September 3, 1954
THE DISNEYLAND STORY
As you look at the schematic aerial view map, I would like to explain that DISNEYLAND takes up 160 acres of ground; 60 acres will be the Park itself, the rest of the acreage is for parking purposes. This area can accommodate ten thousand cars. There will be an 8 to 15 foot embankment around the 60 acres, and on top of this embankment will run a 5/8 scale steam locomotive, weighing 15 tons, pulling six coaches, carrying approximately 300 people. This locomotive will be the old-fashioned type as seen at the turn of the century. Also around the 60 acres will be a landscaped berm which will keep anyone from looking in or out of DISNEYLAND. The theme of DISNEYLAND is that when you park your car in the auto park you leave the present day behind, and when you enter DISNEYLAND you will find yourself in the land of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. Nothing of the present exists in DISNEYLAND.
As you come to the entrance you will notice the DISNEYLAND Railroad Station. This is the Marquee to DISNEYLAND. As you walk through a tunnel into DISNEYLAND you find yourself in a Civic Center or Town Square at the Turn of the Century, any time from 1890 to 1910. Here you will see the Town Hall . . the Fire Engine House with the Old Fashioned Fire Engine . . the Bank . . the Post Office . . the Disneyland Emporium and the Old Opera House. At the Civic Center you can get a horsedrawn streetcar that will take you right up MAIN STREET.
There will be four of these cars. As you go up MAIN STREET you will see the Old Photographer's Shop . . the Penny Arcade ... the Bakery . . the Drug Store, and the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor with the marble top tables and wire back chairs. Further up the street you will see the Restaurant . . the Music Shop . . the Old Newspaper Press, and there will be a home or two of the period. One of these homes could be a Rooming House with a sign in the window reading -- ROOM AND BOARD ($2.50 a week). This will certainly break the hearts of the people who remember this period but it is a bit of nostalgia that will leave a warm feeling.
We will scale MAIN STREET down to pony size (that means about 80% of full scale) which will add a lot of charm to the buildings. All of the stores will be practical, where you can enter and purchase with ease. However, the second stories of the buildings will be false fronts. In order to keep the street alive, we will have tape machines planted in various false fronts. For example: Over the Photographer's Shop might be a Dentist's Office. Every now and then the tape machine will start and you will hear someone getting his tooth drilled and doing a little screaming. Over the Drug Store we could have a Vocal Teacher's Studio and hear a soprano taking her lesson, hitting a few clinkers, and the Vocal Teacher screaming at her. Over the Ice Cream Parlor you might hear some close harmony by the Barber Shop Quartet. We want everyone to feel that this is MAIN STREET, U.S.A. and that you are actually living this period. This is no Ghost Town.
MAIN STREET is a wonderful place for exhibitors to establish the fact that they are old reliable firms which have been in business fifty years or more. Here they can show how they started and reproduce their first place of business.
At the end of MAIN STREET we come to the PLAZA, or the crossroads of DISNEYLAND. To the right will be an old-fashioned restaurant of the Gay Nineties period, something like Delmonico's, which will seat approximately 400 people. On the left will be a Buffeteria where a person can pick out any food he wants and sit at a table on the lawn in front, watching the people as they walk around the PLAZA.
From the PLAZA you can then go to TOMORROW LAND where large industries will have their participating exhibits on display, projecting their thinking of the future. As you look into TOMORROW LAND you will see the ROCKET SHIP which will be the symbol of the area.
Beyond the ROCKET SHIP will be the amusement center where we will project the amusements of the future. In order to reach this part of DISNEYLAND the people must walk through the exhibits. In the amusement area you will find the Freeway of Tomorrow, where a child can get into a two-seater gas-driven automobile and take it out on the Freeway of Tomorrow, but first he must pass his test; that is, we put him through a little obstacle course. If he passes the test, which everyone does, he then gets a DISNEYLAND Operator's Card which allows him to go on the Freeway. Here he can go on the overpass, the underpass, cloverleaf, and the straight away, and actually learn how to steer and accelerate the car. These cars will go up to 10 to 14 miles an hour. When they reach that speed, the governor cuts out, which keeps the car from going any faster. This particular ride replaces the Dodgem that you find in most amusement parks, where children bang into each other. In our ride, the child actually learns how to handle an automobile, and the ride is a safe one.
