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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Florida Project: Designing a Real City

After purchasing the land and getting approvals to run his own town, Walt Disney began getting his imagineers excited about city planning. A few of them were uncomfortable with the huge task Walt had put before them and wanted to be on the team designing "Disneyland East". Walt was uninterested. "We've already designed the perfect place," he argued, "We'll just build it again, but with more water."

Not everyone at the corporate level was happy with the plans for EPCOT either. Roy Disney loved the idea of "Disneyland East" because he had seen how the real DISNEYLAND had stabilized the company finances. But he thought EPCOT would be a huge boondoggle. He didn't stand in his brother's way, however, and figured he'd either convince Walt that it was a bad idea or that Walt would come to the realization himself.

While the plans for the Florida project were in the very early stages, sadly, tragedy struck. Mr. Disney passed away at age 65. His initial plans for EPCOT were realized as a scale model that would be displayed at GE's Carousel of Progress at DISNEYLAND. Walt would unfortunately not live to see it go on display as part of his "New Tomorrowland" that opened in 1967.