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HI! My name is Paige Hastey and I'm from Palos Verdes (just outside of LA) and I am doing a report on the history of Disneyland. I was hoping you could take a few moments of your time to answer a few questions of mine:

1. How did Walt Disney fund the creation of Disneyland?
2. How did the idea of Disneyland come to be?
3. Why was Disneyland created?
4. How did Disneyland get its nick name "The Magical Kingdom"?
5. How was Disneyland different from when it first opened versus now?

Thank you for taking your time to read over my questions.

Answer
Hi Paige. I'm quite familiar with PV.

1. Television sponsorship. Disney knew that he would need help funding the development of his fantasy, Disneyland. Being the visionary he was, he looked to the next new frontier — television. He approached all three major networks with his proposal, but only ABC was willing to partner with him. Disney would produce a weekly family television program for ABC. In return, ABC would invest $500,000 in the creation of Disneyland and would own roughly 34% of the new enterprise. The weekly show would consist of an update on the construction of Disneyland and a short movie, all hosted by Walt Disney himself. Disney understood that the public would enjoy the show itself while also sitting through what would now be considered an hour-long commercial for Disneyland. The show went on to be known as “The Wonderful World of Color” and then “The Wonderful World of Disney.”

2. Walt was taking his two girls to the merry go round at Griffith Park (which is still running today). As he was sitting on a bench watching the girls ride, he thought that there must be a place where both adults and children could have fun. That bench is on display inside Disneyland. He had been with them to Coney Island, but was very disappointed in the staff there, and felt it was geared more for adults.

3. Disneyland was created because Walt wanted a place where families could go together to enjoy their leisure time. With the advent of time saving appliances and the ability of most Americans to afford them in the boom time after WWII, people now had spare time and a bit of spare money as well. Walt Disney came up with the concept of Disneyland after visiting various amusement parks with his daughters in the 1930s and 1940s. He initially envisioned building a tourist attraction adjacent to his studios in Burbank to entertain fans who wished to visit; however, he soon realized that the proposed site was too small. After hiring a consultant to help him determine an appropriate site for his project, Walt bought a 160-acre (65 ha) site near Anaheim in 1953. Construction began in 1954 and the park was unveiled during a special televised press event on the ABC Television Network on July 17, 1955.

4.  "Magic Kingdom" is technically in Florida at WDW. Because of the similarity to Disneyland, there was some confusion on the name of the park in Florida. "The Magic Kingdom" was used as an unofficial nickname for Disneyland before the Walt Disney World Resort was built; however, the official nickname of Disneyland is "The Happiest Place On Earth." The Magic
Kingdom's nickname is the similar "The Most Magical Place On Earth." Despite
the confusion, the park's tickets have always borne the official name of "The
Magic Kingdom." In 1994, in order to differentiate it from Disneyland, the park
was officially renamed to "Magic Kingdom Park."

5. Since its opening, Disneyland has undergone a number of expansions and renovations, including the addition of New Orleans Square in 1966, Bear Country (now Critter Country) in 1972, and Mickey's Toontown in 1993. Disney California Adventure Park was built on the site of Disneyland's original parking lot and opened in 2001. Walt always said that Disneyland will never be finished. It is always changing, with some rides disappearing into "Yesterland", and new ones appearing. Visit yesterland.com for a list of rides and attractions that no longer exist.

Good resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disneyland
http://disneydose.com/disneyland-where-did-walt-disney-get-the-money-for-disneyl

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Steve DizKahuna

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I can answer questions about Disneyland, California Adventure, Downtown Disney, restaurants and hotels of the Disneyland Resort, and local information (I`m also an expert in the California Category). I am also knowlegeable in Disneyland history and upcoming events. If you are coming to DLR with your family, I can give you some insight, since I have kids aged 6-23. If you have an attendance question, remember that predicting attendance is very tricky business, and I can only make my best guess based on past patterns. Hope to see you there!

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My family and I are annual passholders at the Disneyland Resort, and we go there about once per week. We, have eaten at every restaurant (even a few that are no longer open), and stayed at the hotels of the resort (even though we live 10 miles away). My wife and I have each been going to Disneyland since 1965.

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