It was a zany idea. Risky, too.
People in the industry said it would never work. So did Walt Disney's closest friends and family, who could have reminded him that he had gone broke before on radical ideas and suffered a nervous breakdown working so hard.
But all the elements had rumbled in Disney's head for years: His fascination with the circus and railroads while growing up in Marceline, Mo., a small town with a classic Main Street. His desire to tinker with technology. His belief that families would flock to a clean place with finely landscaped gardens like the ones he had visited at Tivoli Gardens in Denmark.