A FODOR’s Travel Book
Size: 7″ x 10″
Type: Soft Cover
Distributed by: David McKay Company, Inc.
Fodor’s Travel is the world’s largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information and the first relatively professional producer of travel guidebooks. Fodor’s Travel and Fodors.com are divisions of Random House, Inc.
Today, Fodor’s has published more than 440 guides (in 14 series) on over 300 destinations, and has more than 700 permanently placed researchers all over the world.
Back in the 1980’s Disney was more charitable with sharing the tourist dollars that flowed into Florida. They produced ‘adventure guides’ like this one to highlight all of the available attractions in the State rather than just Walt Disney World. You can find such cross-promotion on souvenirs like tin trays, to name just one type of item.
Similar images are found on tin trays of the period
So let’s have a look at just some of the attractions featured in this book:
Disney would have a hard time competing with real space vehicles but did eventually try with Mission:Space, a centrifugal motion simulator thrill ride at Epcot that opened in 2003.
The Sky Lift pictured here is apparently no longer in operation. Here is what Joe Wittwer had to say about his ride on it in 2007: “This ride scared me so bad. You don’t go over water, just the concrete pier below. It looks like it hasn’t been maintained in decades.” It is probably safe to assume it is gone!
Disney now tries to compete with the natural beaches of Florida with two major water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Disney’s ‘Bucket Ride’ is also gone!
High Wire Parrots and Jungle Cruises
I guess at this point you just have to say that in 1980, Florida had it all!
Everglades National Park
Alligators are synonymous with Florida and not always in a good way. But back in 1980 tourist were encouraged to walk along precarious wooden ‘bridges’ and seek them out!
Cypress Gardens and Busch Gardens
Cypress Gardens was a botanical garden and theme park near Winter Haven, Florida that operated from 1936 to 2009. It was in 2011 that the botanical garden portion was preserved inside the newly formed Legoland Florida.
Busch Gardens opened on March 31, 1959, as an admission-free hospitality facility for Tampa Anheuser-Busch; in addition to various beer tastings, they had a bird garden and the Stairway to the Stars, which was an escalator that took guests to the roof of the brewery. And that works for me! It has grown over the years and is still in operation today.
Walt Disney World
Other than having Disney characters interspersed throughout the book, this is the only page dedicated to a Disney destination. Just to put it a bit above the rest, the copy reads that “There’s nothing quite like it east of California’s Disneyland.” We can forgive Disney because it is a true statement!
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage was an attraction at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World from 1971 through 1994. So of all the attractions that could have been pictured on this page, they certainly picked an iconic one!
Price: $3.95 US
Review: This was more of a souvenir guide than an actual guide-book. No addresses are given for any of the attractions so it would serve better as a reminder of places gone than a true guide to places that one would want to see.
So judging it as such I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 Stars.