Retro Disney World Podcast
74.5 - RetroMagic50 Recap

74.5 - RetroMagic50 Recap

May 16, 2022

After months of planning and organizing, RetroMagic 50 has come and gone. Over the long weekend, all of us had an amazing time putting on this event and we hope everyone that attended enjoyed themselves. When an event like this starts to take shape, we have a rough idea as to how we want the day to go. We also have learned from our past events, trying to include what people like, enjoy, and even request. Throughout all the planning though, we try to create an event that we would want to attend.

In this short episode, we recap the entire weekend from start to finish: the behind-the-scenes stories, our reactions to how things went, and so much more. If you were able to attend RetroMagic 50, this episode will be a great follow-up to the whirlwind day we all experienced back in April. If you did not make it to RetroMagic this time around, we will be posting up our event videos on our YouTube channel soon. Please make sure you are subscribed and ready to enjoy these amazingly edited videos.

Finally, we want to thank all of our volunteers who made this event possible. The list is massive and without you: hotel bookings, transportation, set-up, cleaning, organizing, folding, building, welcoming, passing out, and more would not have happened. Thank you so much for your help during the event and also leading up to RetroMagic 50. We hope everyone enjoys this mini-episode recap and be sure to check back for normal episodes soon; we have so many great topics coming your way.

72 - Maelstrom

72 - Maelstrom

April 4, 2022

In this episode, we are taking you back to EPCOT Center and more specifically, the Norway pavilion and Maelstrom. How has been hard at work researching and also editing this episode together for your listening enjoyment. We hit on the 1988 television special, starring Willard Scott. If you have never seen this, take a minute after you listen to the episode to enjoy this: Grand Opening of Maelstrom

The high seas Viking adventure was billed as a stormy boat ride with tons of excitement, danger, and thrills. Many articles were written to describe how amazing this ride was going to be and the hype machine was up and running at full speed. This really was the first thrill ride at EPCOT Center, so they played that angle as much as possible. How guides us through so many neat aspects about how this ride came to be, including the items the sponsors wanted to see on the ride. You have to remember how these early EPCOT Center rides came to be and how they were funded. This was a very different era at Walt Disney World that we all know and love, but things came to be in an entirely different way.

Throughout this episode, we hit on everything from the woodwork colors, how the queue changed a bit, which imagineers actually worked on this project, and so much more. One fun fact, this ride was designed entirely on computers through CAD and no hand-drawn items were used to help create the track layout.

As we get through this episode, we spend a good amount of time discussing the closure of this ride. This is one of the more recent closures of a classic attraction that can be debated for hours. Were you one of the fans that did not want to see this go? Are you happy with the replacement? We get into all of this at length, as we feel it is an important part of the history of Maelstrom. This ride truly had that 80s EPCOT Center feel that lasted into the 2000s and beyond, until Frozen was a hit. We appreciate you taking the time to listen to the history of Maelstrom and we hope you enjoyed this super detailed look at the classic EPCOT attraction.

74 - Vacation Planning

74 - Vacation Planning

March 1, 2022

As we get started on our main topic, get out your old pamphlets, flyers, books, magazines, and leaflets. This month we are talking all about planning your Walt Disney World Vacation from the early years all the way up to the mid-90s. The ways this has changed over the years is fascinating when you dig into all the details and ways to book. Todd takes the lead for Episode 74, digging into old planning guides and comparing them to some of his own trips, especially his 1980 visit.

Throughout this episode, you are going to notice a world of vacation packages that you might have never heard of before. Everything from small trips to massive all-inclusive style trips with camcorders and meals included. The inflation calculator is brought out often so we can get a somewhat accurate comparison to what we have nowadays. We were super curious if one of our listeners would be sitting down with their slide rule and spreadsheets to compare what the best deal was and when it took place back then...

Todd also digs into some tickets and options for each package back then, which we discuss how you went about booking in the 70s and 80s. There was no internet and there was no google to check on what was being offered. The options seemed to be always changing and always evolving, which isn't too different when compared to trips of today.

As always, we also go off on a bit of a tangent about rental cars, vehicles in the 70s/80s, and of course the Chevrolet Citation. While we were talking, Brian remembered the old Citation commercial and he also reminisces a bit about his mid-80s rental car being an Oldsmobile Calais. This episode led most of us to dig into our ephemera boxes again to compare notes and also look at the various vacation packages that we seem to overlook for more exciting imagery over planning details. Do you have anything unique in your piles at home? Send them in so we can add them to the archive of ephemera on the site. Also, take a look at our gallery of ephemera that is loaded with tons of great stuff.

