Looking Back: Magic Kingdom in 1987

Here is a new feature called Looking Back. Its purpose is to look back (obviously) at some old photos that I have taken sometime in the past, which should be particularly interesting if things have changed since that time.

The first installment is a look at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World back in June 1987. That actually was not my first visit to Walt Disney World, but it was my first visit where I had my own camera. These photos were all taken with my Pentax K1000, which I had received as a present for Christmas, 1986. Needless to say, I learned a lot about photography those first few years, and it is interesting to see how much different my photos from the next trip looked compared to these.

Anyway, on with the photos! Also, you can click on each one to get a larger view, too.

Walt Disney World was still celebrating its 15th Anniversary, which seems a little strange now that the 40th Anniversary has come and gone. In front of the Magic Kingdom was this large clock. But interestingly, the clock didn’t actually tell time. So I am not really sure of what its purpose was. Also, it looks strange to see that 1980s truck parked in front of the clock. General Motors was one of the big sponsors for the 15th Anniversary celebration, which evidently allowed them to promote their vehicles in front of the Magic Kingdom.

Back in those days, Tropical Serenade (as the Enchanted Tiki Room was known) had its Barker Bird out in front, who talked and sang and told about the show that was inside. Unfortunately, he was not brought back when the Under New Management show left the building.

This probably isn’t the best shot of the old Frontierland Station and the Roger E. Broggie engine, but I still like it. Splash Mountain sits in this location now, and its addition completely changed the atmosphere of this area.

I always enjoyed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, both the ride and the movie. The ride may not have had the biggest thrills, and it may not have had the fastest speed, but riding in a submarine looking out at the underwater sights was still thrilling to me. Maybe it is in some ways fitting that the new Little Mermaid attraction is where the 20,000 Leagues lagoon used to be.

Let’s take the Skyway! Back in those days, you could take the Skyway between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. It may not have been the fastest way to get there, but the view was certainly great. Those people in the Skyway car are actually my parents and my sister. I was in the next car with my grandparents and my cousin.

Here is a slightly un-level view of Tomorrowland from the Skyway. You can see that the old Tomorrowland was still there, and the old Star Jets had not been replaced by the Astro Orbiter yet. To me, that old look still had the feel of the future.

Nighttime brought the Main Street Electrical Parade, and this float was a special one created for the 15th Anniversary. Of course, it would have been better if I had gotten the whole float in the frame. But you can also see one of the turtles in the background.

What better way to end your day in the Magic Kingdom than with a stroll down Main Street USA at night? Before they had the cool color-changing lights on Cinderella Castle, they still had some pretty neat night lighting, even if it did stay the same all the time. The night atmosphere on Main Street has always been a great one.

That’s all for now. Check out the Looking Back section for more!

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.