Disneyland vacation - Anaheim, California Disneyland vacation - Anaheim, California

 


 
Disneyland vacation - Anaheim, California

Disneyland:
History and Origins

Walt Disney and his brother Roy already headed one of Hollywood's more successful studios founded in 1923 long before the idea of a park even began to form.

Walt's original concept was of a permanent family fun park without the negative element which traveling carnivals often attracted. He developed the idea during his many outings with his daughters Dianne and Sharon, when he realized that there were no parks with activities that parents and children could enjoy together.

While many people had written letters to Walt Disney about visiting the Disney Studio lot and meeting their favorite Disney character, Walt realized that a functional movie studio had little to offer the visiting fan. He then began to foster ideas of building place at his Burbank studios for visitors to visit and perhaps take pictures with statues of Disney characters set in statue form. His ideas then evolved to a park with a boat ride and other themed areas. These ideas grew bigger and bigger into a concept for a larger enterprise which was to become Disneyland.

Disneyland was partially inspired by Tivoli Gardens, built in 1843 in Copenhagen, Denmark and Children's Fairyland built in 1950 in Oakland, California. Disney's original modest plans called for the park to be built on eight acres (32,000 m²) next to the Disney Studios in Burbank, California as a place where his employees and families could go to relax.

Early in development, during the early 1950s, it became clear that more area would be needed. Difficulties in obtaining funding caused Disney to investigate new ways of raising money. He decided to use television to get the ideas into people's homes, and so he created a show named Disneyland which was broadcast on the fledgling American Broadcasting Company (ABC) television network. In return, the network agreed to help finance the new park.

On the suggestion of researchers at Stanford Research Institute who correctly envisioned the area's potential growth, Disney acquired 160 acres (730,000 m²) of orange groves and walnut trees in Anaheim, south of Los Angeles in neighboring Orange County.

Construction began on July 18, 1954 and would cost US$17 million to complete. U.S. Highway 101 (later Interstate 5) was under construction at the same time just to the north of the site; in preparation for the traffic which Disneyland was expected to bring, two more lanes were added to the freeway even before the park was finished.

Because of his brother Roy's distrust of the project, and because of financial considerations, Walt Disney was forced to turn to outside financing for his theme park. For the first five years of its operation, Disneyland was owned by Disneyland, Inc., of which Walt Disney Productions and ABC each owned half. In 1960, Walt Disney Productions bought ABC's share of the theme park.

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