73 - New Years Eve: Music to Your Ears

73 - New Years Eve: Music to Your Ears

January 27, 2022

Let us take you back to the New Years Eve of old as we run through all the events of the past and their included musical numbers! Nearly 50 clips of the hottest-bands at the time, and some wash-ups as well!

71.5 - Listener Memories

71.5 - Listener Memories

November 27, 2021

Welcome to Episode 71.5 of the RetroWDW Podcast: 50th Anniversary Memories - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows from over the years. We have visited multiple parks, resorts, and just about everything else in between. We hope you stick with us through 2021 as we bring you some great content that will take you back to WDW each month.

For this episode, we are focusing on you the listener, and all the feedback you sent us from Episode 71. The outpouring of memories was overwhelming and we felt we needed to showcase this on an episode. While we do not have time to get through everyone, this episode features many of you and also what you had to say. If you enjoy memories, you won't want to skip this one. We get into lots of great stories that were shared with us and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Main Topic / Listener Mail

For this main topic, the plan is to give you a short synopsis of each letter we discuss. This should help guide you through this episode and also give you a letter or two to look forward to if the topic matches your interest. 

Jim: Discusses visiting the parks with his children, which changed his magical experience, including the Crystal Palace character meal. The WDW sign was a huge hit for his children and they even moved to Florida. Jim is also a fan of just sitting on a bench too!
John: To start, reminds us that the shells from the Polynesian are Puka Shells. John also brings up 'South of the Border' signs which appear on the highway. He remembers staying at Fort Wilderness, staying on the Jack Rabbit Run Loop, and of course the boat/train whistle. Cinderella Castle
Craig: Gives us some great examples of the legendary WDW customer service, including freebies and meeting Mickey. Craig also praises Lego Land for its customer service. We all get into our stories about freebies and how it's the little things that make a big difference.
Claudia: Starts with some phases of the trip/visit. Also, Claudia gets into the past visits with people who have passed on. She also gets into closed-down attractions and also spoilers before visiting an attraction. Finally, she discusses WDW customer service.
Matt: Sent us a story about customer service at Fort Wilderness. The bed was too soft and at 8pm, cast members drove over to fix the situation in an unimaginable way. Great story Matt!
Ramon: Really enjoyed Episode 71 and he felt it was so nice to be unscripted. He will be traveling to Fort Wilderness soon and puts Episode 71 in his top three.
Michael: Felt the last episode was somewhat therapeutic and also made him think a bit at the end. When getting into where things are heading for the parks, maybe we are not the target audience anymore... Michael also gave us a call! Thanks, Michael!
Scott: Sent this through Instagram, Scott really enjoyed Episode 71. Thanks for your kind words about our show and past episodes. We discuss our different visits, history, and trip experiences.
@JLBNerdy: Episode 71 brought her to tears and she is going in November, taking her niece for the first time. We hope you have a fabulous trip!
Josh: Joined the show around the time of our Horizons episodes, playing catchup ever since. Happy 50th to you Josh!
Andrew: This is another voicemail and Andrew tells us about ordering a cake on Main Street, taking that cake to the Contemporary, then enjoying the Electrical Water Pageant. This is amazing and we all would love to spend our birthday like this.
Bob: Discusses major news events that occur when you are in the parks. Bob also defends Todd and the Gold Key Package, which of course is for high rollers only. Todd vows to cover this on a future episode or movie night.
@JustEllenIGuess: Would like to hear more stories and loved the format of our last episode. We work to keep it real, research the memories to verify them and also keep it respectful. Brian still thinks 20k is a boring ride!
@ServoIsNaked: Discusses Tiny Mic and plans to sit on the lip-shaped couch interviewing anybody and everybody once we set that up. This refers to Mariah Carey and her couch requests for the castle stay.
Scott: We get another voicemail and Scott loved everything WDW. His first visit wasn't until 1994, but it was like a dream come true. 24 trips later and he still loves every aspect of his WDW vacations.
Justin: We heard from Justin on the Retro Line, he shares a sad memory. His mom took him to WDW when she was battling cancer and he has many fond memories from his trips to WDW. Special people connect us to the parks.
Nathan: Wrote to us about How and his disgust for Champion's Gate Traffic. This is great! We even get Walt talking directly to How, which is hilarious. We also get a live look at the traffic near Champion's Gate.
Michele: A WDW College Program student, we hear about a special walkway between Universe of Energy & Mission Space. This was a favorite place for Michele to sit, enjoy a coffee or donut and just relax. We all discuss our favorites around the property.
Joe: Another voicemail and this one is about his memory from 1985 at Fort Wilderness. They drove from NJ and went for a walk at night, stumbling upon Chip & Dale roasting marshmallows. Joe also leaves another message, this time all about a celebrity encounter.

