This year is Back to the Future’s 30th anniversary. This year is also the 30th anniversary of the travel agency I work at. Today we went through some old postcards and travel guides in the office. I had fun looking through a 1993 Walt Disney World guide as well as a few large binders with information on each state. Before computers and google searches were around, travel agents had to use huge guides to help clients choose a vacation destination. In one of these huge guides, I found a few paragraphs on Disney. Tickets were eight dollars for adults then. Yes you read that correctly. Only eight dollars. Now one day tickets are about a hundred dollars. Parking was 50 cents. Now parking is close to twenty dollars. Hotels in the area started at thirty three dollars.
Animal Kingdom was not around yet. No one had heard of Anna or Elsa. Orlando was not yet the tourist destination it is today. It was a different World. I used to think that if I could ever travel back in time, I would go back to the opening of Disneyland or Walt Disney World. But today I thought about how much fun it would be to go back to the 80’s version of WDW that my parents experienced. I’d like to see Discovery Island and River Country. I’d also like to experience the pavilions in Epcot again such as the Wonders of Life pavilion which is now just used for the festivals. So if I traveled back in time and had a day in Disney in the 80’s here’s how my day would go:
1) Wake up early and head to Magic Kingdom. Go on Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, the Skyway, the old Space Mountain (the new version post 2009 is much more wild), and visit Mickey’s Birthdayland (which later became Toontown, a place I loved visiting).
2) For lunch, I would head to Aunt Polly’s on Tom Sawyer Island (still there but no longer serves food). And for dessert, I would buy a sweet from the Main Street Bakery. I loved the old bakery, especially the chocolate chip cookies. The new Starbucks revamped bakery is sub-par in my opinion. Then I would go on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea just because my family says how horrible it was and I wish I could’ve gone on it once. I would also ride Mission to Mars in Tomorrowland.
3) I would take the monorail over to Epcot and go to the Wonders of Life pavilion and the Horizons pavilion and see EVERYTHING. I would also ride the old Spaceship Earth. If I felt especially daring, I would torture myself with riding Maelstrom in Norway.
4) Most importantly though, I would get a stash of face masks to color and have stamped at each World showcase pavilion to bring back to the future. I really dislike the standard Duffy kids ones. The masks allowed for more creativity.
5) I would then monorail back to Magic Kingdom so that I wouldn’t miss the Diamond Horseshoe Revue show for dinner. The park used to close much earlier than it does today so hopefully I would get to watch fireworks before leaving.
6) Finally I would head to Pleasure Island and try to experience as many of the clubs there as possible before heading back to the future.
(If I had a car I would also stop at Discovery Island to see what it was like and visit the construction site of Old Key West)