Welcome to the Reader Rant Roundtable for October 27-November 2, 2013
Spring has sprung, and fall has fell.... My sister's in town and we're going to Walt's place. Where is that? Why
It was in October of 1971 that Walt Disney's "Florida project" became a reality - or a fantasy, as the case may be - in Lake Buena Vista, outside of Orlando, Florida. It remains the
most popular theme park in the world. The "World" currently encompasses four theme parks, two waterparks, and various other resort attractions.
But it wasn't always that way...
What became Walt Disney World was a glimmer in Walt's fertile imagination in 1959 (Disneyland opened in 1955). Surveys indicated that only 5% of Disneyland visitors came from east of the Missippi (although 75% of U.S. population lived there). The search for the location took several years. In 1963, Walt picked the Orlando area for his project.
To avoid a burst of land speculation, Disney used various dummy corporations to acquire 27,443 acres of land. In May 1965, some of these major land transactions were recorded a few miles southwest of Orlando in Osceola County. Also, two large tracts totaling $1.5 million were sold, and smaller tracts of flatlands and cattle pastures were purchased by exotic-sounding companies such as the Latin-American Development and Management Corporation and the Reedy Creek Ranch Corporation (Some of these names are now memorialized on a window above Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom). In addition to three huge parcels of land were many smaller parcels, referred to as "outs."
In 1964, Walt Disney began secretly buying millions of dollars worth of Central Florida farmland. As vast areas of land were purchased in lots of 5,000 acres here, 20,000 there -- at remarkably high prices -- rumors flew as to who needed so much land and had the money to acquire it. Some thought it was Howard Hughes; others, the space program. Speculation was rife almost to the very day, November 15, 1965 ("D" Day for Orlando), when Uncle Walt arrived in town and announced his plans to build the world's most spectacular theme park ("bigger and better than Disneyland"). In a 2-year construction effort, Disney employed 9,000 people. Land speculation reached unprecedented heights, as hotel chains and restaurateurs grabbed up property near the proposed park. Mere swampland sold for millions. The total cost of the project by its October 1971 opening was $400 million. Mickey Mouse escorted the first visitor into the Magic Kingdom, and numerous celebrities, from Bob Hope to Julie Andrews, took part in the opening ceremonies. In Walt Disney World's first 2 years, the attraction drew 20 million visitors and employed 13,000 people. The sleepy citrus-growing town of Orlando had become the "Action Center of Florida," and the fastest-growing city in the state.
Walt Disney's very first television series, Walt Disney's Disneyland (named after his yet to be completed park) premieres on ABC with the episode "The Disneyland Story." About 30.8 million American viewers tune into what will be a TV tradition for more than 40 years. First, viewers are given a quick tour of the Walt Disney Studios and then are introduced to Walt Disney's newest venture: a theme park called Disneyland. This episode (directed by Robert Florey) is the public's first real exposure to Disney's plans for a park in Anaheim. The episode also features the song "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" (sung by Fess Parker) as a coming attraction for the upcoming Crockett trilogy. (In the first six months of 1955, nearly seven million copies of the song will be sold.) The Disneyland series will go on to air for multiple seasons under some 6 different title
This Day in Disney History - October 27, 1954
"Halloween Hysteria," a special ticketed event, takes place at Disney World's
Magic Kingdom. The special evening presentation features live music by Dr. Hook, The Police,
Dan Chaz's Magic Web of Wizardry, Sea Level, and Michael Johnson. Veteran rockers Dr. Hook have
had much success during the 1970s with such hits as "Sylvia's Mother", "The Cover of the Rolling Stone",
"A Little Bit More" and "When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman." Formed only two years earlier in
London, The Police (Sting, Andy Summers & Stewart Copeland) are on the verge of becoming a global phenomenon. The group has just released their second album, Regatta de Blanc. Sea Level is a fusion
group that mixes jazz, blues and rock. Led by keyboardist Chuck Leavell, the band consists of members
of the touring Allman Brothers Band.
Read more: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/walt-disney-world/683469#ixzz2iYV9x9XA Oswald the Lucky Rabbit history
Walt Disney World comprises four theme parks, several Hotels, Golf courses and water parks.
The Magic Kingdom
The Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
One hotel features the Monorail, which goes through the center of the hotel, and even makes a stop there.
Disney's Contemporary Resort
There is something for everyone at Walt Disney World Resorts!
Posted for NW Ponderer.