Retro Disney World Podcast
41.5 - A Chat with Chris Smith

41.5 - A Chat with Chris Smith

July 25, 2018

Welcome to Episode 41.5 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "A Chat With Author Chris Smith" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.

A Chat With Author Chris Smith

Chris comes to us as an author of two titles: The Walt Disney World That Never Was and his second book, The Backstories & Magical Secrets of Walt Disney World. We start off the episode with a little bit of history, all about Chris and his connections to Disney. Past trips, The Disney Channel and how often he visits nowadays. Chris also gives us a little background on how he got started. This includes old documents, history and reports that discuss his first book of forgotten and unbuilt attractions. 

The second book we discuss is Volume One of a multi-part series, discussing everything going on in the theme parks. Volume One is all about Frontierland, Liberty Square and Main Street. I found this one to have some much detail, information and almost felt like an encyclopedia about these lands and attractions in the Magic Kingdom. Each ride is discussed as well as the backstories for how the lands are laid out and themed.

Both books are paperback, right around 200 or so pages and really connect to what we love to talk about. Stories, theming and Walt Disney World.  Check these out today and get ready for the next volume, which will be coming soon!


Win A Copy!

For a chance to win a free copy of The Walt Disney World That Never Was or The Backstories and Magical Secrets, you need to answer the following question:

What Disney resort was constructed on the original spot for the Asian Resort?

If you know the answer to this questions, email us:
We will choose a random, correct answer and let you pick which book you would like sent your way.
Entries due: August 10, 2018 - Best of luck!

Where To Purchase


41 - Fort Wilderness Railroad

41 - Fort Wilderness Railroad

July 5, 2018

Welcome to Episode 41 of the RetroWDW Podcast: "Fort Wilderness Railroad" - We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows.

Corrections & Listener Mail

 - We get started with the infamous Contemporary Resort third floor. We did a little more digging and found out from some listeners that this is where the fitness center is located, along with some other various offices. The ceiling is noted as being lower, but most times the average guest has no reason to be there. We also heard that the ceiling is lower due to the monorail beam and infrastructure heights.
 - For the Skway, we dug into that extreme angle turn and how tight it actually was. Using aerial photography, we found it to be around sixty degrees. So this is somewhat different when compare to some other angles claimed.

Listener Mail

  1. Big thanks to all the new "Binge Listeners" - we get tons of messages from new listeners who hit up the entire catalog at a rapid rate. This is so cool!
  2. Kathryn wrote in, asking about the old shops on Main Street. She brings up some miniature jelly jars from the Market House. How & Brian let us know all about this location and some of the history of Main Street. Listen carefully, as some of it is still there today for you to try...
  3. Anthony wrote in, as a former cast member, sharing some great operational manuals and information. These should guide some future episodes and answer lots of questions.
  4. Finally, Brent wrote to us as a new listener. He first listened to Episode 40 and found that it filled in a memory gap about a skyway/gondola ride from years ago. We also discuss the muskets that were once available at the Walt Disney World Resort. 

Thank you for all the emails, tweets and comments you have sent our way. We try to respond to almost everything and do our best to pick unique questions for the show. 

Audio Rewind

First, we are giving away the Tammy Tuckey albums - Chris & Anna were our winners! They will each be contacted individually and congratulations!
Our audio rewind this month turned out to be Remember The Magic! The winner is Kristin Rappold, winning a copy of Mouse Tales. Great job and thanks for playing along to everybody!

If you think you know the answer to this month's audio rewind, email us! - This month the winner will win the EPCOT Explorers Encyclopedia.

All entries due 7/162018 and a random winner will be selected. Even if you don't win, you will gain an entry into the Second 2018 Prize Pot!

Prize Pot

It is time to pull our Prize Pot winner, for the first half of 2018. We go retro with our name pulling this time and pull a random name, from over 300 ping-pong balls. Number 211 came out, and Rick Webster is our winner! Congratulations Rick, we are so excited for you!

2018 Prize Pot #1 Contents

  • EPCOT Poster Set
  • RetroWDW Logo Embroidered Hat
  • McFarkle Family Christmas Card created by our fan, Reese
  • EPCOT Center Coin / Medallion
  • Mickey Earforce One Balloon Pin
  • Set of Retro Disney Pennants
  • Turning Dreams into Reality - Autographed by Bob Gurr!

    Our second Prize Pot for 2018 has also started. The first item is:

  • WDW Resort Pocket Sewing Kit

Main Topic

Fort Wilderness Railroad

So this month, we take you back to Fort Wilderness. The main topic is the now removed Fort Wilderness Railroad that provided transportation inside the resort in a unique way. Todd has done his research, focusing on text and personal interviews to give us an amazingly detailed picture into the railroad. If you are familiar with Fort Wilderness, you know that they use the standard bus transportation for the internal resort loop. In the past, they even had the 'trams' that are very similar to the parking lots and also the now gone Backlot Tour. 
We focus though on a much earlier mode of transportation, the railroad. Todd goes into the history, construction, engineering and even some of the myths that have grown over the years. If you think you know why the railroad shut down, you might learn something new or something different in this episode. Fort Wilderness is a fan favorite, has a following and this will be some amazing and unknown history for tons of people.  Hope you enjoy!


Fort Wilderness Railroad Video

Next Month

  • Join us next month as we discuss The Disney-MGM Studios in Episode 42!
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