Friday, June 16, 2017

RARE Video Footage of the Walt Disney World Preview Center

By Keith Mahne

In mid-January of 1970, the Walt Disney World Preview Center became the first building on WDW property to be opened to the public. The preview center contained many artist renderings along with updated aerial pictures of the construction. The main attraction in the building was a theater that housed a film and a 625 square foot model of the property that would be illuminated as the film discussed different areas of the park. Wouldn't you love to have seen this place? Today we will do just that with this rarely seen video footage of the Walt Disney World Preview Center from 1970 that you have got to see...

The Walt Disney World Preview Center has been covered many times in the past by several different Disney blogs including right HERE on These articles usually tell you about the history of the old preview center and feature a few vintage photos like the ones above. Up until now, I have never seen any particularly good video footage of the preview center aside from one very grainy video excerpt from the Walt Disney Productions' Project Florida Film which you can find HERE. But that is all about to change friends because you are about to feast your eyes on some high definition (or as high definition as you can get from a video originally filmed in 1970) of the old Walt Disney World Preview Center...

The video clip originates from an old news segment titled Cape Kennedy: Effects of the Space Rundown. Here is the storyline from 1970...


Having spent 24 billion dollars on the Apollo program to get men to the moon, the United States government is now beginning to scale down America's space program. NASA's budget has fallen from $6 billion in 1966 to a little over half that this year [1970]. At the Kennedy Space Center, thousands have been laid off and the local authorities are trying to promote tourism to replace space as a revenue earner. Beaches and inland waterways are being developed and at Orlando a vast new pleasure ground, Disney World, is due to open in October next year.

The video footage you are about to see is truly an incredible time capsule back to the infancy of the Walt Disney World Resort. The video begins with the original Walt Disney World Preview Center sign that you'll love. It then cuts to a young boy wearing an original WDW Mickey Mouse ear hat (that I hope he kept all these years later) with his mother as they look at some Disney topiaries (listen carefully at the mother's voice...I love her southern belle accent). We are then taken inside the preview center and into the theater. The show begins and we see the large WDW Property Model that is illuminated based on the narration of what's to come. Be on the lookout for the original Polynesian Resort concept model as well as the never-built Asian, Venetian and Persian Resort models. This is then followed by a clip of a Walt Disney World Preview Center hostess explaining the Contemporary Resort concept art and the monorail. The video footage then ends with a wonderful shot of the Walt Disney World site which appears to have been cleared of trees but has yet to be built upon. But now, it's time for you to watch this rarely seen and remarkable look back at the beginning of the Vacation Kingdom of the World for yourself. Enjoy friends...

(For your viewing pleasure, be sure to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player at the top, left-hand corner of the page prior to playing 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.

You can find all of Keith's articles here.


  1. That is really cool! And the original building is still there, and is surrounded by commercial development. (I located it on Google maps)

  2. I went there at age 12. Recall seeing the model show and taking pictures of all the framed art and models. A great memory, thanks.

  3. Thanks so much for this. Our family went there in '70 .I was 14 and was of course anxious for it to open. Our youth group went to D.W. in ' how things have changed for the better.