View Full Version : WDW Opened on This Day in 1971

10-01-2003, 03:43 PM
If you can believe it, Walt Disney World officially opened its doors on this day (October 1) in 1971. There were 26 themed rides operating.

I have such fond memories of those early days...I was only 7 and we stayed at the Contemporary right after it opened. I can remember the game room at the CR...it was sooo large! (remember, I was only 7). My souvenir from the trip was a large Pooh, which I still have to this day.

Does anyone else remember those early days?

10-01-2003, 05:38 PM
Happy 32nd anniversary WDW:D

10-01-2003, 08:56 PM
I remeber staying at CR. I still remeber the smell to this day, a pleasent smell. I remeber lookin down at the monorail and hearing all those doors being shut by the cast members in there green and blue polyester costumes wearing construction like hard helemts. The old CR brown and white hotel symbol on the stationary. We used to play in the cloths closets as they had light on the inside and out. I couldn't wait to get my paper room ID. The game room was so big and fun.

10-02-2003, 06:05 AM
I was 7 as well, but didn't go that year. Went with Mom and Dad soon after. I don't remember as vividly as you - but do remember just waiting in line to hug the characters, no autographs. Much nicer I think.

Also remember going to Wiki Watchi....(sp?) and seeing the underwater scantily clad women who didn't breathe dance around. Weird. What were my parents thinking? Leaving Fri. for WDW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Just home from a Bruce concert in NY.....what a week.

10-02-2003, 08:46 AM
Have a great time on your trip to WDW.
I was 5 at that time and also remeber Wikki Wakki and those Mermaids.
We did all the FL stops, Waltizing Waters, Shell Factory, Miami Seaquariam (this is what developed my love and devotion to the Miami Dolphins football team) Jungle gardens, Cypress Garedns, The organge groves were cool and smelled so good.
There are other things I remeber about WDW also.

10-02-2003, 09:17 AM
And everything was just so new! It seemed like it was on another planet.

10-02-2003, 06:39 PM
I told my DD yesterday that tomorrow is WDW's birthday and she just said; "You mean you are older that WDW?" Boy does she know how to make a guy feel his age....:jester:

10-03-2003, 11:03 AM
I was born 9/30/71, one day prior to opening, so I guess I have looked at WDW as my personal birthday gift from Walt. I guess that's why I love it so much.

10-03-2003, 10:19 PM
I was also 7 in 1971 but didn't get to go to WDW until 1976 with my mom. We stayed in Kissimmee when it was still just a dinky town with a few hotels.

I remember the Spirt of 76 parade down Main Street. I only dreamed about staying at the CR or POLY, the only on property resorts besides the Disney Inn at the time...ironic that it was the Disney Inn that was the first resort we stayed at on property (a few years before they changed it to SOG), glad we had a chance to stay there. It was a beautiful atmosphere and the rooms were quite large.

When I was a child WDW was far away and now that we only live 3 hrs away we visit a few times of year and spoil our 5 yr old dd rotten. I couldn't imagine staying anywhere off property now. And, there's nothing better than seeing WDW thru the eyes of my dd.::MinnieMo

10-04-2003, 04:33 PM
I remember the CR game room with the huge air hockey tables. They were novel.

I remember the MK had kiosks (wagons) that sold iced-down orange juice in plastic oranges with straws.

10-04-2003, 10:19 PM
I was 11. :bounce: Went on a bus. I remember the traffic jam on I-4. I went with the Girl Scouts. Wow I remember we had to hold hands. Each ride you had to give a ticket. E was the best I think. I think A got you a trolley ride. Wow along time ago. Fond memories.


princess: princess::Pinkbounc ::yes::

10-05-2003, 06:58 PM
WDW opened just less than two months after my birth. Luckily I had parents that understood just how cool WDW was. Course, we always stayed at the Holiday Inn..... (I remember as a kid looking longingly at the Poly and I STILL haven't stayed there!)

Wow, me and WDW - getting old....

Grand Canyon
10-07-2003, 01:23 AM
I too was 7 in 1971
We went to wdw in the summer 1972.
The thrill of that summer still beats in my hart.
I remember little of my childhood, but I will never forget that first trip to WDW. I can't remember or could care less about all the cars, houses, toys, ect my parents bought when I was a child. The time and money the spent on our vacations bought me wonderful memories (misty eyed) that will last me a life time. I am sure that is why I spend so much time and money on our vacations to WDW so my DSs will have the same fond memories when they are 39.

10-07-2003, 07:30 AM
My wife and I were married in July of 1971, so we always have felt that we share the WDW anniversary, and even though we do not normally go there during the hot summer months, we always go on our anniversary and celebrate the beginning of our life together and the birth of Walt's dream.

10-07-2003, 11:13 AM
I was there on opening day as a 9 year old. My mom said it wasn't too crowded. I don't have any memories of that day unfortunately. I'll have to ask her for photos of that day. We lived only one hour away!! We visited Disney many, many, many times throughout the years. Now I am 3 hrs. away and am having fun rediscovering Disney with my DD6.

10-10-2003, 03:54 PM
Well, I was a fetus....not born until 1972. But I do recall when WDW was just the Magic Kingdom and the Disney Village...my grandparents took me there when I was 7. We stayed at the Contemporary and one of my fondest memories is of the game room there and playing air hockey with my grandfather (who just passed away this past April). I also recall riding the Tommorrowland Speedway (no idea what it was called then...the Grand Prix raceway or something?) with him. And I thought the Polynesian was scary!

I still have the Winnie the Pooh that my grandmother bought for me in one of the shops on Main Street and a few photos.

And as much as I love seeing WDW through my kids' eyes....its even more fun with just my husband! But then again...he's just a kid at heart!

10-11-2003, 09:20 PM
It's so funny to see what others remember.......I also thought Poly was scary! I guess it's those masked carvings.

I Just got home tonight.......We spent Sun. (10/5) through today at VWL, 2 br...DVC members. We have been deciding about whether or not to sell - for many different reasons.

We had an awesome trip and the whole time DH and I were looking at each other and smiling, both thinking ARE WE CRAZY- this place is great!
MNSSHP was fun last night.... crowded though. Last one we went to was 10/12/01 and NOBODY was there, virtually had the place to ourselves. It was great anyway and the surround fireworks are truly amazing. There was a complete full moon and the atmosphere was so "Halloween".

Now that we're home, our family almost seems depressed though, and that's where the whole idea of being happiest at home comes in....at my real house, not my home at Disney. We spend and plan SO MUCH for our one week there.... As beautiful as the WL is, it isn't Yellowstone Park. As unique and interesting as the fireplace in the lodge is, it really ISN'T the layers of the Grand Canyon. My children should see those places - I've never seen them in person either! Once choice is to look into using our points at places like I mentioned. Another choice is to sell and put our own hot tub/rock garden in the back yard and find more ways to just relax and enjoy each other in our own back yard.
After all....as magical as WDW is, every day needs to have some magic in it. I guess that's what we should all strive for. pirate: