Americana 1900- The Complete Presentation

James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster


Is it appropriate to write a preface to a prologue? I don’t know. I never studied creative writing. I just write what sounds...uh...right to me. Something told me that I needed to share with you, however many or few of you there are who might have stumbled across this post, just what I’ve been working on for the past six-plus years.

In January 2015 I began taking part in a fantasy theme park competition, Theme Park Apprentice (TPA), on a different site (Theme Park Insider , a terrific site that I still write articles for).


The competitions there were a little bit different than those held in WDWMagic’s Imagineer Forum, but I began to create something that, to me, took on a life of its own. I proposed creating a completely unique, independent theme park, with no deep vault of popular movie titles or any popular IPs to draw from. No Disney. No Universal, nor Six Flags or Cedar Fair. The park was not set in an obvious tourist area, and was not owned or sponsored by a well-known entertainment conglomerate. No Merlin or Herschend Family Entertainment.​

It was a completely crazy idea.​

I came in second in the competition, and that was fine with me. I didn’t care if I came in last. From the moment I started to create this park, I knew that I was creating something special, at least to me. Regardless of the results of the competition, I would continue to develop it, refine it, and would create something that was important to my most important audience- myself. If that sounds conceited, I plead guilty. I learned many years ago that if anyone tries to create something that they really don’t like, that they are not passionate about, it will be obvious to everyone who sees it. I hope that, if you are willing to spend the next few months immersing yourselves into this presentation, you will appreciate just how much love I have for this project, and if I’ve accomplished what I hope to accomplish, maybe you’ll love it just a bit, too.

@D Hulk told me that he was reading my proposals during that competition, and that they inspired him to participate in the next TPA (which he won handily). That is how we met. He introduced WDWMagic to me, and that is what led me to occasionally make appearances in here.

September 18, 2020 was the date that he premiered the first installment in his breathtaking presentation of DisneySky, a park that he originally created for Theme Park Apprentice (and which I had the pleasure of judging). As I read the daily installments of his updated creation, I remember thinking two things- first, he took what was already a magnificent theme park creation and made it exponentially superior to what it was originally, and second, he inspired me to wonder if anyone would be interested in reading a similar presentation of my theme park, hopefully much improved from its original design. He encouraged me to do so but insisted that I do it in my own distinctive way. There, I was ahead of him. I admit that I studied his presentation, but decided that I would present it in my own way. For my park to be as unique as I hope it is, I have to present it in my own unique style.

Will you see some similarities with that legendary DisneySky presentation? Yes, of course. Some ideas just work so well that there is no reason not to mimic them, but in the next few months- as you hopefully become both interested and perhaps a bit addicted to seeing what’s next in this saga- you’re going to see some completely new features that @D Hulk and DisneySky didn’t need to use to make it come alive in your mind. As wonderfully crafted as that presentation was, it was based on many well-established, well-known Disney legends, characters, films and concepts. My presentation introduces (or reintroduces) completely new characters (at least new to most of you), with no pre-established cultural references from Disney, Universal, or any other entertainment reference. DisneySky was built on a decades-old, deeply-ingrained foundation that everyone in here has been immersed in for most of their lives. For my park, for my presentation, I need to start from the ground up. I had very little foundation to build on.

You will see some traditional presentations of attractions and the use of visual images that, I hope, will help to explain what I see in my mind as I take you on a personally guided tour of the park. You will also find that, on some days, the presentation will consist of nothing but a short story, the script from a show, or even a recipe for a confection. There will be history lessons (no tests, though!). The unique, distinctive artwork that @D Hulk created for me as a generous gift from a great friend will be featured throughout the presentation, and to his talents and good counsel I will always be indebted.

Some of the photos will be in color, while others will be black-and-white, or even in the vintage tones of sepia. The photos used will, hopefully, augment my descriptions, and if something incongruous and OP (out of period) creeps into a picture, I think that most Imagineers in WDWMagic can relate to that problem.

Along with the distinctive artwork of @D Hulk, I must also thank my best friend, @Knight2000 , who is brand new to WDWMagic. Without his computer knowledge, skills and artistic talents this presentation would never have happened. Whenever you see a picture, a montage of images, or any artwork other than the obvious contributions of @D Hulk, they came from the talents of @Knight2000 .

