September 22, 2011

Countdown to Walt Disney World 2011 (2)

Eleven days until Walt Disney World.

For the second entry of 'Countdown to Walt Disney World 2011' the year is 1991, neon color schemes are all the rage, George H. W. Bush is president and Michael Eisner's fingerprints are ALL over Disney.

This was my second trip to WDW, and a lot had changed since 1978. Like the fact that there were two more parks to visit now; Epcot and Disney-MGM Studios! We were in the parks only four days, which kind of limited the number of things we did since we were staying off-proprty, trying to squeeze in one park a day, go to Pleasure Island and Typhoon Lagoon.

On the list of things I wish I had done differently would have been taking more pictures. I LOVED the Living Seas pavilion at Epcot, especially all of the '20,000 Leagues under the Sea' artifacts and the whole 'Sealab 2020' meets Jacque Cousteau vide they had going on. Sadly all of this has gone the way of the Dodo.

On our fourth day the party split up and we got to choose whichever park we wanted to go back to. I of course chose Disney-MGM Studios. What an awesome experience that park was. Opened in 1989 the park still had that new car smell to it. So alive with the spirit of Hollywood's Golden Age, no ridiculous Sorcerer's Hat blocking that beautiful view down Hollywood Blvd right to the Chinese Theater. Like Michael Eisner said:
The World you have entered was created by The Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood—not a place on a map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was—and always will be. •Michael Eisner, May 1, 1989

You can read more of its history here: Disney's Hollywood Studios
In '91 it was the summer of "The Rocketeer," so that film was still very much in evidence (again, more photos!), and the backlot tour was still a tour of a working backlot. The Animation Studio was still open and operating and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater had just opened.

Yes, I still love DHS, and yes it is still a treat for me to just stroll around and explore. Unfortunately a lot of the magic is gone and a lot of the charm of this park is gone as well.

Okay, so here are some photos and scans of brochures, tickets, etc. that I still have from that trip. Enjoy the show and don't forget to click on an image to see the full-size version.

My 5 Day Plus Super Pass. I still have one day left, wonder if they'd let me redeem that?

Day One we were at Epcot. Notice that it was still capitalized and still EPCOT Center.

Looking back at Spaceship Earth from Italy.

Day Two and we're off to Disney-MGM Studios!

This is the entrance to the Back Stage Walking Tour. From L to R: Sand Skiff from 'Return of the Jedi' - Snow Speeder from 'Empire Strikes Back' and the Gyro Copter from 'The Rocketeer.'

The Backstage Riding Tour. From L to R: The Bulldog Cafe and Howard Hughes' Gee Bee from 'The Rocketeer.'

The Backstage Riding Tour. Blackbird powerboat from 'The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage.'

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular • Act II "Cairo Street Scene"

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular • Act III "Finale"

Star Tours Entrance. From L to R: AT-AT and Ewok Village.

Next stop, the Magic Kingdom!

Cinderella Castle from TomorrowLand

I don't remember which night we went to Pleasure Island but we did go at night and we went to the Comedy Warehouse. We also walked around during the day and did go shopping at the Disney Village Marketplace.

The Adventurers Club looking from Comedy Warehouse.

Avigators Supply looking from the Adventures Club.

And before we left we spent one lazy afternoon at Typhoon Lagoon, just hanging out and floating around.

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