Saturday, March 4, 2017

Walt Disney Presents: An Adventure in the Magic Kingdom (1958) - 9 stars out of 10

Walt Disney Presents: An Adventure in the Magic Kingdom (1958) - 9 stars out of 10

“Walt Disney Presents: An Adventure in the Magic Kingdom” captures a timeless snapshot of Walt Disney’s original vision for his theme park.  With a dozen parks worldwide, it’s fascinating to see how their offerings have transformed from simple dark rides and walkthroughs to elaborate experiences that utilize some of the most advanced technologies available.  Though this 1958 tv special predates many of the park’s renovations (including the Monorail, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion), I was surprised to see how much there was to do at this park.  It would have been very easy to fill a day with adventures on Tom Sawyer Island, Autopia, the Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight, and any of the park’s three trains.  I was also surprised to see the film’s depiction of foreign tourists and Frontierland before our society became politically correct. Like the part where they literally encourage a bunch of children to fire guns at invading “Indians.”  This tv special was the first look at Disney's park for many people around the country and I can imagine how badly someone would want to visit after getting this taste.  The POV shots of the rides capture the magic and every guest has a huge smile on their face.  The clothing, transportation, and societal expectations have changed but Walt’s dream has not.  Disney parks continue to provide a place where parents and children can play together and “An Adventure in the Magic Kingdom” preserves an archive of where it all started.

Watch the special here:

[Pictured: Tinker Bell is your tour guide through the "Magic Kingdom," but not the Floridian one that initially comes to mind]

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