We would like to wrap up by letting everyone know that our little podcast, run by four random guys that randomly met, has passed one million downloads. This is awesome and we are so thankful that so many of you have decided to download our show and join us as we share memories each month. The news of a million is still tough to comprehend, but we love doing this for our listeners and also sharing memories with you.

RetroMagic Fifty

Tickets are on sale now! We announced our RetroMagic 50 VIP List and we cannot wait to see you on April 24, 2022. Should you have any questions regarding this upcoming event, please send us a message so we can help you out.

Click Here To Purchase Tickets

Tickets are going quickly and you will not want to miss out on our next big event.

2021: Year Two of Film

To make sure you are the first to know when items are released, subscribe to us on YouTube. Be sure to click the notification bell too, that way you are alerted when we post.  Finally, be sure to check out Vimeo if that is your thing, as we will post there as well.

Post-Show Fun

71 - 50 Years

71 - 50 Years

October 12, 2021

Listener Mail

The mailbag is full and ready to sift through. Be sure to reach out with questions, stories, memories, and more. You never know if your letter will be read on a future episode: podcast@retrowdw.com

  1. Brian is up next with a celebrity sighting at WDW. He spotted Mick Foley at Cinderella’s Royal Table, tried to snap a photo and made a minor mistake… This is a great story and we would love to see that photo!
  2. Katie wrote us about Mariah Carey and what she required to stay in the castle. This leads to a major tangent about couches, which of course is why you tune in to the RetroWDW Podcast.
  3. We heard from Michael Landis about the infamous Monorail Pilots License – if you have never seen one of these, check it out. Obviously, these aren’t around anymore, but this was a neat perk of riding upfront in the monorail.
  4. Miranda has a question – When did the Plaza Restaurant inside the Magic Kingdom open up at the current location?
  5. Joe, among many others, reached out about our challenge in regards to celebrities appearing in more than one attraction. We discuss a few of these that were emailed to us, along with some other ideas listeners had.

Main Topic

As we get started, this episode will be a little different than what you are used to. For the 50th Anniversary, how do we celebrate that at RetroWDW? We bounced many ideas around, including lists, top 50, sharing memories, and even going back to cover the various anniversary specials. Brian gets us started discussing the way things used to be, which all of us can do for hours on end, you the listener included. Each of us has stories and special things that we remember from the past fifty years. Experiences, memories, family trips, events; we all have so many things to share and reminisce about. This episode is all about that.

Throughout Episode 71, we don’t sit on just one topic or park. Many of the stories are personal and lead to more tangents, but we think you’re really going to connect and relate to many of these observations from the past fifty years. As we worked our way through this recording, it’s tough to bring together fifty years of vacationing. The kingdom has so many things for so many people, including us. We are always looking for what’s next, our future trips, and making memories. This podcast is all about memories at Walt Disney World, even if they are super detailed and take us all down a rabbit hole. From Episode 71 all the way back to Episode 1, this show, website, videos, and our events have added another layer of WDW to all of our lives. As we continue to add to our individual and group stories about trips to WDW, we hope you continue to join us each month.

RetroMagic Fifty

We have set our date for the next big Lake Buena Vista Historical Society event: RetroMagic 50. We will all be back at Walt Disney World in 2022 for this weekend-long event which takes place April 23-24.

Please click the following link to sign up for ticket sale information and notifications. We hope to see you all real soon!

70 - Monster Sound Show

70 - Monster Sound Show

September 13, 2021

Corrections & Comments

We start off this episode with some corrections and comments from the last couple of months.

  1. Jim is our first correction, which was very similar to some others we received. We were all corrected on our Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman relationship history, which we wrongly stated they met during Far and Away filming. It was actually on the set of Days of Thunder - thanks for helping us out with that one.
  2. How gives us some insight into the 2003 Adventurer's Club from an anonymous source. This person saw the backside of the genie head bureau, cast wardrobe, and offers up some backstage secrets regarding The Adventurer's Club. If you didn't catch last month, be sure to listen to our podcast focusing mostly on this club.

