The wondrous world of Disney began when an 18 year old artist, Walter Elias Disney, had a fantasy. At the time, Disney was working in Kansas City as a professional artist at the Pesmin-Rubin Commercial Art Studio. In 1923, this amazing artist produced a series of Alice Comedies for J.M. Wrinkler and this creation led to the creation of Disney Studio. In fact, by 1923, Walter created Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie in 1927 and this character has not stopped entertaining children and adults alike. Eventually, Steamboat Willie became fully synchronized with sound.
For his first color cartoon in 1932, “Flowers and Trees”, Walt received the first ever Oscar awarded to an animated film. In 1932, another character as famous as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck made his appearance.
The Mind behind the Magic
Today the concept behind Walter’s creation is the most popular holiday destination in the United States. Walt Disney wanted to create a park where families with kids could have fun together. Initial plans of Disneyland were to use 8 acres of land only, but with the expansion of dreams, 8 acres were not enough. Today, Disneyland, California is spread over 180 acres. Construction of Disneyland began on July 21, 1954. The design was something never done before. The plan included five different lands – the Magic Kingdom.
– Main Street, U.S.A. was where people relive the typical turn of the century city Main Street.
– Adventureland was an “exotic tropical place” in the remote jungles of Asia and Africa.
– Frontierland was where people try to relive the pioneer days of the American frontier.
– Fantasyland was created where classic stories of everyone’s youth became realities for youngsters of all ages to participate in.
– Tomorrowland looked at the marvels of the future.
This $17,000,000 magical park, Disneyland, was opened on for public on July 17, 1955.
With the success of Disneyland, Walt Disney had a vision of an amusement park on a much bigger scale. He decided to have his new Disneyland in the East. With a good year-round weather, Orlando, Florida was selected to be the place. Initially, 27,000 acres of swampland was purchased in 1964-65, in Florida. Walt Disney called this new park Disneyworld, which was later, after his death, changed to Walt Disney World, by his brother Roy.
Like Disneyland, his plans for Disneyworld included the Magic Kingdom. His plans also included the city of the future – which he called an experimental prototype community of tomorrow (EPCOT).
He wanted EPCOT to display all possible scientific advances. Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, without seeing Disneyworld and EPCOT. His brother, Roy Disney, ensured that Walt’s dream was completed and Walt Disney World opened to the public on October 1, 1971.
Thanks to Walt Disney and his family, we have two great Disney Parks in the United States to enjoy. Walter Disney was the man behind the dream and his brother, Roy, continued manifesting the dream. Today, Disney World, the second of the dream series, is the most popular of all the theme parks in the world and covers an area of 30,500 acres or about 47 square miles and Disney Land, the first of the dream series, is also quite popular. The dream of Walt Disney continues to spin The Magic of Disney and will do so for many years.
John Murray publishes a Disney World blog filled with helpful articles, ideas and thoughts about Disney World.