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  1. #1

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    In the beginning...

    I posted this in another thread. It is Walt Disney's first description of his proposed "theme" park, delineated in a memo written by him in 1948. This is Walt Disney's very first description of what he had in mind for "Mickey Mouse Park."

    I think folks should see what Walt had in mind...complete with roller coasters and "carny" midways. Also pay attention to the marketing ideas already in place.

    The Main Village, which included the Railroad Station is built around a village green or informal park. In the park will be benches, a bandstand, drinking fountain, trees and shrubs. It will be a place for people to sit and rest, mothers and grandmothers can watch over small children at play. I want it to be very relaxing, cool and inviting.

    Around the park will be built the town. At one end will be the Railroad Station, at the other end, Town Hall. The Hall will be built to represent a Town Hall, but actually we will use it as our administration building. It will be the headquarters of the entire project.

    Adjoining the Town Hall will be the Fire and Police Stations. The Fire Station will contain practical fire apparatus, scaled down. The Police Station will also be put to practical use. Here the visitors will report all violations, lost articles, lost kids, etc. In it we could have a little jail where the kids could look in. We might even have some characters in it.

    We will also have a drug store with a soda fountain and sell the usual articles…candy, cigarettes, magazines, camera and film supplies and all sorts of novelty souvenirs.

    The Opera House and the Movie Theatre, with a capacity of three hundred seats, Here we will put on little kids’ plays of all kinds, together with motion pictures. We can also use it as a radio and television broadcasting place. We will have a variety of little stores around the park. One would be a toy store. Here we would sell the Disney toys and whatever toys would be suitable. There should be a repair shop in the store where the toys can be fixed. We would include a book department here that would carry all the Disney books.

    A doll store, featuring Disney dolls and other kids too, together with a doll hospital. Another store could be an old-fashioned candy factory where we would sell candy that is no longer obtainable. We would use only the best materials and stress the fact that it is the old-fashioned kind that can’t be bought today.

    Nest is the Hobby Shop where all kinds of stuff can be bought. This will be for both boys and girls.

    There will be another shop (we will think of an appropriate title) where the Disney artists can sell what they most enjoy doing in their leisure hours, i.e., their hobbies, whatever they may be.

    Maybe we could have a magic shop where we would have all kinds of tricks for kids, party favors, etc.

    Next would be a kids’ furniture store. Here we would have all types of furniture, play-houses, etc., but the point is it would be the same type of furniture that would be on display in the residential section.

    Then a kids’ clothing store. Here we would have all types of play suits, Indian suits, soldier suits, cowboy outfits…all the things kids love to dress up in.

    Restaurant. We would have a lunch counter and dining room. Probably we would have a separate dining room, or rooms, that could be reserved for birthday parties of a private kind. This would be arranged through a separate catering set-up.

    In the center of the park we will have a little hot-dog/ice cream stand which would be very colorful.

    Music Store. Here the kids can buy Disney records and all other kinds of kids’ records.

    In the Town Hall we will have a real Post Office where mail and packages can be mailed (Note: Check with Burbank on how to go about getting our own postal stamp).

    The Horse Car. The car would start at the Main Entrance and pick up those who did not want to walk. The car would then take them down the street to the Railroad Station. The car would stop here for those who wanted to get off at the village or they could continue on to the Western village, then loop around and come back by way of the Carnival section; then onto the Main Village for a stop and continue until it was back at the Main Entrance.

    We will have a Livery Stable where buck-boards are for hire. These will carry adults and children and will be pulled by a team of ponies which would drive them all around the village. Surreys and buck-boards will be available to go through the Western Village and the old farm. In other words, they can use any road. They will be rented by the half-hour, including the driver.

    Carnival Section. This will be attached to the village and will be the regular concession type, which will appeal to adults and kids alike. There will be roller coasters, merry go rounds…typical Midway stuff. (This will be worked out later.)

    The Western Village. A general store with a soda fountain and lunch counter. We could sell most of the articles we have in the drug store in the village but we would also sell Western toys, Western outfits, toy guns, etc.

    We might want to put in another little movie set-up here where we would run nothing but Western pictures.

    We will have a pony ring, set up a corral, where the kids can ride.

    The Stage Coach. The coach would leave from the Western village, pass through the farm, go through the Indian village and pass the old mill. This would be by a special road.

    The Donkey Pack Train. The donkeys would all be hooked together and handled by one man. This would take ten kids.

  2. #2

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    Re: In the beginning...

    Good thing that shortly after that memo Walt started visiting various carnies and amusement parks across the country, and quickly developed a whole different outlook and philosophy for what his Park was to become, and how much would be different from some of what was in that memo and what was "typical Midway stuff."


  3. #3

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    Re: In the beginning...

    Note the focus on recreating the village as opposed to the brief note about the carnie section. When Walt became bored of his village of the past he then started to get grander plans of Epcot (the city not the Floridian park we have today).

    What a dreamer (lucky bugger).
    Disney FAQ#275: What is DCA?
    DCA stands for Disney Construction Area. All the Cast Members are themed with hard hats and steel toed boots.

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