Listener Mail

The mailbag is full and ready to sift through. Be sure to reach out with questions, stories, memories, and more. You never know if your letter will be read on a future episode: podcast@retrowdw.com

  1. Jeremy scanned some photos from 1986 and shared them with us. He has tons of good stuff you have to check out. CLICK HERE to see his photo collection - Thanks Jeremy!
  2. Andy is up next with a small Disney connection story. Douglas Cuddle Toys made the small plus toys we spoke about during our Crescent Lake Episode. Andy happened to be in the neighborhood and stopped by. He shared a photo with us and we really appreciate that. Thanks Andy, great find!
  3. Tom from Detroit wrote us about the Adventurer's Club, discussing the falling bar stool gag. He experienced this joke at The Safe House bar, which sounds like a blast. Check it out
  4. Next up, we heard from Mitch. He discusses the Jekyll & Hyde Bar in NYC. We discussed this in the episode and How gives some more comparisons.
  5. John Kuzner wrote us about Antique's Roadshow and how they had a display with 'dolphins'. These are super similar to the Dolphin Resort dolphins we have all seen, so take a look and see what you think. Photo1  Photo2
  6. Darryl wrote in regarding some great footage from 1974. We would LOVE to restore this footage, so fingers crossed you still have the film... Let us know! podcast@retrowdw.com
  7. Finally, Robert C wrote in about actually roller skating at XZFR. We want to hear more Robert, so let us know of any stories, memories, or things that happened at XZFR. Robert also hit on the much-loved opinion about the Adventurer's Club we discussed last episode.

Giveaway - 'Decade'

Todd picked our random winner of 'The Disney Decade' - Jennifer is our winner! Congratulations and we hope you enjoy the book.

Main Topic

This month, we take you back to the early days of the Disney-MGM Studios. When the park first opened, it was mostly show and attraction-based with less emphasis on rides. You may have noticed before we got to the main topic here, but this episode sounds a little bit different. We are recording in <[{stereo}]> and this adds an amazingly fun layer to this episode, which is all about sound. Todd starts us off with our old friends at Birnbaum, most importantly 1989. This attraction was not very well known at the start as most people really didn't know what was going on in this show building.

How as at Disney-MGM Studios on opening day, which we discussed in Episode 10. In the early days of the Disney MGM-Studios, movies and technology were used in much different ways compared to how they are now. Even our podcast process is so much more advanced than most everything at the studios back in the day. Sound design, engineering, and effects all had their own 'movie magic' way about them. Even to this day, the sound design makes or breaks a movie. If done properly, it makes for an outstanding movie experience and also have created some timeless sound effects over the years. The Monster Sound Show was an attraction that allowed park guests to experience this process in a fun way that put them right in the action of movie-making. Such a perfect attraction for those early days at the studios.

As a group, we discuss the involvement of David Letterman, which was somewhat an odd fit for the time period. At the same time though, we go over all the aspects he was used for in this attraction, including a Top Ten List. Todd leads us through this attraction which includes many sound gags for you, the listener. If you have never experienced this attraction in person, this episode will help you paint a great picture in your mind. What is amazing about the Monster Sound Show is that it starts Chevy Chase and Martin Short. Two SNL alums and also two actors who are in so many classic comedy films of the 80s and 90s. The timing of them being in this attraction is perfect. As we get through this attraction, don't forget to visit Soundworks post-show. The documentation of this area is very limited, so if you have any photos of video of this post-show area, let us know. This area is also where we learn about the styrofoam head that How brought into the parks in an attempt to capture the audio of some of these small post-show audio gags. Overall though, if sound and movies are your thing, you would have really enjoyed this attraction and area overall. The movie-making business back in the 80s was featured in so many unique ways throughout this theme park. We hope you got a sense of this attraction through clever audio and everything in stereo.

69 - Pleasure Island Part III

69 - Pleasure Island Part III

August 16, 2021

Welcome to Episode 69 of the RetroWDW Podcast: Pleasure Island Part II – We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows from over the years. We have visited multiple parks, resorts, and just about everything else in between. We hope you stick with us through 2021 as we bring you some great content that will take you back to WDW each month.  Enjoy!

