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  1. #1

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    What if Walt built Disneyland in today's world?

    Walt had the privilage of building Disneyland in a time where details were appreciated more, kids didn't grow up so fast, and companies weren't always taking shortcuts simply to improve their bottom line.
    But what if Walt was born 10 or 20 years ago? For the sake of conversation, lets assume that everything about him is the same except for the society and technology around him (he still creates mickey mouse, wants to build DL, etc.). What would be different and what would be the same? Would DL be as magical as it is, or would it be a commercial mess of sorts?

  2. #2

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    hmm... Thjis is a hrad question... esp since Walt created themeparks... Walt helped crate many thigns we use today through innovation....

    Tha animatronic, Toubular steel coasters(perhaps built.. but mabey not) and most importantly.. anything depicted in tomorrowland eventually evolved into todays gadgets...

    I dont know what a world might be like if DL was buit....

  3. #3

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    The more pertinent is question is what would the world be like if Disneyland were not built. I doubt Disneyland could be built today under those circumstances. Walt was definitely at the right place at the right time.
    "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
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  4. #4

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    This question is really difficult to hypothesize on. Disneyland was the first true theme park, and it was the home of the first tubular steel track roller coaster. Current trends in theme park design involve the biggest and baddest coasters to attract.
    The easiest way to put an answer together is, Disneyland would have been the same, because, in essence, the world changed because of it.
    Live TV was pioneered at Disneyland, themed television shows, even the precursor to moden day reality TV were made to attract people to Disneyland. The entertainment industry grew up in Walt's world.
    History is dependant on things happening at specific times for specific reasons. Had Disneyland not existed 50 years ago, who knows how history may have been different. It's an interesting question, but the answer cannot be answered without intense philosophy.

  5. #5

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    I think our world today is too jaded to accept Disneyland. He had a hard enough time convincing investors back then, I doubt anyone would believe in him now. It sad, but probably true.
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  6. #6

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    This is a tough question.

    Back when Disneyland opened there were no shopping malls, Chunky Cheese or other type of theme entertainment.

    So many things that Disney originally did have now been copied, over and over again. Now these things are commonplace in our world. The better question is what would the world be like if Disney hadn’t taken a chance and been the first to do so many things.

  7. #7

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    Well, I'm not sure there were no "theme parks." Ol' Walter Knott was building a very highly-themed amusement park over on his property for several years before Disney came along.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    Well, I'm not sure there were no "theme parks." Ol' Walter Knott was building a very highly-themed amusement park over on his property for several years before Disney came along.
    Very good point. So we could safely assume that if Walt was born in the 80s or 90s that there would be a form of 'theme park'. However these parks would probably resemble coney island and the boardwalk without the model of DL to go by.
    So lets start by Walt coming of age with these carnival type parks about, he creates Mickey and starts to build a park. How would it be similar and/or different from the DL we know today?

  9. #9

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    One of the great things Walt had was that he believed in Disneyland as an escape and believed that if you put everything you could into a project, the public would come. I don't think he approached any part of Disneyland from a cost/profit aspect.

    My guess is that if he built it today, it would be so amazingly immersive that it would blow our mind. I doubt there would be McDonald's fries myself...

  10. #10

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    Walt's World....

    What we consider "The Old West" (6-shooters, cartrige belts, lever action repeating rifles, cattle drives...) was about 35 years... It started with the end of the Civil War in 1865 to ran until about 1900 when cars, electricity, motion pictures, telephones, etc ushered in the "modern era".

    Thanscontinental Railroad 1869
    Custer's Last Stand 1876
    OK Corral 1881
    Jesse James and the James/Younger gang (1866-1881)
    Wild Bill stunt show started in 1873.



    So, Walt was born right at the dawn of "modern days"...

    He was in his 20s, in "the Roaring 20s"... He was able to use his artistic abilities, incredibly playful creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and TONS of risk taking and hard work, and break into animated shorts right at the dawn of "talking pictures".

    1-part right time/right place
    1-part hard work
    1-part artistic talent
    1-part creative genious
    2-parks good luck

    Mix well and you have the start of Disney's career.

    From there, it was all about never being satisfied... Always trying to do more, do different.


    ++++++++++++++++++++

    About 1955 was the dawn of the information age. Computers came into wide use in american industry. 20 years later, there was a major revolution as heavy metal and punched cards gave way to micro-chips (like silent movies giving way to talkies).

    One genious, burn at the dawn of the age, right place, right time, hard work, risk taking, much luck, entrepreneurial spirit.... was there to capitalize....

    Bill Gates.


    If Walt were born 50 years ago, he'd be "not much". There was no new era dawning or great revolution to which he could apply his particular talent (drawing)...

    If Bill Gates had any artistic ability or creativity.... he'd be the next Walt. Instead, he has a mind for business, so he's the richest man in the world.

  11. #11

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    My guess is if Walt could sell a dream way back when money was tight, today would be a piece of cake. Never under-estimate the heart of a champion. Walt is a champion.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  12. #12

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    If Walt was born 10 or 20 years ago, he'd be 10 or 20 years old, and either still in elementary school or just starting his animation career, and Disneyland wouldn't even be a twinkle in his eye yet.
    My fondest memory of Walt Disney was the day Disneyland opened....I was standing next to him - I was 12 years old - he was looking at the gate where people were coming through, he had his hands behind his back, he had a grin from ear to ear, but you could see the lump in his throat and the tear coming down his cheek because his dream had been realized. -- Mouseketeer Sharon Baird, "Mouseke-Memories", Walt Disney Treasures: The Mickey Mouse Club

  13. #13

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    If we are looking at him starting out with a career in animation, then Disneyland will never be built! Everyone I know with an art degree is using it for wallpaper and there are far too many unemployed animators out there. Now if he learned the computer end of animation and got hired on at Pixar, then it would be a different story.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentBob66
    If Walt was born 10 or 20 years ago, he'd be 10 or 20 years old, and either still in elementary school or just starting his animation career, and Disneyland wouldn't even be a twinkle in his eye yet.
    Lets also assume that it's the year 2020

    I just said 10-20 years because it seems as if that's when technology started skyrocketing, and quality began to decline. IMO.

  15. #15

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    Would DL be as magical as it is, or would it be a commercial mess of sorts?
    You can find your answer across the promenade from DL.

    Very good point. So we could safely assume that if Walt was born in the 80s or 90s that there would be a form of 'theme park'. However these parks would probably resemble coney island and the boardwalk without the model of DL to go by.
    From Via Magazine:

    http://viamagazine.com/top_stories/articles/wow03.asp

    In the 1960s, Knott's Berry Farm added two pioneering rides: Timber Mountain, an early log flume ride, and Calico Mine, a "dark ride" in industry parlance that toured a gold mine. Its design—narrow shafts opening onto large decorated caverns—would inspire later Disneyland attractions.

    "You never wanted to copy what the other guy was doing," says Ed Feuer, a former Disneyland engineer who helped build many of the park's early attractions and now runs his own design company, Ride & Show Engineering. "But when Knott's came out
    with the log ride, we said to ourselves, 'Darn, why didn't we think of that?'

    What Disney did think of was Pirates of the Caribbean, which opened in 1967 and shook the industry like a cannon shot."
    As Steve pointed out, KBF was already heading in the direction of a highly themed park experience before DL was even thought of, and later, immersively themed elaborate dark rides. So even without DL, I doubt modern parks today would be stripped down Coney Island clones, more like KBF or Six Flags Over Texas (the first successful major theme park built after DL).
    Last edited by jomo; 04-06-2005 at 06:58 PM.

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