Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The 70's Mouseketeers in 70's Walt Disney World!

It's suddenly December! In the coming weeks, I will be recounting the Magical Christmas Adventure I had recently. But for this week, I'm wishing Walt Disney World a belated 40'th birthday.

A few months ago, I posted a montage of strange moments from Disney Theme Park television specials made by Everything Is Terrible. It turns out that about half of the most deeply strange moments came from a television special featuring the Mouseketeers visiting Walt Disney World (we'll get to the place where the other half came from in due time). YouTube user Mousekebeat has kindly uploaded the whole special in five parts and... well, it sure is somethin':

So first off, the 70's Mouseketeers! I knew about the fifties Mouseketeers obviously, mostly because of the reruns on the Disney Channel. And I knew about the 90's Mouseketeers since I was their target audience at the time. But up until very recently, I had no idea that there was a 70's Mickey Mouse Club. There doesn't seem to be all that much nostalgia for them online, so I don't even know.

But more importantly, I love how this special shows two important things about Disney World circa 1977: (a) how they advertised it and (b) what they had to offer back when they were still essentially starting out. In the days before Epcot, the Studios, and so forth, Disney had to establish that Walt Disney World was not just "Disneyland East". And so they promoted the truly unique things they had at the time like... Fort Wilderness Campground! The boats in Bay Lake/Seven Seas Lagoon! Tennis! Tennis?!? Tennis! And their one very small water park.

Speaking of, some highlights:

* River Country! This was the first water park in WDW and it set the tone for Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, both of whom eventually swamped it. River Country was much smaller than those two subsequent water parks and felt more like part of nearby Fort Wilderness.

* We're in Disney World! Let's play pinball! Then we'll have a Shopping Montage!

* Every so often, critics will make a big noise about how characters on children's television, etc. act too acerbic and even hostile towards one-another. I am going to make a bold statement after watching this and say that what they are criticizing is not new.

* So at some point a little girl runs away (and somehow sneaks into the Magic Kingdom unnoticed?!), makes her way to the Cinderella fountain, takes a nap, and dreams about... Winnie the Pooh inventing a new style of Polka. What, you though she'd dream about her friends and how upset she is and how much she misses them?

* But more importantly, she dreams about the earlier version of the Winnie the Pooh costume. This thing is notorious for being a horrible walking design flaw (for a point of reference, see that honey pot? That's where the costumed cast member's head is), especially since if some little brat knocked you over, you were pretty much stuck there on the ground. Forever. Furthermore, that thing was bound to scare children.

* Epic Boat Chase!!! With a random stopover in Discovery Island.

* We don't get to see the other Mouseketeers reconcile with the little runaway girl. I guess cause they ran out of time.

And for an extra treat, here's a very, very strange promotional video dug up by the good folks at Progress City. On the one hand, I like how it highlights many 90's WDW things I miss. On the other hand...


Sketch of the Day!

11.13.11 Sketchbook Page

I don't know either.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Oh. Oh gosh. That creature.

It's staring at me...