Tuesday, March 8, 2016

13 RARE and AMAZING Magic Kingdom Construction Photos You HAVE TO SEE

By Keith Mahne

Every blue moon a treasure trove of vintage Disney World photos will surface. That, my friends, is exactly what happened when a friend of Disney Avenue recently came across a small box of pictures belonging to her grandfather who had the pleasure of working as a craftsman during the creation of the Magic Kingdom. Learn all the details and see these rare and incredible photos for yourself in today's new article...

I can't get enough of vintage Disneyland and Disney World photos. I could stare at them for hours on end. But having the pleasure of seeing these remarkable photos of the Magic Kingdom as it comes to life is really something special. Before you see the photos, let me fill you in on their history. Here is Kelly Valdes whose grandfather worked on the Magic Kingdom and snapped these wonderful photos...

My grandfather was a master craftsman/woodworker and I believe he specifically took these pictures because these were some of the things he personally worked on. We remember him telling us he crafted the detailed and intricate woodwork around the windows in the train station at the front of the park, all the woodworking around the windows on Main Street, Cinderella Castle and Pinocchio's Village. My cousin remembers him saying he also crafted the amazing door at the Liberty Tavern, although I have no pictures of it (but have often seen it in person). 

Apparently Walt (Disney) had been very particular in the details of everything in the original Disneyland Park in California, and although he had already passed away prior to the Magic Kingdom opening, the legacy continued. Today, most visitors don’t realize the amazing craftsmanship that went into the smallest of touches in each building. The details of just the exterior windows and doors throughout the park are actually intricate pieces of art.
My grandfather passed away several years ago, and I just recently found a small box of pictures among his possessions being that my grandmother has now passed as well. No one in my family had seen these pictures before now. He obviously didn't know what a treasure they would be.

He worked for Disney until he retired and was an active Disney retiree... belonging to the "Golden Ears Club."  My grandmother also worked at the Magic Kingdom since before it opened and was one of the executive secretaries who helped set up the executive offices. My grandparents were one of 10 families that actually lived on Disney property... as Disney had to have some residents in order to incorporate Lake Buena Vista. There were literally 10 of them! I recently Googled this again just to see if that's changed and it's still true. In order to be part of this small group, they were handpicked, and they lived there until they passed away. It was so close to the Magic Kingdom that I could see fireworks from their front yard every night.
I had no idea when I originally posted these pictures on Facebook that so many people would love to see them. Thank you for sharing!  
Kelly Wise Valdes

Kelly, thank you for allowing Disney Avenue to share your grandfather's truly amazing photos. And now friends, here are the "13 rare and amazing Magic Kingdom construction photos you have to see"... 

A big THANK YOU goes out to Kelly Valdes and her family for giving us the privilege of sharing these stunning photos with the Disney Avenue community. Please join me in thanking Kelly and be sure to tell us what you think of these incredible photos from Walt Disney World's past in the comments below.


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. This is exactly why I'm such a fan of Disney Avenue. You always have the best articles. Thank you Kelly for sharing these awesome photos with the Disney community. WOW!!

  2. These are wonderful photos! What a special treasure and special memories. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Love articles like these from you guys! I get so sick of the same old news stories that get shared over and over again by other Disney sites. I love the history and rarely seen and heard of things that you focus on. Keep up the great work Disney Avenue!!