As you read through this presentation, I hope that you will feel free to ask questions, especially if something needs to be clarified. What might be obvious to me might not be obvious to anyone else, and I welcome constructive criticism or an observation of a typo (something I enjoyed pointing out to @D Hulk if for no other reason than to keep myself from feeling totally unworthy of thinking that I could do anything like DisneySky).

There might be some days that I don’t post, and I will attempt to always let you know that ahead of time. By the time you read this, I will have finally retired from my real-life job, and will be enjoying a much-needed rest...and how will I spend my retirement time? By presenting to you, my most respected and knowledgeable audience and friends, something I have been crafting for over half a decade.​

Enough of the preface. It’s time to get this presentation started.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Imagineers all, I am proud to present:



‘Walt Disney’s dedication speech for Disneyland only had sixty-six words, and he gave it in less than thirty seconds,’ Jack thought to himself as he stood at the podium, facing the thousands of people filling the Courthouse lawn, the streets and sidewalks of Courthouse Square, and even stretching north down Maple Grove Road towards the towering, majestic Americana Wonder Wheel. ‘Did Walt have any idea how important those thirty seconds would be? Had he known, would he have said more?’ Jack gathered his thoughts as he placed both pages of his speech side-by-side on the lectern’s surface, removed his straw boater hat and carefully placed it on the table to his right, and resisted the unnecessary urge to adjust the microphone. ‘I don’t care,’ he told himself firmly, proudly. ‘I’m not Walt Disney. I’m Jack Cahill. I’m the Founder of Americana 1900. This is my moment, my time, and at this moment what Walt said is not important. This is my moment, my park.’ He paused to take a small sip of water from the glass preset beside him on the table, then silently said, ‘Thank you, Walt, but it’s my turn now.’ He looked up at the expectant faces, many of which he recognized and many more that he didn’t, and began to give the most important speech of his life.

“Americana 1900...what is it? Is it an amusement park? Is it a theme park? Is it a historical park? The answer to those questions is ‘Yes!’ It is all those things, and more. Americana 1900 is not just a place, a thing- it is an idea, a concept, a dream that has become real. It is not a perfect, exact recreation of our nation’s past, but a joyful celebration of the best of where we came from. It is a tribute to our forefathers who worked, and fought, and strived to give their children- our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents- a better life. They laid the foundations that Americana 1900 is built upon, foundations dug from the rich, fertile soil of the American Dream, laid by the tenacity of their hands and hearts and minds, and built upon by men and women who found in that Dream the inspiration to create, invent, and inspire their own children to make America a better place than they found it.

“Were they always successful? No. Nothing in life is always successful, but it was through their failures that they discovered the road that would lead them to their successes. It is these successes that Americana 1900 celebrates and revels in, and these successes are what the Townsfolk of Americana 1900 invite you to discover, and experience and treasure for yourselves. If you think of Americana 1900 as a living history book, its cover will never be closed. New pages will always be added, new chapters will always be written, new discoveries revealed and new stories from the American Dream will be brought to life.

"Americana 1900 will never truly be accomplished, any more than America will ever complete the American Dream. Our history is deep, and complex, sometimes troubling and painful, but it can also be profoundly inspirational, and it is that deep complexity that Americana 1900 will continue to explore and examine and celebrate. Americana 1900 is not complete, but it is alive and waiting for you to discover, and as you discover it with your family and friends and your fellow Americans, my deepest hope and dream is that you will be inspired to discover your own personal path from the America of your ancestors to your place in America today, and that you will lay the foundations in the American Dream for your children and their children for generations to come.

“The history of Americana 1900 has just begun!”




D Hulk

Well-Known Member
Table of contents B size.jpg

Preface & Prologue
The Townships of Americana 1900: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
The Townsfolk, Costumes & Music of Americana 1900
The Americana Experience
Guest Relations
All Aboard for Americana 1900: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4



Merchants: Part 1, Part 2

Dining: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Crafts and Services: Part 1, Part 2

Gulf Coast and Santa Fe Railroad (GC&SF Railroad)
Town and Country Carriage Rides

Saddlery & Farrier & Livery
A Proud Little Town
Where Do We Go Next?



