkling thoroughfare presented in the style and architecture of a street not unlike what you'd find in the history books of the early 1900s, taking inspiration from not only Walt's boyhood home of Marceline, Missouri, but also taking influences from around the country, such as New England and the Midwest. All around us is the color and excitement of a town at the start of a bold new century, at a time when electricity, transport and communication are about to change everything we know about the way we live our lives.



Our time on Main Street, U.S.A. begins in Town Square, the civic hub of transportation and gathering. In the center of Town Square is Elias Park. Well-kept lawns and vibrant planters surround a tall flagpole, from which the Stars and Stripes proudly wave. Sat beneath the cool shade of tall pines, aptly placed benches provide ample seating for the ongoing entertainment throughout the day. Of course, no Town Square would be complete without an appearance or two from the world famous Disney Characters. Throughout the day, starting promptly at 9:00 a.m., Mickey & Pals are there, eager to welcome guests to a day of fun and excitement here at the Magic Kingdom!


In Town Square, the Main Street Vehicles are the major ways to get around. We can board an old-fashioned Fire Engine, Horseless Carriage, Omnibus, or Horse-Drawn Streetcar, for a one-way trip to the center of the Magic Kingdom via Main Street, U.S.A. To choose a mode of transportation, each vehicle has a designated stopping zone marked by a decorative sign. The Chamber of Commerce offers Disney's "Package Pickup" service. City Hall is the home of Guest Relations. Friendly cast members are always on hand to answer questions, provide touring tips, make reservations and assist visitors with special needs. The adjacent Fire Station provides a glimpse at a period facility of the sort, housing a real fire engine. A Locker Facility can also be found in Town Square, on the first floor of the train station.

Like the various Main Streets of the real world, Main Street, U.S.A. is populated with “real,” believable people. The so called Citizens of Main Street walk the street in stride, a living snapshot of the optimism, humor and pride of the American Dream. Among the many Citizens, the ever-friendly Mayor is always ready with a smile and a joke; the local Fire Chief and Police Chief are always looking out for danger (although in the Magic Kingdom, the only dangerous thing is someone not having fun); and a Suffragette frequently marches the streets, rallying people to support the cause. A band concert in the park was a common civic diversion of small town American life at the turn-of-the-century. The Magic Kingdom Philharmonic hearkens back to that time with their daily concerts in Town Square. The iconic program includes energetic musicians, synchronized marches, popular songs of the early twentieth century, and songs of the Disney Canon. The world-famous Dapper Dans often perform in Town Square to welcome us as we enter the park. Their four-part harmonic repertoire includes barbershop ballads as well as many memorable tunes from the world of Disney. At certain times throughout the morning, the Main Street Trolley Show makes its way "right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A.", as a chorus of energetic youths set the mood for the fun and excitement ahead of us.



On a morning like today, when Main Street is open early to guests, we are invited to leisurely wander through Town Square and experience its shops, exhibits and attractions, as we anxiously await for the remainder of the Magic Kingdom to open, including round trips on the Walt Disney World Railroad and the first showing of Walt Disney: One Man's Dream.


Walt Disney might have done more to touch the hearts and minds of millions of Americans than any other man in history. He brought joy, happiness, and a universal means of communication to people of all nations. Certainly, our world shall know but one Walt Disney. Walt Disney: One Man's Dream has moved from Disney's Hollywood Studios to the more elaborate Town Square Exposition Hall, a more fitting place, given that the Magic Kingdom was one of Walt's last dreams.

Just beyond the rotunda of the Exposition Hall, a number of scale models, statuettes and artwork hearken to the man behind the mouse. For the most part, the exhibits of Walt Disney: One Man's Dream will remain the same as it did back in Disney's Hollywood Studios, albeit with its look re-done to match the Exposition Hall theme. Red carpeting, golden walls, basically what the Exposition Hall looks like right now. Even the plaques detailing the exhibits would change to fit the theme, with wooden panelings and old-timey fonts. Another aspect taken from Disney's Hollywood Studios is the presence of a meet-and-greet opportunity within the exhibit. As a reference to the Town Square Theater days, you can meet up with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy by day, and Tinker Bell by night. Heading to the right at the northern-most edge of the exhibits would be the entrance to the theater. The entrance would be warmly-lit, with curtains hanging over the automatic doors. I would also take the opportunity to restore an old bit of the Exposition Hall's former tenant, The Walt Disney Story: an elaborate mural, as originally painted by Bill Justice, featuring the various animated characters that Walt helped bring to life in his time.



Basically, it should look just like this, but without the characters from 1970-onward. A notable outlier would be the Winnie the Pooh characters, because although their canon film wouldn't come out until 1977, they made their debut in February 1966, ten months before Walt died.

This mural would sit in-between two sets of automatic doors leading into the theater, decorated like that of an elegant movie-house from the early days of nickelodeons. It is here, of course, that we watch a film about the life of the man who started it all, narrated by Julie Andrews and Walt himself!



When the film is over, you, of course, exit through the gift shop. But with the arrival of Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, Curtain Call Collectibles has turned into something truly special: The Disney Gallery. In a private collection of portraits, paintings, caricatures and sculptures, The Disney Gallery serves as a showcase for the artwork of Walt Disney Imagineering and Animation, past and present. Special displays show rare storyboards from the Walt-era films, and Q&A sessions with Imagineers and artists happen on the occasion. Plus, if your wallet's fat enough, you can purchase some of the items on display! Among the items on sale are paintings, limited-edition prints, cels, figurines and the much-coveted Disney Classic Collection.



Located to the left of the Exposition Hall is Tony's Town Square Restaurant. To many Disney fans, this name may sound familiar. This is because this restaurant is inspired by the same Tony's restaurant that served as the setting of one of the most iconic scenes in Disney history: the moment when Lady and Tramp fell in love on that "lovely bella notte." Inside this beautiful restaurant, you'll find all sorts of Italian treats--pizza, paninis, fettucine, and, of course, spaghetti and meatballs.

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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
All right, let's continue our tour of the Magic Kingdom. By the way, guys, any and all feedback you got is well appreciated, so post if you've got any!

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From Town Square, we head down Main Street itself, a charming collection of storefronts and restaurants leading up to the park's Hub. Just like all the other Main Streets before it, the ground floor buildings are built on a 9/10 scale, with the second and third stories progressively smaller - forced perspective at work. Like the credits in a movie, the windows on Main Street are used to honor those who have contributed to the creation and development of the Magic Kingdom. Amidst the patriotic bunting, swaying trees and musical stylings of Scott Joplin and George Gershwin, we embark on a nostalgic stroll down Main Street. Here we experience the simpler pleasures of small town America as it were in the turn-of-the-century.


As with every other Main Street in the Disney pantheon, we begin with the lavish Emporium, the largest mercantile in the park. Owned and operated by Osium "Osh" Popham (the character Burl Ives played in the lesser-known Disney musical "Summer Magic"), this superstore evokes the charm and elegance of a turn-of-the-century department store, with stained-glass decor, gas chandeliers and sweeping rotundas in presentation of the goods and wares of a childhood dream. The clanging of cash registers matches the measured pace of the passing Main Street Vehicles. Countless clothing racks and near-infinite rows of display cases line the tiled floor. Per tradition, storefront windows display vignettes from Disney's animated classics. Among the current crop of films represented here, only three will remain--Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, but they will be touched up and updated here and there. Replacing The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Pocahontas are new displays based on The Jungle Book, The Lion King and Frozen. Come Christmastime, these displays are swapped out with displays telling the story of Mickey's Christmas Carol.

Just a few paces down the street from the Emporium, right nearby the old Car Barn is the Harmony Barber Shop. This real, working barbershop is the place to go if your hair needs a little trimming. It's also quite the popular place to go for "baby's first haircut". Founded by the Dapper Dans themselves, they'll often pop by to serenade those awaiting, or getting, a haircut of their own.

The Main Street Confectionery sits opposite the Emporium, the place to go to satisfy your sweet tooth. Freshly baked treats, caramel apples, gargantuan candy bars, chocolate rabbits and more decadent delicacies line the shelves of this confectionery dreamworld. Front and center, a large replica of Cinderella Castle is displayed, built entirely from gingerbread. The glass-walled kitchen looks into the live "performance" of skilled candy makers at work. The aroma is that of an intoxicating blend of sugar, vanilla, butter, and caramel. The music of a restored, antique player piano carries into The Chapeau, found right next door, a haberdasher's paradise of hats and headgear, most notably the famous "mouse ear" hats, as designed by famous artist Roy Williams and first worn by the Mousketeers of The Mickey Mouse Club.




Heading up Main Street from the Confectionery, the distinctive sound of cartoon merriment can be heard in all its ragtime charm from inside the Main Street Cinema. Beneath a vibrant, lightbulb illuminated marquee, make your way inside an elegant Victorian-inspired brick building that recalls the great motion picture houses of yesteryear. Inside the theater, you can enjoy some classic Disney shorts that play on a never-ending loop, such as Steamboat Willie, Plane Crazy and Flowers and Trees. In today's Magic Kingdom, the Main Street Cinema is merely the storefront for The Art of Disney. But with the opening of The Disney Gallery down at the Exposition Hall, the Cinema has been restored to its former glory. Plus, a small concession stand will open within the theater, so you can indulge in those standard movie-time treats of popcorn, candy and soda while you watch. It's the perfect way to get away from the crowds and just take a load off for a while! Moving on from the Cinema, we have Uptown Jewelers, which sells fine jewelry, china, clocks, Disney figurines and pins.


The soft glow of gas-lit streetlamps mark Center Street, the dead-center of Main Street, U.S.A. When the Magic Kingdom first opened, Center Street had extensions not only to the East, but to the West, as well. However, this was removed come the millennium in order to expand the Emporium. I would restore West Center Street because it offers a great, out-of-the-way place to relax and enjoy a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of Main Street. Center Street also helps give the illusion that Main Street is bigger than it actually is, adding some depth to the area. Here, the streets are wide open and merchants take use of the beautiful weather to sell wares outside. Along the western side of Center Street, you'll find perhaps the most beautiful sight in all the Magic Kingdom: the Main Street Flower Mart. There isn't a wilted petal in sight. The flowers are always fresh. And yes, you can purchase your own flowers and plants here. East Center Street, meanwhile, is the place where silhouette designers and portrait drawers are located to create a drawing for you. At the end of this alcove, a small seating area is available for you to rest a spell.



However, in the dead center of East Center Street, you'll find one of three entrances to a brand-new addition to Main Street, U.S.A.: the Edison Arcade. Taking the space of the backstage walkway occasionally used to help curb crowd control, the Edison Arcade is an eternal tribute to those who, like ol' Tom Edison, had imaginative, and sometimes bizarre, ideas and inventions for the future. From ingenious patents to dreams of a utopian world, it's all here to see, with startling posters depicting what prominent American cities could look like in the future and display cases filled with visionary gadgets. The turn of the century gave those of the time a feeling that anything "can, and will" be achieved by man. The Edison Arcade pays homage to these great minds, from their ingenious yet humble patents to their wildest dreams of futuristic cities. The Edison Arcade is a nod to the never-built Edison Square concept made for Disneyland in California. While less ambitions, it does portray the charm of early 20th century living and offers a fun glimpse into what people of the time were using to improve their lives with. It also acts as a nice sister attraction to the Carousel of Progress just minutes away in Tomorrowland, which Edison Square ultimately morphed into.

