Friday, February 15, 2008

The New Fantasyland - 1983 - Part 1

One of the best “refurbishments” done at Disneyland has to be 1983’sNew Fantasyland”. While the old Fantasyland was whimsical and fun, it was done on the cheap, and the medieval style facades were starting to look a little dated.

The traffic flow was greatly improved, the general look of the New Fantasyland was made more consistent with the “Old English” town theme as in Peter Pan and Pinocchio.

When you visit Fantasyland today, it still looks fresh. By contrast, the 98’ Tomorrowland refurbishment got stale in about 20 minutes! My only disappointment in the New Fasntasyland is the destruction of the Pirate ship and Skull rock; those were two icons of “Northern” Fantasyland. I heard the Pirate ship was to be moved but fell apart when they tried to move it, Hmmm, why do I not believe that? (When new, they built it backstage and trucked it to its location, they couldn't reverse that process 30 years later?) And Skull Rock could have been left in place, there’s just a stupid waterfall there now! (Rant over)

Now, for the post. First up is one of those “Commemorative Passports” Not quite as large as the opening day Toontown Ticket, but still good sized at 9 ½ by 3 ½ (minus the entry stub that’s missing on the right side – someone used this passport, how dare they!)

Next up is a flyer for the “Directors Guild of America” I like the paper stock on this one. You can tell they used the background for many of these flyers, I like the Silver print on this one.

What post of this type would be complete without a Guide book! How cute, all the Pinocchio characters got on the cover, I wonder why?

Here is the “New Fantasyland” page from the 1983 Guide book. Notice the new “Walkway to Frontierland” *** I will be posting this entire 1983 Guide Book this weekend ***

Here is the Gate Flyer give out with the Guide Book. The front is very proud of the new “Flights of Fantasy” Parade. According to, “In the summers of 1983 and 1984, the Electrical Parade again went dark to make way for Flights of Fantasy.”

A fine lineup of entertainment for you enjoyment. The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Buddy Rich and his Band, Papa Doo Run Run, and of course the world famous “Krash”!

A little plug for the New Fantasyland. Hey, no mention of the Pirate Ship!

The back has a little advertisement for a new thing called “The Disney Channel” It will never work!!!

Does anyone know the actual date the New Fantasyland opened? I was unable to find an exact date on the internet. This button shows “May 1983”.

And last today is a link to You tube (Link). I have posted this link before so pardon if you have seen this. This is the 30 second commercial for the New Fantasyland. I love this commercial. I have watched it hundreds of times (yes I am that strange). It’s simple and true to Disneyland. Notice the music and Paul Frees’ voice at the end.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, I’m ready to hit the New Fantasyland first thing on my next visit.


Jason Schultz said...

Great post! I like the variety of paper items you have about it... The Pirate Ship wasn't trucked out at all. I'll send you a photo that you can post that shows itw as clearly bulldozed. I think they tried to save *part* of the ship, but that didn't work out.

Major Pepperidge said...

I still have some newspaper inserts that I saved when the new Fantasyland was about to debut... and I agree, they did a beautiful job. I'm not sure why that went so well, and yet Tomorrowland was botched. It must be more difficult to make a fantasy tomorrow!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Wonderful post. Always love the gate flyers and guides. Thanks VDT

Christopher said...

You are SOOO my hero!

The best job I ever had was Summer 83, performing in the Re-dedication ceremonies for "New Fantasyland" and marching down Main Street, USA all Summer in the "Flights of Fantasy Parade". I have very little to show from that time (due to theft) and next to nothing is ever posted online , as this was the last year before Eisner started making big things happen.

To help you out with some more specific details, I can positively share the following things:

New Fantasyland Re-dedication Ceremony was on May 25th. (I remember this day vividly... as it was really my first On-Stage day with Disney, AND it was the opening day of Return of the Jedi. As a 17 year old from Anaheim, what 2 more important things are there in the entire world?

1983 was the first time they ever announced discontinuing MSEP, so initial guest feedback was lukewarm, but I truely think this was one of the more impressive outings for the Parades Dept. It begab gaining respect by Summer's end, but not enough to save it. (It's final run was Labor Day weekend '83)

I know you referenced a 2 year run for FoFP, (and from a very reliable source), but the following year was "Happy Birthday, Donald" themed, including the Summer parade.

Again, it was one of the best Summers of my life, Thanks for finally honoring it! I hope you have more to share about New Fantasyland, or from your readers... I know that I have more to share myself. Kudos

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Hi Christopher,

I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the post. And thank you so much for all the details!

Check out my post for Sunday, I've got a couple more things you might like.

Very interesting about the parade only lasting one season. That's one of the reasons I like to show where I got the information from.

Take care, tell me more about what you did at Disneyland?