Walt Disney World
A History in Postcards

Boom Years the early 1990's

the 1990s... the first half

To use a nautical analogy If the 1980's are the decade when the future course of development for the Walt Disney World resort was finally set, and the engines thrown to full steam ahead, then the 1990s is when this behomoth of a ship finally got up to it's top speed in its pattern of development and growth.

As forward thinking in the use of new technologies as WDW had been it wasn't until 1990 0r 1991 when it finally adopted the use of UPC (or bar codes) on its' post cards (and presumably all other merchandise as well). With that inclusion of bar codes on all postcards almost all of the old cards were re-issued with bar codes on them. Some new cards were issued but with so many new resorts, parades, and water parks opening, all needing their own new merchandise, the new images focused on those, and a whole new series of cards would have to wait until later in the 1990's.

20 Magical Years ...Surprise! Celebration

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1991 was the 20th anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World, in celebration of that anniversary not one but TWO new parades opened within just few weeks of each other in 1991. On September 22, 1991 the surprise celebration parade began, and October 1, 1991 a new night time light parade began Spectromagic. According to Jeff Lange over at Jim Hill Media.com http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jeff_lange/archive/2006/09/13/5713.aspx the units of this parade (Surprise Celebration) were for the most part recycled from Disneylands Party Gras parade, but with one new "falloon" (a parade float crossed with a balloon) of Mickey and some additional changes and features added to some of the other "falloons". Both of these parades outlived the 20th anniversary festivities by a long shot, the Surprise Celebration parade ran until June of 1994 when it was replaced by the Mickey Mania parade. Spectromagic has much in common with its predecessor The Main Street Electrical parade, both featured floats with large concentrations of bright and colorful lights both parades have a main theme, and sub sections of music that go with the individual floats, but there are differences as well,

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Spectromagic uses music that is more vocally oriented, whereas MSEP had an instrumental and electronic melody, Spectromagic also uses some slightly different lighting effects as well like fiber optics.Spectromagic runs even today, though it left for a time in 1999-2000 while Disneylands former Main Street Electrical parade units came to give the park an encore performance of that parade, when Spectro came back to the Magic Kingdom a few changes had been made to it here and there according to wikipedia these were; that the Spectro-men have new heads, the Genie from Aladdin replaced Roger Rabbit, A Sebastian from The Little Mermaid animatronic and bubble system were added to King Triton's float, and a Jiminy Cricket animatronic was added to the finale float. These 20th anniversary festivities themselves were referred to by some as a sort of dress rehearsal for the 25th anniversary of WDW in which a lot of the strategies tried at that time were a sort of test run to see what types of things could be done to make that celebration special, and also what didn't work.

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At least one other 20th anniversary related card was issued, but it was in the Animation Gallery series and it was issued before the bar codes were added, so of course I included it in the previous chapter.
chapter 10 page 3

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Last modified by Brian K Martsolf at 23-Oct-2006 02:07 AM