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  • [Question] What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

    Was just wondering what were the other cities other than anaheim that were in the running for Disneyland in the 1950's?

  • #2
    Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

    I know someone will have a much more extensive list than myself. But I know Burbank is the most obvious one (Originally Disneyland was going to be right across the street from Walt Disney Studios).

    I also think he looked at Fullerton and Long Beach.

    I don't know why he didn't pick Fullerton. And I know Walt decided against Long Beach because he didn't want people coming to Disneyland in their bathing suits!

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    • #3
      Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

      Just before the Second World War, Walt considered building a small park of his own across the street from the studio. He thought about including pony rides, a train, and statues of his popular characters. Though the idea never got off the ground, it grew and grew in Walt's mind. Eventually, he became convinced that his dreams couldn't be contained on land in and around the studio.


      He explored, questioned, and developed his plans. He was particularly excited by a visit to the beautiful Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. The prices there were fair, and the place was sparkling clean. But when he talked to American amusement-park executives, they told him that he was crazy. He wanted to charge admission. They said that would never work. Walt didn't want to have a Ferris wheel. They said that was a must. Walt didn't want to serve liquor. They said he'd go bankrupt. They, of course, were all wrong. He hired the Stanford Research Institute to help him figure out where the park should be located; eventually they settled on Anaheim, California.
      Walt's Masterworks: Disneyland
      Last edited by ALIASd; 09-23-2008, 10:51 PM.
      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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      • #4
        Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

        I know for certain that the city of El Monte, in the San Gabriel Valley, was in the running for the spot but turned it down because they didn't want a carnival-type attraction in thier city.

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        • #5
          Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

          I remember watching a film about the construction of the park where Walt boasts about how the site of DL was determined to be in the most accessible location in all of Southern California. Apparently that and the fact that it was midway between the city and studios and the southern beach cities which would make it very appealing places for the rich and famous to stop by, which was a big part of his marketing strategy. I'm sure they probably looked at a lot of locations, but Anaheim does seem like a smart choice.
          The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
          -Walt Disney

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          • #6
            Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

            I seem to recall reading a book somewhere that city planners suggested Anaheim to Walt. They predicted it would become the geographical centre of the LA area, with direct access off the proposed I-5... and darn it, they were pretty much bang on!

            I'll try to find the book to back this up.

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            • #7
              Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

              As mentioned in post #3:


              SRI Assists in Creating Disneyland


              In the early 1950's the Disney brothers were planning a small playland site in Burbank, California and came to SRI for advice on such topics as location, attendance patterns, and economic feasibility. SRI selected a much larger Anaheim site for the amusement park and prepared reports on many facets of its operation.

              Immediately preceding and during Disneyland's opening in July 1955, SRI staff also provided on-site administrative support. Advisory work continued for some time as the park expanded.

              SRI's role in bringing Disneyland into being was widely reported in newspaper and magazine articles.
              References

              • W. B. Gibson, SRI The Take-Off Days (Publishing Services Center, Los Altos, CA, 1986). p150
              SRI Technology: SRI Assists in Creating Disneyland
              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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              • #8
                Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

                I heard that Walt was seriously considering Wake Forest, North carolina for the park.

                In all seriousness, I don't think I've ever heard of other cities besides Burbank being considered. Seems a lot of local communities like to tout that they were "in the running," but I think this has more to do with civic pride than actual fact.

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                • #9
                  Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

                  Which in my mind is not a matter of civic pride. What they're basically saying is "Walt Disney thought about building Disneyland here, but our city leaders were too shortsighted to see the brilliance of his vision."

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                  • #10
                    Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

                    In my research, and what I have read, Walt and his employees were searching the Southern California area for a large enough piece of property at a reasonable price to build Disneyland. So many cities were considered, some more strongly than others.
                    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

                      I thought I read somewhere he was considering Glendale as well near where WDI is. I could be wrong but Anaheim was better, more land to work with.
                      -Jack :geek:
                      Doc Brown had 2 Deloreans!

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                      • #12
                        Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

                        When we say "considered," I guess we need to know what that means. I mean, does "considered" mean Walt and Roy chatting in the Studio Commisary, and Walt saying, "Well, what do you think of El Monte?" To me, it should mean something more.

                        Walt made a pitch to the Burbank city council. That, to me, is "considering Burbank."

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                        • #13
                          Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

                          Disney's history in Glendale began when Walt Disney Imagineering moved from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank to Glendale in 1961. Walt Disney Imagineering is the creative arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, responsible for the concept, design and creation of all eleven Disney parks throughout the world.
                          Disney Worldwide Outreach - NEWS
                          "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                          • #14
                            Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

                            Originally posted by ALIASd View Post
                            Gotcha, cool deal.

                            Nice av Aliasd.
                            -Jack :geek:
                            Doc Brown had 2 Deloreans!

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                            • #15
                              Re: What were the original cities selected for the Disneyland Resort

                              Thanks!
                              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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