We will do a similar thing with the Lake in TOMORROW LAND where a child or adult can take a scaled-down speed boat which will be about 8½ to 9 feet long and learn how to handle it along its course on the lake.
As you look around the amusement center you will find the Rocket Ship to the Moon. You will identify these rides by the Space Terminal of the future. Here we will have 2 space ships that will take you on a rocket ship trip to the moon. To explain this a little more thoroughly - - the idea is to have you walk up a ramp into a rocket ship, which actually is a little theatre that will hold 46 people. There will be two rows of seats, we will have a 5 foot scanning screen in the floor as well as one above. There will be a stewardess in attendance. When all seats are filled, the stewardess will tell all the passengers to belt themselves in to their seats. As she closes the door to the Rocket Ship, it starts a projector on which, there is a scientifically correct film on a trip to the moon. The lower screen shows the smoke and sparks and gases of the Rocket Ship leaving the Earth. The theatre shakes like in a take off. The Captain of the Ship starts to give you an interesting bit of chatter, tell you to hold on tight, and then as you keep looking at the screen the smoke soon leaves and you see the Earth, getting smaller and smaller. At this point, you push a button which makes the seats go up and the floor go down, giving you the feeling that you have lost gravity. About this time, you have lost the Earth as well. Now you look at the screen above and you see the other Rocket Ship returning from the Moon. At this point you get into the hazardous part of the ride, where meteors flash across your path, and the Captain's story gets a little more exciting. Of course, some of the meteors smash right into your ship. With the use of lighting, we will make it very exciting. You fight your way through the barrage of meteors, finally circling the moon, and return to home base. This ride will be scientifically correct but loaded with thrills.
We will have other outer space rides that we will develop as the Park progresses. After seeing the amusements and exhibits in TOMORROW LAND you will return to the PLAZA. The next Land is RECREATION LAND.
You will enter this Land through an old covered bridge. Here you will find a place where you can rent a surrey or buggy and take your family for a ride on a country road. You will pass interesting scenes of farm houses, ponies in pasture, and the other things you would ordinarily find on a country road at the turn of the century.
Also in RECREATION LAND will be a place where large industries can hold their annual picnics. Here, a company need not waste any man hours planning an outing - all that will be necessary for the company to do is to turn their people loose in RECREATION LAND, and DISNEYLAND will cater the lunches. There will be a baseball diamond, portable dance floor, and table and chairs which will be available for industries' picnics.
As the seasons change, RECREATION LAND can change as well. For example, in the summertime we may have a one-ring pony circus. We could start our circus parade at the Civic Center, march up Main Street into RECREATION LAND, and "on with the show!" At Easter time, we could have Easter egg rolling contests and other usual Easter games. At Christmas time, we would have Santa Claus Lane with Santa's Work Shop, and ice festivities. As the holidays come, if we feel we should put on an event, it will be held at RECREATION LAND. Next to RECREATION LAND, off the PLAZA, is FANTASY LAND.
You enter FANTASY LAND through the Sleeping Beauty Castle. This castle will stand 70 feet high. As you go through the archway, you find yourself in the courtyard of the castle. In the center of the courtyard will be the King Arthur Carrousel, this being in keeping with the sleeping beauty castle. You can also go through the castle, and by looking through various windows you will see Sleeping Beauty; the dungeon with the rack and the wheel, and the torture chambers; the large dining hall of the knights; and all the things you would expect to find in a castle will be there.