Listener Mail

Right to the mailbag this month! The bag is full and we love that! Every month, you can possibly get on the show, so be sure to write to us at podcast@retrowdw.com. Also, top-tier donors can even join us on a show! Take a look at how you can join us live on an episode.

  1. Joie is up first this month – sharing a photo collection of every page from ‘The Magic of Disneyland & Walt Disney World’ from 1979. Click Here to see all this hard work – thank you!!
  2. Joie also shared packaging from Todd’s infamous “Squeaky Mickey”. This is HUGE! From 1978, this mickey toots his own horn, blows bubbles, and party favors. Take a look at this! Big thanks to Joie for the fun mail items this month. We spoke about Squeaky Mickey on Episode 7 and Episode 8.
  3. Our next message is from Michael Landis. He decided to reach out and ask about SMTV: Space Mountain TV. Here is a video for reference. We get into what the point of this was, including Crazy Larry! This is a great flashback to the 90s and New Tomorrowland. One item from that refurb that is possibly lost in your memories. Michael notes that it was very similar to a cross between MTV and Nickelodeon of the time.  The preshow videos were tied to the Fedex Sponsorship with took effect in 1993, more research on who created the video loop is needed. The video loop continued to run, minus the Fedex ads after 2003 when the Fedex sponsorship ended, until around 2009 when the queue was remodeled.
  4. Lindsay writes in to share about another Tom Cruise experience. She was working in the College Program in 2012 and was assigned to Cinderella’s Royal Table, on the date she was supposed to be taking a cast tour of the Dream Suite, Tom Cruise and his daughter ended up booking the room and her tour was canceled.  She goes on to say that Tom ordered some food from the kitchen and other staff members from the restaurant took it up to the suite. People magazine covered the stay
  5. Cody then asks about the Epcot confusion of the East/West sections of Future World. Since Epcot was built on a north/south orientation with the entrance at the northern end of the park, it was decided to use the compass points for east and west for the two sides of CommuniCore and the Pavilions. Cody then asked about expansion of the monorail system asking if it was mostly the cost, the cost of creating new monorail lines was the main issue along with the flexibility of busses being another important factor. Cody’s last question was about when the ability to ride in the front of the monorails went away, which was stopped after the fatal monorail crash the evening of July 5th 2009 near the Magic Kingdom.
  6. Our last letter comes from Tobias a new listener to the podcast who might have had another celebrity encounter. He tells the story of a park closing in 1983 being brought into the Magic Shop at the Magic Kingdom where he was asked to see and assist several magic tricks being presented by someone who was dressed like Michael Jackson but called himself Michael Jason.  If anyone knows of any of the magicians who might match this memory please let us know.

Main Topic

Welcome back to Pleasure Island! This is part three of our trilogy, which could possibly have a part four in the near future. We have been all over for our first two episodes, Part I & Part II. For this episode though, we are going to dig into two of the more famous Pleasure Island venues, The Comedy Warehouse & The Adventurer’s Club.

The Comedy Warehouse

We begin with The Comedy Warehouse, which is actually the current location of STK. How leads us once again, starting off with typefaces, logos, and Brian also gets things going with a short history of comedy in the 70s & 80s. This is a super interesting look at the warehouse which discusses the concept art and also the club atmosphere, which is pretty much lost to history.
One super interesting part of How’s take on this club is the use of props and Disney items. I absolutely love how they tied all of this into the Comedy Warehouse. Finally, How drops the bomb on us that the show was totally scripted and wasn’t standard, open mic comedy. The show actually made fun of Walt Disney World. We have a video on our YouTube Channel, and you can check that out right here.

The outside of the building was themed to a warehouse with corrugated metal siding and sporting various editions of the signage until one with chattering teeth and mixed letting on the Warehouse section were used from that point on.

Brian leads a brief discussion of the expansion of comedy clubs in the late 70’s into the 80’s.  Before this period comedians were relegated to opening acts, but suddenly various clubs were being opened in major cities nationwide. The expansion of cable channels started to push major comedy specials which lead to more comedy clubs opening.

The entrance to the club was near the West End Stage with the queue running outside the club.  A temporary popup bar originally served those waiting, later a bar named Laughers was built to handle drinks for people waiting in the queue outside which was outside.

Inside the theater there were three sections, floor, mid and balcony areas which could hold up to 290 guests, each seating row had stools to sit on and a pathway behind where the waiters could come and provide food and drinks.

