Sunday, February 28, 2010

Disneyland Part 1

How it all began ~ Part 1
As I prepared to write this piece I took time to research the initial idea of Disneyland, the plans and preparation that took place before it's opening on July 17, 1955 and the plans and preparations that still take place causing the Disneyland Resort to be a magical vacation destination for millions of visitors each year. I look forward to sharing with you what I've learned in my research and my 15+ visits to Disneyland
'To all who come to this happy place, Welcome...'
-Walt Disney
(Welcome speech-Opening Day-July 17, 1955) 

Disneyland was originally created from an idea that Walt had while spending time with his daughters each Sunday. He would watch his girls whirling on a beautiful carousel at a local park and imagine a place where children and their parents could enjoy a safe, clean entertaining experience together. He considered creating an amusement park adjoining his studio in Burbank with a train running around on a track around the park, a river, and a little Western street. Research was the key to Walt's success. He spent a lot time visiting other amusement parks around the country to learn about them-what worked and what didn't. He spoke to children to ask them what they liked? Walt met with his designers. Ideas were discussed, plans were drawn up and soon Walt realized that the land near the studio was not large enough to contain all of the dreams had for a family amusement park. He knew he needed a major piece of land since his research had helped to decide that his park wasn't going to be tiny. It was going to be big! More research; freeways, population growth, temperature differences. Ten possible sites were considered, three were preferred. In 1954, more than 160 acres covered in orange groves, was purchased in the sleepy town of Anaheim, California.
Building Walt's dream, Disneyland, continued to grow.
To be continued...

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