Around the courtyard will be four buildings which will house the dark rides of Peter Pan Fly Thru, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Ride Thru, Alice in Wonderland Walk-Thru, and Mr. Toad, from "Wind in the Willows", which will be a ride thru. In each building you will be able to experience the adventures of these characters. Let us take the Peter Pan Fly Thru: The facade to the Peter Pan Fly Thru could be the Darling home. In front of it will be the little Pirate Ship that sets on the River Thames. This Pirate Ship is on an overhead monorail system, and after you are seated, it starts to move up the River Thames, leaves the River, and flies through the Darling home. Looking below, you will see in miniature, and in forced perspective, the city of London laid out below you. As you fly over London you pass points of interest. There will be London Towers, Big Ben, and Nelson's Monument. As you fly past Big Ben he will chime; when you pass Nelson's Monument he will tip his hat. Then you fly through the "second star to the right" and enter Never Never Land. As soon as you arrive, the Pirate Ship will shoot ping-pong balls at you. Then you will pass over the Indian encampment, Hangman's Tree, through the Jungle, Mermaid Lagoon, under the Rainbow, and into Skull Rock where Captain Hook, behind the stalactite, will stab at you as you pass by. The alligator will snap at you and Mr. Smee will shoot at you, but Peter Pan will appear and guide you back home.
In the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Ride Thru you will enter the diamond mine of the Seven Dwarfs in a little mining cart. While you are going through the diamond mine you will meet the Seven Dwarfs, singing and working to the song of "Dig, Dig, Dig." Further on, you will go through the forest and see Snow White, and from behind the cottage you will see the old witch. As you go by she will offer you a bite of the apple. There will be other exciting adventures in this ride. All the characters will be animated.
There will also be the Alice in Wonderland Walk Thru where you will experience her adventures by going down the Rabbit Hole.
The fourth dark ride will be Mr. Toad, from "Wind in the Willows." His experiences are with an old fashioned car, of 1903 vintage. Mr. Toad does everything wrong. He rides through a haystack; he knocks over a cow; goes through a barn. In the finale he goes through the "Pearly Gates", with heavenly music accompanying him. Beyond the dark rides you will see Monstro the Whale, the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, the Old Dutch Mill, Casey Jones, Jr. Train, the Canal Boat Ride, and a number of other amusements. These rides have been developed by taking the conventional ride and adapting it to the Disney theme. For example, Monstro the Whale is the Water Chute Ride, the Mad Hatter's Tea Party is the Tilt-a-Whirl - but we use cups and saucers. The people will sit in them and twirl around while the Mad Hatter and the Hare animate in the center of the ride. The Old Dutch Mill is an adaptation of the Ferris Wheel. In this ride, you will sit in a wooden shoe instead of the conventional cage. None of the rides will have the appearance of the conventional amusement park. They will all have the Disney touch.
Next to FANTASY LAND, off the PLAZA, is FRONTIER LAND, a period of about 1840. The entrance to this will be a wooden log fort with block houses. In front of the fort you will see the Indian tepees and Indians selling pottery, jewelry and souvenirs. When you go into the fort - the first thing to the right will be a Shooting Gallery which will seem like part of the fort. Here, you will be able to use the guns of this period, like the Buffalo Gun, and you will shoot through the stockade at moving targets, such as buffaloes and other animals that were hunted during that period. You may also defend the fort by shooting at animated Indians and other threatening objects.
Further up the street is the Blacksmith Shop. This is a practical shop where people will have the opportunity of seeing ponies being shod, as there will be 200 ponies operating out of DISNEYLAND. You can also have a ring made out of a horse shoe nail, as a lot of us remember when we were kids.
Next to the Blacksmith Shop you will see the Harness Shop. Here you can purchase saddles or pony equipment and see harness being repaired. Across the street will be the General Store. Here you will see merchandise of this period. Up the street you will find the Marshall's Office . . the Jail . . the Assay Office, and across from this will be the Wells Fargo Office. At Wells Fargo you will be able to take a stage coach ride into the Painted Desert. The coach will be drawn by 6 ponies. As you go out into the Painted Desert you will pass the Indian encampment, go through a Pine Forest, and ford a stream. When you get to the Painted Desert you will see the things you usually find there, such as the beautiful cactus plants, trees, probably the water hole with the "poison" sign, the skeleton of a steer, and other appropriate dressings of the desert. As well as the stage coach ride, you will be able to take a Conestoga Wagon and Mule Pack ride into the Painted Desert.