The first item on display is clearly a hook for audiences, a heating element called "chromel". While perhaps rather quaint by exhibit standards, chromel was instrumental in the creation of the toaster oven, as well as vacuum cleaners, stoves, electric washing machines, blenders and even garage door openers. The second item in the exhibit is a self-playing piano, entertaining guests with such tunes as Joplin's famed "Maple Leaf Rag." Moving on, guests see a genuine gas-powered Mercedes engine, advertising its massive 6-liter, four-cylinder, 35 horsepower mechanics that will help modern consumers travel. The next thing that guests see is a radio transmitter, clicking away and with a sign next to the device boasting to guests that right now it is transmitting the first ever radio broadcast on Main Street to a radio placed on the second floor of the train station. Moving from there, guests see a projection camera, capable of playing moving pictures like those shown in the Main Street Cinema. Then guests are encouraged to smile - they are passing by the brownie camera, the first inexpensive and commercially available personal camera. Next to that is an x-ray machine, showing the future of medicine and surgery. Finally, guests come to the highlight of the exhibit: a vacuum tube, which for the first time allows guests to enjoy electric lighting in their own home.



Moving on from West Center Street, we come across Disney Clothiers, boasting the largest Disney wardrobe in town. A seamstress is always on hand to make repairs and special souvenirs from scratch. Next door, the Hall of Champions has gone away in order to make way for the grand re-opening of its former tenant: the Penny Arcade. The Penny Arcade features a number of vintage arcade cabinets from the turn of the twentieth century, including the turn-the-crank kinetoscope movies, mechanical fortune tellers, and various other tests of strength and skill. One will not find a single video game inside the Penny Arcade. All the coin-operated conveyances are of the mechanical variety. Next door to the Penny Arcade, House of Magic acts as Main Street's leading purveyor of fine magic, tricks, gags and novelties; and master magicians are often seen performing sleight-of-hands and other tricks for passers-by.


On the edge of the northwestern side of Main Street, overlooking the Hub, is Casey's Corner, a tribute to the golden age of baseball. In this candy-striped place, classic baseball-themed shorts play as servers serve up classic ballpark fare: hot dogs, soft pretzels, French fries, peanuts, Cracker Jack, you name it, in addition to desserts and fountain drinks. Casey's extends into an outdoor eating garden, where guests can enjoy their food under candy-striped umbrellas. A ragtime piano player is often on hand, playing the latest rags and ragtime arrangements of classic Americana and Disney songs.


Back on the other side of the street, moving northwards from East Center Street, Crystal Arts sells exclusive Disney statuettes, glass miniatures, crystal castles, snow globes, dishware, music boxes, ornaments, and stylized silverware. Here, a talented glassblower creates hand blown souvenirs in full view of patrons, an attraction all its own. The Main Street Bakery is yet another good place to escape the hustle and bustle of Main Street, U.S.A. What's on the menu here? Well, this is the in-park home of Starbucks Coffee, and in addition to that, the bakery offers a charming selection of dining options and bakery items. The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor takes up residence next door. In this old-fashioned eatery, ice cream is the name of the game. Specialty sundaes, ice cream sodas, root beer floats and triple scoop cones abound. Serving as a fitting neighbor to the ice cream parlor is the Plaza Restaurant. With tufted velvet furnishings, silk woven draperies, ornate floral carpets, beveled mirrors and polished brass fixtures, the Plaza recreates the elegance and refinement of the Victorian age. Whether it’s a hearty breakfast, mouthwatering lunch, or a family dinner with decadent desserts, you’ll discover something for everyone on the Plaza's vast menu.

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Well, my friends, we have just explored the thoroughfare that is Main Street. In the next post, we'll take in the wonder of the Central Plaza of the Magic Kingdom. Until then, if you have any thoughts or criticism, feel free to post it!
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Looks good, as always! Can't wait to see Adventureland when you get to that.
Thank you kindly! As for Adventureland, we've got just one more area of the park to get through before we get there, so let's see what it's like!

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Central Plaza



Like with Disneyland before it, Main Street, U.S.A. leads into the heart of the park: Central Plaza, also known as "The Hub". Shooting out from here like the cardinal points of a compass are paths leading to the other five magical realms of the Magic Kingdom: Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The popular tunes from the expansive Disney songbook provide an orchestral backdrop for the color and excitement of the Plaza. Lush fountains, a calm river, which surrounds the Plaza in its entirety, colorful gardens, spacious lawns, and shaped topiaries provide a quaint atmosphere. And with no shortage in picnic tables, benches or shaded trees, the Central Plaza is an ideal place to relax and take in the scenery.

Central Plaza is an off-shoot to turn-of-the-century Main Street, U.S.A. Several musical groups associated with Main Street often perform in the Hub, including the Dapper Dans, Magic Kingdom Philharmonic and the Main Street Trolley Show. The Dapper Dans often travel past on their bicycle built for four, appearing throughout the Hub for impromptu performances. The Plaza Popcorn Wagon is one of several colorful snack wagons stationed throughout the Magic Kingdom. Like the Tokyo Disney Resort in Chiba, Japan, each popcorn wagon is unique for its special flavoring. Such flavors include Butter (Main Street), Garlic Parmesan and Barbecue (Frontierland), Caramel, Honey and Cinnamon (Fantasyland), and Ghost Pepper and Curry (Adventureland).



Standing proudly in the dead-center of Central Plaza, Partners is a storied tribute to Walt and his most treasured creation, Mickey Mouse. Walt and Mickey, hand-in-hand, look down Main Street, U.S.A., a timeless capture of a "man and his mouse". A plaque at the base of the sculpture reads "We believe in our idea: a family park where parents and children could have fun — together." - Walt Disney.


The lavish Crystal Palace overlooks the western half of Central Plaza, nestled quietly between Casey's and the entrance to Adventureland. Inspired by Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s, the Crystal Palace brims with light, topiaries and tropical palms, not forgetting a collection of crystal-chandeliers and whirring ceiling fans. The Crystal Palace offers elegant buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all of which offer a chance to dine alongside the gang from the 100 Acre Wood: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore.


On the other side of Central Plaza, just in-between the Central Plaza entrance to the Edison Arcade and the entrance to Tomorrowland, is Walt's: An American Restaurant. I've always hated how the Tomorrowland Terrace sits dormant most of the time. Well, I would finally take the opportunity to turn this sad shell of a building into something worthwhile. Walt's is one of the most acclaimed restaurants to come out of Disneyland Paris. This is a luxurious restaurant featuring upscale American classics in an upscale setting inspired by the original Disneyland. It's pretty much Club 33 in everything but exclusiveness. As such, I feel it deserves a second home here at the Magic Kingdom. Not only would it get rid of a giant waste of space, but it would also give Main Street a bit of feng-shui, with both this and Crystal Palace flanking the street.

Drenched in dazzling décor, this two-story Victorian manor offers the finest in upscale American fare. Upon entering Walt's, you find yourself in an extravagant lobby, decorated with a grand piano, a bust of Walt, as well as a small boutique named after Walt's beloved wife, Lillian. As you can see, the lobby alone is gorgeous and has a ton of cool details. Even if you aren’t able to score reservations, it’s worthwhile to pop inside to check out the various pieces of Disney history on display. You probably won’t be able to go upstairs without dining at Walt’s. But once you get upstairs, it's a whole 'nother ball game. Within the fanciful estate, silk draperies, ornate floral carpets, crystal chandeliers, silk woven draperies, beveled mirrors, polished brass fixtures and tufted velvet furnishings compose a lavish sight for the senses, all within five rooms with decor based around one of the original five lands of Disneyland in California. Live musicians often accompany a luxuriant dinner by candlelight, often intertwined with a hint of romance.

In fact, here's what's on the dinner menu...


A La Carte Menu
Appetizers
House Salad ~ $9.00
Caesar Salad, with romaine lettuce, croutons, and Parmesan shavings ~ $11.00
Crab Cakes, served with a side of Walt's chili ~ $14.00
Lobster Bisque, served with sweet corn and wasabi ~ $14.00
Chef's Platter, served with a variety of cheeses, breads, fruits and deli meats ~ $9.00
Leek Tart, served with cheese fondue ~ $12.00
Lightly-Smoked Salmon, served in Hollondaise sauce with marinated cucumber ~ $13.00
Soupe du Jour ~ $9.00

Entrees
Walt's Famous Chili and Beans, his favorite meal ~ $40.00
Lobster a la King, poached in butter, served with leeks braised in orange juice and a potato cake ~ $30.00
Grilled Filet of Beef, served with potatoes, green beans, shallot rings and red wine reduction ~ $35.00
Walt's Gourmet Burger, with lettuce, tomato, onion and farmhouse cheddar, served with thick-cut fries and Walt's famous chili ~ $25.00
Free Range Pork Chops, served with coriander pesto, macaroni and cheese, and asparagus ~ $25.00
Gnocchi, served in a grilled porcini mushroom sauce, with baby vegetables ~ $20.00
Pasta Primavera, with broccoli, roasted red bell peppers, roasted corn, sun dried tomatoes, green peas, spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic, tossed in creamy Alfredo sauce and dusted with a Mozzarella, Romano and Parmesan blend ~ $30.00
Grilled Tofu, served with mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a vegetable medley ~ $20.00

Desserts
Cheesecake with Seasonal Berry Compote ~ $15.00
Chris' Cold Pie, lemon chiffon pie named after Walt's first grandson ~ $15.00
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Sorbet ~ $16.00
Creme Brulee with Caramelized Topping ~ $20.00
Chocolate Cake ~ $15.00
Seasonal Fruit Salad ~ $12.00
Assorted Sorbets & Ice Creams ~ $14.00

Drinks
Fountain Drinks ~ $8.00
Water ~ $5.00
Milk ~ $5.00
Wine, assorted varieties, by the glass ~ $14 - $19
Coffee ~ $12.00
Specialty Cocktail ~ $11.00

Children's Menu
Appetizers

Chicken Noodle Soup ~ $3.00
Children's Salad ~ $4.00
Vegetable Dippers ~ $3.00

Entrees
Junior Gourmet Burger, served with thick-cut fries, apple slices or grapes ~ $7.00
Fried Fish Sticks, served with thick-cut fries, apple slices or grapes ~ $12.00
Macaroni and Cheese, served with thick-cut fries, apples or grapes ~ $8.00
Mickey Meatloaf, served with mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots ~ $10.00
Grilled Chicken Nuggets, served with mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli ~ $14.00

Desserts
Fruit Salad ~ $4.00
Yogurt Parfait, with strawberries, blueberries, bananas and granola ~ $4.00
Ice Cream Sandwich, vanilla ice cream in-between two chocolate chip cookies ~ $5.00

Meal is accompanied with either small water, small milk or small apple juice.

