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  1. #1
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    Default Birnaun's Guide from 1989

    I was going through the Birnbaum's guide from 1989. It is a great glimpse into what was happening back then. From the awful sounding "Broadway at the Top" where the California Grill is right now to the book discussing the Studios before it was actually open.

    What I can't get past is the way it is written. It is hard for me to explain except it like they are trying to kiss the rear end of Walt Disney World. In a way, it reminds me of an infomercial that you would see late at night on cable.

    Also, no Splash Mountain, Le Cellier is not a fancy restaurant. Also, the term Buffeteria (and cafeteria) were used way too much.

    The book is a bit beat up but it is a fun thing to read.
    Last edited by John; 05-30-2018 at 11:26 AM.

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  4. #2
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    Birnbaum Guides always read like an official Disney PR piece - no surprise there. I think they worked with and even used official Disney pics and such. As a fan, they were a fun read. Especially enjoyed the one that previewed Epcot before it was open.

  5. #3
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    Very interesting. Broadway At The Top was one of the original, original shows at Disney World. I think it lasted for more than 20 years, and had some really big-named entertainers there now and then. But when the park opened, they seemed to want a feature show at the Contemporary, Polynesian (the Luau), and the camp grounds (Hoop Dee Doo). The Broadway show was the only one cancelled. Maybe the 1989 Birnbaum review was around the time it's popularity was seriously dwindling.

    There was a day those Birnbaum books were a must when preparing for a Disney trip. There was a lot of fluff in there, but also some very good details and tips. Looking back, it probably was pretty pro-Disney - but since we were reading it to plan and enjoy the Disney parks, it's what we wanted to see anyway! Now you have me thinking - is there a chance I have an old one of the Birnbaum's sitting around at home. I think I'll have to look - could be a fun read!

  6. #4
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    Thanks for the share! Before Intercot and before social media, Birnbaum's was always a sure sign that the Burke's were going to Disney. Usually it was book the trip and then buy the book. Even after the web became widely accepted we would still buy the Birnbaum book for the kids to get them engaged. I just got rid of a bunch of books, but the 2009 edition might have been our last. It was a good coffee table book for prepping on how to spend one of the fastest weeks of your life.
    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBC, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT

  7. #5
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    You mentioned stock photos. That was another thing. The photos were the annoyingly staged kind. Nobody EVER looked that like on a vacation. Also the 80s hair was on display, along with the clothing styles.

  8. #6
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    We went to the “Top of the World” a couple of times in the 70’s. Saw Bobby Rydell and George Kirby. I remember feeling really special. They gave us chilled Andes mints after the meal, and the pats of butter were shaped like the Disney D. Ah, good times. ����

  9. #7
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    I used to love those books. Get you ready. Very informerical, but useful. A quick glimpse you could look at without electricity.
    ===================

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThanxForNoticin View Post
    and the camp grounds (Hoop Dee Doo).
    Did you know Hoop Dee Doo was only supposed to be a temporary show for the summer ('72 I think, but it may have been later)? It just turned out to be so popular that they never closed it.
    "Welcome, Foolish Mortals..."

  11. #9
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    There are so many fun tidbits of info about Disney World from over the years! I did not realize that!

  12. #10
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    Finally, another reason for me to sign on and comment - there are very few of them recently.

    Reading the first post reminded me of so many happy meals at the Crystal Palace back in the early days. Thank you for putting me in my happy place.

    The term "buffeteria" triggered such fond memories for me. Back in the days, prior to when it became a character meal location, does anyone else remember when the Crystal Palace was the "go to" place in the Magic Kingdom for delicious meals served cafeteria-style? No reservations were required and it was a QS before the term "QS" was imagined. As you entered, there were two lines; you'd join the line that appeared to be the shortest (usually, both sides were equally long), pick up your tray and metal flatware wrapped in a cloth napkin. Then the fun began, as you passed all of the goodies and tried to make a decision, since everything looked so delicious. The servers put your selections on heavy china plates. Last stop was to pay the CM at the register. Then, it was time to enjoy the meal. Whenever I traveled with my Mother, my assignment was to carry the tray to the table. I can still remember how heavy that tray was, when it was loaded with 2 heavy plates of food, plus 2 sets of utensils. I also remrmber the coffee dispensers on the wall. It was also my job to refill Mom's coffee cup. Memories!!!!!! I miss those days.

