When I was growing up, Disney World was consistently my family's vacation of choice. I'm pretty sure we clocked five visits before we realized that other destinations existed. And by that point, I was fully grown and thrown out of the nest to plan my own vacation.
For probably the first three trips, I was the annoying younger brother who is afraid of all of the fun rides. It took a lot of hand-holding and Mickey bars to get a family picture on Splash Mountain, but in the end, it was worth it.
However, I think if someone had shown me these pictures of vintage Disney, I would have stayed squarely planted in the Wilderness Lodge. It turns out that the Disney parks of yesteryear had some seriously freaky attractions. Here are even more vintage photos that will you show you another side of Disney.
1 - Lurker Mickey
Alice clearly has no idea of the danger lurking behind her, and good ol' Walt is equally oblivious.
2 - This is why you don't see clowns there any more
I mean, really, what kid would look at that soulless face and think, "I'm having fun!"
3 - Goomba-like masks
There was a period in Disney parks history where the costume characters wore gigantic headgear that seem to cover the poor guy from head to hip. Somehow, these kids are nowhere near as scared as I would be.
4 - Don't hurt the kid!
Mickey is serving looks, but that still doesn't save this kid from looking downright terrified by the alien-like creatures next to him.
5 - Massive noggin strikes again
Is that a smile? Or a satisfied grin at spotting his next meal of honey-coated children?
6 - Hi, I'm Mickey. Wanna play?
This doll-like Mickey is staring right into your soul, but at least he hasn't spotted the innocent kid within reach. That boy should consider himself lucky.
7 - Giant-sized nightmare fuel
I hear that this stone-faced devil was once a part of a tradition called "Epcot Pageant Dolls" or "People of the World." Thankfully, the Disney gods took pity on us skittish folk and retired these guys.
8 - Horrifying hag
My brother absolutely HATED the Snow White's Scary Adventure ride when we were kids, and this right here is why. The ride was so dang scary that Disney had to update it in 1994 to be a little more family friendly.
BONUS: Disney gas mask
This may not be from the Disney Parks, but I had to include it for the sheer WTF factor. After Pearl Harbor was bombed, Walt Disney gave his approval for a rubber company to produce 1000 gas masks with Mickey's face on them. This was an effort to alleviate kids' fears of the terrifying reality of war around them. Amazing backstory, freaky photo.
Despite my initial trepidation when seeing these pictures, I have to admit that ANY version of Disney is still more welcomed then the alternative. It's scary to look at these costumes in hindsight, but all of these kids look like they're really having a great time, and that's what Disney parks are all about, right?
What did you think of these vintage Disney photos?