Premium Menus
Walt's Menu (Appetizer/Entree: $30.00 w/Dessert: $40)
Appetizers

Classic Caesar Salad
or
Crab Cakes

Entree
Walt's Famous Chili and Beans
or
Walt's Gourmet Burger
or
Gnocchi

Desserts
Chris' Cold Pie
or
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Roy's Menu ($50.00)
Appetizers

Crab Cakes
or
Leek Tart
or
Lightly Smoked Salmon

Entrees
Lobster a la King
or
Grilled Filet of Beef
or
Pasta Primavera

Desserts
Chris' Cold Pie
or
Cheesecake with Seasonal Berry Compote
or
Chocolate Cake

Lillian's Menu ($40.00)
Appetizers

Classic Caesar Salad or House Salad
or
Leek Tart
or
Crab Cakes

Entrees
Walt's Gourmet Burger
or
Pasta Primavera
or
Free Range Pork Chop

Desserts
Cheesecake with Seasonal Berry Compote
or
Chocolate Cake
or
Seasonal Fruit Salad

But that's not all! It's true that Walt's plays host to some amazing food in amazing decor. But, if you were to ask me what the resort's crown jewel is, I'd have to give that award to the Passholder's Lounge, a special place just for Disney Annual Passholders. The Passholder's Lounge is a rotunda with large windows looking out to the hub. Here, Passholders can partake in various platters: fruit platters, vegetable platters, cheese platters, charcuterie, as well as select desserts: pastries, cookies, brownies, small cakes, as well as a sundae bar. Who doesn't love a sundae bar? But perhaps the best thing about the Lounge are the aforementioned windows. Through these windows, you'll get an excellent view of the Hub and Cinderella Castle, and the view is only amplified by the nightly fireworks, making this Lounge even more special. The rotunda also provides a nice space for special events: wedding receptions, business meetings, and all other kinds of events.




Thank you to @spacemt354 for this amazing concept art!




By day, we line up at the curb to see and hear the astonishing sights and sounds of Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade, a traditional cavalcade of favorite Disney friends, colorful floats and high-stepping dancers. Disney's Festival of Fantasy on Parade is a celebration of all magic and imagination, particularly the stories told in Fantasyland. The unbridled enchantment and vivid pageantry of fantasy winds its way through the park in a thrilling spectacular. The beloved parade features glorious, state-of-the-art floats, colorfully costumed performers, pendulums and swings, knights on horses, and even a steampunk, mechanical fire-breathing dragon!



As night falls, we line up at the curb once more for the illumination, mystery and illusion of SpectroMagic. Since the original Main Street Electrical Parade debuted in 1972, the world famous concept of an "electric light parade" has since entertained audiences the world over. In this vivid spin-off of the original Main Street Electrical Parade concept, this all-electric pageant of magic and imagination, over a half a million twinkling lights enthrall the senses in a "glimmering, shimmering, carouseling" world of vivid dreams and spectacular music.


But that's not all -- two very special shows serve to end a day at the Magic Kingdom. First, in Once Upon a Time, Mrs. Potts, the matronly teapot from Beauty and the Beast, shares bedtime stories with Chip, taking them on a magical trip through the most adventurous scenes from favorite Disney films like Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The show uses projection-mapping technology to cover every nook and cranny of Cinderella Castle in vibrant images that appear almost three-dimensional. Now, of course, what’s "Once Upon a Time" without "Happily Ever After"?


Yes, the Magic Kingdom's newest nighttime spectacular truly lives up to its name, showing guests just how magical and emotional that fairy tale ending can be. Utilizing the finest in pyrotechnic and digital technology, Happily Ever After captivates spectators of all ages in a street-to-sky spectacular beyond imagination. One minute, we're standing on Main Street, U.S.A., the next, we're transported into the timeless tales of Disney, from classics like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, to modern hits like Moana and Zootopia. Characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films are featured through state-of-the-art projections, enhanced by more than 50 choreographed spotlights, brilliant lasers and plenty of awe-inspiring fireworks. Paired with an emotional score, the new spectacular will drive the message home that anyone can grab hold of their dreams and make them come true as long as they are brave enough to listen to what guides them and bold enough to pursue their destiny. Happily Ever After celebrates the magic of Disney in an immersive spectacular, harmoniously uniting the past, present and future of the Walt Disney Company.

Here in Central Plaza, the stage is set before Cinderella Castle, a focus for the wonder that is the Magic Kingdom...



Cinderella Castle is a fairytale world resplendent with pomp, circumstance and pixie dust. It is a fanciful icon with its roots engraved in pure fantasy, an everlasting symbol of peace, friendship and the power of imagination. The architectural style is a composite of French and Bavarian influence from the Middle Ages. The 189-foot tall spires appear to be even higher through the visual technique of forced perspective, with larger stones placed near the base, and progressively smaller ones toward the top. Hues of white, blue, silver and gold illuminate and reflect in the sunlight, a tasteful complement to the spiraling-turrets and vertical orientation. A magnificent stained-glass window reflects upon the surrounding landscape. The lush greenery and peaceful waterways of the Central Plaza help to make Cinderella Castle even more picturesque.

Staring before this majestic sight, one thing is clear: Our time at the Magic Kingdom, and at Walt Disney World, has just begun, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of great adventures and stories just waiting for us to discover!


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I plan to give our walkthrough another update later in the day, and it is at that time that we'll start exploring the mysterious jungles of Adventureland. See ya then!
 
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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
What would you imagine Tomorrowland and Liberty Squares’ flavors be?
Ah, now that is a tough question. The flavors of those lands are quite difficult to pin down. I think I'd go with Milk Chocolate and Cheese for Liberty Square and "Intergalactic" for Tomorrowland. (Basically, this would be popcorn dyed in different colors. There aren't many futuristic flavors, you know.)

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Adventureland




Primeval, exotic and mysterious, Adventureland is a wonderland of both fact and fantasy. In this timeless realm of exploration and discovery, we leave the everyday world far behind, for here the atmosphere is filled with the sights and sounds typical of an isolated trading post on some hidden jungle waterway. Our senses are stirred by the sights of lush jungle foliage, the harrowing sounds of not-too-distant wild animals, and the aromas of tropical blossoms. We answer the call to adventure via a rickety-old footbridge lined with decor reminiscent of pulp adventure films of the 30's and 40's; Polynesian masks and tikis, African shields and spears, primitive arrowheads, and...human skulls impaled on spikes... The giant thatched-sign welcoming us to the land glows eerily at night as bamboo torches illuminate the surrounding darkness. In the intense foliage below, unseen creatures snarl and screech. Our adventure is about to unfold...

Stepping into Adventureland is like stepping into the reels of Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Jungle Book. The luscious and untamed landscape of the surrounding jungle hints at exploration and adventure... Rugged, weather-worn architecture of no specific origin protrude among the treetops, their occupants being the few brave merchants and settlers who dared to explore such an untamed region... Seldom ancient ruins decay among the plantlife, nearby excavation tools scattered nearby. This is truly a romanticized vision of an exotic world that never was, seemingly forgotten by time and pop culture. This sub-area of Adventureland is known as the Forgotten Kingdom.







As the legend goes, in 1930, in 1930, notable archaeologist Dr. Henry Jones, better known as Indiana Jones, reunited missing fragments of a map scroll of parchment documenting the precise location of an ancient Bengalese temple. The Temple of the Forbidden Eye, containing countless intriguing artifacts buried beneath silt by a flood of the nearby rivers over two thousand years ago, is undergoing excavation for archaeological research. The temple deity Mara seems to conditionally offer one of three gifts to all who come to the hallowed site: earthly riches, eternal youth, or visions of the future. The only condition is that one may never gaze into the eyes of Mara. Although Jones’ discovery, dubbed the "Temple of the Forbidden Eye" by the media, has set the archaeological community abuzz, his funding has run out. It wasn’t until Indy invited his good friend Sallah to the temple that the Forgotten Kingdom Exploration Team (F.K.E.T.) was formed and Sallah decided to capitalize upon the popular mythology of the temple to fund the excavation. Much to Indy’s dismay, Sallah opened the temple to tours from random visitors, such as you and I, with promises of riches unlike any other.

Soon enough tourists began flooding into the place, turning the desolate jungle into a luxurious tropical resort--the "Paradise Kingdom", as it came to be called. Tourists spent millions upon millions foolishly exploring the temple in search of treasures the likes of which no man had never known. Good fortune has come to many of the tourists who survive, but others have not returned. With this success came a whole slew of hopeful entrepreneurs and shysters, ready to make quick money off the tourists. From all corners of the world they came, setting up their own restaurants, tacky gift shops and tourist traps, each one branding the style of their home turf. One notable visitor to the Paradise Kingdom was Dr. Albert Falls, the man who famously discovered Schweitzer Falls, and founded the Jungle Navigation Co. He set up a special branch of his Navigation Co. to transport visitors into the jungles where they'd pay witness to a wonderland of nature's own design for just a small fee. All was well until 1934 when Indy mysteriously disappeared into the depths of the temple. Locals believed the misfortune to be the work of ancient spirits and fearing the worse, tourists and residents alike fled from the jungle, slowly turning the town into the "Forgotten Kingdom", as it came to be called.

Now, a hazy mist rains down from the trees as we enter the rundown colony, where tangled wires and excavation lamps illuminate the muddy streets and steamy swamps, flickering and fading in sync with a churning power generator in the heart of town. Crackling phonographs and old radios churn out big band rhythms of the ‘30s and ‘40s. Tattered canvas awnings, collapsed ruins and rusted excavation equipment establish a theme among the symphonic chatter of exotic birds, mischievous monkeys and the rhythmic pulse of distant tribal drums. Lush waterfalls, gurgling streams and lazy bayous flow into cattail-laced bogs, where giant leeches and hungry crocodiles undoubtedly lie in wait... Above the towering treetops, a crumbling, age-old temple looms before the haunting sunset, flamingos silently soaring past. Welcome to the Forgotten Kingdom, circa 1935.



Amidst architecture reminiscent of the colonies of French-Polynesia, British-Colonial India and the Caribbean, we first come across the entrance to the Captain's Quarters, a luxurious club for only the most societal adventurers. Basically, it's the Adventureland equivalent of Disneyland's famed Club 33, and membership is quite strict. Nearby is Bwana Bob's merchandise stand, which boasts a full range of chic-jewelry to prepare you for jungle fashions, as well as offerings such as sunglasses, flip-flops, toy guns, and straw hats. Further down the jungle path, which continues to be lined with flickering flame torches, is Sunshine Tree Terrace, which boasts several snacks, soft drinks and ice cream floats. The mascot for this snack stand is the Little Orange Bird, who you can occasionally see wandering about, meeting up with new friends. And just nearby that is the Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen. This patchwork cathedral of tropical tile patterns, hardwood latticework and French-colonial lighting fixtures is a wonderful place. According to legend, the year was 1911. In that year, Dr. Albert Falls, the man who famously discovered Schweitzer Falls, founded the Jungle Navigation Co., a shipping business that moved cargo along the jungle rivers. However, once his granddaughter, Alberta, took over the company, business unfortunately declined. Noticing that the local area had become more of a spot for globetrotters than cargo shipping, a skipper approached Alberta with the idea to offer guided tours of the jungle rivers to passengers. And since then, business has been booming! So much so that the Jungle Skipper Canteen was opened to feed hungry passengers fresh from their Jungle Cruises. Inside the Skipper Canteen, guests can enjoy "World Famous Jungle Cuisine" in one of several unique dining rooms – including the crew mess hall, the Falls' family parlor and a once-hidden secret meeting room of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.). The restaurant is even staffed by the skippers!

Heading back across the way from the Captain's Quarters, we find a path leading towards an old cave hidden deep among the dense jungle vegetation. According to the locals and historians of the Forgotten Kingdom, this cave is where the shamans of jungle civilizations past gathered to weave the tales of the jungle. Some say these tales are still told even today...




