November 28, 2011

Relaxing Lake Buena Vista

Here's a real find! It's not too often that we see concept art for Walt Disney World's own real town of Lake Buena Vista. Long before the city of Celebration, the small community of Lake Buena Vista remained an enjoyable respite from the crowds. During the planning stages for Walt's east coast spectacular, the Imagineers were hard at work defining green spaces, pedestrian areas, hotels, and backstage facilities. Far more than just the Magic Kingdom theme park!And here's a small glimpse of their work.

Personally, this image conjures up the Walt Disney World of old. In addition to the "East Coast Disneyland", there were quiet spaces for rest and relaxation far from the folks running from one attraction to the next. A week in Florida there meant more time to enjoy the extensive recreational facilities and the shops and restaurants. I have sweet memories of chilled Strawberry Soup and the quiet garden shop at the Village.

As much as I love Epcot and enjoy the newer parks and water parks, there was a sweet simplicity then. It was easy to be anywhere at Walt Disney World and think you were in the middle of an entirely different one. Now, with the roadways covering almost every area of the property, busses perpetually transporting guests to each corner, and four world class theme parks to explore, it is hard to remember how it was at the beginning. Time marches on.
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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