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Friday, September 4, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- Dreaming of A Resort

It is now the 1990s. Disneyland has been around for over 35 years and has been a success for all these years. Though there had been times of doubt at various points in Disneyland history, it proved so great that Disneylands were springing up all aorund the globe. First, in Florida as Walt Disney World in 1971. Next as Tokyo Disneyland in Japan.

But the difference was Disneyland was a single park. There was one hotel adjacent to the park that bore the Disneyland name, but was not owned by Disney. Cheap cheesy hotels and motels lined the streets adjacent to Disneyland. The theme park soon became boxed in by Anahiem.

So focus shifted for many years towards Walt Disney World. The Magic Kingdom opened with several nice Disney operated hotels. Then Epcot opened. And now a third theme park, Disney MGM Studios was built. Much attention was given to what was once called simply "Disneyland Florida" by many people. Now, Disneyland seemed to be forgotten. While guest were spending on average about a week at WDW, they were spending a day at Disneyland.

But it was Michael Eisner and Tony Baxter who wanted to bring the world's attention to Disneyland. But how?

At this time, they wanted to turn Walt's original theme park into a multi-day resort with hotels and additional theme parks.

There were many different ideas out there for turning Disneyland into a Resort. The first step for the resort was the aquisition of the Disneyland Hotel. In 1989, Disney was finally able to buy The Disneyland Hotel after Jack Wrather died after years of attepmting to buy it. To do this, Disney purchased the enitre Jack Wrather Corporation. With the purchase came the RMS Queen Mary, and an idea for a new Disney theme park.

The park was to be called Port Disney and would be located in Long Beach, Claifornia. The park would be similar to Tokyo DisneySea in the idea, but would be radically different in design and theme. Port Disney would also include a marina and crusie ship dock amongst hotels and shopping centers.

The theme park itself would be a combination of an aquarium and theme park. At the center of the park, Oceania stood, which was a huge aquarium (see below). There would be various lands exploring different waters of the world, Pirate Island, Mysterious Island, Heroes Harbour (celebrating mythical people, like Jason and the Agronauts), and Fleets of Fantasy 9featuring old fashioned carnival rides).

Unfortunately, California enviornmentalists were not very fond of the idea of Disney using all this waterfront property. The California government became worried that the theme park could also disrupt the operation of the busy seaports nearby. So, Disney decided to abandon the $2 billion theme park. They decided to refocus their intentions towards Anahiem.

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