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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Florida Project: Walt Disney's World

After seeing his biggest dream become wildly successful, Walt Disney began getting requests from around the world to build new Disneylands. Walt rejected them all; he wasn't interested in repeating his success, in fact, he was mainly interested in improving it. DISNEYLAND was his pride and joy and he eagerly sought ways to make it better. DISNEYLAND's success gave him money he could now use to buy more land around the park. 

Unfortunately, others had taken notice of DISNEYLAND's success and surrounding land became unavailable at any cost. Walt had begged the City of Anaheim to reign in on development and carefully plan out what would get built around the park, but the city, eager to capitalize on its world famous resident, pretty much permitted any building or use, no matter how tawdry or inconsistent with a tourist area it was. Residential areas hemmed the park in on one side. Cheesy motels on another. Walt grew dissatisfied with Anaheim's poor planning and began thinking that there had to be a better way to plan out a city.

So he came up with his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow- a real city that would be perfectly planned to showcase industry, reduce pollution, be a green example that would inspire other cities to follow some of its ingenuity. But how could he get people to visit his EPCOT? By using a "weenie" to attract them. This EPCOT would need to have a Disneyland to attract guests. He couldn't risk impacting attendance at the existing park, so he needed a place far from the real DISNEYLAND where he could get a ton of cheap land, enough to build his EPCOT.  He settled on central Florida, where hucksters sold swampland and embarrassed family members were eager to get rid of their "land holdings" for cheap. Soon Walt would be announcing the construction of "Disneyland East" and, more importantly, his plans for a real city- EPCOT.