The concept art showed a couple of different possible stage setups, the warehouse ended up having a large number of rare and unique Disney props all over the walls. 

Although most comedy clubs of the time would just have several stand-up comedians perform each night with a couple of clubs devoted to Improv, the Comedy Warehouse opened with a stage show called Forbidden Disney which was set up to make fun of all aspects of a Disney Vacation.   The show was written and directed by Tom Sherohman who also worked on some of the Adventures Club and Wonders of Life skits.

The show was over 60 minutes in length and presented as a show inside a show, the performers were stuck in line elsewhere, but the staff needed to start the show.  The show featured three main vacationers, a Father who wanted to do everything, a Mother who wanted to take it easier and a Daughter who didn’t want to be there at all. The first version of the show lasted about a year, between management’s hesitation at running the show and the lack of interest from repeat Pleasure Island visitors.   Various segments of the show were still included after the change to an improv show.

Chris Oyen, who moved to the Orlando area in 1990, was responsible for the direction for the new Improv style shows The Improv format continued to draw crowds until the closing of the Pleasure Island clubs in 2008.  In later years the warehouse would just sometimes have show normal stand up shows instead of improv. 

One of the regular most memorable improv show techniques was to use a phone that would ring one of the phones at the end of the rows of the audience and build a song based on the feedback from the call.  Most of the other skits would take the random suggestions from the audience to build their comedy routines

The comedy warehouse cast has reunited a number of times since the club closed, including some holiday shows at the Hollywood studios. 

After a brief discussion of which hosts had visited the club during it’s years of operation before we head across the west end to the Adventures Club.

The Adventurers Club

An all-time fan favorite that led to Mr. Toad level protest and outrage when it closed. It was patterned off the NYC Explorer’s Club from the early 1900s. This dinner theater/dinner show/theme bar/everything else you want to refer it to was something different when compared to all the other clubs. Improvised characters, animatronics, multiple rooms, and multiple floors all went together to make this a super fun experience. As a group, we all get into our own personal experiences with The Adventurer’s Club. Each of us went in different eras and also have different opinions on the club. Todd has an especially fun story that connected his family to the club and it sounds like it was a great time. We have a few different videos on our YouTube channel, which you can check out here and here. While the Adventurer’s Club has left us, the memories are everlasting for many, many fans.

As stated earlier in the Podcast, there seems to be the need for a fourth part of the Pleasure Island saga. This could very well end up as a box set on your bookshelf in the future! As always, when How gets into things the details are immense and the stories are plentiful. Thank you for listening and we hope you enjoyed this almost finished journey through Pleasure Island.

The entrance to the Adventures Club started as a very plain building before remodeling in the early 90s.  The club was modeled after New York’s Explorers Club which was founded in the early 1900’s as well as other adventure style clubs of that era.

The backstory for the club was that it was New Years Eve 1937 and the club was holding an Open House for all of those interested. Guests would enter on the second floor and pick up a schedule for the events of the evening.  The events would be split between the mask room, treasure room, the salon and the Library which was the largest room in the club.

The Mezzanine level had numerous artifacts and black and white photos as well as some seating areas, there was a small bar on this level with an elevator and staircase that lead down to the main floor.

The Main Salon was the central area of the club with the primary bar located here.  The bar had a number of themed alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well as some special bar stools that could be slowly lowered by the bartenders. 

On one of the walls of the Main Salon was the Yakoose an animatronic mounted head that would come to life during the night and talk with the guests or Babylonia who was a large stone face puppet on the opposite wall.  The final character in the main salon was Colonel Critchlow Sunchbench who would interact with the other Adventure’s Club cast as well as lead the new inductees in the club song.

There were two small rooms off of the Main Salon, the Mask Room and the Treasure Room.  Inside the Mask Room, two large masks at the front of the room, Arnie and Claude talked, while other masks in the room moved their eyes, moved and laughed.  In the Treasure Room who would find the genie Beezle who’s head would appear and float around in one of the cabinets.

The largest room on the first floor was the Library a two-level space where the grand piano has crashed down from the second floor killing the pianist who haunts the piano as Fingers Zambezi.  The shows in the Library were usually held around every 40 minutes or so and included shows such as:

Welcome Party

Radio Broadcast

The Balderdash Cup Competition

The RadioThon

The Hoopla – which was the final show of the evening

There was a regular cast of characters at the Club, the actors could and would change characters throughout the night, the usual characters included:

            Pamelia Perkins – Club President.

