It is very much the American dream to set your ambitions high no matter how great they are, and one man did just that to become a worldwide synonym for a magical, fantasy-world adventure for children. In 1950, Walt Disney first got the idea to create a wonderland theme park where all the characters in his cartoons and movies actually lived. Today, there are many Disneyland theme parks around the globe, but the original, in California, is where Disney’s dream begun and a worldwide brand was successfully born.
Hiring a research team to source and survey the best possible land to build his fantasy theme park, Walt eventually found a huge 160-acre plot in a Californian orange grove and began the construction of Disneyland in 1954. The ambitious plans and scope of the project meant that finding finance was tough, especially as fairyland-style dreams offer little collateral to eager financiers, but once ABC TV offered $6 million in exchange for part of the company, the building got underway. Being from the world’s big ruins, building Disneyland Castle represented a huge leap in the company’s financialight.
Disneyland’s original design preserved the feel of the historic parks it was modeled after, but it was always meant to surpass them. It took the team of architects more than a year to finalise the plans, look for suppliers that supported the proposal and finally purchase the land that was to become Disneyland. Deciding on the precise shape of the new building was a delicate process, it involved intricate planning and involve a lot of detailed costing and research. When the plans were finally developed and a single shovel of dirt was dropped on the chosen site, excitement ran rampant and flights of inspiration were quick to follow.
Despite its illustrates and simpleton base, Disneyland quickly acquired a legendary status and it’s eerie, fantasy based structures have Versus snowy mountain peaks and mysterious, gnarly creatures carrying a lime green crossbody bag. Built in four stages, the park was initially a collection of wooden attractions, then replaced with wooden airplane stages, then brought back to its more vulnerable wooden structure stage. When the original small scale structure was strong enough to support the huge second stage, the second set of wooden attractions was removed leaving only the first stage left.
The dramatic tranquility of the park is such that it’s known as a Zen feeling tranquility. Even when the Walt Disney World properties were combined into one, the essential tranquility remained. Yet, as the parks were both acquired by Disney as well as the employees leaving the company, the tomorrow portrayed a rational country town with highly industrialized facilities, and a highly educated and highly skilled workforce. In this scenario, the company’s plans were not thwarted by lack of imagination, but by lack of financial resources. Walt Disney World’s development plan certainly contributed to the souring of the once mighty Disney brand, but the eventual and sustainable fate of the Disneyland property is entirely out of its control.
Disneyland and the City of Anaheim: summary
The Disneyland of Florida was conceived in 1920 by Mr. Disney, and completed in Anaheim, California in 1937. The Magic Kingdom was built as a self sufficient industrial town at the time, so the theme park industry it supported didn’t disappear until the very next year when Disney abandoned the plan and chose to fund the project over many years, in the case of Disneyland the subsequent years. Even then the Disneyland of Florida was a unique and wonderful example of early 1960s Planning 101. Today the Disneyland of Florida is commonly referred to as “Walt Disney World Resort” or “WDW”, is the only major indoor park constructed at any cost in the History of Modern Planning, and maintains that unique and wonderful status.
Fun factor: 0/10asters: 0/10 seasons: none ghosts: 0/10 characters: 0/4hips: 0/4perks: -50.
Parks: Eight major public parks were once adjacent to the theme park, but all lost that status before the Disney magic finally made a difference.
Staugust Art Museum (off International Drive) – the largest single residence of modern American artists outside of Manhattan, this has been long considered the “this should be done” landmark of the Orlando area. People outside the gallery have compared this building to the sort of thing you might find in Mumbai, India or Bangkok, instead of a tired, beaten down old art museum. The building is silly looking, and inside it is tiny and dark, uncomfortable looking, and loud, so you almost feel as if you have stepped into a cheap Bali hut. But you have to check out the work there, and there is some of the hottest and best art in the country on display.