It’s funny the places you wind up on the Internet, and sometimes what you find can be just fascinating. Cruising through Facebook one afternoon, I ran across a set of photos of Magic Kingdom being built from the ground up. If you’ve ever spent any time around true Disney fanatics, you know they love to discuss all things historical about their beloved Walt Disney World.
These photos, pictures I had never seen anywhere on any Disney-themed site before, were simply incredible. So I contacted the poster, Kelly Wise Valdes from Largo, Fl., for permission to share both the pictures and the story behind these incredible images. We’ll let Kelly tell us all about these photos.
My grandfather, Mr. Chet Wise, was a master craftsman/woodworker. I believe he specifically took these pictures at Disney World because these were some of the things he personally worked on. We remember him telling us he crafted the detailed and intricate woodwork around the windows in the train station at the front of the park. He also did all the woodworking around the windows on Main Street, Cinderella’s Castle and Pinnochio’s Village. My cousin remembers him saying he crafted the amazing door at the Liberty Tavern. Although I have no picture of it, I have often seen it in person.
Apparently Walt Disney had been very particular in the details of everything in the original Disneyland Park in California, and although he had already passed away prior to the Magic Kingdom opening, the legacy continued.
Today, most visitors don’t realize the amazing craftsmanship that went into the smallest of touches in each building. The details of the exterior of just the windows and doors throughout the park are actually intricate pieces of art.
My grandfather passed away several years ago, and I just recently found a small box of pictures among his possessions after my grandmother has passed. No one in my family had seen these pictures before now.
He obviously didn’t know what a treasure they would be.
My grandfather worked for Disney until he retired. He was an active Disney retiree, belonging to the “Golden Ears Club.” My grandmother, Mrs. Betty Wise, also worked at the Magic Kingdom since before it opened and was one of the executive secretaries who helped set up the executive offices.
My grandparents were one of 10 families that actually lived on Disney property, as they had to have some residents in order to incorporate Lake Buena Vista. There were literally 10 of them! I recently Googled this again just to see if that’s changed, and it’s still true. In order to be part of this small group, they were handpicked, and they lived there on property until they both passed away. It was so close to the Magic Kingdom that I could see fireworks from their front yard every night.
I had no idea when I posted the pictures that so many people would love to see them. Thank you for sharing!
Kelly Wise Valdes
We would really like to thank Kelly for sharing her grandfather’s Magic Kingdom construction photos, and we know our readers appreciate the time she took to share the story of Mr. and Mrs. Wise. How incredible to look back on the very beginning of Disney World from the viewpoint of a master craftsman who added many of the fine detailing to some of our most beloved and iconic Magic Kingdom buildings.
Thank you for stopping by. Now go and share these pictures with your best Disney friend…
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