50 Years Ago Today...WDW site selected!

rodserling27

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I know it's the 50th anniversary of JFK's death and everything, but there's a much happier 50th thing to commemorate today - it was on this date in 1963 that Walt, Roy and company flew over Florida and picked the site to build what is now Walt Disney World! Here's some more information about it:
http://thisdayindisneyhistory.homestead.com/nov22.html (scroll to 1963)
and a little blog spot about it:
http://ideallydisney.com/blog/on-this-day-in-history-november-22-1963/

Happy Anniversary to the VERY beginning of the Florida Project construction!!! :)
 

Knothead

Well-Known Member
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Its a shame that all the hope, innocence, and grand plans from that era were dashed by evil, greedy, money-grubbing people with short sight and large egos. The world is a diffrent place now. I will let you decide which world I'm speaking of.
 

Ralphlaw

Well-Known Member
Its a shame that all the hope, innocence, and grand plans from that era were dashed by evil, greedy, money-grubbing people with short sight and large egos. The world is a diffrent place now. I will let you decide which world I'm speaking of.

Really? I don't think it's that bad. It's still my favorite place to vacation. I seriously doubt that ALL the hope, innocence, and grand plans were dashed. It seems that the parks are grand plans, with positive attributes including hope and innocence. You make the place sound like Vegas during a mafia convention. Perfect? No, but not as bad as all that. Could you have done any better? I know I couldn't have.

Now if you're talking about politics and Kennedy, that's fine, but obviously the veneer of Camelot gilded things in ways where no gold had actually been laid before. In short, loss and nostalgia probably made them greater than they really were. I do not wish to beat up on a dead man, but there's plenty for which Kennedy could be criticized. He was definitely a brilliant, charismatic, patriotic, effective president that I would have voted for in 1964, but the pedestal has been raised a bit higher than it realistically should have been.

In my opinion, for what it's worth, there never were any real innocent times. In the early 60's, we still had rampant discrimination (legally), a cold war, terrible illnesses, thalydmyde (sp) babies, inequality for women, black & white TVs, Ku Klux Klan rallies, "Whites Only" signs everywhere in the south, a brand new Berlin Wall, and 100's of other ill things that we tend to forget about or ignore. People who grew up in those times decry the loss of innocence, but in the same breath will say that young people today have it so much easier. What are they actually saying? I don't really know.
 

Knothead

Well-Known Member
Really? I don't think it's that bad. It's still my favorite place to vacation. I seriously doubt that ALL the hope, innocence, and grand plans were dashed. It seems that the parks are grand plans, with positive attributes including hope and innocence. You make the place sound like Vegas during a mafia convention. Perfect? No, but not as bad as all that. Could you have done any better? I know I couldn't have.

Now if you're talking about politics and Kennedy, that's fine, but obviously the veneer of Camelot gilded things in ways where no gold had actually been laid before. In short, loss and nostalgia probably made them greater than they really were. I do not wish to beat up on a dead man, but there's plenty for which Kennedy could be criticized. He was definitely a brilliant, charismatic, patriotic, effective president that I would have voted for in 1964, but the pedestal has been raised a bit higher than it realistically should have been.

In my opinion, for what it's worth, there never were any real innocent times. In the early 60's, we still had rampant discrimination (legally), a cold war, terrible illnesses, thalydmyde (sp) babies, inequality for women, black & white TVs, Ku Klux Klan rallies, "Whites Only" signs everywhere in the south, a brand new Berlin Wall, and 100's of other ill things that we tend to forget about or ignore. People who grew up in those times decry the loss of innocence, but in the same breath will say that young people today have it so much easier. What are they actually saying? I don't really know.
I appreciate what you are saying here, but also feel you need to watch the EPCOT film if you haven't already. The Florida property may still be your favorite vacation destination, but it would have been my favorte place to live. That's what I'm talking about when I say things have changed for the worse.
 

Ralphlaw

Well-Known Member
That's true, but I think you assume that it would have been economical to live there. In my opinion, Walt's original plans for Epcot as a true community ended up being unrealistic. Gathering corporate sponsors for the Epcot park was difficult enough, but getting sponsors for a full-fledged city would likely have been virtually impossible because the costs would have been tremendously higher. Those residents would need to have jobs to pay for their premium city of tomorrow (unless they're all independently wealthy, which leaves me out), so some type of outside employment opportunities would have been required. After all, every city needs outside money, from tourists and/or products that are shipped out like manufactured goods and/or services like banks or insurance companies. Where would that money have come from? Plus, if companies built up there (or nearby) they probably would not have gladly surrendered to the authority of some over-riding Disney concept for all decisions of zoning and lifestyle. Corporations hate too much regulation.

