Advent Calendar House: Christmas at Walt Disney World (1978)
Day 9: It’s mime time at the Most Magical Place on Earth in the 1978 TV special, Christmas at Walt Disney World, featuring Shields and Yarnell as the most 1978 couple imaginable, Pablo Cruise and their indifference to help a screaming woman escape from pirates, Phyllis Diller in the world’s poofiest princess dress, the Doritos guy as a wildly off-model Geppetto, Dee from What’s Happening as an ungrateful passenger in a magical pumpkin coach, and Broadway’s original Annie singing Christmas carols with surprisingly reverent Disney villains.
On this episode
- Mike Westfall (@fallwestmike), a wooden toy soldier who somehow qualified for foreign combat despite being unable to stay in formation.
- Drew Crowley (@pizzanautgo) of The Hourchive.
- John Dedeke (@johndedeke), also of The Hourchive, and Long Weekend.
Topics and tangents
- A map of what Walt Disney World looked like in 1978.
- Vault Disney.
- Mystery solved: How My Favorite Things became a Christmas song.
- The opening music, The Great Gate of Kiev, part of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and the entrance theme for Jerry “The King” Lawler.
- Dick Clark interviews Shields and Yarnell on American Bandstand, 1976.
- Drew eating a gigantic spoonful of mashed potatoes at the Liberty Tree Tavern.
- Photos from the long-abandoned Discovery Island in 2009.
- Disney’s short-lived plans of reopening Discovery Island as an attraction based on Myst.
- MSN: The History (and Mystery) Behind Discovery Island.
- 1-day admission to the Magic Kingdom plus a book of attraction tickets in 1978 cost $13, according to this Ticket Price Guide.
- Ernest Goes to Splash Mountain.
- I miss Winnie-the-Pooh with the honey pot on his head.
- Giant, smoking cigars in a theme park parade for children.
- The (1970s) Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World.
- That time Kraft saluted Walt Disney World’s 10th anniversary.