EPCOT Center opened to the public on this first day of October in 1982. Thirty three years later the park’s original “permanent World’s Fair” theme has suffered a bad case of mission creep. But for RetroDisneyWorld fans the chance to step into EPCOT’s first decade is one we relish. Just such an opportunity presented itself to us when we acquired a ¾” videotape (commercially known as U-Matic) containing footage of EPCOT Center’s World Showcase. U-Matic tapes are larger than VHS (which was 1/2” tape) and were the standard video used in commercial broadcast television stations until they gave way to digital media.
This particular U-Matic tape was issued by Walt Disney World for use by the media as “B-Roll” footage. B-Roll is the footage that is used during voiceovers to illustrate a story. Picture the newscaster saying “Ticket prices will be rising next week at EPCOT Center” while footage of people entering the park under Spaceship Earth plays on the screen.
Today we share the “General” footage including aerial shots of the whole park, terrific footage of the original parking lot entrance signage, people pulling into parking spaces, waiting for the tram (check out the original EPCOT color scheme on the trams!) while monorail lime passes overhead.
People pass through the turnstiles (while you hear the original entrance soundtrack). Footage of Laserphonic Fantasy set the stage for a ride on the Friendships of World Showcase Lagoon. A double decker jitney meanders around World Showcase before the Mickey Express brings the characters on stage. And for you character hunters don’t miss the footage of country-specific characters like Canadian Mountie Mickey and German Goofy!
The EPCOT Center World Dancers take the stage to entertain you and the video closes out with Future World’s band playing swing music. This footage was shot between 1985 and 1987 and includes ambient sound. While the ability to restore videotape is limited we really like how this turned out. Some of this footage was used in EPCOT souvenir travel videos of the 80s and early 90s but we’re betting a lot of it will be footage you’ve never seen before (and never seen this clear). We’ll be releasing more footage from the individual pavilions in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned and Happy Birthday EPCOT Center!
Learn how to get 10% off your digital transfers and FREE restoration of your film! retrodisneyworld.com/imageworks
Yes we all miss Horizons. But we also miss the odor of the fictional and now fabled Lorange fruit (half lime, half orange). The distincint smell is engrained in our memories and anything close to what we remember only peaks our olfactory receptors and thus triggers a memory flashback that is generally partnered with random thoughts of denial, eventually leading to depressed thoughts and binge watching grainy home videos of the now shuttered attraction. We now know that a "Scent Cannon" was used to inject the smell of oranges into the scene and was provided by Flavor and Fragrance Specialties (They don't sell to the public, so don't even try to call them).
So how can you enjoy some of this memorable smells in your very own home? The scientific research division here at RetroDisneyWorld.com has been keeping an eye out for orange based products and has tested them to ensure that their memory inducing odor lives up to your expectations. With out any further pomp and circumstance, here is how to Eat, wash, deodorize and shave with Horizons.
1. Chupa Chups Sunny Orange- 40 Lollipops - Yeah you're saying WTF is a Chupa Chup... well they are really tasty lollipops, seriously good and they don't have any crazy fake dyes and flavorings added. You wont' be dissapointed, one of my personal favorites!
2. Men's Face Wash - Citrus by LEAP Organics - I can't find the exact version of the one I have, but this one is pretty close. Its a really nice face wash that has a very refreshing Lorange scent to it. Women will be just as happy to wash with this one as well...no reason its for guys only.
3. Pacific Shaving Company All Natural Shaving Cream - 3 oz - This one is a new find for me - not only does it smell like Horizons, you don't need much to shave with, its a all natural, leaves no nasty residue and gives you a super smooth shave. Yes women can use this one too!
4. St My Shaldan Neo Air Freshener Orange - Why it is "My Shaldan" and not Yours...or Theirs...or hers...is beyond us... We've experienced this Japanese import of Shaldan for years, my father used to have one at his office and we were taken immediately back to Horizons. Only question that may never get answered is, who's Shaldan is it really?
5. Pack of 12 My Shaldan Japanese Car Cup-Holder Natural Air Freshener Cans (Orange Scented) - Same as above, just in bulk for savings, making sure that every room you visit smells like Loranges, or perfect for birthday party goodie bags (well not really).
Welcome to Episode 11 of the Retro Disney World Podcast: "First Things First" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.
Corrections and Comments - How discusses the World Showcase original location, which is surprisingly way different compared to the current spot where it ended up. The Food & Wine Festival would have ended up being at an unusual location if they stuck with this plan..