In this cave, we are invited to re-live the Legend of the Lion King. Now, this show is certainly no stranger to the Magic Kingdom, having played in Fantasyland from 1994 to 2002, when it was replaced by Mickey's PhilharMagic. But I think the show had a lot going for it, and I think it should be resurrected, but this time, in a place that makes much more sense: namely, the jungles of Adventureland. The cave theater will be built on a small expansion pad in-between the Crystal Palace and the Swiss Family Treehouse, and is accessed via two rope-bridge paths--one for entrance, one for exit.

Stepping inside the cave, we notice the walls are decorated with drawings, inspired by real-life African cave drawings. One corner of this cave has a rock protruding out from it. When the time comes, the rock separates itself in two and pulls itself back to reveal Rafiki, the wise mandrill. Utilizing the "articulated head" technology found the resort over, Rafiki introduces us to the story he will tell. After his spiel, a screen closes in around the small stage and plays the film's iconic "Circle of Life" sequence. Once that concludes, we are led into the main theater. The main theater also has cave drawings along its walls, but what separates this from the pre-show area is the fact that this section of cave has been taken over by the vegetation. Vines, moss and branches are prominently present across the theater. The theater holds 500 people, who watch the show unfold across a 125-foot stage. In fact, the stage is bigger than the seating area in order to use gigantic sets, including an 18-foot Pride Rock. Of course, the main show re-tells the story of Simba, the little lion cub destined to be king, and his struggle to find his place in the "circle of life". In a style similar to Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the show utilizes large puppets, known as "Humanimals", to help tell the story. The show also makes use of clips from the film, and in-theater effects, like wind and rain. The theater even rumbles during the infamous stampede scene! All together, the show runs 23 minutes (7-minute pre-show, 16-minute main show).




From the pages of Jonathan Whyss's novel, Swiss Family Robinson, came the 1961 Disney film of the same name. And from the film, the Swiss Family Treehouse literally "grew" to life-size in Adventureland. The tree used six tons of reinforced steel and 110 cubic yards of concrete in construction. With over 300,000 handmade vinyl leaves and blossoms, the 60-foot high wonder is known as a Disneyodendron eximus, which means "out of the ordinary Disney tree." "The world is full of nice, ordinary little people who live in nice, ordinary little houses on the ground...but didn't you ever dream of having a house up in a treetop?" Resonating from a pipe organ salvaged from a shipwreck, we hear the memorable "Swissapolka" throughout our climb and descent of the famous treehouse.

Continuing past the Swiss Family Treehouse, the guests will come across a stone-gated portico providing ample passage between Adventureland and Frontierland. Also connected to the passage is Island Supply, which sells the likeliness of inventory related to sunglasses, perfect for those who find the jungle sun to be a bit too powerful. Continuing past the store, the guests arrive into the heart of the Forgotten Kingdom. In order to better help sell the theme of the Forgotten Kingdom backstory, the Magic Carpets of Aladdin has been removed. In its place is a lush oasis of swaying palm trees and colorful tiki gods. The oasis evokes the ambience of a South Seas paradise, with lush foliage, cascading waterfalls and exotic blossoms. Truly, this is a world untouched by human interference. Moana can often be seen meeting guests in a grove nearby, in the shade of a Polynesian hut similar to the hut where, as a child, her Gramma Tala first told her about the legends of Maui and the Heart of Te Fiti. The music of the 30’s fades away in favor of music with a more exotic flavor--music of Arabian, Polynesian and African descent.

Surrounding the oasis on the right is the Adventureland Bazaar. This is where cultures from all over the globe gather together in trade. So many people from all the different corners of the world have come and gone through the Forgotten Kingdom ever since its founding, and with them, they brought all sorts of wonderful things. In this sheltered center of trade and fellowship, colorful tarps and tapestries provide shade as we examine the various Disney-themed “wares of mystery and intrigue.“ Cracked fountains in the shape of lions and tigers protrude from the aged-walls and keystones. Cross-legged merchants and crafty salesmen sell their authentic wares from all exotic corners of the world. Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu, Genie, and even Jafar make their homes along the Bazaar, often wandering about or staying put nearby the oasis or nearby one of the bazaar’s rarest finds -- the magic lamp!. Right next to the Adventureland Bazaar, the Zanzibar Trading Company is located, boasting many African carved animals, masks and figures.




You know, as you walk through the Forgotten Kingdom, you may just get a spring in your step and feel that happy feeling one gets while adventuring. Maybe it's just a trick of the atmosphere...or a trick of the wonderful side-effects given by the delicious Dole Whip and fruits sold at Aloha Isle, which is a neighbor to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, where the "birds sing words and the flowers croon." The colorful macaw hosts of the show - Jose, Michael, Fritz, and Pierre - welcome you into a tropical Polynesian display, to witness a musical extravaganza of songs and wonder. This show will have been refurbished for a brief period yet again to install even more effects and more lighting and to re-install the "Enchanted Fountain" as well as the sing-along/whistling portion of "Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing." Overall, with these new refurbishments, there is more enjoyment to bring this show further back to its' original glory. Across from Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room is the Liki Tikis water feature, a Polynesian-inspired water playground for explorers looking to relax, refresh and enjoy a break from the dreadful weather of the mighty jungle.

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And that's where we'll stop for now. We've still got a few more sights to see in the Forgotten Kingdom, and they're both quite big crowd-pleasers. So, until we resume our tour, keep those comments coming!
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Past the ramshackled bazaars and small cafes, we make our way down a flight of stairs toward the near-reclaimed stronghold of an old boathouse, worn from years of monsoon damage, now rotted and entangled in rich foliage and exotic fungi. What lies ahead is anyone’s guess… Tribal masks, hanging cargo nets, storied photographs, timber canoes, and preserved specimens stand out among the interior decor of this ominous explorer’s launch. This is what else but the world-famous Jungle Cruise. As we leave the last outpost of civilization, we venture out into the exotic heart of darkness, where beautiful plants, fearsome beasts and other remnants of a pulp fictitious yesteryear reside… Aboard one of sixteen 30-passenger riverboats, we travel down twisted, "danger-filled" rivers through impenetrable jungles and mysterious waterways, where dancing natives and charging hippos roam. A band of exuberant gorillas invade a deserted safari camp, while a frenzied rhinoceros attempts to teach a misguided band of safari-goers the point of "location, location, location." Per tradition, waiting around the final bend is Trader Sam, the jungle's head salesman, offering his collection of shrunken heads in a climactic "Two for One" sale.


Nearby, a series of crates, cargo and goods to be shipped overseas marks a meet-and-greet location for all of our favorite jungle friends--specifically, a a famous orangutan, a groovy sloth bear, a sly meerkat, a militant elephant, a comical gorilla, and a wise mandrill; not forgetting Tarzan, Jane and Mowgli. The Adventureland Swingers, a Dixieland band in the vein of ol' King Louie himself, provide Big Band and Swing from an old storefront, aptly costumed in tattered regalia, with withered moss and dusted cobwebs.

"Dateline: Paradise Springs, 1935.

TOURISTS FLOCK TO MYSTERIOUS TEMPLE!

The remote jungles of a Forgotten Kingdom - from all over the world they are flocking here, following the strange story of a mysterious temple and gifts from the gods. The story begins, one year ago, world famous archaeologist 'Indiana Jones' follows a tattered map to an ancient edifice. Could this be the fabled Temple of the Forbidden Eye? According to Jones, the temple contains a Chamber of Destiny - where an ancient idol lured visitors with promises of gifts - eternal youth, earthly riches, or visions of the future. But, many who looked into the eyes of this double-dealing deity took a detour to doom! A chilling tale indeed... But not chilling enough to cool off the hot pursuit of thousands of greedy globe-trotters! They're ready for a supernatural shopping spree..."



An overgrown bamboo forest and canyon of volcanic rock lead us well past the last outpost of the Swiss Family Treehouse and into the midst of an archaeological dig. Crumbling relics and fallen artifacts lead our trail inside the clifftop Temple of the Forbidden Eye...

Within the mysterious tombs of this long-lost temple, we follow Indy's footsteps and encounter intricate booby traps, decayed skeletons, and the flutter of unseen vampire bats... Carvings and frescos tell the story of Mara, a powerful deity who promises great treasures - and vengeance to those foolish enough to gaze into its all-seeing eyes. The unearthed artifacts and shimmer of lanterns lead our steps to a rusty motor pool for Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. The rugged troop transport vehicles will not only carry us down a well-hidden track, but also act as a self-contained motion base complete with audio system and safety apparatus - and looks for all the world like it belongs in the "Forgotten Kingdom" in the 1930s. Given the unique enhanced vehicle motion system that was developed for this attraction (EMV), Imagineers were given free rein to create an adventure right out of the movies. Setting off aboard our transport, we enter into the Chamber of Destiny... Someone, probably you, foolishly looks into Mara's eyes and, in no time at all, we are thrust into the midst of inconceivable dangers - screaming mummies, swarms of giant insects, spear-throwing wraiths, collapsing bridges, slithering snakes, - and a massive, two-ton rolling boulder.



Indiana Jones Adventure is often perceived as one of the pinnacles of modern Imagineering. Its unique ride system, attention to detail and feeling of epic adventure have made it a beloved classic among Disney park-goers. Therefore, when it was announced that this ride would be coming to the Magic Kingdom, they made sure to specify that not even the tiniest detail would be spared when it came to cloning the ride for Florida. The only major change the Florida equivalent will receive is an impressive temple facade that can be seen throughout Adventureland, enticing guests to come and explore the secrets of Mara for themselves. Indiana Jones Adventure is one of the Magic Kingdom’s major attractions, and unless you have no tolerance whatsoever for thrill rides, this is a “must do“ attraction. This is a fantastic ride that does not disappoint.

Leaving the temple behind and heading back to the Forgotten Kingdom mainland, we notice something new regarding the landscaping. The waterways of the Jungle Cruise have spilled out and formed a river that separates the Forgotten Kingdom from the other sub-area of Adventureland. From our standing point we can smell the scent of “paradise”, a very nice tropical smell of fruit, fresh foliage, and clean seawater. On the other side of the path we can see the looming figures of various works of architecture. Walking down the trail, we leave the jungle-like atmosphere of the Forgotten Kingdom behind. The jungle has become a tropical paradise, lining both sides of the path (which turns out to be a bridge). A crystal-clear waterfall pours down into a rushing stream. Nearby, a band of Hawaiian shirt-wearing musicians play a collection of steel drums and maracas. This encourages us to move forward and towards the other side of the bridge. As we continue a sign appears reading "WELCOME TO CARIBBEAN PLAZA."




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I must say, I borrowed most of the description of Indiana Jones Adventure from @MANEATINGWREATH, so all credit goes to him on that count. So, in the next post, we'll finish Adventureland with a trip through Caribbean Plaza! See ya then!
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
~ ~ ~



Past the ramshackled bazaars and small cafes, we make our way down a flight of stairs toward the near-reclaimed stronghold of an old boathouse, worn from years of monsoon damage, now rotted and entangled in rich foliage and exotic fungi. What lies ahead is anyone’s guess… Tribal masks, hanging cargo nets, storied photographs, timber canoes, and preserved specimens stand out among the interior decor of this ominous explorer’s launch. This is what else but the world-famous Jungle Cruise. As we leave the last outpost of civilization, we venture out into the exotic heart of darkness, where beautiful plants, fearsome beasts and other remnants of a pulp fictitious yesteryear reside… Aboard one of sixteen 30-passenger riverboats, we travel down twisted, "danger-filled" rivers through impenetrable jungles and mysterious waterways, where dancing natives and charging hippos roam. A band of exuberant gorillas invade a deserted safari camp, while a frenzied rhinoceros attempts to teach a misguided band of safari-goers the point of "location, location, location." Per tradition, waiting around the final bend is Trader Sam, the jungle's head salesman, offering his collection of shrunken heads in a climactic "Two for One" sale.


