Magic Kingdom Guides 1976

Following up on my last blog.. today we’ll look at the 1976 Magic Kingdom guide which is compliments of GAF. My copy is worn, but you’ll be able to see the pages.


32 pages plus the front and back cover make up this treasure trove of information. Remember back then, no internet, cell phones or much of anything other than print and broadcast media, so the guide had to sell it all.

There is a table of contents (so you can locate the information you want) as well as a page of helpful information. Here are a couple of interesting tidbits from the information page:

** Locker Service – is available for checking purchases and garments — GARMENTS?? Can you image today someone asking to check a garment?

** Travel Service — car-map routing service and information provided, Gulf Hospitality House, Town Square

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Now we get to see not only what types of tickets were available in 1976 but the cost as well! Attractions were still utilizing lettered tickets A-E.

One bargain was the $9 adult ticket for a guided tour of the Magic Kingdom. You not only got admission ($6) but a 3.5 hour guided walking tour that included 5 attractions plus 2 more of your choice!

Another page offered Tips on Your Visit. It was suggested you visit the following before noon or after 4pm at these popular attractions:

Skyway in Fantasyland/Tomorrowland (D Ticket)

Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square (E Ticket)

Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland (E Ticket)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Fantasyland (E Ticket)

Grand Prix Raceway in Tomorrowland (C Ticket)

One page is a special guide for guests in wheelchairs. You could rent a wheelchair for $1 per day.

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Each land then had it’s own page or 2 with a listing of the attractions(short description and ticket value), restaurants and shops. Later versions of the guide would also include a small map of the land as well.

Can you name the “free” attractions from 1976?

According to this pamphlet:

Main Street USA – Walt Disney Story
Frontierland’s Diamond Horseshoe Revue
Tomorrowland the Carousel of Progress, If You Had Wings and the Circle-Vision 360.

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And what guide wouldn’t be complete without lots of photo tips for you to take pictures and buy more film! Look at the way the folks are dressed to visit a theme park! I’ll say one thing though, the photo tips really are timeless!

And all this is just the first half of the guidebook!

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The center section is a two-page map of the Magic Kingdom. You can see there was plenty of room for expansion. Look at the huge area on the left side where you can now find Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain!

And those blue dots on the map? That’s the GAF photo trail – the best locations for taking your still or movie pictures!

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You can even find 2 pages called “How Do I Go From Here?” It was a lot simpler back then LOL. The map even showed the Magic Kingdom parking lot sections by “name”. Lake Buena Vista was described as ” a world of boutiques, country club dining….”

And there there are the Special Attractions!


Yes, the Electric Water Pageant has been around a VERY long time. Folks have been enjoying this simple light and sound show for decades.

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Each resort had its own section too!

You can even see a photo of the short-lived Fort Wilderness Railroad! “Travel around Fort Wilderness aboard the Wilderness Live steam train attraction.”

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I couldn’t resist including the ad for the Shaggy DA movie!

That about concludes our look at the Magic Kingdom Guide for 1976.

Hope you enjoyed the journey back in time.

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14 Replies to “Magic Kingdom Guides 1976”

  1. I was there in 76 during my college spring break. What I remember most is sitting at the Polynesian resort and having a few drinks in the evening with my buddies . When we went to go pay for the drinks at the end of the evening we were all out of cash but did have an American Express card. Unfortunately Disney didn’t accept American Express. But they were very kind and understanding and let us leave without doing the dishes based on our promise to send the money when we returned home. We kept our promise and sent a money order back to the Polynesian. In return a couple of weeks later we received a thank you note signed by Mickey Mouse.

  2. What memories! I grew up only an hour from Disney, so we made several trips there over the years (and still do!). The photo of the Country Bear Jamboree reminded me of my Mom – it was her favorite. That was always our first attraction of the day. We’d rush through the park to Frontierland so we’d be sure to beat the crowds to it. And I remember exiting through the Mile Long Bar, with the talking moose head to continue the fun of the show you had just seen. From there, we’d head over to Adventureland to ride POC. Always the same.

    After one of our visits, my Mom got a big wall map of the park. She hung it up in the hallway, and I would stand in front of it for hours, retracing our steps to each attraction and dreaming of our next trek to Disney World.