Main Topic - This month we go back to many firsts at Walt Disney World. George & Becky Miranda from Ohio join us to discuss opening day at The Magic Kingdom. They both have an amazing first hand account from visiting the park on opening day along with a great collection of photos (You're going to want to load these up and look at them while you listen to them describe that first day: https://www.flickr.com/photos/georgelmiranda/albums/72157658664679871). We then jump into some great stories about the first families that entered each theme park, including a checkered past for a few of them. How moves us over to the original, first airport on property which ends up being yet another surprise found during the research phase. How then digs into the details of the STOL port on WDW property - this is a long awaited and often requested topic by our listeners!
RetroWDW Merchandise - The STOL Port was discussed during this episode and that will lead to some new, top secret merchandise. Check back for information on that very soon. Be sure to get your shirt, iPhone case, tote bag, pillow or coffee mug today: www.retrodisneyworld.com/supportus
Film Restoration - Due to time constrains we skip the film restoration discussion for this month, however Todd has acquired some super rare 16mm Walt Disney World films. These are very pricey to digitally convert. We've setup an account on Patreon.com where you can pledge to help the restoration effort and in return receive exclusive early access to this podcast for 1 year! If you can help us please check out Our Restoration Project on Patreon.com
Listener Memories - This new segment is where you the listener can give us a call to share your memories. We had a few calls already and find these so much fun to listen to. If you would like to call and leave us a message, please dial 978-71-RETRO.
RetroCon - Brian & JT give us a quick recap on RetroCon 2015; Thank you so much to all the listeners that stopped by, it was great to meet each and every one of you.
If you've been following us, you know that we are working on a special project to restore two 16mm WDW films. These are not home movies, but professional productions that we would like to restore and share with the world. Together they have a runtime of over one hour, include sound and from our research there are no existing High-Definition digital prints of either of these films anywhere. We have seen a few horrid grainy VHS transfers, but they are just that, abysmal and nearly unwatchable.
16mm films were the "home video" of the 60's through the early 80's. Companies like Disney rented these films to schools, civic groups and travel agents who would screen them for students, members and clients. Promotional films like this were the only way, aside from the occasional TV special, to promote Disney World in moving pictures. Disney did little television advertising until the Eisner era began in the mid eighties - in fact almost all of the print advertising done for Disney World was done by their sponsors like Eastern Airlines, not by Disney themselves.
Our prints were issued by Disney from the original negatives. When our conversion and restoration is done the only better copies anywhere in the world will be on the original prints in Disney's vault (assuming they have them). The likelihood that 30 to 40 year old promotional travel films will ever receive this kind of attention from Disney is nil. We're convinced that if these films are to be rescued and preserved it's up to us to do it.
Many have asked "What are the films?!" - Now that we've reached 50% funding necessary to make this project happen we are releasing the titles of the films so you know exactly what we will be working on:
1972 - The Magic of Walt Disney World
1980 - Magic Kingdom Club Promo Film
These films are in decent physical shape, but do need quite a bit of color restoration as you can see from one of the title frames in the upper right. And yes, both have sound. We think we can restore these in a fashion better than this WDW promo film that we did a few months back (https://vimeo.com/122931747) - we will be using a higher quality scan system and improved color balancing software. You can clearly see how much color you can bring back into a film.
Because we want to have these films scanned and digitally transferred with the best possible technology the cost of this process is beyond our current budget. To help us restore these films we setup a support us page at Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/retrowdw), while similar to Kickstarter or Indigogo, Patreon is crowdfunding that is geared towards those producing media. We'd appreciate any support we can receive for this project and your support will not be left un-noticed, not only will you get to view the restored films before the general public but we've got some additional rewards for helping us out:
Pledge $5+ Personal thank you on the RetroDisneyWorld Podcast!
Pledge $15+ One year of advanced access to all restored films and a personal thank you on the RetroDisneyWorld Podcast!
Pledge $25+ One year of advanced access to all restored films and the RetroDisneyWorld Podcast, and a personal thank you on the RetroDisneyWorld Podcast!
Pledge $50+ 3D Printed EPCOT Center Logo Coaster, and one year of advanced access to all restored films and the RetroDisneyWorld Podcast, and a personal thank you on the RetroDisneyWorld Podcast!
