Saturday, July 26, 2008

Skyway Saturday at Walt Disney World

The Skyway at the Magic Kingdom was, as with everything else at the Florida property, BIG. So big it even had a turn in its route!

A solid “D” Ticket from Opening day in 1971.

“D” tickets from 1971 and 1979.

Here’s a close up of route it used to take.

Looking over the Sub Lagoon in a picture from a 1978 guide book.

Pretty amazing view as you left the Fantasyland station.

The Magic Kingdom Skyway Closed in 1999, both stations or “Terminals” are still hanging around. This would be the view looking back at the Fantasyland station (you’d be up higher of course!). This is still the focal point of one whole end of Fantasyland. I must have heard 10 kids ask what ride it was.

Well kiddies, guess what? It’s “Stroller Parking – The Ride”… ugh

The Tomorrowland Terminal building is amazing. This style of architecture has become my favorite of all vintage Disney styles. Here is the terminal as seen from the WEDway PeopleMover, I bet it looked even better when it was in operation.

Come to think of it, maybe it looks better without the cables and buckets? I’ve heard rumors of turning it into a restaurant. It’s big enough and that would mean keeping the building intact, I hope.

The rear of the lower level has a bathroom (of the future?).

Under the load area, there are three large benches like this one. All of them were empty.

Off to the side of the benches is this little area, again, empty of people. Everyone likes to just stand in large groups and clog the main walk ways, yet areas like this go empty? Hmmm.

The old Plaza Swan Boats loading platform. Too bad those are gone, they even went around the Swiss Family Tree house! (Check out this GREAT WDW site – link to Widen Your World).

I sure to like the roof on the Swan Boat building, and it’s repeated throughout the hub area on other roofs, even on the pop corn stand.

And this sad photo is for blog reader Eric. I found a bench while looking for a place to sit and eat my ice cream (it was melting quick), when I looked up I saw the Pooh Ride, “Oh no, this was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”. I stopped eating and gave a moment of silence in memory of Mr. Toad and his wild ride.

Tomorrow: For Bonus Sunday, since I feel so Tomorrowland 1967-ish, lets have a full post of a great Vacationland from the Fall of 1967.


ericpaddon said...

A great post that highlights many of the things that makes it rough for us WDW veterans nowadays. I had a gap in visits between 1993 and 2004 and the one time I really thought I was going to have a conniption was when I walked past the Pooh ride on my right and the walled up 20,000 Leagues lagoon (the demolition was just starting) on the left.

The abandoned Skyway stations are for those of us who remember what they were and what purpose they served, the biggest eyesores in the Magic Kingdom now. And yet, it's hard to figure out what else you can do with the area at this point. It'd be easier to clear the Tomorrowland one for a spot to build something, but I can remember reading a few years back that it's still functioning bathroom is considered a good enough reason to keep that structure that serves no other purpose now, just the way it is. OTOH, if there are rumors of a restaurant in the existing space that would be a step in the right direction (converting an empty Skyway station into a restaurant would make more sense I think than what DL did in converting Mission To Mars into a restaurant instead of a new ride!)

outsidetheberm said...

Ouch! Those changes are painful.

The Viewliner Limited said...

I'm loving all these pics you took Tim. Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

Wow, at park opening the Country Bear Jamboree was a D-ticket??????

With the lines that show got, I wonder how long that designation lasted.

Major Pepperidge said...

I've been away for a few days, but am getting caught up on all my favorite blogs. You've had lots of great stuff lately, I love that old Skyway building in Florida. Not sure if it would work as a restaurant though...? I'd hate to see it torn down.

The Artwork of Christi Bunn said...

Loving this post, your blog, the great pictures... I barely remember the skyway, but everytime my kids see those structures they ask what it was like. It's lovely to see those old photos of when it was still running. Do you know the reasoning for shutting it down? I have often wondered...

I am going to be seriously busy looking at all your archived blog posts.


Unknown said...

Great article!

I had a love-hate relationshp with the Skyway. It was a great overview of the park but an incredible eyesore, nonetheless.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Eric, you are dead on with your comments, don’t get me started with the Pizza Port taking over Mission to Mars!

Outside the Berm, I hear ya. Viewliner, thanks!

Anonymous; Nice spot on the “D” ticket for the Country Bear’s at the park opening. They were on the “E” ticket by June 1972, I’d day that would make it a certified hit. The Bears opened in 1973 at Disneyland as an “E” Ticket from day one.

Major, it’s a pretty large building, I’d say you could put a medium sized “order window” type restaurant down stairs and still have some seating downstairs and tons upstairs. Seeing how cheap they “updated” Tomorrowland, I see this as an attractive alterative, seem cheap and it would make money, that part of Tomorrowland needs some good food!

Christi Bunn; thanks for the nice words. I have heard two reasons for the closure of the Magic Kingdom Skyway (1) low capacity and required too many cast members to run it, I have also heard this as the reason the Skyway at Disneyland closed in 1994. (2) there was an incident with a Cast member (I think in 1999) he was sweeping or something on the upper deck and got hit with moving bucket and fell to his death. I believe it was determined he should not have been there at that time.

George, I never saw this Skyway in action, but I did see the Disneyland one and I thought it fit in pretty good. The Florida version however was massive, and I did notice both stations actually looked nicer than in the old photo’s because the ugly cable’s and poles are gone.