Fastpass to History:  Who needs a Magic Band

Fastpass to History: Who needs a Magic Band

Who needs a Magic Band

When I was a young boy we ventured from Indiana to Florida once a year with our extended family in a large RV.   We had a blast on the trip down and loved staying in the Fort Wilderness Campground.    Once on property everyone in the party received a Walt Disney World Identification Card.  Here is my card from 1978(no that’s not my signature as I was too young to sign)  , did you save any of yours?

Fort Wilderness Pass 2

This card was used to prove you were staying on property whenever boarding Disney transportation or any other area of the resort that required identification.   One other feature was you could charge items from stores and restaurants back to your account by just showing the number on the card.   Oh times were so simple, who needed electronics and Magic Bands when you could just use a hand written number.    As you can see the card did not get you admission into the one and only theme park at the time.    Do you save your Disney Park Cards?

Fastpass to History: Magic Kingdom Club

Fastpass to History: Magic Kingdom Club

Magic Kingdom Club

On our recent trip home for the Holiday’s, my parents gave me the bag below filled with a bunch of our old Disney trip documentation.   The bag was a gift when they purchased the Magic Kingdom Club Gold Card.   Were you ever a member?

Magic Kingdom Club Gold Card

The Magic Kingdom Club was created in 1957 as a marketing vehicle to get more people into the parks.   The club offered discounts and special ticket pricing to employees of large companies.   The card was handed out as a perk to many employees.   With the opening of Disney World, the club expanded to Florida and grew to over 6 million card holders and 30,000 companies.

In the 1980’s the Magic Kingdom Club Gold Card was created for those that didn’t work for a participating company where membership could be obtained for a fee.   The Magic Kingdom Club changed names in 2000 and became the Disney Club which was no longer a free club and required all members to pay a membership fee.    The Disney Club only lasted a couple years before it was also shut down.    Do you miss the club?   Would you feel more connected to Disney if you were a member of a club, or is your magic band enough?

Fastpass to History:  Aulani

Fastpass to History: Aulani

We continue our Aulani themed week with our Fastpass to History lesson on Aulani.   The resort opened in August of 2011 becoming the third Disney Vacation Club resort located outside of Disney theme park property.   The resort cost over $800 million and has provided over 1,000 jobs to the area.

But what intrigued me the most about Aulani was Disney’s continued attention to detail and the amount of time and attention that went into bringing this resort to life.   Disney worked hand  in hand with locals to create Aulani and it shows.   From the name Aulani which means “the messenger of a chief”, and also “the one who delivers a message from a higher authority” down to the local artifacts on display throughout the resort.   My father and I were lucky enough to be able to attend the Maka ʽIka ʽI The Art Of Aulani Tour (video below) which was an amazing tour of the resort and how the Hawaiian culture is found throughout.

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Fastpass to History:  First Disney Parade Balloon

Fastpass to History: First Disney Parade Balloon

It was in 1934 that Mickey Mouse was introduced into what was then called the Macy’s Santa Claus Parade, today known as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Mickey Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon

Mickey Mouse Makes His Debut at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, 1934 (Courtesy of Getty Images)


The balloon was the biggest ever produced by Disney at over 40 feet tall.  The balloon was hand painted and included  a star on his chest for the Macy’s logo.   There were 25 handlers each dressed as Mickey or Minnie.   The parade in 1934 didn’t just include Mickey, it also contained a smaller Pluto balloon, a Big Bad Wolf, a Little Pig, and a Horace Horsecollar to round out the Disney lineup.

Disney has been included in all of the Macy’s days parades often times celebrating major milestones of the company.   Donald Duck debuted in 1935 and joined hands with Mickey in 1972 to celebrate the first anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort.   Donald also celebrated his 50th birthday in the 1984 parade.   Santa Goofy joined the parade in 1992, and in 2000 the Bandleader Mickey balloon had the amazing honor of leading the first parade of the new millennium.

One of the more recent Disney balloons include the Sailor Mickey balloon in 2009 and 2010 celebrating the Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships.   In the 2013 Parade you will see Buzz Lightyear in his 6th Parade, Buzz was the first balloon to use clear material.   Spider-Man will also be included in this years parade from the Marvel side of Disney.

What is your favorite part of the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Spider-Man Balloon - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Buzz Lightyear Balloon - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


Fastpass to History: Theater in the Wild

Fastpass to History: Theater in the Wild

We all love Finding Nemo the Musical in Animal Kingdom’s Theater in the Wild, but do you remember what was in this theater before Nemo?

Tarzan Rocks

Originally an open-air amphitheater, that means no AC folks, the Theater in the Wild has been home to 3 fun filled shows.

  • From opening day of Animal Kingdom until July 1999 (just over 1 year), the theater was the home to Journey into Jungle Book.   Featuring, of course, song and characters from the classic movie the Jungle Book.
  • Jungle Book was replaced by Tarzan Rocks, which ran in the theater until Jan 2006.   Tarzan Rocks did just that, it Rocked with performers singing many of our favorite Phil Collins songs from the animated feature.   The show was filled with amazing aerial trapeze and in line skating acrobatics.
  • Jan 2007 until today the Theater is presenting – Finding Nemo the Musical.    Based on the hit animated movie, this must-“sea” adventure makes a splash with spectacular music and stunning theatrical puppetry.

Which of these shows did you get to see?   Which one is your favorite?   Leave a comment and let us know…..

Fastpass to History:  Epcot Discovery Center

Fastpass to History: Epcot Discovery Center

Epcot Discovery Center

Are you a learner?   Did you visit the Epcot Discovery Center, or the EPCOT Outreach and EPCOT Teacher’s Center.   Yes these were back in the days of all CAPS EPCOT.   Originally called Epcot Outreach, the center provided information, referrals, and reference material via displays, computer print outs and printed brochures.   A professional librarian and research assistance were available to provide additional aid in obtaining facts in many of the fields presented at EPCOT.

The center was designed to “meet the overwhelming response from guests who want to know more details about the subjects and technologies that are showcased at Epcot Center” stated Martin Sklar.   The center was located in CommuniCore (Community Core), in 1994 CommuniCore was closed and redesigned into Innoventions.   During this makeover the Outreach and Teacher’s Center were combined into the Epcot Discovery Center.   The Discovery Center closed in October of 1998.

Did you get the chance to visit CommuniCore?  EPCOT Outreach?  EPCOT Teacher’s Center?  Or, Epcot Discovery Center?   Let us know what you enjoyed in the comments below.     Be sure to check out all the other great history on the hop today.