In my mind the evidence I have weighs heavily in favor of the
Florida flag only being on the later printings. The combination
of the fact that the few postmarked cards I have seem to support
it, along with that lack of the Mickeyglobe version of the "D" in
the Walt Disney world logo that was so ubiquitous on WDW
merchandise for so many years after, outweighs the conflicting
"Tempo Bay" information. Perhaps they wanted to change the name
of the Contemporary to the Tempo Bay (after they had already
issued the flag less Contemporary Resort Hotel post cards) but
decided it was too late in the process and too many items had
already been ordered with the "Contemporary" name on it, or
perhaps someone decided Tempo Bay sounded too similar to Tampa
Bay, maybe it even had something to do with the transfer during
the course of the project from the idea that U.S. steel (who
built the Contemporary and the Polynesian) was going to have a
stake in the hotel and run it to the idea that Disney was going
to wholly own them from day one. This last change was made
possible in part from the fact that Disney had retired much of
their debt on this project early by the sale of debentures with
which, if I understand the process properly, once the stock value
rose to a certain point, became regular shares of stock,
basically being paid off then. Anyway, any of these things could
be reasons why the Tempo Bay name was just used for a short
period in the middle of the construction process. I just don't
know for sure.
There is even a card number that has a different view on later printings than the early ones. Card FL-029 On the early version of the card the image is an overview of the resort area as originally planned that includes some resorts that were to be built in later phases and never ended up getting built. here's a link to a large image of that card that I have added text to pointing out some of the interesting features on it. On the later versions of the card is an overview image of the Polynesian Village Resort in the form that we know it today (sort of a replacement for the high- rise card I mentioned previously). To get a better look at the resorts that were never built take a look at the side bar article on Pre-Opening Cards that never were.
So here's a list of how many cards there may be with links to the images of the ones I know exist. Or if you prefer to view slightly smaller versions of the cards all on one page ( that you can click on to still see the large versions) then you may click here.
TEMPO BAY RESORT HOTEL
FL-024 no Flag (I doubt this version exists)
FL-024 FL Flag
CONTEMPORARY RESORT (same image as TEMPO BAY RESORT HOTEL )
FL-024 NO Flag
FL-024 FL Flag
RIDING THRU THE TEMPO BAY RESORT
FL-025 No Flag(I doubt this version exists)
FL-025 FL Flag
RIDING THRU THE CONTEMPORARY RESORT (same image as RIDING THRU THE TEMPO BAY RESORT )
FL-025 No Flag
FL-025 FL Flag
FL-026 No Flag
FL-026 FL Flag
CRUISING BY EXCURSION STEAMER
FL-027 No Flag
FL-027 FL Flag
VACATIONING IN THE "SOUTH PACIFIC"
FL-028 No Flag
FL-028 FL flag (I doubt this version exists)
A COMPLETE DESTINATION RESORT
FL-029 No Flag
FL-029 FL Flag
THE POLYNESIAN VILLAGE
FL-029 No Flag (I doubt this version exists)
FL-029 FL Flag
MAGIC KINGDOM THEME PARK (Castle image on card)
FL-030 No Flag
FL-030 FL Flag
MAGIC KINGDOM THEME PARK (Image of never built Western River Expedition)
FL-031 No Flag
FL-031 FL Flag
MAGIC KINGDOM THEME PARK (Image of Liberty Square)
FL-032 No Flag
FL-032 FL Flag
So there it is 24 listings I have of 10 different images on
cards of 9 different numbers, There may be as few as 20 since the
four I have marked with question marks (????) may well not
the preview center as it appeared in the preview edition of the Walt Disney World souvenir soft cover
With this in mind we got off the interstate at State Route 535 and turned left onto the wide divided road that runs through the Lake Buena Vista hotels I figured it would not be all that far in, and also that even if it did not still exist the lake behind it would help me find the site. I started looking for somewhere to turn in as I was afraid I would pass the area, as I found a spot and turned in I suddenly realized...I was there!
The lot I chose to pull into was the one next to the Amateur Athletic Union headquarters and it was immediately obvious that it was indeed the building pictured I took a few pictures .
Me, holding the pre-opening book
Carlene said to me that she thought she could reproduce the aerial shot in the book. How? I asked. she pointed out to me that the high rise hotel across the street had the same view onto the site as that in the book. We were wanting to get checked in so we resolved to come back later on in the trip and try this. I have to admit I had my doubts as I figured we would have to get permission to go into one of the rooms on the upper floors and take the picture from their balcony. When we did come back I found out what Carlene had already noticed, that the elevator to the upper floors was one of those glass sided models that let you look out across the property. What a view!
there is a great picture of the preview center as it appeared in it's heyday on the Widen Your World web site. at:
Dave Ensign sent me the following front and back scans of what was probably the first WDW related postcard of all. The promotional postcard promoting the preview center!
If you check out the large scan of the postal (Addressee) side of the card , (by clicking on the image shown , just as with most other images on this site you will get the larger image) you will see copyright Walt Disney Productions 1/70, this ties in nicely with the information in Disney A to Z 3 , which notes that the Preview center was "open from January 10,1970 to September 30, 1971." and that it had "displays of models and drawings, there was a short filmed presentation, along with a snack bar and merchandise shop. " David Hooper,2 sent me a list of some of the things he knows were sold there:
This set of slides listed as set four with a merchandise number of FL-004 solves another question about the pre-opening postcards of Walt Disney World mainly why they started with number FL-024 , obviously the lower numbers were taken up by other types of merchandise like these slides.
Since these are labeled as set four I would assume that FL-001
through FL-003 are the first three sets of slides. The postcards
are labeled FL-024 through FL-032 , which leaves both the numbers
from FL-005 to FL-023 as currently still being a mystery to me
and also numbers from FL-033 up open to possibly being
Gary A. Kecskes sent me the following information about the preview center building " After Disney used it as the Preview Center it became the WDW Reservation Center and was used for about two decades for that purpose. This is where Disney accepted hotel reservations for all of the on-property hotels (that they owned and operated). It was what is now known as a "call center". It served that purpose for 20+ years, until call center operations were moved (I believe to Tampa).The call center moved just a few years back, and that's when the AAU moved in. You may also have noted that the alignment of Hotel Plaza Drive has changed as it moves toward Downtown Disney. I'm sure that was done to provide a more intuitive exit for Disney drivers wanting to leave the property via Hotel Plaza Drive. It also helps to keep the number of people who mistakenly drive east into the back-lot area of WDW where operations and warehouses are located east of the old Disney Institute. "