Who’s ready for a little Walt Disney World nostalgia? Well, because it’s #throwbackthursday, it’s time to take a look back at what used to be at the Vacation Kingdom of the World. D23, Disney’s Official Fan Club, is throwing an event this November at Disney World that is all about the attractions of yesteryear. Additionally, RetroDisneyWorld.com released an HD restoration of a Super 8 video taken at WDW in 1972, the year after Disney World opened. The footage is stunningly clear, and it’s a great trip to the past at Disney World.

First of all, D23’s Destination D: Attraction Rewind event will take place at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on November 22-23, 2014. This promises to be a fantastic weekend for anybody interested in the history of Disney World, or who just want to learn more about how the parks came to be. Imagineers and Disney luminaries will be giving presentations throughout the weekend, with a focus on favorite attractions that no longer exist in Disney World. From 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Adventures Through Inner Space, attendees will see concept art, images, and vintage video while those who helped create the rides share stories from WDW back in the day.

Disney Legends Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar, and Alice Davis are among the Imagineers who will be in attendence. There will be displays dedicated to the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and pieces from the Walt Disney Archives will be on display. Presentations will include topics such as:

  • Retro Rewind References: Nods to favorites of the past in current Disney Parks attractions
  • That Was Entertainment: Revisiting beloved theme park parades, shows, and spectacles

Starting on November 21st, attendees will get a chance to shop at the Mickey’s of Glendale pop-up shop. Mickey’s of Glendale is the official Walt Disney Imagineering store, and they sell tons of Imagineer exclusive merchandise, from pins to shirts to Vinylmation. This is the first time they are setting up shop outside of the Imagineering campus in Glendale and the D23 Expo in Anaheim. I recently took a trip to Mickey’s of Glendale at the Glendale campus, and the merchandise you can get is fantastic. It will make the Disney geek in you very happy, while making your wallet a little thinner.

Capping off the weekend will be a Pleasure Island: Rewind party with areas dedicated to popular clubs from the defunct Downtown Disney district, including the Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse, 8 Trax, and Mannequins.

This event reminds me of two presentations I got to go to while at the 2013 D23 Expo. The first was a tour of vintage video footage from Disneyland in the 50s and 60s, given by Imagineering legend Tony Baxter. The presentation ended with a video recreation of my personal favorite retired attraction: the original Journey into Imagination. Seeing that video made the entire trip to D23 worth it, because I didn’t even realize how much I missed that attraction until I saw the visuals again. I imagine some of the presentations at Destination D will have a similar effect for attendees.

I also got to see a panel on Working with Walt, given by Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, and others. They had wonderful stories about what it was like to work with Mr. Disney, and I’m sure they have plenty more stories to share about the development of Disney’s iconic attractions of yesteryear.

Tickets are now available to D23 Silver and Gold members for $190 each. Starting on May 28, the price raises to $250 and will also be available to free D23 members. There’s also a limited number of “Top of the World” tickets for $1000 each. That includes a variety of special perks and exclusive presentations, as well as early shopping access to Mickey’s of Glendale. For more information on how to get tickets, visit D23’s website.

Since we’re in the nostalgic spirit, here’s a fantastic video courtesy of RetroDisneyWorld.com. They have restored a Super 8 home video from a WDW vacation in 1972 in full HD. Footage of Disney World in the 70s this clear is really rare. This video runs 9 minutes, and it’s great to see both how much has changed (the skyway! 20,000 Leagues!), while how much has stayed the same. Check it out below, and head to RetroDisneyWorld, as they promise to release more videos like this soon.


1972 Walt Disney World Home Movie – Restored Super8 Film – HD from RetroWDW on Vimeo


Well, that’s it for this Throwback Thursday. Let me know if you’re interested in more content on Guide2WDW taking a look back at how Disney World used to be. You can find me on Twitter or Facebook.