Featured Attractions

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Story of DISNEYLAND: The Happiest Place on Earth Lives On

After Walt Disney's death, many people outside and a few people inside the company doubted that it could continue running as an active company without its King. Many theorized that Roy Disney would get caught up in the conglomeration frenzy that was running through American business at the time and would sell the company to a larger corporation. The larger corporation would theoretically act as caretakers of the famous characters and films, choosing to license existing properties instead of creating new ones. Bizarrely, General Dynamics, a defense contractor, was a rumored buyer. They were allegedly interested in the vast Florida property and the everlasting revenue flow that the Disney copyrights and trademarks would provide. As rumors swirled, there was still the business of operating the world's greatest theme park and opening arguably the greatest attraction ever built- DISNEYLAND's Pirates of the Caribbean.

The amazing attraction was believed to be Walt Disney's final gift to his beloved guests. Built on a massive scale underneath New Orleans Square, the attraction put together everything that Walt and his team had learned over a decade of running DISNEYLAND to create an attraction like none other. It was- and is- a truly amazing experience, unsurpassed even by the other attractions bearing its name worldwide. To this day, guests wishing to experience the ultimate Pirates of the Caribbean adventure must make their way to DISNEYLAND in Anaheim. None of the others quite match up in scope or grandeur.

The other side of the park was not ignored either. Walt Disney had already demolished much of the existing Tomorrowland to make way for the spectacular Tomorrowland 1967: A World on the Move. Sadly, his grand ideas for a new attraction to anchor the land- Space Mountain- was not possible using 1960's technology. Rather than present his guests with an inferior 'Matterhorn Indoors', Mr. Disney delayed construction until technology caught up with his dreams, leaving a spot vacant for this future dream. His gleaming new Tomorrowland opened in late 1967.

By this time, Roy Disney was willing to silence the rumors of the company's sale by insisting that the team his brother had built was more than capable of continuing to create new films, characters and attractions. While quietly killing the EPCOT project as envisioned by his brother, he promised to go full speed ahead on Walt Disney World, which would end up incorporating very little of his brother's plans. Construction continued at DISNEYLAND as the long awaited Haunted Mansion finally began frightening guests in 1969. It seemed that as DISNEYLAND entered its era without its guiding force that things would be okay.