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Sam Gennawey

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Sam Gennawey is an urban planner who has collaborated with communities throughout California over the course of more than 100 projects to create a great, big, beautiful tomorrow. Sam is a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Regional Planning History Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving municipal, county, and private sector planning documents from throughout Los Angeles County. Sam is the author of Walt and the Promise of Progress City which you can find on Amazon.
MiceChat favorite, Sam Gennawey, returns today with a peek into his brand new book, the JayBangs Story.  The book tells the fascinating tale of how Jay Stein built Universal Orlando and his run-ins with the Mouse. If it hadn't been...
I am awestruck by the Disney fan’s loyalty to the brand. This is virtually unparalleled. Why does this media company hold such power? I would offer that part of the reason is a legacy promoting that everyone is creative....
Join us for Part 2 of Sam Gennawey's look at Epcot's master plan. If you are catching us in the middle, please find his Part 1 HERE. At a press conference on Nov. 15, 1965, Walt Disney said, “I would like to...
Walt Disney first achieved fame as an animator. He would go on to great success producing live action films, documentaries, and television programs. For urban planners, his greatest achievement would be Disneyland. Speaking before the 1963 Urban Design Conference...
The sponge A theme park is a sponge that sucks up people. It is a finite space that has an infinite capacity as long as there is someplace to put all the guests. If Disneyland were an empty lot you...
Parking. It seems that parking has always been an issue at Disneyland and having an adequate supply has been critical to the success of the park. Now, once again, parking has become an issue. Some say that the recent...
Welcome to Samland. This week let’s step into the time machine and turn the dial back to August 1984. Walt Disney’s Son-In-Law, Ron Miller, was running Walt Disney Productions and trying new things to keep the company relevant. But...
Universal Vs Disney: America's greatest theme park rivalry unraveled.
For 12 years, Burbank had been looking for someone to build a regional shopping center on a significant piece of vacant property on Third and Magnolia, right in the heart of “Beautiful Downtown Burbank,” as comedian Johnny Carson used...
A while back, we wandered through the Monsanto House of the Future with Samland. That demonstration home lasted until 1967, when a whole new Tomorrowland based on the “World on the Move” theme was unleashed. One of the breakthrough...
Sam is back, and this time it's really personal. Today, we run the prologue of his new book which releases on Tuesday of this week! Universal versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks' Greatest Rivalry Prologue Universal Studios did not...
While trolling through the archives, I came upon a treasure trove of press releases from April 1969. It was an important time. The passing of Walt Disney in late 1966 was still in the minds of his minions. But...
Welcome to Samland 2.0. This is one man's attempt to understand and document public places that respect people. Sometimes those spaces are inside of theme parks and at other times they are out there in the big world. Welcome...
Recently, I took a trip back in time to the genesis of CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood. This week I will turn my attention to its big brother in Florida. In 1991, just after the opening of Universal Studios...
Today, July 15th, we offer our congratulations to Universal Studios Hollywood on 50 years of their world famous Studio Tram Tour and the genesis of their theme park operations. You provided the masses with a chance to peek backstage...
It was rewarding to see so many comments regarding my look at an early proposal to turn Universal City into the Tivoli Gardens of Los Angeles by 1970. Instead, the studio tour would become the focus. However, the legendary...
Ever since MCA bought Universal Studios in 1958, the owners wanted Universal City to become a gathering place for the San Fernando Valley the same way Disneyland served Orange County. Albert Dorskind was the man put in charge of...
The California Chapter of the American Planning Association is coming to the Disneyland Hotel for their annual conference in September. I penned this article with them in mind. But I think you hard core Disneyland fans will enjoy.  -...
Peel back the layers of time and it is amazing what one can find. Take Universal Studios Hollywood as an example. Today we know the upper lot as a hodgepodge of unrelated intellectual properties shoved into a confined space....
Welcome to another NEW episode of Samland. This week will be a grab bag of things that have crossed my desk and sparked my curiosity. Perhaps it will inspire some of you as well. Don't keep your comments to...