In November of 1979, a much younger version of myself (I was 10 years old at the time) made his first journey to that magical land! It would be 21-1/2 years before I would return with my own family.

As you all know, there was a huge amount change in that time period...how about 3 more parks, dozens of resorts, and hundreds of rides and attractions! Yet, still, there were some memories burned in my mind that were there to greet me upon my return! (Two of my favorites were not there... 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea & Mr. Toad's Wild Ride)

Just to put it into perspective, when I visited there was only one park: Magic Kingdom. We were told of a magical place called EPCOT that was to open soon! In the park we could see a new roller coaster being built...a train running through a mountain!

While we were there, we stayed at the "Treehouse Villas" (see picture below)! Originally intended to be part of the "Lake Buena Vista Village", the Treehouses later became "Village Resort", then part of the Disney Institute, and eventually a golf course. Saratoga Springs now occupies much of the DI grounds. Check out this new Re-Cap of the life of this resort!

My parents purchased some Pana-Vue Slides of Walt Disney World (circa 1970's) during the trip. You can view them here.

UPDATE: The Treehouse Villas have officially re-opened as part of DVC Saratoga Springs! Check it out!

Here are some photos from that visit:

Tom (author) visiting Walt Disney World in Nov. 1979
My first time behind the wheel at the Speedway!
(Look! No waiting lines!)
Tom (author) visiting Walt Disney World in Nov. 1979
My brother and I (blue cap) meet a character.
I'm thinking this is near the Haunted Mansion?
(Where are the crowds?)
The Disney Treehouse Villas <---
This is my sister
on the deck of the Treehouse Villa that we stayed at. Each morning several peacocks would greet us on the deck with the hopes of getting "breakfast" from us. Of course, we complied!

Treehouse Villas: These two-bedroom octagonal villas were on top of ten-foot high pedestals to withstand flooding and allow for natural drainage. They were built in the mid-1970s as part of "Lake Buena Vista Village".

"Lake Buena Vista Village" was originally intended to have permanent residents (much like the original EPCOT). However, it turns out that permanent residents would then have the right to "vote" on park openings, etc. Eventually, the only Disney place to have permanent residents was the "Town of Celebration".

The Treehouses later became part of the Disney Institute, and eventually a golf course. Saratoga Springs now occupies much of the DI grounds.

 

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