Fashion Square Mall Sears is closing. This is Sears on East Colonial Drive. Today was the last day. Soon, it’ll be demolished to make way for something new.
I’ll always have a soft spot for Sears and Roebuck. My mom took me there often when I was a kid. My Sears was at the Cutler Ridge Mall, back in the 1980s. This Orlando Sears very much reminds me of that one from my youth. Same basic floor plan, although this one was built earlier, back in the early 1960s. Since moving to Orlando in the early 2000s, THIS store has been my Sears. It makes me nostalgic for a variety of reasons.

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Delta Dreamflight Press Kit

The cover of the Delta Dreamflight press kit, 1989.

Delta Dreamflight was a ride at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Opened in 1989, it replaced one of my favorite rides as a kid, If You Had Wings, which was sponsored by Eastern Airlines. When Eastern dropped their sponsorship, Delta stepped in and became the official airline of Walt Disney World. This media package was released during the opening festivities and contains promotional materials, Delta collateral and a photo. I’ve scanned some of the more interesting material. Click to enlarge.
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six gun territory ocala florida stage coach
When I was child in the 1980s, I used to visit my Grandmother in Ocala, Florida. An hour or so north of Orlando and it’s multitude of tourist attractions and themeparks, Ocala was fairly sleepy. Beautiful rolling horse land was the main attraction for a visitor. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some vestiges of the old Florida tourist trade. Silver Springs and its natural wonder was of course the main draw for visitors, but I will never forget my visits to Six Gun Territory. I just recently stumbled across this collection of promotional photos at an estate sale and I wanted to share. It took me right back. Read on, and click the images for higher resolution.
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Outside a Burger King in the 1980s
Repost from November 2010. I found a trade journal put out by Prosperity International in 1984 called, “FLORIDA: In Shape for The Future”. It’s filled with all kinds of promotional materials for Florida companies. (Ironic note… it was printed in Japan. I guess there were no Florida printing companies that would pay for advertising?) In it I found some fun Burger King photos. I loved Burger King in the 1980s. Hell, I can’t help it, I still love it! Click photos to make larger.
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I still have never been to Weeki Wachee, but it’s one of those old Florida attractions that I feel I have to see. It’s a shame, because I wasn’t far from there yesterday when my wife and I did a day trip for our eleventh anniversary.
Being in close proximity reminded me of the huge amount of Florida ephemera that I’ve collected. As I was going through it, I found this Weeki Wachee pamphlet. What I particularly love about it are the celebrity endorsements.
Click the image below to see the front and back of the pamphlet.

Arthur Godrey says, “Weeki Wachee is one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World”.
Bob Hope says, “The live Mermaids are the greatest at Weeki Wachee… and it’s fun!”
Ted Mack says, “This is the finest underwater talent in the world.”
Don McNeil says, “What a thrill. What a joy. You’ll love the mermaids at Weeki Wachee!”
Weeki Wachee is still around today. If you’re visiting Tampa or nearby cities, it’s a great place to take in a little of that classic Florida tourist attraction nostalgia. Here’s their homepage.

We didn’t really go to Universal Studios when I was a kid. We were most definitely a Disney World family, and frankly I’m okay with that. That said, I love themeparks, and now that I’m an adult, I’m just as intrigued by the design and history of Universal as any other park.
About 6 months to a year ago, I stumbled across this interesting little find at an estate sale. What appeared to be a media kit for the opening of Universal Studios in Orlando. I bought it for 8 bucks (a steal, I think) and promptly forgot about it. Today, after finding it in a closet, I thought I’d share my first reaction of opening it up. Here’s the film.

Ginny and I attended the Comedy show tonight at the Melbourne Independent Filmmaker’s Festival. (This of course is Melbourne, Florida, not Australia.) The show was headlined by Dana Snyder, voice actor of such characters as Master Shake in “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and Granny in “Squidbillies” to name but a few. It was a great show, with a plethora of bizarre and often hilarious clips from some truly obscure films. We met a lot of great people at the show and had a fantastic time.
The Festival continues through the weekend. If you still have time, please check out the website (linked above) and try to get into one of the events.

All Snyders!

Orlando in the 1960s beautiful retro swimsuit model Orlando in the 1960s gary's duck inn

Ads for Gary’s Duck Inn and Cherry Plaza Hotel.
I found this brochure at an estate sale recently. It features marketing and promotions for Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland and Central Florida, circa 1961. Lots of good stuff. It’s also a good reference guide to Orlando in the 1960s. Click below for more. As always, click the image for a larger version.
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The food truck craze has hit Orlando and is delivering a lot of delectable eats to the locals. In a town dominated by chains, it’s refreshing to see so many local independent food mongers plying their trade in this way. This isn’t carnival food either. These trucks are delivering some really high quality food. Everything from Luther Burgers to Korean BBQ Tacos. On a daily basis, these trucks are parked at strategic spots around town, but several evenings a week, they gather at specific spots to take a unified stand. These events bring in a lot of local traffic. My wife and I have hit the Lake Lily Round-Up (Tuesday nights) twice, and today we were at the big round-up in the back of the Fashion Square Mall parking lot. 
Personally, I prefer Lake Lily Tuesday nights to the Fashion Square Round-up. It’s true that while there were even more food trucks at Fashion Square than what I’m used to, the Lake Lily location is just a much smoother jive, and includes a good deal more comfortable dining space (if you walk around to the other side of the lake.) What follows after the cut are some photos of the trucks. I only got photos of about half of them, unfortunately. Missing are the Korean Taco Box trucks, The Brisket Bus, The Crooked Spoon, and others.

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This is another bunch of ads from the Orlando Sentinel food sectionals from 1972. Check the original article here. Above is an advert for Sweden House. My love for “All You Can Eat Buffets” knows know boundaries. Of course, back then it was called a “Smorgasbord”. I’m not sure which is the classier moniker. These places were all over Florida in the 60s and 70s. I hope they had Swedish meatballs. If Ikea had all you can eat meatballs, they’d have to wheel me out on one of those HÅVET chair beds.

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