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New York World’s Fair Anniversary Celebration

Last weekend I took a trip down to Queens, NY to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 1939 World’s Fair and (more importantly!) the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair.  I say more importantly because 1964 is when Walt Disney debuted many beloved attractions, including the Carousel of Progress (then known as Progressland), Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and It’s A Small World.  Yes, my inner Disney nerd was stocked!

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I met up with my friend Estelle from This Happy Place and her husband James beforehand and we had a great lunch at Alewife in Long Island City.  Because we were pressed for time we didn’t take part in their $30 all you can drink brunch (say what?!?).  If you are in the area, you should totally check this place out.

We took the subway out to Mets Stadium – Willets Point and walked over to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.  That morning I realized that was going to be the first time I’ve been on a NYC Subway in probably 8 years…a HUGE deal for me…but a story for another day.  

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In all the years I lived in New York, I can’t believe I never traveled out to this park!  First of all it’s HUGE and a great getaway from the craziness of the city.  Second, the icons that I’ve always seen on TV are MUCH cooler in person…I was really surprised at how big the Unisphere is.  

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There wasn’t a schedule of events available before we arrived so we really didn’t know what to expect, but we found a program in one of the tents set up.  There were a lot of activities going on…  

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The first thing that caught our eye was a visit inside the New York State Pavilion/ Tent of Tomorrow open house.  This area is normally closed to the public, so it was a great opportunity!  We headed over and got on the line outside…as good Disney fans, we understand lines.  However we quickly discovered that we needed tickets to get in…there was no mention of tickets anywhere.  Oh and guess what…it’s sold out!  Booooo.  Well I did manage to get some cool photos from the outside.

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I don’t know if you can see, but people were walking around inside with hardhats.  It looked like such a cool experience.  Sadly this was just the beginning of the disorganization of the event.  Next we headed over to the Queens Museum where we found another line and an admission fee…sigh.  Luckily a nice staff member told us to walk around to the other side where there was no line to get in.  

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We had no idea what we were going to find inside, but I’m really glad we decided to go in because look what we found inside.

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It’s a GIANT panorama of New York City…it was SO COOL.  The panorama was built for the 1964 World’s Fair and with a few updates over the years, it still remains in perfect condition.  We spent quite a good amount of time in here basically in awe.

Next we took some time to look though the memorabilia from 1939 and 1964.  There was some really cool stuff here, including a replica of the GE Pavilion which housed Walt Disney’s Progressland.

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Well this was all worth the price of admission…very cool!  Afterwards, we walked around a bit, checked out the food trucks (which had hour long waits!!) and listed to a pretty good Beatles cover band.  

Estelle and James hung around for the fireworks, but I headed back to CT before it got too late.  They walked be out to where B was picking me up and on the way, we got to see the original Batmobile in motion.  I love the license plate!

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Even though we really didn’t know what was going on and the event was very disorganized, I had a great day!  I got to spend a gorgeous spring afternoon with one of my good friends who I hadn’t seen in forever.  Plus we got to enjoy some Disney fun right here in our backyard.  Really nothing beats that 🙂

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One Response to New York World’s Fair Anniversary Celebration

  1. I totally wish I had gotten to go to this, unfortunately I was out of town both dates they let people into the buildings!

    Dan, Pat and I did go explore after we did the half marathon there last year and found the cool model of the World’s Fair that was in the service elevator – honestly, no idea why it’s hidden away in there because it was really cool! We also found a few other Disney things around the museum, the history is definitely interesting and it’s sad they’ve let it all fall apart, hopefully they’ll restore and do something with the park!
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