At the end of FRONTIER LAND you will find Paul Bunyon's longest little bar with the tallest glass of root beer. Here, at this point, you can walk over to the Pier and get on the 105 foot Paddle Wheel River Boat, which can carry approximately 300 passengers. This will be a trip that will be well remembered, as you will be taking a ride on the rivers of America. You will be able to identify the river you are on by the historical point of interest which will be on the embankment, in scale. As you leave FRONTIER LAND, you may see Mount Vernon on the first bend of the river; the next one could be New Orleans, Natchez, Mobile, or any other place of interest that is well known as a historical river land mark.
After you have taken your boat ride on the rivers of America, taken the Stage Coach Ride or Conestoga Wagon Ride, and seen all of FRONTIER LAND, you return to the PLAZA, and the next Land is ADVENTURE LAND.
The entrance to ADVENTURE LAND will be through a Tahitian setting. Here you will see the beauty of the tropics; you will be able to purchase tropical flowers, birds, fish, shells, baskets, and other things associated with the tropics.
Here, you can pick up an Explorer's Boat and take a trip on the tropical waters of the World. On this trip we will have animated animals in the water and on the land which will look lifelike. When you start out in the boat you may go through Xochimilco, Mexico, then Central America, South America, and darkest Africa. At a bend in the waters, three animated alligators will come for the boat, opening their jaws as if to swallow it, and then veer off to one side. Further on, you may see two or three hippos doing the same thing. As you get near darkest Africa, a head hunter will stick his head out from behind a clump of trees and perhaps show you a shrunken head. A native guide will be on the boat to tell you just what part of the world you are going through, and there on the embankments, in scale you will see the little villages, countries, and points of interest on the trip as well as the tropical settings and birds.
This, in brief, is the DISNEYLAND story. Disneyland is located approximately twenty miles from Los Angeles City, on the Santa Ana Freeway, and Harbor Boulevard, in Orange County. The 160 acre plot is part of the old historic Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana in Orange County and was selected after a years study by Stanford Research Institute. The study included analysis of population trends, accessibility, topography, environmental characteristics, zoning, tax rates and utility availability. Disneyland is located within six miles of the center of population of the Los Angeles Basin, which includes approximately 6.9 million residents. Climatic conditions for an outdoor operation of this type are nearly perfect. The average rainfall for this area is 12 inches a year. The average summer maximum temperature is 84 degrees and the average summer minimum temperature is 68 degrees, and the average winter minimum temperature is 42 degrees. The entire area is almost entirely smog-free.
Stanford Research Institute also conducted a complete economic feasibility study of the entire operation. This included a thorough survey of attendance patterns for amusement areas and the projection of an annual rate of operation for Disneyland. Based on the size of the local population reservoir, tourist activity in the area, and attendance figures for related enterprises, it is estimated that a minimum of 5,000,000 visitors annually, averaging 15,000 daily, will go through Disneyland. Customers will be drawn from 6.9 million residents of the area, the 4.2 million out-of-state tourists a year (as per Southern California All-Year Club) and the estimated 2 million business tourists who visit this area annually.
It is expected that approximately 40% of the visitors will be out-of-state tourists and the ratio of children and adult patrons will be approximately 80% adult and 20% children. Analyses that have been made of better than half of the country's leading amusement centers, and available data from previous Worlds Fairs and Expositions indicate that the average per capita expenditure will be $2.00 per person. It is estimated that this expenditure will be distributed as follows: Amusements - 53%, Food and Refreshments - 27%, Merchandising - 20%.
Disneyland is designed to comfortably accommodate 60,000 customers a day, facilities for food and refreshments will be capable of handling approximately 7,000 an hour.