There are few things we enjoy more than looking through old family photos and seeing what Disney World used to look like.
Almost like a time capsule of sorts, these photos give us a glimpse into what Disney World was like back in the ’90s, ’80s, and even ’70s! We also get a fun reminder of what fashion and hairstyles used to look like as well. 😉
We had our writers and staff send in old family pictures and the results were AMAZING. We hope you enjoy looking through this digital album as much as we did!
Revisiting the Park Icons Over the Years!
While the Disney parks “will never be complete,” the park icons have (more or less) remained the same throughout the years! Here’s a photo we found of Cinderella Castle from 1980, less than ten years after the park first opened.
No matter where we visit from, our family photos have the same, beautiful castle in the background.
In the past, we may notice that Main Street, U.S.A. seemed a lot “quieter” than it has been in recent years.
Well, for every ‘quiet’ Main Street photo, we found a ‘busy’ photo to match! Here’s Main Street, U.S.A. from 1985, looking awfully similar to Main Street crowds these days (with the exception of a few different hair and fashion choices).
There was one MASSIVE, noticeable change in 1996, however! Do you remember the castle’s complete transformation into a giant cake for Disney World’s 25th Anniversary?!
Speaking of anniversaries, here’s a picture we dug up from Disney World’s 15th Anniversary!
Here’s a facade that has seen some changes over the years, but to this day still stands: the replica Chinese Theater at the entrance of Hollywood Studios (although when this picture was taken, the park went by a different name…let us know in the comments if you know what we’re talking about)!
And here’s a snapshot from Animal Kingdom’s earliest years, in front of the iconic Tree of Life!
Meeting Beloved Characters For the First Time
We recently shared the “My First Disney Character Challenge,” in which fans are invited to share their earliest moments with some of their favorite Disney characters! We found tons of these special moments! Here’s an adorable moment with Snow White. (Yep, she’s wearing a watch! That’s a super sweet backstory where one of our photographer’s family members gave Snow a Snow White watch and she wore it for their photo!)
We all remember meeting Mickey Mouse, but Donald Duck might have a bone to pick if you don’t remember meeting HIM for the first time!
And here’s Friar Tuck from Robin Hood meeting one of his youngest admirers! Also, check out this old-school stroller… .
And obviously we can’t forget including at least ONE photo of an early meet-and-greet with Mickey and Minnie Mouse! We’re obsessed with Minnie’s flower hat!
In fact, meeting Mickey back then was a pretty different experience than meeting him now. Who else remembers character interactions being a bit of a “free for all?”
We swapped a couple of stories regarding the number of character photos we have in our collection with folks NOT from our family! Check out this photo as an example. These two aren’t related at all!
And of course, meeting Goofy is always a special occasion, no matter how old you are! Does anyone else still have that 90s Daisy baseball hat? Or is it just us?
And here’s a fun parade moment for ya! Anyone else remember Mickey’s Street Party Parade from 1985?
Even MORE Amazing Photos Taken Throughout the Parks!
Whether it’s getting on a classic Disney World ride or sitting down to eat, we found a lot of one-of-a-kind photographs from past vacations.
One staff member found a duo of Dumbo photos, taken one year apart at both Disney World AND Disneyland (and no, the coordinating yellow Dumbo was NOT planned)! Can you tell which Dumbo is from which park?
Anyone remember 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? We certainly do!
And here’s a blast from the past: our beloved Garden Grill Restaurant used to be called The Land Grille Room! It was super fancy and amazing and had MICKEY SHAPED BUTTER STATUES.
One of the greatest gifts these photos give us every time we look at them is a stark reminder of the fashion trends and style choices we all made back in the day.
Whether it was the clothes we chose to wear or the way we styled our hair, we were certainly not afraid to make some bold choices. We think we looked pretty fabulous back then if you ask us! And peep that fab Epcot merch bag!
Here are some wonderful 80s hairstyles on Jungle Cruise!
We even gave those street performers a run for their money with our style choices!
But at the end of the day, fashion trends come and go, but we’re still reaching for our shades and Mickey Ice Cream Bar with our napkin bib on.
We hope you enjoyed our brief trip down Disney World Memory Lane! Over the years, much has changed (from the rides to restaurants to our hair and outfits), but a lot has remained the same: our love of Disney parks!
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What was the first year you visited Disney World? Do you remember that trip? Let us know in the comments!