Pledge $250+ 3D Printed EPCOT Center Coaster Set - 10 coasters in all - and one year of advanced access to all restored films and the RetroDisneyWorld Podcast, and a personal thank you on the RetroDisneyWorld Podcast!
Stretch Goal - If we raise more than our goal we will restore a 3rd 16mm film as well! - we have in our possession a 16mm print of The Magic of Disneyland
We respect the fact that not everyone can support this endeavor, but we thank all for their continued support not only with this project, but with our podcast and RetroDisneyWorld.com. To be clear, once these films are restored everyone will get to view them for free. We are not selling copies or access to these films for money, the funding from the campaign will be used to digitally transfer and restore the films only.
If you can, please support us at https://www.patreon.com/retrowdw
Thank you for your continued support!
The Retro Disney World Team
With our recent restoration of the River Country home movie from 1978 (http://www.retrodisneyworld.com/imageworks/films/river-country-78) we recieved a few comments from our followers - on in particular was BJ Major, and we asked her to wite a short story about the Cast Member Preview weekend for RC back in 1976. We thank her for sharing her memory with us! Here is what she had to say:
Hello, my name is B.J. Major and I was asked to write and comment about my experience as a Cast Member attending the special Preview Weekend opening of River Country in Fort Wilderness. I had only been working for a few weeks as a new hire at Walt Disney World in the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village when this opening weekend occurred. My roommate Debbie and I (we both worked at the "Lite Bite" in the Village) were very excited to attend the opening. In actuality, it had been the first water park experience I had ever had.
Please understand that this experience for me was as a 22 year old, 39 years ago; I'm obviously a lot older now and all of the details aren't as recallable as they once were. But I do remember that it was a very fun day; everything in the new water park was working just fine and being the obsessive that I am about theming at Disney, I loved everything that was made to look old and rustic in order to recreate the experience of an old fashioned swimming hole. I'm pretty sure I got as much out of that as I did enjoying the water attractions. I liked the "cove" feeling of the park; you were right there on Bay Lake but just secluded enough to feel separate from everything else going on. Fort Wilderness was always one of my favorite WDW areas and at this time, even the Fort Wilderness steam trains were still running.
I also remember that the chocolate chip cookies at Pop's Place (the River Country snack bar) were simply amazing. I'm surprised that I remember this, but I do. If I recall correctly, only our photo WDW ID cards were required for entrance that weekend, I don't think it required special tickets of any kind. The employee newsletter, "The Eyes and Ears of Walt Disney World" had the Cast Member Preview Weekend as its front page story with the headline "The World Has A New Country, River Country!". Some of the Disney characters were there in costume also, appropriately attired for the occasion (Goofy in a one-piece old fashioned bathing suit, etc.)
There were some River Country photos taken of Debbie and myself that day; unfortunately, they did not survive my cross-country moves until I could digitize them. I do attach here a photo of Debbie (blonde on the right) and myself outside the Lite Bite restaurant as one of the few that I have which did survive from that era. I do collect certain Disney pins and I made sure to get the commemorative River Country pin that was made a couple years ago. I have strong opinions about the neglect that River Country has received since its unfortunate closure. If anyone would like to read that, it's an editorial entitled "Upholding Walt Disney's Standards" on my Disney music discography at the address below.
Welcome to Episode 10.5 of the Retro Disney World Podcast: "RetroCon and Episode Previews" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.
RetroCon - Brian and JT will be a RetroCon at a Retro Disney World table this coming weekend in the greater Philadelphia area! Brian discusses what RetroCon is and explains the cool items we'll have on display as well as give-a-ways and the secret password to get early access to the next podcast episode!
Episode Previews - Next month our episode is titled "First things First"... we've got two special guests on the show and we're going to also discuss some crazy stories about the First Families at MK and EPCOT - and we will show how the STOL port was not the first airport on WDW property! Brian gives a sneak peek at the upcoming Christmas episode and calls out for photos, memories and documents relating to the holiday season.
RetroWDW Merchandise - www.retrodisneyworld.com/supportus
Listener Memories - We go over how our new segment will work - we setup a phone number where you the listener can leave us short, under 3 minute, messages with your memory from disney world of past years. We'll put many of your memories on the air in this new segement. Leave a short memory/story today: Call 1-978-71-RETRO (73876)
Film Restoration - A quick discussion onf our account on Patreon.com where you can pledge to help the restoration effort and in return receive exclusive early access to this podcast for 1 year! If you can help us please check out Our Restoration Project on Patreon.com