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Thursday Treasures

June 16, 2011 by Brent Dodge
Mapping it out

When people talk about their Disney treasures, most people begin to think of Disney pins, artwork, or Vinylmation. People don't usually think about the simple things like the memories of their first vacation, or the title of being a Triviateer, or even collecting cheap things like popcorn buckets, gift cards, or today's subject: maps.

This past December I received one of the greatest presents ever (from Triviateer Gary Pyle) in the form of an opening year Magic Kingdom park map!!! I have always enjoyed looking at park maps, especially after my vacation. They are a great (free) keepsake that allows you to return to the most magical place on earth just by looking at the layout of the land.

In my closet back home in Wisconsin I have a map of each park (each from around the year 2000) nailed against the wall. While writing my book I began to stare at these maps more and more trying to see what was no longer there and figuring out what it'd be like to visit the map at that time. Today, however, we will be traveling back to 1971 as we take a look at some of the details of the following map:

I often find myself staring at this treasure trying to figure out what it would be like to visit the Magic Kingdom back in October of 1971. When you really look at the details you begin to realize that several of the attractions we all know and love today aren't even present.

Sure we have The Jungle Cruise and the Tomorrowland Speedway (both of which take up large portions of the map), but notice the lack of pirates, spacesuits, runaway trains, Peoplemovers, and rabbits lookin' fer trouble.

On the other side of things, while staring at the map you begin to remember past attractions that were around, but are no longer. There are the obvious, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. There are also the often overlooked like Mike Fink's Keelboats or America the Beautiful.

Next time you are at the park, make sure you pick up your park map. Sure you may know your way around with no problem, but just imagine what someone 40 years from now will be thinking when they see an empty space where the new Little Mermaid attraction will then sit or the fact that Dumbo is in the center of Fantasyland instead of just north of the Speedway. In 40 years, today's maps will truly be treasures of their own!


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