During a rare moment of creative organization, I found some never before seen (to you) Walt Disney World images from years past. There are images of attractions, parades, and special events — some you may recall, and some may have faded into your Disney memory archives. Regardless, I hope that for you, they bring back happy memories of past trips to the Happiest Place on Earth.
A few weeks ago, I shared photos and memories from 2006. Today, we’re going back in time to 2005. It was the year that Hurricane Katrina impacted coastal and inland Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Houston Astros in four games to win their first World Series since 1917. And it was the year that the Walt Disney World Resort introduced Strive for Five, their property-wide energy-saving initiative. Are you ready? Let’s take another Walt Disney World photo walk down memory lane!
Does anyone remember this troupe of strength ballet gymnasts that performed on Innovations Plaza? Dressed in futuristic, glittery spandex costumes, the Kristos performed throughout the week, several times per day. Accompanied by the electronic, space-age music of The Orb and Jean Michel Jarre, The Kristos displayed balance, and flexibility with each of their measured and controlled movements. AKA the “Visiting Alien Contortionists,” the Kristos ended their run at Walt Disney World in September 2006.
Festival of the Masters
First held at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975, I became acquainted with the Festival of the Masters sometime around 2003. With over 150 award-winning folk and fine artists, 200 chalk artists, live entertainment, and family-friendly activities, the Festival took place each November and sponsored by Sharpie®. When the Downtown Disney development project initiated in 2014, and with the extent of the construction and parking limitations, Disney canceled the Festival for 2014. But now we have the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, which debuted in 2016.
Happiest Celebration on Earth
From May 2005 through September 2006, Walt Disney World joined in the 50th anniversary of Disneyland with the Happiest Celebration on Earth. During the celebration, a new attraction, Soarin’, debuted at EPCOT; the Animal Kingdom welcomed the Yeti with Expedition Everest; Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show kicked into gear at Hollywood Studios; and Tokyo Disneyland’s Cinderellabration kicked off at the Magic Kingdom. In the photo, you can see the Happiest Celebration on Earth logo on the Monorail. But what does the “10” topiary mean? In 2005 it was the tenth anniversary of the Walt Disney World International Food and Wine Festival.
ABC Super Soap Weekend
Super Soap Weekend was at Hollywood Studios from 1996-2008. It was an opportunity for soap fans to meet and greet their favorite soap stars. Organized by Disney and ABC, the event featured a celebrity motorcade, a street jam with music and dancing, Q and A panel discussions, autograph stations, and a Casting Call competition for Guests to win an ABC soap walk-on role. In its heyday, the event was popular, but as interest in network programming declined, so did ABC Super Soap Weekend.
Have you ever noticed the number of bicycles used in the streetmosphere at Walt Disney World? (That sounds like a topic for a new blog post!) The flower be-decked bike in this photograph, parked near the outdoor kiosk at the Epcot France Pavilion, is now gone. Is it the same bicycle currently parked along the International Gateway canal? Note the Kodak Picture Spot sign behind the bike! The picture spots still exist throughout Walt Disney World, but Kodak ended its sponsorship as the Disney Parks film and camera supplier in 2012.
In the next, That Was the Year That Was at Walt Disney World we will travel back to 2007. And once again, I feel a song coming on — something by the Sherman Brothers — Making memories. Making memories. Taking pictures is making memories.
To learn more about Kathy and read her other posts on WDW Radio, visit her author page.
(All photos from the personal collection of Kathy Wicks.)