Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Brief history of Walt Disney World

In 1955, Disneyland opened. Although it had it's fair share of problems, it was extremely successful. Walt Disney wanted to expand his park, but the area around him had been bought and became riddled with hotels and restaurants, each wanting to take part in Disney's success. What bothered Walt the most though, was the fact that you could see the cheap hotels and restaurants from some of the high points in Disneyland. So, in 1959, Walt Disney began to search for more land. He found some in central Florida. The land was mostly used for cattle. Walt liked the land because it was easy to access, yet was on a private road. He also liked liked the central Florida location because the weather was similar to the weather in Anaheim. Walt bought the land a few pieces at a time, under fake names, such as "ayefour" and "retlaw/" Eventually, Walt Disney owned 46 square miles of land, and was ready to build. Walt had a few ideas for this land in central Florida, a Utopian community called "Progress City." Which later became EPCOT, and the town of Celebration.
Walt Disney passed away on December 15, 1966. Under his brother's control, they forged ahead. Soon, the Magic Kingdom was built. They also built a hotel, a campground, and a shopping center. Then, in 1981, the EPCOT center was built. It was based off of Walt Disney's idea of "Progress City." Then, in 1984, Michael Eisner became the CEO of the Walt Disney Company. This era brought many changes. Disney MGM Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom were added along with Pleasure Island. The most controversial changes were the deletion of rides such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. People felt like the big CEO did not understand that many people liked the classic ride's simplicity. People got mad also because they thought that their replacements were cheap cop-outs. Eisner also had some good moments, such as the idea of expanding themed hotels. He also bought the Disneyland Hotel in Aneheim. But then, in 2005, Michael Eisner stepped down as CEO and Bob Iger was put in charge. He wanted to re-create the trust that the company used to have. Igner wanted Disney to go 'back to its roots' and he currently working to achieve this goal.