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Friday, July 24, 2015

The Story of DISNEYLAND: Up and Running

On television, DISNEYLAND looked like an amazing place with a hugely successful debut. Walt Disney certainly thought so; he had been busy with the television special and didn't see the rough parts of opening day. The crowd that was three times what was anticipated; the food shortages; the sinking concrete. The gathered press witnessed the disaster first hand.

The vast majority of the guests loved the place despite the heat, traffic and lack of food, but more skeptical members of the press wrote about the park's opening being a disaster. Walt Disney quickly enlisted a tactical team to begin resolving the operational issues that presented themselves on opening day. Another team sought to smooth things over with the media, treating them to several booze soaked parties at the DISNEYLAND Hotel.

Miraculously, the crowds kept streaming through the gates, delighting Walt's brother Roy, who was initially against the project. DISNEYLAND had defied the critics and was an instant success. Walt Disney Productions no longer had to struggle to survive between films now that it had a steady income from DISNEYLAND.

The park's immediate survival assured, it was now time to plan for its future. And the Disney Brothers would have very different ideas about how to accomplish that plan.