    We lost my dear mother last Christmas. The year before she died, we drove over to EPCOT during the Flower & Garden Festival for her birthday. It was another wonderful WDW memory that lives on for us. Thank you for brightening my day.

  3. I loved seeing this! My first visit was in 1983. I was 4 years old and I still remember it vividly; although I do not have the guide book.

    I remember VIVIDLY the first time I stepped onto “it’s a small world”. I had memorized that song from a Disney record I had back home. When I heard the familiar song I was so excited I started to cry. To me at 4 years old, seeing dancing/singing dolls was the best thing that had ever happened to me! I still feel the same excitement at 32 years old when I enter the park. I take my children and they just cannot understand why mom turns into a 4 year old little girl every time they enter magic kingdom (and we ride “its a small world” at least 10 times, hahaha! 🙂

  4. Oh my I’m feeling old….well I should be, I am! LOL
    That was the year my DS was born. I remember we loved Aunt Polly’s for a PB&J lunch and The Golden Horseshoe Review was hysterical.

    Thanks for bringing back some great memories!!!

  5. I think it’s funny that they show the outline of the whole ride building on It’s a Small World, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. These days, Disney likes to hide those things to keep the magic in focus. Great post. Thank you!

  6. My first trip to WDW was in December of 1972. I was pretty young, but I do remember my parents constantly going back to buy more tickets! One of the things I do remember is getting stuck on It’s a Small World due to rain (no one would exit, so the ramp backed up, and we couldn’t get off the ride!) We went around three times — even I (a child) was sick of the song by then! (I still hold my breath until I see we WILL be able to get off after the first time around every time we ride it now!) My parents didn’t have a camera with them, so sadly, there are no pictures from that trip. My next trip wasn’t for 30 more years as an adult with my own children — my how things changed! I wish I wish we had at least kept the guidebook from that first trip!

  7. Totally awesome!
    I was a 9 year old kid when this guide came out,but I was already dreaming of visiting the Magic Kingdom and Disney World.
    It would be another 15 years before I’d finally made it there, but the wait was worth it.
    And some 20 years later, I’ve more than made up for the missed visits of my youth.
    Thank you for showing me this small piece of WDW history I never got to see back in the day. A true piece of Americana!

  8. My mom was ahead of her time with scrapbooking. And included previous tour guides in her albums. Mine are from 1973, 1979, 1990 and 1995.

  9. I first went to the Magic Kingdom in March 1981 with friends who lived in Orlando. We flew from London to New York and then down to Orlando and stayed in The Dutch Inn in the village. The difference from England was very marked and we have returned regularly with our son who was born in 1983 his first visit was in 1990 and our most recent was in 2009. He is a big fan too!! I still have our guides one from each visit.

  10. I love all of these photos and video. I wish that I had saved all of my WDW Guidemaps. Thanks. Ray 🙂

  11. Deb,
    These bring back so many memories. My first trip was 1972. Little did I know that I would meet the photographer. Thanks you.


  12. That $9 tour including admission is a steal! Now you’d pay $74 for an adult on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour – a 4.5 hour walking tour, which includes 2-3 attractions. While it also includes backstage access, you have to pay for park admission separately. Even factoring in inflation, the $9 1976 tour would be $34.08 today. Imagine being able to get into the Magic Kingdom for $34? At least now you get to go on all the rides with out tickets 🙂

    Thanks for the trip back in time, Deb!

  13. I loved this blog! This was WAAAAAAY before my time, and it is interesting to see what has endured and what has evolved. I wish that the guide maps still included something like the GAF photo trail…the Kodak photo spots just aren’t enough for me!

  14. This, 1976, was the first year I went to the World. Sadly, the memory of the actual trip was forever marred by my mother telling my sister and me (at the end of our trip–on a park bench in Lake Buena Vista village–now Downtown Disney) that she and my father were getting divorced.

    I remember this guidebook, especially the “tree-antlers” picture, the small icons next to the descriptions of the attractions, and, oddly enough, the shameless ad for the Shaggy DA.

    My next trip would not be for another 25 years with my own kids where only happy memories were made for them (except for my daughter’s non-stop scream on the Barnstormer–she was 4). I saved almost everything from that trip, the first of three later ones, and occasionally pull out each of the four park maps to relive the memories. Thank you.