Walt Disney World Adventure – Part 1

Walt Disney World Adventure – Part 1 after the break…

Walt Disney World Adventure – Part 1…

Walt Disney, if you don’t already know, was a man who made a mint off of a mouse. Actually, let me correct that – Walt Disney used bleeding-edge technology of his time & the mouse character was just a vehicle (a “tech demo,” if you will) for that technology.

Seriously, the cartoon character could have been a rabbit, a pig, a moose… I’m sure that there were people who wouldn’t care what the cartoon character was but were simply amazed that they were watching a mouse that talked in coordination with music & sound effects. Yes, the movie industry was just that primitive & any innovation you could display pushed you out of the glut & into the limelight.

Therefore, the real star of Walt Disney’s career wasn’t a mouse but the technology that mouse used.

Modern day people forget that, before the 1950’s, amusement parks were hit-and-miss affairs. No one took them too seriously – There was one or two roller coasters, followed by a slew of smaller rides, some carnival games & a stage for some sorry entertainers to perform. Some amusement parks were better then others but a lot of them were real C-grade stinkers… Even for back then when much wasn’t really expected of them except not to kill the kiddies.

Walt Disney saw this opening to make a grand amusement park on a budget the likes no one had ever previously seen. Quite literally, Disneyland (the one in California) was so impressive for it’s time that mere words couldn’t easily translate the quantum leap of quality that Walt Disney infused into the amusement park industry by that one park alone.

Never intent on sitting on one’s laurels, Walt Disney set out to best himself yet again by making Disney World, the Florida version of Disneyland. Disney World was going to be so gosh-darn huge (at one point, cryptically called “the Florida project”) that is was going to include an entire working city(!) for people to walk around in.

Unfortunately, Walt Disney (the man) died before Disney World could be completed. Walt Disney’s city, EPCOT, would die with him. EPCOT Center, an educational theme park, would briefly rise in EPCOT’s shadow before succumbing to market pressures to conform it back into a child-friendlier theme park more akin to Disney World.

Why all the backstory? Well, I recently returned from my first trip to Walt Disney World in just over 20 years.

How did I like it? Did I like it? Well… Read on in the next installment…

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