Nearby, a series of crates, cargo and goods to be shipped overseas marks a meet-and-greet location for all of our favorite jungle friends--specifically, a a famous orangutan, a groovy sloth bear, a sly meerkat, a militant elephant, a comical gorilla, and a wise mandrill; not forgetting Tarzan, Jane and Mowgli. The Adventureland Swingers, a Dixieland band in the vein of ol' King Louie himself, provide Big Band and Swing from an old storefront, aptly costumed in tattered regalia, with withered moss and dusted cobwebs.

"Dateline: Paradise Springs, 1935.

TOURISTS FLOCK TO MYSTERIOUS TEMPLE!

The remote jungles of a Forgotten Kingdom - from all over the world they are flocking here, following the strange story of a mysterious temple and gifts from the gods. The story begins, one year ago, world famous archaeologist 'Indiana Jones' follows a tattered map to an ancient edifice. Could this be the fabled Temple of the Forbidden Eye? According to Jones, the temple contains a Chamber of Destiny - where an ancient idol lured visitors with promises of gifts - eternal youth, earthly riches, or visions of the future. But, many who looked into the eyes of this double-dealing deity took a detour to doom! A chilling tale indeed... But not chilling enough to cool off the hot pursuit of thousands of greedy globe-trotters! They're ready for a supernatural shopping spree..."



An overgrown bamboo forest and canyon of volcanic rock lead us well past the last outpost of the Swiss Family Treehouse and into the midst of an archaeological dig. Crumbling relics and fallen artifacts lead our trail inside the clifftop Temple of the Forbidden Eye...

Within the mysterious tombs of this long-lost temple, we follow Indy's footsteps and encounter intricate booby traps, decayed skeletons, and the flutter of unseen vampire bats... Carvings and frescos tell the story of Mara, a powerful deity who promises great treasures - and vengeance to those foolish enough to gaze into its all-seeing eyes. The unearthed artifacts and shimmer of lanterns lead our steps to a rusty motor pool for Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. The rugged troop transport vehicles will not only carry us down a well-hidden track, but also act as a self-contained motion base complete with audio system and safety apparatus - and looks for all the world like it belongs in the "Forgotten Kingdom" in the 1930s. Given the unique enhanced vehicle motion system that was developed for this attraction (EMV), Imagineers were given free rein to create an adventure right out of the movies. Setting off aboard our transport, we enter into the Chamber of Destiny... Someone, probably you, foolishly looks into Mara's eyes and, in no time at all, we are thrust into the midst of inconceivable dangers - screaming mummies, swarms of giant insects, spear-throwing wraiths, collapsing bridges, slithering snakes, - and a massive, two-ton rolling boulder.



Indiana Jones Adventure is often perceived as one of the pinnacles of modern Imagineering. Its unique ride system, attention to detail and feeling of epic adventure have made it a beloved classic among Disney park-goers. Therefore, when it was announced that this ride would be coming to the Magic Kingdom, they made sure to specify that not even the tiniest detail would be spared when it came to cloning the ride for Florida. The only major change the Florida equivalent will receive is an impressive temple facade that can be seen throughout Adventureland, enticing guests to come and explore the secrets of Mara for themselves. Indiana Jones Adventure is one of the Magic Kingdom’s major attractions, and unless you have no tolerance whatsoever for thrill rides, this is a “must do“ attraction. This is a fantastic ride that does not disappoint.

Leaving the temple behind and heading back to the Forgotten Kingdom mainland, we notice something new regarding the landscaping. The waterways of the Jungle Cruise have spilled out and formed a river that separates the Forgotten Kingdom from the other sub-area of Adventureland. From our standing point we can smell the scent of “paradise”, a very nice tropical smell of fruit, fresh foliage, and clean seawater. On the other side of the path we can see the looming figures of various works of architecture. Walking down the trail, we leave the jungle-like atmosphere of the Forgotten Kingdom behind. The jungle has become a tropical paradise, lining both sides of the path (which turns out to be a bridge). A crystal-clear waterfall pours down into a rushing stream. Nearby, a band of Hawaiian shirt-wearing musicians play a collection of steel drums and maracas. This encourages us to move forward and towards the other side of the bridge. As we continue a sign appears reading "WELCOME TO CARIBBEAN PLAZA."




~ ~ ~

I must say, I borrowed most of the description of Indiana Jones Adventure from @MANEATINGWREATH, so all credit goes to him on that count. So, in the next post, we'll finish Adventureland with a trip through Caribbean Plaza! See ya then!
Where is that last picture from when you introduce Caribbean Plaza?
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Where is that last picture from when you introduce Caribbean Plaza?
I believe thats Treasure Cove at Shanghai Disneyland.
@orlando678- is right on the money! It is Treasure Cove! I couldn't find any good pictures of Magic Kingdom's Caribbean Plaza, so I decided to use that instead. So now, everybody, let's finish our time in Adventureland!

~ ~ ~



No longer are we in the dense rainforests of the Forgotten Kingdom. We are now in the tropical paradise that is the Caribbean. Spanish-style architecture overtakes the plaza as dock-side shops and taverns line the streets. The smell of saltwater and all the delicious foods of the nearby restaurants fill the air and further strengthen the atmosphere. Tropical music fills the air, a nice departure from the swinging sounds of the 1930s music we’ve been hearing. Along the mainland, you may come across quite a few interesting entertainers. The Bootstrappers, a motley band of musical pirates, bring a sense of atmospheric charm to the long-lost seaport. Sonidos del Paraíso ("Sounds of Paradise") is a Hawaiian-shirt clad steel-drum band, providing tropical tunes to all who care to listen. Inches away is La Fuente de la Fortuna ("The Fountain of Fortune"), a fountain where you can toss pennies in to make a wish. All the pennies and coins thrown into the fountain are donated to charities.


Dominating Caribbean Plaza is the battle-scarred facade of Castillo del Morro, a once-empowered stronghold meant to protect the thriving seaport from unwanted visitors. Tragically, the efforts of the colonists proved futile - the familiar skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger soar proudly from the Torre del Cielo watchtower. Inside the fortress, you can take off to face these rogues yourselves, aboard one of Disney’s most beloved theme park attractions: Pirates of the Caribbean.


Long has the Floridian equivalent of this iconic ride been negatively compared to the Californian version, mainly due to its shortness. But frankly, I think the shortness kind of suits the ride for the better. Because of the shortness, the Florida version tells a different take on the story. In the original Disneyland version, as we travel down the Blue Bayou, we are going back in time to the days of the pirates, hence all the skeletons. But here in Florida, the queue lets us know right away what we're in for. As we step foot inside Castillo del Morro, we hear the sounds of footsteps running overhead, voices yelling commands in Spanish, and the deafening sound of cannon-fire. We're not going back in time to the days when the pirates attacked Port Royal. We are there. In fact, as we approach an escape route, we can see a ship on the horizon. The pirates are coming...


There is an escape route ready for us, and a bateau is on the water ready to take us out of the fort before the pirates arrive. Sailing silently through the mysterious caverns in the underbelly of the Castillo, we are greeted by several eerie reminders of past pirate attacks. The thunder of rampaging waterfalls can be heard on every side, skeletons hold sway over a mountain of pirate treasure, and a haunting voice issues an ominous warning of danger lurking ahead...

"Psst! Avast there! It be too late to alter course, mateys. And there be plundering pirates lurkin' in ev’ry cove, waitin' to board. Sit closer together and keep your ruddy hands in board. That be the best way to repel boarders. And mark well me words, mateys: Dead men tell no tales! Ye come seekin’ adventure with salty old pirates, eh? Sure you’ve come to the proper place. But keep a weather eye open, mates, and hold on tight. With both hands, if you please. Thar be squalls ahead, and Davy Jones waiting for them what don’t obey."




Making our daring escape via a waterfall, we find ourselves lucky to have escaped when we did. That pirate ship we saw in the queue, the feared Wicked Wench, has made its presence known; and we are suddenly caught in a crossfire between a stone-walled fortress on the right and the Wicked Wench on the left, the latter complete with bellowing Audio-Animatronics buccaneers and gunfire aplenty. After avoiding a barrage of flying cannonballs that land too close to our boat for comfort, we sail next into a seaport town where a few rum-fuddled looters ransack and burn the community, chase after and auction off valuable treasure, and sing and laugh to the iconic chantey, "Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me."

The changes the ride has accrued over the years has been the subject of great controversy, so you're probably wondering what are my two cents? Well, I would like to see Pirates of the Caribbean remove all references to the films, mainly because of what has been brewing regarding the man who played Jack Sparrow. And given that Disney is planning to continue the series without Johnny Depp, I think it wouldn't be too much of a loss to see Jack and Barbossa gone. As for the auction sequence, well, one of my favorite Internet reviewers, Tony Goldmark (otherwise known as "Some Jerk with a Camera") did
a video on the subject, and based on what he showed, I'd make Tiny a pirate as well, to avoid the mixed messages that Pirate Tony points out. Fortunately, we already have a good idea about that particular notion. You see, when Paris changed their auction scene, they made sure Tiny wasn't presented negatively. In their ride, the auction is for treasure, and while Redd is still overseeing things, a smiling Tiny is helping to show off the wares.


When our pirate adventure comes to an end, we make a quick detour through the Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar, where glittering jewels, treasure chests, gold doubloons and treasure maps hint at the loot within. Toy rifles, fool's gold, plastic cutlasses, hook-for-hand replacements, miniature telescopes, pirate hats, and eye patches are all for sale. Nearby is The Pirate's League, where kids and adults can be made over to look like an official buccaneer. Located just across the way from the entrance of Castillo del Morro is El Pirata y El Perico ("The Pirate and the Parrot"), a quick service Spanish-inspired restaurant themed to an old tavern. The bill of fare is Mexican and Spanish-influenced entrees, including chicken, beef, tapas, vegetarian burritos, taco salad, empanadas and nachos.

~ ~ ~
And there we have Adventureland! Keep the feedback coming, my friends, because soon, we shall start exploring the rustic side of the Magic Kingdom, with the Wild West of Frontierland! See ya then, partners!
 
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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Frontierland



The year is 1885 as a proud sternwheeler makes its way up a muddy river. Stagecoaches and covered wagons make their way up the street, as simple townsfolk and Native Americans walk side by side. Gold miners sail out on makeshift rafts to the mines across the river, while music and laughter emits from the local saloon. And from the dense wilderness comes the whistling of trains and the lonely howl of a coyote, longing to be with its companions. The realm we have entered is an amalgam of sights and sounds that authentically conjure up images of America’s expansion. In Frontierland, the United States during the era when it was still a floundering young nation has been recreated and preserved for all generations to explore and appreciate. In this land of historical fact and fiction, wooded natural surroundings give way to a rustic frontier town. We have been whisked from the modern day and transported back to the dust-swept, horseshoe-scarred streets of a western settlement, circa 1870. The triumphant orchestral theme of a classic western film fills the air as we explore the little boomtown of Tumbleweed.


