Fans of all things Disney will no doubt know of the importance of the 1964 New York World’s Fair on the Disney Theme Parks. It is at this fair, for which Disney created 4 shows, that the “Audio-Animatronics” and “People Mover” ride systems were designed and perfected.
The fair opened 50 years ago, April 22nd.
When I saw this children’s book at the Flea Market a couple of years ago, I picked it up, curious to see if any of the Disney pavilions would be included.
By Mary Pillsbury, illustrated by Catherine Barnes. Published by Spertus Publishing Company in 1964.
Lovely illustrations. Still trying to find some Disney.
And there it was, a piece of Disney history illustrated in this great book.
Ford Motors presented “Ford’s Magic Skyway” a WED (now Imagineering) designed pavilion. It included an early prototype of what would become the People Mover ride system. The ride moved the audience through scenes featuring life-sized audio-animatronic Dinosaurs and cavemen.
Indeed, the book even refers to this as “a Walt Disney wonderland of Past, Present and Future”.
These same Dinos can still be seen today in Disneyland’s Railroad Primeval World diorama.
But wait, there’s more!
Next came a look at “Small World”!
At the Pepsi Pavilion, “Pepsi Presents Walt Disney’s It’s a Small World – a Salute to UNICEF and the World’s Children” (whew!) was featured. I think we are all familiar with “It’s a Small World”, but if not, it features animated dolls representing the world’s children and animals, and a song by the Sherman Brothers which, if you’ve started to hum it will be stuck in your head all day now.
“In each country they passed, thanks to Walt Disney, they saw animated figures of children dressed in picturesque costumes-and there were even the right animals for each country!”
And how much did I pay for this little “time machine”? $1.00!