Walt Disney World
A History in Postcards
Chapter 4 Early Postcard Booklets Page 7: Fort Wilderness

I don't actually have cards for this book, most of the images below were made from scans of stubs. I've slowly been replacing the images with scans from loose cards I've acquired from this booklet. Originally I did not even know what was on the cover or what order the cards in the booklet were in, but, thanks to one of my readers (Becky Gray, thank you Becky) I have the is list showing which order the cards are in:

Fort Wilderness is one of the few resorts I have had the opportunity to stay at, and I think this booklet captures its feel and its sights quite nicely. Though I have to say one of my favorite cards here is the one that shows something I know is not there any more, The Fort Wilderness Railroad, which ran (According to Disney A to Z 2nd ed. ) from 1973 until 1977. In the first view of it below not only is Goofy "watering the train" but Donald is at the throttle and several characters are disembarking in the background, looking at the larger version of the image, it looks to me like Smee, Brer bear and Baloo are back there.

Although the card above (right) is titled HORSEBACK RIDING AT FORT WILDERNESS it seems to feature just as prominently feature the Fort Wilderness Railroad... and just who is that in the engineers position?
Fort Wilderness Campsite 
The card above seems to be a view of a typical family caught in thier morning routine before heading out to the park (or perhaps I assume it's morning beacuse that is when I'm most likely to spend time reading the newspaper), as such, It seems that this would probably be one of the least noteworthy views, but, after you read the chapter on the (1979 and early 1980's) later version Fort Wilderness booklet you may want to come back and take another look at it.


Alright so these views aren't actually trading cards in the sense of the type of cards you buy in packs, with "gum" in the form of a hard stick that really put your teeth to the test. Though I guess the trading cards people buy today don't come like that any way, still, some of us are old enough to remember those (you know who you are ). The trading I'm referring to here is a double meaning referring both to the change (or Trade) in the view on the Fort Wilderness Trading Post postcards pictured below, and of course the "Trading" in the name of the shop itself.


For a long time I had no idea which card was first but I suspected it was the one with the Frito-Lay products prominently displayed, unless Disney had some kind of marketing agreement with the chip maker why would they want that view of the trading post? To my way of thinking the second view has a more "rustic", wilderness trading post, feel to it which seemed to make it the more appropriate card one that would likely be the one they would change to and could see as an improvement over the other card. With the things I've learned about the various printings of this first series of Postcard booklets I can tell that the version of the card that I suspect as being the later version is one I have from a booklet that was either printed in 1977 or 1979 since it's a blue inked back with a solid castle icon. Too bad I don't know which since none of the other folks who have told me which booklets they have have reported any of these solid castle icon (1977-1979) booklets for Fort Wilderness.

A reader of this site sent me this note about the card pictured above:
My family stayed in Ft Wilderness in the middle 70s. I vividly remember
watching the Disney movie Escape To Witch Mountain outside at a large
field, just like the one pictured on the postcard. If you look carefully,
there is a movie screen just to the right of the stage with the guy
singing (to the right, meaning if you were sitting in the audience). In
fact, the audience is actually centered in front of the movie screen, and
the singer is facing them! This info throws a whole new light on a very
interesting picture!

  Jerry Killingsworth

Theres more about this, and many other Fort Wilderness related items, (such as the Tri Circle D ranch, pictured below) at Jeff Spencers Fort Wilderness FAQ http://home.hiwaay.net/~jlspence/faq_fw.htm.

E-mail Me martsolf@mindspring.com

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Last modified by Brian K Martsolf at 13-May-2006 12:59 PM