In all the myths and legends passed down the trail, Tumbleweed was once the cutest little boomtown this side of the Mississippi. This was of course on account of the gold vein running thru "that thar" mountain: Big Thunder Mountain. The biggest and most fanciful mountain range in the entire West - second to Monument Valley in Utah - Big Thunder brought Tumbleweed from a little-known pioneer encampment to a bustling mining town overnight, bringing with it the advent of the railroad and riverboat, not to mention hundreds of would-be tycoons in the form of curious cowpoke and friendly foreigners. The once quiet town had more river and rail traffic than it could ever have hoped to handle.

Alas, there was something about the mountain that the settlers didn't know... You see, long before the pioneers came, Big Thunder Mountain was a sacred spot to the Native Americans, and it carried a powerful curse -- a curse that offered a powerful vendetta against the greedy and the selfish. Before long, the settlers' desecration of the mountain caused the curse to be fulfilled; and the town was caught in the midst of a great flash flood. Though some perished in the flood, most did survive, with a good chunk of them fleeing for parts unknown. The mining operation went bust, and before long, Tumbleweed was a ghost town. Tumbleweed was deemed "cursed" by miners across the frontier, an ominous reminder of the strange happenings and devastating quake of that fateful day.

Today, we visit Tumbleweed just a few years past the great quake, warned and inspired by the various wood-carvings and relics of the Native Americans and the mountain's curse found throughout town. We are greeted by the town's official welcome sign...


"Welcome to Thunder Mesa!
The Biggest Boom Town in the West!
Population: 1,110 - 888 - 303 -119 - 24?
Elevation: Not Sure"

Yikes! Judging by the amount of times the town’s population count has been crossed out and replaced by a significantly smaller number, Thunder Mesa truly lives up to its "ghost town" status. Past the promenade and down the main thoroughfare, we feel as if we have stepped into the reels of a classic western, where cacti and tumbleweeds are the local flora. A cigar store Indian Chief stands guard from a shaded porch. Weary travelers seek refuge in quaint rocking chairs and a creaking hammock. Humorous wanted posters and aged advertisements (i;e "Pain for Less Dentistry") line the sand-kissed facades and signposts, pulling our adventurous spirit deeper into this romanticized vision of the pioneer age.



Our adventures in Frontierland begin just outside the Tumbleweed borders, because it is there that we find the famous Diamond Horseshoe Saloon, home to the equally famous Diamond Horseshoe Saloon Revue. To an ice cream sundae and a bottle of sarsaparilla, we enjoy an Old West musical of can-can dancers, vaudeville routines, melodramatic punchlines, and the world’s only dancing buffalo. Other treats on the menu here include fried chicken, chili, sandwiches, hamburgers, French fries and fish and chips, with a wide variety of fixin's and sides; as well as a wide variety of other ice cream treats and cookies. And to wash it down, an ice-cold Coca-Cola and other non-alcoholic beverages.

As you head past the Diamond Horseshoe, you find yourself standing before a representation of a Civil-War era stockade turret. The American flag billows from atop the log-built turret, while poised-and-ready rifles peer over the walls of the fort, ready for battle. A hand-carved sign reading "Frontierland" hangs from the turret. Just a short distance away, the music of many a classic western film call to us, beckoning us to continue further. Our adventure back in time is about to begin. Immediately to your left is the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade, a good old-fashioned shooting exposition, where interactive elements and triggers make one feel as if they conquered the West. Nearby is the Frontier Trading Post, Tumbleweed’s general store. Marked by its antler-covered rooftop (an old trick to attract cowboys), this shop, owned by "Texas" John Slaughter, sells authentic Western wares, such as Native American-made blankets, figurines, and artwork.



Back in the center of town, once every two hours, Thunder Mesa comes alive with the sound of the Frontierland Hoedown! Accompanied by a live band of country musicians, some of our favorite frontier friends -- the likes of Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, Br'er Bear, the Country Bears, Pecos Goofy, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow, among many others -- join a troupe of four dancing couples in a rowdy barn dance that really puts the "kick in country!" After a few rehearsed pieces from the musicians and dancers, we're invited to come and join them on the dance floor, learning how to box step, pivot, and so on. But, if you're itchin' to just meet the characters, don't fret none. Woody, Jessie, Bullseye, Pecos Goofy, Pocahontas, Meeko, Kenai, Koda, Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Bear, Br'er Fox and the Country Bears themselves--Big Al, Liverlips McGrowl, Shaker and Wendell--all make appearances in Tumbleweed. Although they mostly wander around at their own discretion to cause general mischief, a specified meet-n-greet space is found in the form of Lookout Dock, a small dock opposite the stockade turret, offering stunning views of the Frontierland mountain range, a perfect photo opportunity with your favorite frontier character.



The musical motifs of the Frontierland Hoedown provide a natural transition to what lies inside the historic Grizzly Hall. The Country Bear Jamboree stars 22 lifelike northwest animals who sing, strum and pun their way through a thoroughly entertaining fifteen-minute show. The emcee of the show is a bear named Henry, an amusing chap who stands seven-feet tall and wears a live raccoon-hat. His job, like his mindedness, is simple - keep the audience in stitches and introduce the stars of the show. The show is home to a cast of bruins not seen in your typical national park. Nobody hibernates through the rollicking, paw-pounding, unbearable country-western musical antics of the bodacious Five Bear Rugs, the swinging Teddi Barra, Terrence the "Vibrating Wreck from Nashville Tech," and the sorrowful heart-tugging refrains of Big Al. In addition to these bears, Max, Buff and Melvin, three mounted animal heads with a knack for personality, serve as a "peanut gallery" for the show, trading barbs with Henry. All these critters and more await an audience in the finest celebration of music and song this side of the great outdoors. In celebration of the show's upcoming 50th anniversary, I would personally restore this classic cavalcade to its original run-time, and bring back all that was cut in 2012. Furthermore, I'd bring back another old chestnut: the Country Bear Christmas Special. Every November, Grizzly Hall is decked with all the trimmings, as the ursine cast prepares some seasonal standards.

If you’re feeling peckish while riding through the vast wilderness, stop by Prairie Outpost & Supply to grab some sweet treats. It's located a little ways down the path from Grizzly Hall.




Nearby Grizzly Hall is Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn & Cafe, a large saloon style quick-service restaurant that serves south-western foods, hamburgers, onion rings, ribs and a complete salad bar, amongst many other things on the menus. The quick-service restaurant features both seating indoor, as well as an outdoor seating area, which makes for a prime seating location during the parades. If guests enter Frontierland from Adventureland's Caribbean Plaza, it's safe to say that this is the first thing they'll see. Across the way is the Golden Oak Outpost, which is a smaller quick-service stand, which mainly features chicken strips and french fries. There is also a small seating area, illuminated with flickering lanterns, to the left of the stand.

~ ~ ~

Expect to see one more post about Frontierland later today! There will be three posts overall for Frontierland, but only one more will be coming out today. I'll explain why a bit later... But until the next post comes around, if you've got that feedback, feel free to post it! Any and all feedback is appreciated!
 
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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
~ ~ ~

If there's one notable feature of the town of Tumbleweed, it would have to be its mighty mountain range. Tumbleweed is home to some of the most prevalent and striking natural wonders in all of the Wild West. The first notable peak around these parts is that of Chick-a-Pin Hill, composed of the rolling green hills and red clay riverbanks of the Deep South. A thundering waterfall pours down from inside a large gnarled-up tree trunk at its peak. Every few seconds a log pours down the falls seemingly filled with...people? Screaming people. What is this, some kind of thrill ride? Well...yes. Yes, it is.



This is Splash Mountain, one of the most thrilling adventures in all the Magic Kingdom. And when we say "splash", we mean "splash!" A ride on Splash Mountain will take you along 95,000 gallons of water that flow through Chick-a-Pin Hill, and down three small drops and well...you'll see. Inspired by the animated segments of Disney's 1946 live-action (and highly-controversial) film Song of the South, Splash Mountain follows happy-go-lucky Br'er Rabbit, a wayward hare always in search of something better. Against the advice of Mr. Bluebird, Br'er Rabbit decides to leave his humble home in the Briar Patch and spend the rest of his days in the Laughin' Place. But what happens when his longtime adversaries, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear kidnap him before he gets there? Well, what happens is the wettest and wildest ride in Disney park history, and it all culminates in an epic 50-foot, 45-degree angle drop down Chick-a-Pin Hill and into the Briar Patch below! The attraction exits out into Splashdown Photos, where guests can view and purchase photos taken as they descended down the drop. Built within the mountain is the Briar Patch gift shop, selling goods themed to Splash Mountain and Song of the South.

Look carefully as you wait in line for Splash Mountain, and you might see the Walt Disney World Railroad pull into Frontierland Station, located just a few inches away from Chick-a-Pin Hill. The train actually passes right through the mountain! Once all board, the train sets off again, heading towards the next major landmark in Tumbleweed: Big Thunder Mountain itself!




Rugged peaks, soaring rock walls, towering cliff tops, and thundering waterfalls are among the scenery of this mighty mountain; this seamless amalgam of Bruce Canyon, Yosemite National Park and Monument Valley, which pierces the skies of Frontierland, offering a dramatic backdrop to Tumbleweed. The leftover buildings and traces of the old mining company still remain on the mountain range, long-abandoned since that dreadful earthquake.

A few years after the flood, bold explorers came to investigate the mystery of Tumbleweed. When they reached Big Thunder, they found a most peculiar sight: Although there was no trace of human activity on the mountain, the mine trains they used to transport ore were still racing about the track, all by themselves! Aboard the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, we follow in the footsteps of these explorers aboard one of these possessed trains. We speed past dinosaur fossils, bubbling desert pits, stalactite-filled caves and the long-lost spirits of those miners who lost their lives to the earthquake so many years before. We plummet through the darkness along a dynamite-littered track, a huge explosion shakes the cavern. But the train doesn't slow up, hurtling you onwards amid the rumbling sounds of a falling mineshaft. Bats swoop. The tracks shake. The same earthquake that turned Thunder Mesa into a ghost town is threatening to rise again! Will we make it out alive? I don't know, but I do know this: all these things certainly add up to an experience that has been rightfully dubbed "the wildest ride in the wilderness!"

Lapping gently along the edges of Frontierland and neighboring Liberty Square is a Disney park staple: the Rivers of America. Marked by the majestic sternwheeler, the Liberty Belle Riverboat, the Rivers of America represent the many great rivers of the North American continent: the Missouri, the Mississippi, the Rio Grande, etc., as they appeared in the time of American expansion. As one can see, the Rivers of America is bustling with activity, with various vessels gliding across the water. Among these vessels are old rafts that take us to the fun and adventure of Tom Sawyer Island.