            Otis T. Wren – Club Treasurer and ichthyologist

            Hathaway Browne – Aviator, and the club’s resident innuendo-making ladies’ man.

            Fletcher Hodges – Absent-minded Club Curator, he is said to have “mounted every object in the club.”

            Graves – Club Butler.

            The Maid

            Marcel – A man in an ape suit

 

The Adventures Club offered Club Memberships for a reasonable fee per year bringing in more and more locals who would return weekly or more often to partake in the club’s activities.

One of the downsides of the Club was some of the confusion, which may have been planned, that new people would feel walking into the Club, seeing the schedule and having no idea what any of it meant.  When the main show was going on in the Library the club was rather dead, a explanation video or something else to help first-timers might have been helpful.

A discussion was held about the locals who held a great fandom of the adventures club in comparison to other group event fandoms such as the Rocky Horror Picture show.

The Jekyll And Hyde Club in New York City has a similar intent to the concept of the Adventures Club with different rooms and different events happening during the dining experience.  The closest experience still left at Walt Disney World would be the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen which has different themed rooms with various artifacts and jokes found throughout the building.

The Adventures Club, along with the rest of Pleasure Island, closed on Sept 27th 2008,  the cast reunited for one last performance and “membership renewal” during the 2014 D23 Destination D event at the Contemporary Resort

68 - Magic Journeys

68 - Magic Journeys

July 5, 2021

Welcome to Episode 68 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "Magic Journeys - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows from over the years. We have visited multiple parks, resorts, and just about everything else in between. We hope you stick with us through 2021 as we bring you some great content that will take you back to WDW each month.  Enjoy!

Listener Mail

Right to the mailbag this month! The bag is full and we love that! Every month, you can possibly get on the show, so be sure to write to us at podcast@retrowdw.com. Also, top-tier donors can even join us on a show! Take a look at how you can join us live on an episode.

  1. Our first letter is from Andy all about the Mannequins - he goes through this photo, explaining what each piece of hardware does. This is super helpful and also neat to look back; the system also included the classic 3.5" Floppy Disk!
  2. Going back to September, Jason sent us a tweet about his trip to WDW. So many good shots of the topics we have discussed over the years. Thanks, Jason!
  3. John touched base with us about the Mardi Gras parade items and props sitting in Port Orleans: French Quarter. Brian gives us the full story on this one and the connection is amazing. We also heard from Jacques, giving even more insight into this whole thing. Mr. Mardi Gras comes up and we love this back story. Thanks, everyone!
  4. We heard from Colleen on Instagram and she shared with us a super neat cup from Pleasure Island. These aren't very common to see anymore but we absolutely loved that you shared this with us!
  5. Dane wrote us about 'The Guide to Tomorrowland' - This was from way back in Episode 26: Tiny Bubbles. We included this item in our giveaway for the year - click here to read it!
  6. We got a letter from Carla regarding the Retro Food episode we recently did. She had quite a few corrections and insight into some restaurants in WDW.
  7. Phil wrote in about a friend who does high-profile celebrity security. Apparently, Tom Cruise used the services during a visit to WDW. This trip had many great stories and experiences, which Phil shared with us. Thank you so much Phil; this was great!

Giveaway

We have a copy of 'Walt Disney World: The First Decade' to send to one lucky winner. Send us an email with the subject line Decade to contest@retrowdw.com - we will pick a random winner from the entries to get this hardcover book from the 80s. Good Luck!

Main Topic

This month, we take you back to EPCOT Center and as far back as opening day. Magic Journeys: This is one of those short-lived attractions that most have not seen, but if you did, you get it. This was extremely high tech, advanced and the effort level that went into this is absolutely insane. Todd takes the lead, giving us a bit of history and why this whole thing came about. We hear from Murray Lerner, including original audio and interviews looking back at the creation of this film. Overall though, this film was intended to see the world through the eyes of a child. Of course, we get the technical reasons as to why 3D works and what is actually happening with your eyes.

The 'how' of this film is something you really won't believe. Two whole years in the making with computer graphics, 75mm film, multiple frames on top of one another - the making of this film is a treasure trove of facts and figures. We also include clips from our interview with Mark Eades. He played a major role in creating this film, helping with the setup, and also was integral in making sure it worked. We also discuss the film made with the Dreamfinder, Ron Schneider. He goes into how they had to create a preview film all about Magic Journeys, just to have something in the theater for opening day.

