This Walt Disney World: Preview Edition, published in 1970, is considered the first official “guidebook” of the resort (which wouldn’t open until October 1971). Its twenty pages outline with text, images, and concept artwork the many facets of the coming “Vacation Kingdom of the world.”
Featured are plans for the Magic Kingdom park and its six themed lands—Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland—as well as two resort hotels, the “Contemporary-style” and the “Polynesian.” Also included are future plans for three hotels which would never come to fruition: the “Asian,” “Persian,” and “Venetian” themed resorts.
The “Master Plan” section of the book also highlights the development of Walt Disney’s most ambitious undertaking and original intent for the majority of the Florida property: the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT). Ultimately, the logistics of the project, along with the premature loss of both Walt and Roy Disney, would transform the breakthrough project into a much-modified second theme park, rather than the living, breathing blueprint-community of the future, powered by American free enterprise, ingenuity, and industry, and housing a population of more than 20,000 citizens.
The guidebook represents a very early preview of what was to become not only the world’s premiere vacation destination, but the manifestation of Walt’s loftiest dreams. In its pages lie some of the last printed instances of indication and possibility that those dreams—in their entirety—might one day come to pass.