Category Archives: Fastpass to History

Forgotten Films from the 80s

Many people look at The Little Mermaid as sparking a new golden age of Disney films.  For the most part, they are right.  The Little Mermaid did bring back Walt Disney Animation to the forefront.  But today, I want to talk about the movies which preceded The Little Mermaid.  There are five very good movies sandwiched between the 1977 release of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the 1989 release of The Little Mermaid.

Continue reading Forgotten Films from the 80s

World of Motion

World of Motion is the focus of today’s Fastpass to History.  This attraction was one of the original Future World attractions.  It had a great 13-year run before it was closed for over two years.  During this period, it was completely redesigned and turned into Test Track.

General Motors has always been the sponsor of this attraction and its flagging sales in the mid-90’s was the cause of the redesign from World of Motion to Test Track.  General Motors wanted an attraction that focus solely on cars and Disney Imagineers worked with them to design Test Track.

But that is the future, this post is about the time when Test Track was World of Motion.  This attraction was a lot like Spaceship Earth – a long duration Omnimover attraction.  From start to finish, the attraction took around 15 minutes.

The attraction started with the early history of travel starting with, of course, your feet before moving on to rafts, animal power, and the chariot.

World of Motion #1


The attraction continued into the role of Leonardo di Vinci and flight.  Then dove into the role of steam power up and down the Mississippi River before putting you in the middle of the world’s first “traffic jam.”  The attraction closed with the future of travel and transformed your Omnimover into a simulated car of tomorrow as you entered the CenterCore (city of the future).

World of Motion #2

The car, to me, looks like a larger version of the Tron Cycles.

Tron Cycle

That is today’s Fastpass to History look at World of Motion.  Do any of our readers remember going on this original EPCOT Center attraction.

Thanks for reading!


Walt Disney World Golf Classic

Continuing with my theme from last week on Fastpass to History, I’m going to look at another sporting event that Walt Disney World used to host….the Walt Disney World Golf Classic.  This event ran for 40-plus years from the park’s opening in 1971 to 2012.  In fact, one could argue that the first “non-park related event” that Walt Disney World hosted was the 1971 Walt Disney World Invitational held December 2nd through December 5th, 1971.  This event was won by Jack Nicklaus, who then went on to win the 1972 and 1973 invitationals as well.

Jack Nicklaus

Continue reading Walt Disney World Golf Classic

The Mickyard – Walt Disney World Speedway

The Walt Disney World Speedway is one of the few non-parks or resort locations that just about every guest passes on their way to the Magic Kingdom.  It takes a lot of space.  It took a decent amount of parking though that parking area is used on only the busiest of days.

Why was the Walt Disney World Speedway built?  Did any series any race at “The Mickyard?”  Why is still standing when other speedways have been torn down in the recent past?  Let’s take a look at the Walt Disney World Speedway.

Continue reading The Mickyard – Walt Disney World Speedway

The Original Top of the World Lounge

Continuing with today’s theme of The Contemporary Resort, we go back in time to the original Top of the World Lounge.  When The Contemporary opened in 1971, what we know as California Grill was The Top of the World Lounge.  The lounge was more of a supper club where guests could listen to popular music acts of the era.  There was no Wishes or fireworks show.  As a result, there was no outside view area.  The evening entertainment was the show inside.  It varied from acts like Mel Torme to Phyllis Diller.  The dinner cost was between $9.50 and $13.50 while there was a $5 cover charge in 1972 which had risen to $7.50 by 1982.  There were two seatings for dinner 6:30 pm for the 8:30 pm show and 9:30 pm for the 11:30 pm show.

photo courtesy of walt dated world
photo courtesy of walt dated world
photo courtesy of disney park history
photo courtesy of disney park history

In the mornings, the Top of the World served a daily breakfast and lunch buffet.  On Sundays, a brunch buffet was served.

As the resort moved into the 80’s, the club became more of a lounge and less of a supper club.  Areas to watch the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom were added.  The Top of the World Lounge closed in 1993 and reopened in 1995 as California Grill.

When Bay Lake Tower, in the early 2000’s, was constructed the lounge on the top floor was named The Top of the World Lounge as an homage to the original lounge from the 70’s.

photo courtesy of walt dated world
photo courtesy of walt dated world

Information for this article was gathered from:

Contemporary Resort of the Past

This Week at WDW – Summer 1972