Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A RARE Slideshow of WDW's Magic Kingdom from September 1971

By Keith Mahne

We have another real treat for you today here on Disney Avenue. Another friend of the site has shared something really special with us and I can't wait to show it to you. Gray Grimme, who had been working for Admiral Joe Fowler and Buena Vista Construction the spring and early summer of 1971 getting Walt Disney World ready to open, has a wonderful slideshow he'd like to share with us. The slideshow features some amazing shots of the Magic Kingdom in September 1971, a month before it opened, with some really rare and stunning views of the Park. Join us today as we take a look back to Walt Disney World a month before the resort opened to the world...

The incredible footage you are about to see is a short little video Gary Grimme made of the very first preview of the Magic Kingdom prior to it opening on October 1, 1971, in mid-September of that year. This was a special day granted to everyone who had worked on the construction of the Magic Kingdom. Gary tells us he had been working for Joe Fowler of Buena Vista Construction that spring & early summer of 1971. He was hired that June to work on the Contemporary Resort, and was still at work on October 1, 1971 when the general public was first allowed into the park. You'll notice in some of the photos that you'll see ladders, scaffolding, red barrier tape and other assorted construction items that would be gone by opening day. This is an extremely special and candid look at the Magic Kingdom and we thank Gary for sharing this with us.

Here and now is Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom as seen on September of 1971, a month before the Park would open to the world. Enjoy friends...

(Please pause the Disney Avenue Music Player in the top left-hand corner prior to watching the video below if you are on a desktop computer.)


Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four. Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.


  1. Keith,
    A question from the Disney Group on Face Book wanted to know if posting comments was an option. That would be yes!