Now, if Walt hadn't died prematurely, perhaps he could have spearheaded something closer to his dream of a true community, but no one remaining in the company would have had that much public clout.

Like it or not, building anything requires revenue. What crowds would have come to spend money at a pure community? Very little compared to the crowds that a theme park attracts, and few theme park employees could afford to live in a famous cutting-edge city. That's why the obvious decision of building MK was first for Roy and the gang. They needed money, and the city was too much of a financial risk. Once they built MK, that premium acreage nearby would have been far too valuable to allow normal people like us to live there affordably.

You also have to remember that in the early 60's, urban renewal was huge. Planning cities was something that people considered doable and desirable. By the late 70's, this idea was waning, and continues to do so.

Oddly, however, the idea of community is now coming true. Celebration is pressing forward, Downtown Disney provides shopping and recreation, and Disney Vacation Club makes owners of thousands of people. Perhaps Walt's dream has evolved to become something of what we have today, which perhaps depresses people. Yet I "own" a piece of the Florida Project, and I take satisfaction in that.
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
That's true, but I think you assume that it would have been economical to live there. In my opinion, Walt's original plans for Epcot as a true community ended up being unrealistic. Gathering corporate sponsors for the Epcot park was difficult enough, but getting sponsors for a full-fledged city would likely have been virtually impossible because the costs would have been tremendously higher. Those residents would need to have jobs to pay for their premium city of tomorrow (unless they're all independently wealthy, which leaves me out), so some type of outside employment opportunities would have been required. After all, every city needs outside money, from tourists and/or products that are shipped out like manufactured goods and/or services like banks or insurance companies. Where would that money have come from? Plus, if companies built up there (or nearby) they probably would not have gladly surrendered to the authority of some over-riding Disney concept for all decisions of zoning and lifestyle. Corporations hate too much regulation.

Now, if Walt hadn't died prematurely, perhaps he could have spearheaded something closer to his dream of a true community, but no one remaining in the company would have had that much public clout.

Like it or not, building anything requires revenue. What crowds would have come to spend money at a pure community? Very little compared to the crowds that a theme park attracts, and few theme park employees could afford to live in a famous cutting-edge city. That's why the obvious decision of building MK was first for Roy and the gang. They needed money, and the city was too much of a financial risk. Once they built MK, that premium acreage nearby would have been far too valuable to allow normal people like us to live there affordably.

You also have to remember that in the early 60's, urban renewal was huge. Planning cities was something that people considered doable and desirable. By the late 70's, this idea was waning, and continues to do so.

Oddly, however, the idea of community is now coming true. Celebration is pressing forward, Downtown Disney provides shopping and recreation, and Disney Vacation Club makes owners of thousands of people. Perhaps Walt's dream has evolved to become something of what we have today, which perhaps depresses people. Yet I "own" a piece of the Florida Project, and I take satisfaction in that.
The concept was not just sponsorship, as I recall. But to actually have an industrial manufacturing center as well, tied to a transportation hub / airport which was in the far south of the property. It was far more than the often toted Progress City models, and Walt did take that (a thriving local economy, with tourists being brought in to see the parks, etc) into consideration.

Your points are well taken though!
 

Ralphlaw

Well-Known Member
Thanks, I never reviewed the overall master plan. But wouldn't the airport noise and kerosene smells from the airport have dampened the wonderment of living there? Personally, I don't want to live so close to a thriving airport, but that's perhaps just me.
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Thanks, I never reviewed the overall master plan. But wouldn't the airport noise and kerosene smells from the airport have dampened the wonderment of living there? Personally, I don't want to live so close to a thriving airport, but that's perhaps just me.
You can see it here, at starting at around 7:30.

 

Voxel

President of Progress City
You can see it here, at starting at around 7:30.

The Airport would have been located between 192 and I-4 in that strip of land. There were going to be 3 lanes, 1 north south and 2 east west. The location would have been about 5 miles from the airport, there wouldn't have been that much noise in the time it was created and the size of the runways today are not long enough for some of the international flights today so I don't know how long it would have lasted.
 
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