Vintage Family Disney Vacation Kingdom Photo - Location Solved

Over the weekend, I posted a vintage photo of my family1 at Walt Disney World back in the early 1980's and talked about how I wasn't sure EXACTLY where the photo was taken nor was I sure why my sister and I were wearing these white tags on our clothes.  Here, again, is the photo in question below showing three of us wearing Mickey Ears and my mom looking very chic in the Florida heat.

See those tags on me and my Sister next to me that seem to be pinned or tied to our shirts?  Earlier this week, I posted about the details and solved *that* part of the mystery:  those are "Lost Parent" Tags with Mickey and Minnie Mouse on them.   

But, I still didn't know the location.  Of course, we're in a hat shop.  And, the cast member is wearing some sort of lederhosen-like outfit.  But, was it in Epcot @ the Germany pavillion?  Was it at The Chapeau in Magic Kingdom?  I wasn't sure.  

But, I knew that someone WOULD know the location.  And, the first place I turned was to the guys at RetroWDW who have a really great collection of vintage 1970's and 1980's Walt Disney World Resort photographs that they've collected over the years.  They are students of early Walt Disney World and have a post up about WHY they started the site - and it makes me smile reading this part of their inspiration story:

Why doesn’t someone make a place just for Retro Disney World? I want to see photos of the now-viewed-as-cheesy orange rug walls of the Contemporary; lets share stories of the wave machine on the Seven Seas Lagoon; what ever happened to the Oscar Meyer Wiener man at the Hospitality House? The answer was simple…create it. Yes I know what you are thinking…there are so many “fan sites” and forums out there and you are absolutely correct. However they are mostly tuned towards the latest news and attractions. There are mentions of retro-news and a few forum threads with old photos, but there isn’t one place where we can all come together with the past in mind. I’m also working to make this a prototype community if you will, where everyone writes, shares and blogs together.

If someone was going to be able to help me figure out the location of our family photo, it was going to be those guys.  So, I took a shot - and filled out the 'contact us' form on their site.  I heard back from two of the members of the site - both Brian Miles (Twitter handle) and Howard Bowers (His Twitter handle - is @goawaygreen - which is *very* clever. ) via email and they shared with me the answer.  

Here's the email they sent me.  I blurred out his email address and the guys they cc'd because I didn't ask for permission to post this and am not sure what they want to share publicly.   But, you can see Howard Bowers knew RIGHT AWAY where we were:

He shares that we are in The Mad Hatter shop in Fantasyland - and the "alpine suspenders are a dead giveaway".   How great is that?  

You'll also notice that in his email signature, he includes something called Lake Buena Vista Historical Society - you can read their mission here - which seems like a really interesting organization that focuses on the area that came to be Walt Disney World.  They take online donations, too.  Go over there and poke around the site a bit to learn more.  They share links to the RetroWDW site, so you can see how the two sites work together.  Speaking of which...there are a few parts of the RetroWDW site that you should check out:  Ephemera, Resort items and souvenirs.   There's lots of "Vacation Kingdom"-era stuff that makes me smile. 

1. [I saw 'family', but it is just my Momma, and my two closest-in-age sisters. My Dad and my oldest sister aren't present in the photo. Guessing my oldest sister is taking the photo.]


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