As a Disney parks fan, it can be easy to feel like I missed all the good stuff. Adventure Thru Inner Space! Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland! America Sings! Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour!
This, of course, is nonsense. Simply having experienced every one of the original EPCOT Center attractions puts me in fairly elect company, and as always, such things are always a matter of timing, dumb luck, and opportunity.
One of those timing opportunities that actually landed me in the plus category was moving to Florida when I did, which gave me access to opportunities to look at and acquire paper goods, magazines, and primary source documents at a time when being into Walt Disney World history was a pretty niche pursuit. The prices that certain things I paid a few dollars for can fetch online can be pretty eye-watering, and while the COVID pandemic has seemingly slowed down some of the worst excesses, I feel lucky to have a library of several thousand paper items that are absolutely the bedrock of the research for site. I feel lucky to have them and I’m worried about younger Disney history buffs who probably won’t have access to these things in the future. Until such a time that a fan-organized library can be created that’s open to the public, too much of Disney history is dependent on being able to buy your way in through pricey editions or secondhand collectibles. I don’t like that.
So I’m going to do something about it. I’ve determined to start dumping some of these less-accessible treasures online in properly scanned versions. I’m not going to be a weenie about it and cover them in watermarks. I want these to be available to everyone. My only request is that if you are a historian or author and you use any of these please credit the “Passport Free Library” and this site in your citations.
I’m going to start with the WDP Annual Reports, all scanned by me (some from copies at the Orlando Public Library, which is where this project began). These fascinating and colorful little books are where so many of my research efforts have begun, it seems right to launch this project with them.
Even if you don’t care about financial statistics, you absolutely should download and enjoy these, as they’re absolutely bursting with construction shots, concept art, descriptions of doomed plans, and general vintage Disney weirdness.
Download, share, and enjoy them at your leisure..!
More content coming as I can get things scanned…!