Walt Disney World
A History in Postcards
Chapter 2 The First Chromes page 5: Filling in the Gaps

Filling in the Gaps

The first few years of Walt Disney World saw a great deal of growth in fact looking back now it is easy to make a comparison between the opening of the Magic Kingdom and the openings of The Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney's' Animal Kingdom. Both of those parks had some people saying on opening day that the parks felt "unfinished" . Also both of these parks had fairly large expansions within the first few years. Of Course there is one big difference, both of those parks suffered in comparison to the Magic Kingdom. Whereas when the Magic Kingdom opened most of the people who visited it had never seen anything like it, and of those who had been to Disneyland, many of them may have seen it as a sort of trade off. Sure there may have been a lot less in the park itself, but there's a whole resort to immerse yourself in with other experiences not available at Disneyland. Still looking back a lot of lands do look unfinished. Fantasyland and Main Street arrived pretty much intact and complete (Peter Pans Flight opened Oct. 3, two days after opening and 20,000 Leagues followed Oct. 14 ). Still, as I mentioned on the previous page much of Tomorrowland remained to be filled in, and similarly Frontierland looked significantly less filled out than it does today. All of the cards on this page are cards from the 01110000 series that I have only in no-flag versions. While most of the cards from the "Florida flag" printings were simply repeated with the same numbers a few new cards were issued with numbers falling into some of the gaps of the first series.
left to right
Dick Kneeland
Bub Thomas
Jerry Siggins
Bob Mathis 01110290 THE " CHIEF FIREMOUSE "

card, 01110219 THE DAPPER DANS feature some of the live entertainers of the Magic Kingdom, The Dapper Dans left to right Dick Kneeland, Bub Thomas, Jerry Siggins, Bob Mathis. Card 01110290 THE " CHIEF FIREMOUSE " like many of the cards in these latter issues, features classic Disney characters (in this case Mickey) in WDW settings (in this case Main Street U.S.A.)

Cards 01110244 "I'M GONNA KNOCK YOUR HEAD CLEAN OFF!", 01110245 LOOK FOR THE BEAR NECESSITIES and 01110246 WATCH OUT PINOCCHIO! are a series of character views that help round out the early postcards in a couple of ways firstly and most obviously they showcase Characters not closely shown elsewhere, but also, they are taken in different locales around the park not just in front of Cinderella's Castle as so many of the other views of characters are. Also of note as relates to the areas where these pictures are taken is the fact that these characters are still associated with and seen most frequently in these same lands today. Pinocchio still hangs out near the old Fantasyland Skyway station Baloo and King Louie's character meet and greets aren't all that far from the spot where this picture was taken, and even Bre'r fox and Bear are in Frontierland the land where Splash Mountain now resides. 01110289 STROLLING TOPIARY LANE, AND 01110267 A GOOFY WAY TO PUTT seem to both also to fall into this same category of filling out the cards of characters, while, at the same time taking in some of Disney World's beautiful views, though they fill this function for the resort areas rather than a land within the park. These cards seem to follow the pattern of the other cards in this chapter in one other striking way, characters appear in all lands...except Tomorrowland.


One other interesting thing about this Frontierland view, 01110244 I'M GONNA KNOCK YOUR HEAD CLEAN OFF!, is that Keel boat in the background it may have been the only Keel boat ever to appear on a regular Walt Disney World postcard! when I started to type that sentence I was going to type the only Keel boat to appear in the early cards so I flipped through the ones I had to confirm it, then I thought hmmmm..". I don't remember seeing keel boats maybe there were not any on postcards until the Continental sized cards". So I flipped through the rest of my cards of standard size. That brought me up to the 1980's and still no keel boats. So I started flipping through the continentals thinking that surely at least one of the multi frame views of Frontierland would have a Keel boat in one corner or another but it was not to be. Finally while searching through my odd sized cards I found one postcard featuring a Keelboat in a postcard booklet. But, you may be asking... (humor me here), was it a Liberty Square postcard booklet ? One from the "land" where the Keelboats dock? No! of course not, it was a Frontierland postcard booklet, where the keel boats seemingly fit the theme better . Perhaps this holds the key to why the Keel boats may have fallen through the cracks . The Keel boats at WDW suffered a sort of identity crisis. The Load area for the boats was in Liberty Square but they did not really fit in with the theme there as well as they did in Frontierland so were not included in Liberty Square postcard booklets (at least not the one I have) or postcards, then when it came time for making postcards of Frontierland if they stuck to Frontierland attractions the Keel Boats would not be included. It wasn't until 1998 that the Keel Boat dock was moved to the former canoe docks in Frontierland. Where they remain today unfortunately they , Like the Carousel of Progress and Timekeeper attractions are only operated on a "seasonal" basis which for many of us WDW touring veterans means that the only time they are open are the very times we avoid scheduling our vacations! They are open during the busiest and most crowded times of the year. .The large steamships might seem to some to disprove "identity Crisis" theory but I think their large size and iconic stature in the park overcame this, to some extent anyway, after all there were for many years two of them and now they only run one. Another example of an attraction lost in this same shuffle Would be the Diamond Horseshoe Revue though it at least has one non postcard booklet postcard dedicated to it.
There's a nice set of pictures taken from the keel boats in my 1996 Trip report
Even Tom Sawyer Islands Rafts got more coverage than the keel boats
There's a good reason why this card didn't come out with the first cards. Tom Sawyers Island didn't open until May 20, 1973 (Disney A to Z 1998 ed. p. 562) .

Issue 184 of the All Ears newsletter http://allearsnet.com/ contribued this about the rafts from a 1973 issue of Eyes and Ears, the Walt Disney World Cast Member publication: "Once the Richard Irvine was completed, Tom Sawyer Island was getting ready to open and we needed three rafts to commute guests back and forth from this attraction. Although our rafts look like they are made from logs, the only real wood on them are the logs along the sides. The rest is made of steel and fiberglass and they are powered by natural gas engines. "If you stopped by the Metal Shop today, you would find many men busy working on the first of two new passenger launches. These 23-ton launches will transport guests between the Polynesian Village, Contemporary Resort, and Fort Wilderness to a new attraction opening soon... Treasure Island." (All Ears Editor's Note: Treasure Island was eventually better-known by another name: Discovery Island.)

Attraction opening dates on this page are those noted in Disney A to Z 1998 edition

E-mail Me martsolf@mindspring.com

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Last modified by Brian K Martsolf at 11:10 PM on 11/16/2003