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"Antarctica, Past and Present" is the first of three Disneyland episodes commemorating the US-Antarctic participation in the International Geophysical Year (which began two months after this episode first aired in 1956). The program chronicles the first stages of "Operation Deepfreeze", a year-long Naval expedition to the South Pole, with the servicemen accompanied by Disney cameramen. In addition, director-writer Winston Hibler offers a brief history of Antarctica itself. This episode was later combined with its two followups, "Antarctica--Operation Deepfreeze" and "To the South Pole for Science", and released theatrically as the 1958 "People and Places" documentary featurette Seven Cities of Antarctica.