The works of Mark Twain come to life on this island, not unlike an island where the likes of Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher and Huckleberry Finn might have played. Dusty dirt roads lined with sycamore and oak trees and creaky suspension bridges mark this natural haven. You may even stumble upon secret mined caves and uncover an age-old fort. Stepping foot on Tom Sawyer Island recalls the bygone days of youth in the 1800s, a vast forest, unremarkable to the adult eye, but to the eye of a child, a world where imagination can transform anything into a grand adventure. The island is filled with suspension bridges to cross, tree houses and rocks to climb, trails to survey, caves to explore and an authentic replica of a frontier log fort: Fort Langhorn. Fort Langhorn was constructed from logs hewed by hand and trucked in from nearby mountains. The timber was floated across the Rivers of America and hoisted up to dry land, where it was assembled to create the realistic 19th century army fort. The fort stands perched on a lookout hill with a view of both the island interior and the river bend, which heightened its realism and sense of place. Another major point of interest is Harper's Mill stands to the island's southern shore, a mysterious beacon of exploration and discovery. Marked by the large waterwheel to its side, the creaky wheels and cranks still turn inside this place, since long-abandoned. And Disney nerds, take good notice here: a nest of birds is lodged between the wedges of one of the wheels inside the mill...not unlike a similar set of birds in the Academy-Award winning short The Old Mill. Long-time visitors will take joy in knowing that Aunt Polly's Dockside Inn has re-opened, offering home-style comfort foods and a seating area under a beautiful wood-carved gazebo, overlooking the Rivers of America.


Heading back to the mainland, we notice an activity occuring at the dock nearby Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Once again, the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes are setting off! Aboard the Explorer Canoes, guests with a host Cast Member, can set off from Tom Sawyer Island and canoe their way down the Rivers of America, taking in the sights of Tumbleweed, a secret mine cavern on the outskirts of Big Thunder Mountain, the settlement of an Indian campground and an even closer look at a dark cemetery nearby a foreboding manor...


Perhaps the most notable thing about traversing the Rivers of America this way is that you'll be able to get an up-close look at a new addition to the sightlines: Columbia Gorge. Columbia Gorge is a beautiful oasis of rockwork and greenery, complimenting the design of the two peaks of Tumbleweed. Five waterfalls spill out into the river below, adding another layer of beauty. The Indian campground will be touched up to match the new rockwork, much like Disneyland's. Time your canoe ride right, and you might just see the Walt Disney World Railroad pass along the gorge!

But what if I were to tell you that Columbia Gorge hides a brand-new addition to the Frontierland experience? It's something that's going to help make the Magic Kingdom even more of a haven for Disney fans the world over. In fact, it's so big and so secretive, that I'm gonna save it for the next post! Tomorrow, we'll be able to see this new addition for ourselves, so hang in there, and keep the feedback coming! Any comments or constructive criticism is welcome!


~ ~ ~
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Here comes the big addition to Frontierland I told you about yesterday! Get ready, this is going to be something special!

~ ~ ~


Longtime visitors to the Magic Kingdom might notice something different about the terrain of Frontierland. A recently uncovered path has been found, mere inches away from the Frontierland Railroad Station and the old lumber mill that serves as the entrance to Splash Mountain. Through the dense forests of the rugged wilderness, we come across a covered bridge that takes us over a bend in the river and onto a piece of land never before stepped upon by Magic Kingdom guests. It's an old expansion pad located directly behind Tom Sawyer Island, big enough to fit what lies upon it...


When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, guests were astonished at the omission of Pirates of the Caribbean. The Imagineers, in particular Marc Davis, had no interest in repeating their former success, and had planned to outdo Pirates with Western River Expedition, an Audio-Animatronics extravaganza that would out-dazzle the Caribbean boat ride in every respect. The water ride was to be the centerpiece of Thunder Mesa, an expansive show complex that would also house hiking trails and pack-mule rides, and a runaway mine train down its hills and through its valleys. "Western River" would be a wild and woolly musical adventure starring cowboys and Indians, masked banditos, and high-kicking cancan dancers, culminating with a raging forest fire and a final, dizzying plunge down a waterfall and into the Rivers of America. Marc Davis's theme park magnum opus would be complete by 1976, just in time for the resort's fifth anniversary and the nation's Bicentennial.

However, Roy O. Disney, Marc's biggest cheerleader for the project, had passed away in late 1971. Roy's replacement, Card Walker, made it his top priority to bring a smaller version of Pirates to the Florida Park. The Imagineers tried to sell him on what they considered would be the next generation of "E-Ticket" attraction, but the new CEO would hear none of it. Pirates opened in Walt Disney World's Adventureland in 1973. Western River would now seem redundant with the addition of Pirates. Even worse, the Thunder Mesa complex would have cost an astronomical $60 million to build. The energy crisis of the 1970s had wreaked havoc on the travel industry, especially at Walt Disney World. Further complicating matters, concern was expressed over Marc's portrayal of Native Americans, which were decidedly cartoonish and not at all politically correct, even for the far-more-politically-incorrect 1970s. Western River was, in Disney World at least, abandoned - dead in the water.

With Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary quickly coming along in 2021, the Imagineers decided to mark the momentus occasion by returning to the concept and aiming to find a way to bring Marc Davis' last hurrah to life, whilst also refreshing it for 21st-century tastes. The Imagineers looked into Marc's original drawings and concepts for the legendary attraction. In fact, the attraction would be as close to Marc's vision as possible, save for a few additions and required edits. At long last, Western River Expedition would become a part of Magic Kingdom's storied history.

With rockwork similar to that of neighboring Big Thunder Mountain, Thunder Mesa stands proudly, welcoming guests to a world of Western adventure. A gigantic waterfall tumbes down off the top of the Mesa and flowing back into the Rivers of America. Nearby that sits the beginning of a dirt road leading up the mesa. Standing tall and proud right in the middle of Thunder Mesa, visible only from its right side, is the legendary Thunderbird Peak, a mountain which takes on the shape of the legendary Thunderbird, a storm-causing beast of Native American lore. From within its "opened-beak" pours down a raging waterfall, the biggest, steepest waterfall ever designed by Disney. The mighty "wings" of the bird scrape the sky at unimaginable heights, nearly visible from every last angle of the park. When night falls upon the park, the hollow-eyes of the great bird glow an unearthly green, hinting that although this mountain may be an inanimate being of God's green earth, something supernatural must be inside.



Daring to explore the mysteries of Thunderbird Peak, the winding tunnels and abandoned mines of the Thunder Mesa Mining Operation open into a surreal canyon under the veil of twilight. From aboard a smuggler's rowboat, we embark on a spellbinding adventure beneath the stars, where clouds and constellations in the shape of western icons float past. Hoot Gibson, a nosy owl, is our narrator as we drift through a cowboy encampment after sunset. Singing cattle, cacti and cowpoke transition into the days of panning for gold. No, it wasn't just Big Thunder that the gold-hungry hopefuls came across. A few years after the Big Thunder incident, one Arthur T. Logger found Thunder Mesa, and started a mining company there in hopes of striking lucky. From Panners' Bank, we come across a stagecoach robbery at high noon, where masked banditos and their masked horses (their leader rides a grizzly bear) take aim at their horrified hostages. Our boat then rolls into the little mining town of Dry Gulch at dusk, where boisterous cowboys, dancing showgirls, disapproving townsfolk, and vile outlaws take the west by storm.

However, the mood soon becomes ominous. A group of Native Americans are doing a traditional rain dance (Disney has made sure to do their research on this scene, so the dancing here is an authentic Native American rain dance) to summon the Thunderbird, the only beast in this world that can curb the greed of man. As the rain falls, the Thunderbird flies and the storm grows, lightning strikes the trees, causing a great forest fire! This sends our boat uphill and into further danger - the banditos have returned, and this time we're their hostages. Amid the crackle of lightning and gargantuan flames, we narrowly escape via Thunder Mesa's immense slope - an 80-foot drop back into the caverns we began in! Here, the Thunderbird peacefully sleeps as the banditos try desperately to avoid the hungry mouths of her brood.

If Marc Davis were still with us today, I'm sure he'd agree that this new addition to the Magic Kingdom family was well-worth the wait. An epic adventure straight out many a Western reel, perfectly complimented by a beautifully-redesigned Rivers of America. This modern classic attraction will go on to welcome even more passengers than it ever had before. At long last, Disney fans the world over could set foot on what was once one of the greatest legends of the Disney pantheon. In fact, with this modern masterpiece in place, the Magic Kingdom is the only Disneyland-style park to feature Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion and Western River Expedition all under one roof - the Marc Davis Trifecta.


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Wow! What a way to end Frontierland, am I right? At long last, Western River Expedition is part of the Magic Kingdom experience! By the way, most of this information came from @MANEATINGWREATH's Mirror Disneyland, so all credit goes to him! Come tomorrow, we'll start the journey eastwards as we explore Liberty Square!
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
An excellent read so far, as always from you!

And I'm glad to see someone else who thinks the tighter pacing and storytelling in Florida in Pirates is a positive thing! Sometimes feels like I'm the only one who feels that way lol
Thank you very much! I'm frankly surprised at how the storytelling of Florida's Pirates seems to be a lot clearer and more in-the-moment than California's, and it really is a shame that most people take it for granted.

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Liberty Square




What was America like during the days of its infancy? Set during the time of the American Revolution, Liberty Square takes guests back to the days of America's foundings. The architecture is a blend of several American colonies as they existed during the nation's earliest years. The town is filled with merchants and trades in reflection of the time period. The smell of revolution is in the air. The fife and drum echoes throughout the land. Blue-coated men roam the streets. This truly is a world just ready to be born.

Entering Liberty Square from the Central Plaza, we pass by a brick-laden gate, a wall nearby laden with this message: "Past this gateway stirs a new nation waiting to be born. Thirteen separate colonies have banded together to declare their independence from the bonds of tyranny. It is a time when silversmiths put away their tools and march to the drums of a revolution, a time when gentleman planters leave their farms to become generals, a time when tradesmen leave the safety of home to become heroes. Welcome to Liberty Square!"

Once over the wooden bridge that spans the rivers of the Plaza, lit by old-fashioned streetlamps, we find the first two buildings of Liberty Square waiting for us. First, to the right, we have Sleepy Hollow, a colonial eatery, which boasts amazing funnel cakes, waffles, ice cream sandwiches, muffins, coffee and hot chocolate and other delectable treats. Modeled after the home of Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving, Sleepy Hollow features an outdoor seating area, which offers a wonderful view of the courtyard in front of Cinderella Castle. Sleepy Hollow also offers a small covered seating area, which features a small, almost hidden, forested pathway, leading to the backside of Cinderella Castle. The pathway offers amazing view of both Main Street U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle. On the back end of the Sleepy Hollow seating area, there is an alcove, leading back into the heart of Liberty Square. The alcove cuts through several buildings and leads into the main plaza of the Square.



On the other side of the street is Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, one of the most beautiful stores in the park. The year-round decor of shimmering garland, lights, trees and the sound of warm holiday music is in perfect compliment to the available ornaments, wreathes, stockings, nutcrackers and tree-skirts. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe is most famous for its incredible Department 56 Village. Known for its lit portrayal of holiday nostalgia and memories in miniature form, the display is one of the world's largest found in a retail location. Better yet, Department 56 and Walt Disney World offer an exclusive village series: "The Magic of Christmas at Walt Disney World," a miniature portrayal of Main Street, U.S.A. and Central Plaza decked out for the holiday season.

