Walt Disney World 30 years ago

Olivier S. (NDD#263) (27 Posts)

Born in France (and still living there) I discovered WDW in the mid 1970's when I was 10 during a trip to Florida with my parents. Since then, I am a Disney fan, but also a WDW fan with EPCOT as the prefered park. The Contemporary is my "mythic" hotel even if I never stayed there: it´s because of its futurist look. By the way, I also encountered space exploration during the same trip by visiting KSC. And I am today working as the chief editor of a space news website for a scientific park in France. Guess you can see the importance of this Florida trip and the others after...


Images from Walt Disney World, 30 years ago!
 The YouTube video below was filmed in Super 8 at Walt Disney World in 1984. As we are in 2014, that makes this old home movie (one of the first I’ve done) a 30 year “WDW Treasure”.
Quality is bad because of the process of transferring motion picture film into video done way before HD. But it is a trip back in time, when there was just Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. I hope you will enjoy it.

I was almost not able to film in the attractions at the time because Super 8 movie film cartridges (3 minutes only of filming…) were available in 64 ISO or 160 ISO. So I was quickly out of sufficient light to film indoor.
30 years later, a lot has changed. Most of it can’t be seen as it is about things that were not there: new hotels, Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at its opening) and Animal Kingdom to name a few. In this film, you will be able to spot other changes as well.

wdw1984-vintage1
Look these images (taken from the movie) from left to right and up to down. The Contemporary was not fitted with its congress center and of course there’s no Bay Lake Tower. Main Street did have this lovely place with flowers. During the Jungle Cruise, your skipper was firing at the hippopotamus (this is no longer done in order to be more nature friendly). Back then, 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas was still there and I was able to get some views inside the sub. Also, the Skyway was bringing you from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland. There you will see the original Tomorrowland, with the Astro Jets.

wdw1984-vintage2size
Again, with EPCOT, let’s take a look at these images from left to right and up to down. The aerial view is pretty much the same today as the wand is now gone. The original ending of Spaceship Earth (a daring attempt at filming in low light) showed the”Network Operations Center”: that was before the Internet era! After the exit of this ride, where today there is an interactive Siemens sponsored exhibit, there was a large room with big screens near the ceiling and a lot of video-phones to make restaurant reservations. Horizons was giving an optimist version of our future (it is now replaced by Mission: Space). The Test Track building was World of Motion before. In the Land pavilion (sponsored at that time by Kraft), you were listening to a real cast member not a recording when doing the boat ride Living With The Land. You could go inside the Imagination pavilion pyramids and meet Dreamfinder with Figment. Also, double decker buses were driven around World Showcase.

You will see all that in the movie which is almost 30 minutes long. 
I don’t think it was better back then. It was just another time and I wanted to share a bit of positive nostalgia. Maybe it will bring back WDW memories to some of you (it is a part of our Disney Lifestyle after all). Please share your memories with us in the comments below!
The movie is silent because I put movie music in it blended with original sound. The way Super 8 movies were mixed make it impossible for me to extract the music and because of copyright issues I can’t put it with the soundtrack on YouTube.

Olivier S. (NDD#263)

Born in France (and still living there) I discovered WDW in the mid 1970's when I was 10 during a trip to Florida with my parents. Since then, I am a Disney fan, but also a WDW fan with EPCOT as the prefered park. The Contemporary is my "mythic" hotel even if I never stayed there: it´s because of its futurist look. By the way, I also encountered space exploration during the same trip by visiting KSC. And I am today working as the chief editor of a space news website for a scientific park in France. Guess you can see the importance of this Florida trip and the others after...