RetroMagic Fifty

We have set our date for the next big Lake Buena Vista Historical Society event: RetroMagic 50. We will all be back at Walt Disney World in 2022 for this weekend-long event which takes place April 23-24.

Please click the following link to sign up for ticket sale information and notifications. We hope to see you all real soon!

2021: Year Two of The Film

To make sure you are the first to know when items are released, subscribe to us on YouTube. Be sure to click the notification bell too, that way you are alerted when we post.  Finally, be sure to check out Vimeo if that is your thing, as we will post there as well.

67 - Pleasure Island Part II

67 - Pleasure Island Part II

June 7, 2021

Welcome to Episode 67 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "Pleasure Island Part II - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows from over the years. We have visited multiple parks, resorts, and just about everything else in between. We hope you stick with us through 2021 as we bring you some great content that will take you back to WDW each month.  Enjoy!

Listener Mail

Right to the mailbag this month! The bag is full and we love that! Every month, you can possibly get on the show, so be sure to write to us at podcast@retrowdw.com. Also, top-tier donors can even join us on a show! Take a look at how you can join us live on an episode.

  1. Our first letter is from way back in July of 2020! Jimmy Tucker wrote us about 'Walt Disney World: The First Decade'. We discuss the various hardcover books that have come out as souvenir books and they are loaded with pictures. Everyone chimes in with the various ones in their collections, as these were very popular during the anniversaries they were celebrating.
  2. Lanie from Boston wrote us and she successfully made Lime Chiffon Pie. It looked absolutely amazing and we are not only jealous of your pie, but also that view you have there. Take a look at this masterpiece - thanks for sharing!
  3. John wrote us about butter! He remembers the butter at the Brown Derby, shaped like a derby hat. We have a memory of this, but no photos. If you have any photos of this, please share them with us as we would love to see them and add these images to the site.
  4. Paul is up next and he wants to discuss The Boardwalk and their famous clown slide. He is curious if there is a Bozo The Clown reference tied in here....
  5. We had numerous people write in about Pinocchio Village Haus and all of the seating options. Well, we are corrected, and still being corrected! Also, Brian was correct originally.
  6. Linda called and left us a voicemail, asking if we were all ok. That was super nice and we appreciate you reaching out, along with all of the other kind messages.
  7. Our last message is from Matthew, he works for the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs. He is super curious about this craft that is in their possession. This was inside EPCOT in the fall of 1998. Take a look, and let us know if you have any info or remember seeing this inside EPCOT.

Main Topic

For this episode, we continue where we left off on the first episode of this series, Pleasure Island Part I. If you missed Part I, please take a minute to download that episode and get caught up. How is once again leading us and we are so excited to get into the 90s where Pleasure Island went through some changes. Within a few months of opening, we learn that it wasn't drawing the crowds that were expected. There is no official statement, but How speculates the access was an issue, meaning a ticketing problem. Todd also throws in that the changing access and idea of it being different, day and night, could have been a concern. Finally, confusing ticketing could have added to problems as well. How gives us some inflation prices on tickets and we learn that it was super expensive back when it opened. Either way, changes were needed and we get to discuss these next.

How gives us the history of age limits and how this changed over the years. Some clubs never allowed guests under 21 years old, but this did change a bit from time to time. One fun bit of history that is almost never forgotten, the Fort Wilderness Railroad train cars were repurposed as ticket booths right off the island, obviously colored in the amazing 90s color scheme. One of the big draws, the roller skating at XZFR, mysteriously stopped randomly at one point. How gets into some of the rumors and also busts a pretty large myth on this one. We continue to get into the changes and clubs being renamed, as this seemed like a regular occurrence every few years. The side attractions were a big deal too: Orbitrons, Velcro Walls, Ice Luges, Test Tube Shots, and so much more. All of these things added another layer of fun and excitement to a night out.

Overall, Pleasure Island somewhat had a heyday and if you are curious about what happened during this time period, this episode is what you want to listen to. Disney really worked hard to make this work with the constant changes and updates, but as we'll learn in the near future, things didn't last forever. Over the years, there were even more changes and modifications to the island, which we will get into in a future episode.

2021: Year Two of The Film

To make sure you are the first to know when items are released, subscribe to us on YouTube. Be sure to click the notification bell too, that way you are alerted when we post.  Finally, be sure to check out Vimeo if that is your thing, as we will post there as well.

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