Heading westward from here, towards Frontierland, you'll come across the Liberty Tree Tavern. The menu is in celebration of all things Americana - from smoked turkey legs and hamburgers to lobster rolls and New England clam chowder. The stately colonial inn is Liberty Street's exclusive dining hall. Dinners here are a full-on family-style Thanksgiving feast: an all-you-care-to-enjoy mountain of roasted turkey breast, pot roast and carved pork roast, and accompanied by traditional sides. Liberty Tree Tavern is one of the most elegant and upscale dining facilities in all the Magic Kingdom.




Standing proudly in the middle of Liberty Square are the Liberty Tree and Liberty Bell. As the story goes, 50 replicas of the Liberty Bell were made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of America's independence in 1976. Pennsylvania, already having the real thing, donated their copy to Walt Disney World in 1989. It is surrounded by 14 flags: the American flag and the flags of the 13 original states. The impressive Liberty Tree is a live oak transported to Disneyland amidst Liberty Street's construction in 1957. Walt himself was on hand to select and relocate the proud tree. The tree itself is well over two centuries old and is a worthy tribute to the real Liberty Tree in Boston. Historically, the real tree was a beacon for the American Revolution - those rallied against the oppression of the British Empire would gather here in protest or plotting.

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And that is where we shall stop for now. But we've only scratched the surface on what Liberty Square has to offer. Expect the next post to come along soon, and until then, keep the feedback coming!

By the way, the idea for a Department 56 Village comes from @MANEATINGWREATH, so credit goes out to him regarding that idea!
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
~ ~ ~



In 2016, Liberty Square was introduced to, what was at least described as, "A Unique Window on America." James Jefferson, town crier of Liberty Square, calls for passers-by, gathering us 'round before the historic Heritage House. Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle and The Great Gonzo soon appear at the windows of the colonial facade to bring their fuzzy view of American history to life. The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History is a reverent, hysterical and historical performance in depiction of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the midnight ride of Paul Revere, told only as The Muppets can.



Steps away from Heritage House stands a near-exact re-creation of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, which houses The Hall of Presidents. In this presentation, three massive digital projection screens help to tell a Ken Burns-style take on our country's founding and the notion of a president; and likewise, how the institution has survived through many a hard-fought struggle. At the culmination of the film, the screens part to reveal animatronic likenesses of every last one of our Presidents.

Now, this is one attraction that can be quite tough to talk about nowadays. I will not be getting too political here, but you certainly can't deny that ever since the 2016 election, the great divide between Republicans and Democrats has definitely increased. Therefore, I would remove the tradition of having the current president speak. Frankly, it's a tradition that hasn't been around much; it began when Bill Clinton took office in 1993. Up until then, Abraham Lincoln was the only one who spoke. This new take on The Hall of Presidents, while still keeping the 2017 film mostly intact will see a slight variation in its speeches: Lincoln (utilizing the original Royal Dano recording) will still recite the Gettysburg Address. Then, in a new addition, Franklin D. Roosevelt (who has switched places with Martin van Buren) will recite the Four Freedoms speech. George Washington, after delivering his brief speech about the Oath of Office, will then deliver the oath himself, and the show will end with Lincoln's original ending speech, as used in the 1971-1993 version of the show.





Heading further into Liberty Square, I’d get rid of the Liberty Square Market and its seating area. Interestingly enough, the original plans for Liberty Square involved two small New Orleans Square-type streets--one where the Liberty Bell display is now, and one where this seating area is now. I’d use the former seating area as a place for various craftsman shops. One of the first new sights on this property is the Blacksmith Shop. Antique hinges, lamps, horseshoes, and other items are made here by a skilled blacksmith. The smithy (blacksmith) hosts demonstrations and is also responsible for shoeing the horses that traverse Main Street every day. Paul Revere's Silver Shop is unique, wherein all the wares available for purchase are made from, you guessed it, silver. The second-floor window of said shop has two lanterns, a reference to the poem "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. "One, if by land, and two, if by sea," reads the poem. The two lanterns indicate that the British have arrived "by sea." Paul Revere notably made these signals in the instance he was unable to perform his famous ride across the Massachusetts country side.


The New England Print Shop serves as the editing place for Walt Disney World's own newspaper, The Walt Disney World Explorer. The newspaper is available for purchase here (for $1), as well as in the colorful Newsstands found in Town Square and near the Main Gate. The skilled proprietor uses an old Washington handpress like the one Benjamin Franklin used more than 200 years before. Colonial Woodcarvers offers a real place for woodcarvers to practice their craft. You can even take home a wood carving, if you're so inclined.



Nearby this new property, the Liberty Belle Riverboat arrives at the local dock. The Liberty Belle is an authentic reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the mighty Mississippi River. A working steam engine converts the water from the Rivers of America into steam that in turn powers the large paddle that propels the boat. The 47-foot tall riverboat is comprised of three pristine decks:

- Sun Deck, the "top deck", the ideal place to enjoy the outdoors as you float down the river
- Promenade Deck includes a salon, an outside wheelhouse and the Captain's Quarters
- Main Deck includes the boiler and pistons that run the paddle-wheel, as well as an outdoor viewing platform

The Magic Kingdom's proud Liberty Belle is one of the few Opening Day attractions still being enjoyed by visitors today; offering visitors a slow, peaceful cruise along the Rivers of America. If you ask me, it's one of the best ways to relax amid the fun and excitement of the Magic Kingdom. I hear tell that some of the the locals of Orlando often like to take a ride or two around the river.

A path leads up into the final section of Liberty Square, as the colonial buildings start to close into a small courtyard. On the right, the Columbia Harbour House offers a quaint dining experience, as the dining hall is filled with ship ornaments, harbor sculptures, seaside paintings and other sea lore. The menu consists of seafood-based dishes, such as shrimp, lobster rolls, fish and chips, calamari, along with salads, chicken and their famous vegetarian chili. From a launch nestled alongside the banks of the Rivers of America, we board one of two Mike Fink Keel Boats, a long-lost relic of nearly every major Disneyland-style park which are making their triumphant return. Boarding either the Gullywhumper or the Bertha Mae, passengers are taken on a grand circle tour of the Rivers of America, treated to an audio tour provided by King of the River himself, Mike Fink.




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What do you guys think? This time around, I think feedback would help me immensely. Do you guys think that the new Hall of Presidents show I proposed could work well in today's troubled political climate? I know it's a bit of a touchy subject, but I have faith that it could work. When the time comes to do individual ride-throughs, you can bet a script for this new Hall of Presidents will be, forgive the pun, chief among them.

Once again, I must credit @MANEATINGWREATH for serving as a major inspiration for the new Liberty Square shop concepts. And speaking of shout-outs, @spacemt354, I hope you enjoyed the little reference to the Walt Disney World Explorer CD-ROM game.

So, in the next post, we'll end Liberty Square on a particularly chilling note. Much like with @MANEATINGWREATH, I've just got to devote one entire post to what may as well be one of the greatest achievements in Disney theme parks...
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Let's finish up Liberty Square, shall we?

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Have you ever seen a haunted house? You know the kind I mean: that old dark house that’s usually at the end of a dimly lit street; barely noticeable by day, but carefully avoided by night. The owners haven’t been seen for years; no one really knows why. The windows are dark and silent, but as night falls, eerie lights pass from window to window, while the unnatural silhouette of an otherworldly wraith peers out from the attic window. The gardens and grounds are well-kept and groomed, though a single window appears cracked and disheveled. There’s a high moss-covered wall around the property. Is it there to keep somebody out, or is it there to keep something inside? It’s a house that people avoid walking past at night. Strange sounds come from within the walls, and it’s said that eerie lights have been seen both in the attic window and in the graveyard at the side of the house… It was always imposing, seemingly abandoned, and thoroughly rumored to be haunted. Well, here at the farthest end of Liberty Square, we can find such a house...

Standing proudly, and imposingly, on the banks of the Rivers of America, is the abandoned structure of Gracey Manor, the former home of a wealthy colonial man known as "Master" George Gracey. Rumor has it that Gracey Manor was built upon a burial ground sacred to the early natives...but those are just rumors, right? When the man died, Gracey Manor became bereft and abandoned. But yet, strange things have happened here. People said that lights were still on, ever flickering. People said that they could see shadows drifting past. People said that they could hear ungodly music being played from within the manor. And what's more, the door remained unlocked, meaning that anyone could enter and discover the mysterious secrets of Gracey Manor. And now, it's our turn. Summoning up all our courage, we arrive at the gates of Gracey Manor...although it doesn't seem to be called that anymore. Bronze plaques on twin brick columns now refer to this place as... The Haunted Mansion.




A peculiar chill shivers through us... The hairs on our neck stand straight up... And we feel as if someone is watching as we hasten past the Family Plot, a graveyard that marks the final resting place of the Gracey lineage. No matter where they were when they died, their bodies were sent to be buried next to the family's beloved patriarch. The decayed monuments and crumbled crypts portray an aura of foreboding… A quick look at the epitaphs proves that no one in the family seems to take death too seriously...

Once past the plot, the doors creak open, as our "Ghost Host" urges us to step lively, others are just dying to get in... The Magic Kingdom's most spirited attraction, The Haunted Mansion features not only its 999 floating, jumping, dancing residents, but also possessed galleries, breathing doors, and other little surprises guaranteed to send shivers up the spine of even the bravest visitor. But we are not left to shiver on our own - a Ghost Host holds our company throughout the journey.

Our first stop: the once private gallery of Gracey Manor. The images seem to stretch, revealing the true nature of their seemingly innocuous happenings, bringing us into the boundless realm of the supernatural; a warped, dark dimension of floating objects, wispy spirits and frightful memories. We’re next ushered into a long hallway that’s lined with eerie paintings and photographs, and flooded with the sound of a violent thunderstorm. From here we board our black-hooded "Doom Buggy," our transport through a world of unearthly delights never before imagined… a supernatural journey through a labyrinth of frightful chambers.



The Haunted Mansion is one of the Magic Kingdom's most popular E-Ticket attractions; and for that matter, one of the crowning achievements in Disney park history. Here, the emphasis is more on the light than the fright, and dark humor and comical puns abound. Much as they had with Pirates of the Caribbean, the Imagineers combined genuine thrills with a large dose of humor, but with somewhat less balanced results than their previous E-Ticket effort. The likes of such legends as Claude Coats, Ken Anderson, Marc Davis, X Atencio, Rolly Crump, and Yale Gracey all worked on the show elements for The Haunted Mansion. Here on this "happy haunting" ground, we glide past a casket-filled funeral parlor, a chilling séance circle, a haunting party in the grand ballroom, a "swinging" wake in the graveyard out back, and an unforgettable encounter in the attic, all guided by the ominous voice of our Ghost Host... But beware, although there are 999 happy haunts inhabiting this mansion, there’s always room for a thousand. Any volunteers?

It might be possible that Madame Leota, resident gypsy of Gracey Manor, once lived in the shop that now plays host to Memento Mori. Resident gift shop of the Haunted Mansion - though located off the Gracey Estate - Memento Mori is a reminder to "live life to the fullest as everyone is mortal." The skull on the marquee seems to hint at a grim fate for Leota, who disappeared decades prior. Perhaps the rumors of her disembodiment are true… The lost art of Spirit Photography has been reinvented here; a way for us to get in touch with the dearly departed.


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Liberty Square is complete! Four lands down, two more to go. Now, the next land in the Magic Kingdom is my personal favorite land of the bunch, so I want to get started on that as soon as possible, so expect another post to drop by later today. Until then, keep the feedback and comments coming, if you got any, and I'll see you in the next post!
 
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