    The Crystal Palace Buffeteria was also the place where I first enjoyed Beef Bourguignon. It was served in a puff pastry shell and was so delicious I can still remember how good it was. Other than Mickey waffles, it was probably my first "must do" meal on many vacations. Some memories don't fade, even if the place where they happened isn't the same anymore.

    I've drifted away from the topic - Birnbaum Guides, but as I wrote, "buffeteria" brought back so many memories.

    I also have a collection of Birnbaum guides. I keep them because of the descriptions of attractions, shows, etc., and many photos. Only one word can describe it - MEMORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sylvia șOș

    80+ WDW visits . . .

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  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Finally, another reason for me to sign on and comment - there are very few of them recently.

    Reading the first post reminded me of so many happy meals at the Crystal Palace back in the early days. Thank you for putting me in my happy place.

    The term "buffeteria" triggered such fond memories for me. Back in the days, prior to when it became a character meal location, does anyone else remember when the Crystal Palace was the "go to" place in the Magic Kingdom for delicious meals served cafeteria-style? No reservations were required and it was a QS before the term "QS" was imagined. As you entered, there were two lines; you'd join the line that appeared to be the shortest (usually, both sides were equally long), pick up your tray and metal flatware wrapped in a cloth napkin. Then the fun began, as you passed all of the goodies and tried to make a decision, since everything looked so delicious. The servers put your selections on heavy china plates. Last stop was to pay the CM at the register. Then, it was time to enjoy the meal. Whenever I traveled with my Mother, my assignment was to carry the tray to the table. I can still remember how heavy that tray was, when it was loaded with 2 heavy plates of food, plus 2 sets of utensils. I also remrmber the coffee dispensers on the wall. It was also my job to refill Mom's coffee cup. Memories!!!!!! I miss those days.

    The Crystal Palace Buffeteria was also the place where I first enjoyed Beef Bourguignon. It was served in a puff pastry shell and was so delicious I can still remember how good it was. Other than Mickey waffles, it was probably my first "must do" meal on many vacations. Some memories don't fade, even if the place where they happened isn't the same anymore.

    I've drifted away from the topic - Birnbaum Guides, but as I wrote, "buffeteria" brought back so many memories.

    I also have a collection of Birnbaum guides. I keep them because of the descriptions of attractions, shows, etc., and many photos. Only one word can describe it - MEMORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ... just reading over your words bring back those memories for me ..... 80's hair was cool and the dress code back then was to have your pants up and not shredded to pieces .... but yea, the travel guides of those days gone by, they're treasures as well as our fading memories !!
    80 1st./04POR/05POR/06POR/07POR/08POR/09POR/10POR/
    11PORJan/11PORApr/12ASPJun/12AKLJul/12POPNov/13AKL/
    14FQJun/14POPJul/14PORNov/15POPFeb/15FQJun/15AoADec/16ASPNov/17AoAJun/ 17POPSep/18CBJun/19PORApr/

    IN GOD WE TRUST !!

    STEELERS, SIX TIME SUPERBOWL CHAMPS

  15. #12
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    In the 90s, Birnaum's was part of a package deal. For a couple of years, when you purchased a package with dining (where you got X amount of money to spend anywhere you wanted) with a LOS, you got the current Birnaum's guide.

  16. #13
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    I look at it again over the weekend. The stock photos with the characters are some of the worst in the book. I guess it is mostly because they looked SO staged it is unbelievable. Now, I will consider that at the time this version was published, people weren't looking at it critically like this. I would think most people when this was first read didn't notice or were too excited to notice these details. Looking back over 30 years does make a difference.

    Oh, I did see the cover mentioned Spain as a country coming into the World Showcase. I guess that was wrong...

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