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  • [Chat] Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

    Every time I go to DLR, I've noticed it's very congested. I mean, Could have Walt bought more land in the early 60's? Walt wanted Epcot to be at WDW but I don't understand why Walt didn't want to built it at DLR as well.

    I bring this up because I was very surprised by the amount of land when I went to WDW. Disneyland being 7 miles away from Knotts. Compared to the Magic Kingdom is 6 miles away from Epcot but during those 6 miles you are still on Disney property.

    In front of Disneyland is DCA which is smaller than DL itself.
    While Magic Kingdom has a lake bigger to the park itself.
    Which really surprised me Walt bought so little land for DLR but bought an entire town for WDW.


    This is how Magic Kingdom looks like. A theme park next to a big lake next to another bigger lake. Which is a 7 mile drive from Epcot. This is a Picture the Magic Kingdom ONLY and does not include the other 3 theme parks, 2 water parks, Downtown Disney, Golf, and 20 hotels, etc.

    And DL gets DCA which is right in front of it. -__-

  • #2
    Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

    I love that DCA is right in front of DL. I don't get why people are so adamant about park hopping to make the most of your WDW visit, but everything is so far away...I can park hop in about 5 minutes over here. It'd take me like, half an hour to do the same thing over there.

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    • #3
      Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

      In building Disneyland, it was surrounded by orange groves at the time, one, and not a major city. Two, was he required outside financing (ABC, Western Lithography, some others) to even buy what he was able to for Disneyland. He literally didn't have finance to get more and the property around it went fast when Disneyland opened for hotels, restaurants, stores, etc. There was no chance to buy the land when he did have funds.

      Florida was after they learned the Disneyland lesson, and had all the extra finance from the park and from the other films and merchandise that came out after 1955. The two are not really comparable. Walt wanted more land for Disneyland, and that was literally all he could buy in 1954.
      when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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      • #4
        Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

        Land in Orange County, even in Walt's day and especially after Disneyland was built and people started moving in increasing numbers from LA to OC, was much higher than the land he bought in Orlando. He couldn't buy additional land, especially land encompassing an area suroinding more than 6 miles in OC even if he wanted to. That's probably more than likely why he didn't buy up all that land in California -- because he couldn't.

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        • #5
          Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

          The success of Disneyland brought in investors who bought the nearby land and built those motels and other strip malls. When he decided where to build WDW, he and his brother had to buy parcels in secret, lest the speculators bid up the prices. Even after the secret was revealed, Walt had to convince his brother to buy even more at the higher prices, just to make sure the blight didn't creep in. If you go to Kissimmee, you'll see what Disney didn't buy.

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          • #6
            Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

            And Walt regretted not having done so. But as mentioned, he didn't have the finances to secure the land around the original park. Hotels sprung and created what he referred to as a sort of "second rate Vegas." A paraphrase, I know. He learned from Disneyland and made sure it played itself out differently in Florida. Was reading a little about it on the Disney History Institute website (where people can respond to articles), and I found it interesting that even amidst Walt's regrets as he looked back upon it, it sure seems the people, who commented (on the website) on what Harbor Blvd. and the surrounding areas looked like, really don't remember it all that much....they were so entranced by that world across the street, behind the berm. Another poster who does remember it, noted that s/he found it sort of mesmerizing, all the lights and neon, and many of the hotels were themed, much as Disneyland was. So yeah, it was a cheaper version of Vegas, and not what Walt may have had in his mind, but for what it was it wasn't all that bad. The only sad thing is that it really didn't change much for many, many years. It was only recently that they started sprucing it up. I'm sure had Walt seen it through the 70s and 80s he would have been very bummed. But then again, who knows? Had Walt not passed, maybe things would have changed around the resort? Would have been so interesting to see how things would have played out had Walt not passed away at such a young age.

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            • #7
              Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

              Walt Disney didn't die all that young by 1960's standards, in 1966 the average life expectancy for a male was 66 years.




              Originally posted by CASurfer65 View Post
              And Walt regretted not having done so. But as mentioned, he didn't have the finances to secure the land around the original park. Hotels sprung and created what he referred to as a sort of "second rate Vegas." A paraphrase, I know. He learned from Disneyland and made sure it played itself out differently in Florida. Was reading a little about it on the Disney History Institute website (where people can respond to articles), and I found it interesting that even amidst Walt's regrets as he looked back upon it, it sure seems the people, who commented (on the website) on what Harbor Blvd. and the surrounding areas looked like, really don't remember it all that much....they were so entranced by that world across the street, behind the berm. Another poster who does remember it, noted that s/he found it sort of mesmerizing, all the lights and neon, and many of the hotels were themed, much as Disneyland was. So yeah, it was a cheaper version of Vegas, and not what Walt may have had in his mind, but for what it was it wasn't all that bad. The only sad thing is that it really didn't change much for many, many years. It was only recently that they started sprucing it up. I'm sure had Walt seen it through the 70s and 80s he would have been very bummed. But then again, who knows? Had Walt not passed, maybe things would have changed around the resort? Would have been so interesting to see how things would have played out had Walt not passed away at such a young age.

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              • #8
                Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

                Well, Disneyland being the first of its kind, the unintended consequences were not foreseen. Looking back, sure it's big "duh" moment.

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                • #9
                  Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

                  Originally posted by sediment View Post
                  Well, Disneyland being the first of its kind, the unintended consequences were not foreseen. Looking back, sure it's big "duh" moment.
                  Pretty much this! No one knew if DL itself would be a sucess and certainly not sucessful enough where there could be another theme park in time. Later on when they realized that it was a big sucess and they could expand it was too late so they went to Florida.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

                    The Florida land was bought to build a city, with a theme park more of an afterthought. The California land was bought solely for a theme park. If Walt had the funding, I'm not sure he would have bought land on the same scale in California as in Florida simply because he didn't have plans for building a city there. He was probably more interested in a greenbelt to provide a shield from Anaheim more than anything else.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Walt Disney on building Disneyland & Walt Disney World

                      Originally posted by DannyLand View Post
                      Walt wanted Epcot to be at WDW but I don't understand why Walt didn't want to built it at DLR as well.
                      I think you are confusing Epcot, formerly EPCOT Center, with EPCOT. Walt had no intentions of building another theme park, as stated by Gregmh48. I suggest you look up the "EPCOT film" online. It should be easy to find and is Walt Disney's last appearance on film where he lays out the plans for Disney World.

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