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Friday, November 13, 2015

The Story of DISNEYLAND: Growing Pains

With its creator gone, DISNEYLAND settled in for the long haul. Walt Disney had setup an organization that he was certain would continue to pursue his dreams. Meanwhile, Roy Disney canceled his brother's plans for the Florida project and planned out his own vision of a "vacation kingdom". The resulting changes required Imagineering to shift its efforts to Florida. While DISNEYLAND's staff felt neglected, the park continued to operate as before, bringing in needed funds that were diverted to Florida. When the Florida park faltered at first, DISNEYLAND's importance was increased as its profits were used to prop up the Florida resort until it found its bearings. It is interesting to note that if DISNEYLAND had suffered the same initial attendance issues as Florida's Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney likely would have gone bankrupt.

The first attraction "imported" from Florida was the Country Bear Jamboree. Originally created for a project Walt Disney planned to build in Mineral King, California, it was wildly successful in Florida and given its own new land in DISNEYLAND. The arrival of the Country Bears was highly anticipated.

The next big addition to DISNEYLAND was also influenced by the Florida park. To save money, Roy Disney had under built attractions in Florida. When the park began to become successful, it soon needed any new additions it could muster. The Carousel of Progress was eyed as a natural addition to Florida's Tomorrowland and the attraction was packed up in Anaheim and sent out to Florida. Taking advantage of the existing infrastructure, Disney Imagineer Marc Davis proposed a salute to American music performed by animatronic animals. DISNEYLAND's America Sings opened just in time for America's bicentennial.

As the decade continued, DISNEYLAND would continue to be affected by its younger sibling in Florida, but that would soon end.