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How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

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  • [Question] How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

    How much money did an acre cost in the 1950's to buy land in DL?

    Was it $100 an acre like WDW or no?

  • #2
    Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

    Do you think it would of been bigger if the land was like $100 an acre

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    • #3
      Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

      Some of the history books might say how much Walt paid the Dominguez family for their land. I am honestly not sure if it was ever disclosed. I would venture to say it was cheaper then the WDW land purchase. It is debatable what "pushed it over" as far as finances (construction vs land purchase) but safe to say that if Disneyland was not a success it would have ruined Walt Disney Studios and bankrupted Walt.
      "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

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      "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

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      • #4
        Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

        Disneyland is said to have cost $17 million. I would assume that this figure includes land. For a bit of perspective "$17 in 1955 has the same buying power as $134.75 in 2008" according to the CPI Inflation Calculator

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        • #5
          Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

          I would assume that it would have been less than what it cost at WDW, but more if it was adjusted for inflation. You have to remember that Lake Buena Vista was just swamp land, and Orlando was a sleepy little town, whereas the land for Disneyland was a functioning orange grove in some proximity to big cities.

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          • #6
            Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

            From an article about Harrison "Buzz" Price who worked with Walt to find the proper spot for Disneyland The Numbers Man and the Magic Kingdom
            An inflation calculator adjusting from 1953 to 2007 bring that to $34,518.69 an acre!
            "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing" -Walt Disney

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            • #7
              Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

              According to this Site.
              "A real estate agent, on behalf of Disney, begins discretely buying 270 acres of land at US$4,500 per acre for the Disneyland park site."

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              • #8
                Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

                270 acres at the 2007 Rate would still be only around 9million!
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                • #9
                  Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

                  Wow $4,500 an acre

                  Dang that's a lot of money for an acre

                  Imagine how big it would of been like $100 an acre?

                  4,500*160=$720,000

                  100*7200=$720,000

                  So with that land it could of been like 7,200 acres if land was that cheap
                  Last edited by lakersboy92; 01-10-2009, 11:17 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

                    So DL could of been over 7,000 acres if the land were cheap like WDW! Wow

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                    • #11
                      Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

                      But you also have to take into consideration what Walt Disney had in the bank in the early 50's as compared to what the Walt Disney Company (Corporation) had in the late 60's and 70's....

                      Walt had to Beg, Borrow and sell off a lot of rights just to get the park open to the public on July 18th, 1955. It proved a big hit, and paid for itself within the first 5 years. One of the main points was picking the center points of the Southern California area, as travel was a LOT harder back in the 50's, and marketed to those who lived nearby, and needed to be in a central location.

                      On the other hand the Walt Disney Company (TWDC) had PLENTY of cash in the bank, and was looking for the best deals, and used third parties and holding companies to buy up most of the property they wanted in Central Florida.

                      And of course, they picked an area with low land prices, hoping to take an unpopular area and convert it to a destination. (Which they did).

                      It really is Apples and Oranges.
                      Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

                        Originally posted by lakersboy92 View Post
                        So DL could of been over 7,000 acres if the land were cheap like WDW! Wow
                        These are two seperate projects, but they had one similarity - the land was selling at reasonable prices for the area and demand... Or at least they did before word got out that it was Walt Disney buying it. Then the prices shot straight up, especially for "inholding" lots that were totally surrounded by already purchased land. The land owners know that the project has a critical minimum mass they have to reach before they can go ahead.

                        If the owner didn't sell they could have had a house or farm carved out of a little lot right in the middle of Disneyland or Disney World, and a public access road would have to be left in place for them to get in and out.

                        As a practical matter, the two sides usually work out a land sale after a while - though I'll bet there was some of that going on at Disneyland 'North of the Berm' backstage where the Circle D ranch is right now.

                        There were several suspiciously gated-off former public streets off West Street for many years, one right next to the original Roundhouse. And the Circle D Offices are original houses that was there before DL was built. I'll bet you a steak dinner there's at least one really good story behind that...

                        It took a lot longer for the word to get out about "The Florida Project" because they were much more careful to arrange dummy corporations and employees with no connections to them to hide the source of the money, and they never did anything that could be easily traced like use a Disney corporate plane for transport - they hired a charter. But word still got out toward the end of the buying process, and a few zeros quickly got added to asking prices for deals that weren't done yet.

                        --<< Bruce >>--
                        There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

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                        • #13
                          Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

                          Originally posted by lakersboy92 View Post
                          Do you think it would of been bigger if the land was like $100 an acre
                          Trust me. In the early 50s $100 was a ton of money. I can remember my mom buying $20 worth of groceries and it woud fill up the trunk and feed us for a month.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

                            I remember them giving a dollar amount in The First 50 Magical Years, but I don't remember what it was. I could just be imagining it too! Does anyone else remember this?

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                            • #15
                              Re: How much $ was the land to purchase DL in the 1950's?

                              I think the dollar amount in the movie is the $17 million, which is what was officially was reported by the Disneyland Publicity department.

                              Here is an actual Press Release from July 11th, 1967 that mentions the amount...

                              Darkbeer : photos : Disneyland Historical Documents/Photos - 1955 thru 1970 (11/6/08) : This Press release is from July 11th, 1967, after Walt passed away in 1966, and it clearly shows Opening Day as July 18th. This is the last official Disney docume

                              Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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