On November 15, 1965, at around 2:00 pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Cherry Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida, Governor Haydon Burns sat with the Disney Brothers, Walt, and Roy during a press conference. In the conference, the Governor said Walt Disney would bring a new world of economic development, pleasure, and entertainment to the state of Florida. This was the announcement for plans that would make the world’s happiest place Walt Disney World Resort. It took nearly six years to build the magical kingdom, and the mind behind this kingdom was Walt Disney, who lost his life to lung cancer before he could complete his kingdom.
The story of the world’s first Disneyland
The idea of a theme park both for kids and adults came from the mind of Walt Disney. It happened while watching his daughter enjoy the merry-go-round in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. In 1948 he went for a family visit to Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. It featured steamboat rides and Main Street after that he wrote a letter to Dick Kesley production designer at Disney and talked about the idea of having a park that had a town hall, opera house, movie theatre, magic shop, carnival section, and a railroad station. This all was the first vision behind the happiest place on the earth.
From an idea in Walt Disney to completion, it took seven years for Disneyland to become a reality. Originally it was meant to be built in Burbank, California, right next to the Disney Studios, originally situated on an 8-acre piece of property on Riverside Drive.
But it was soon clear that Disney World cannot be built on this piece of land. Additionally, Burbank city wasn’t too keen on having a carnival atmosphere in their town. The city council rejected the proposal back in 1952. So, Walt Disney turned his eyes 37 miles south to Orange County.
Walt Disney also hired Harrison Price from the Stanford Research Institute to bring science and economic together in finding the best-place for Disneyland. Price proposed Anaheim, California. Walt Disney bought up 160 acres of rural land filled with walnut and citrus groves. The construction of the first Disneyland began back on July 16, 1954.
Price went on to become a Disney legend, helping them pick over 150 locations to build other Disney properties. In 1999 Variety magazine called Price the “Dean of Recreation Economics.”
Disneyland took nearly $17 million to build that is around $151 million in today’s currency. It took exactly one year and one day to construct the building ultimately.
Well, today, there are six Disneyland in the world, with the biggest one being in the state of Florida. The six locations around the world are California, Florida, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
Disneyland Orange Country, Florida, is the biggest Disneyland and a dream of Walt Disney. Unfortunately, Walt Disney lost his life to lung cancer before seeing his biggest project become a reality. Today, the Walt Disney World is a tribute to the life and philosophy of media mogul Walter Elias Disney.