Hog Jam & Vulture
Barn Cat & Field Mouse
The Flying Pigs & Funnel Cloud
Critter Corral & The Morrison Farm Field Tour: Part 1, Part 2
Dining: Part 1, Part 2



Introduction: Part 1, Part 2
Over the Falls: The Great Niagara River Run
Gully Washer & The Winter Garden
The Valley of Ten Thousand Soaks & The Sandbox
WaterWorks & Old Swimmin' Holes
The Johnstown Flood of 1889
The Old Mill Scream
Rivers of America
Mill Race & Storm Surge & The Erie Canal
Dining & Guest Services
Final Touches



A Stroll Around the Square
The Courthouse Experiences
The Crypt of Fire: Part 1, Part 2
A Trip to the Moon: Part 1, Part 2
Ghost Town Square

GC&SF Railroad Courthouse Square Station
Vaudeville!: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Dining: Part 1, Part 2
Main Street Retail: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Davis Street Retail
Jefferson Street Retail
Washington Street Retail
The Community of Courthouse Square
Final Touches



Thunderbolt and Lightning
Tumble Bug
Flying Turns
The Fearsome Critters Sideshow: Part 1, Part 2
The Machinery Sheds: Part 1, Part 2

Looff Memorial Carousel
Penny Arcade
Carnival Games
Final Touches



Coming Down the Pike (A Novella): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
We'll Never See It All
The Great Pacific Northwest Scenic Railway: Part 1, Part 2
The Quinault Longhouse
GC & SF Railroad Pike Station
The Coca-Cola Experience
The Great Horsepower Race: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
The Niagara Tower of Power
Hershey's World of Chocolate
Kellogg's of Battle Creek
The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
Lucy and the Sunken Gardens
The Great Lumberjack War
East Side Dining: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
St. Louie's Ragtime Music Hall (RMH), Food Court: Part 1, Part 2
RMH, Biagio's Italian Cuisine: Part 1, Part 2
RMH, Jeremy's Balcony Restaurant
RMH, Sullivan's Overlook Steakhouse
West Side Dining: Part 1, Part 2
A Few Final Flourishes



The Keystone Cops in "Jailbreakers"
The Phantom of the Wurlitzer
Speedy - The Car Chase Through New York
Roll 'Em! How to Make a Movie!
Don't Try This at Home
Dining: Part 1
Finishing Touches



Paying a Debt, Building a Dream (A Novella): Part 1, Part 2
The Americana Wonder Wheel
Ford Model T Road Rally
The Turn of the Century
The Virginia Reel
The Wright Flyers
Special Attractions & Final Touches



The Big Parade: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
The Faces of America: Part 1, Part 2
One Nation
Harvest Home Festival: Part 1, Part 2
Christmas in Americana: Part 1, Part 2
A Currier and Ives Christmas Parade
New Year's at Americana
The Festival of Freedom
A Year in the Life of Americana 1900

The Howard Taft Auto Camp
The Harvey House Hotel: Part 1, Part 2
The Theodore Roosevelt Hotel: Part 1, Part 2



Map of the Americana Resort

Retro Americana 1950: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Wild Americana: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Gold Rush Gulch 1848: Part 1, Part 2
Riverside Park
Tin Pan Alley: Part 1, Part 2
The Greater Americana Resort Facilities
Just a Few More Changes
A New Township for Americana 1900

History Never Ends
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If you love original amusement parks, American history and historic amusement park rides, and if I do a good job, I think you're going to love Americana 1900.
What's amazing is I've been aware of this project for almost 4 years now, back in summer 2018 was when I first became aware of it!

Really excited to see it finally come to life!


Well much like the script for "Star Trek The Motion Picture", while this begins work continues on perfecting episodes you have not seen yet, and Jim is tinkering and perfecting right up to the moment he hits "send" to put these up, so hopefully his long and difficult trek will entertain everyone. you haven't even seen 1% of the project yet... hang on... this will be an amazing ride.

James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Remember to throw in one of these puppies. This thing is a certified hood classic.

View attachment 621243
The Circle Swing! Wow, what a classic! For every ride I included I probably had to cut out two or three others simply for lack of room, and I really hated that. I guess you'll have to visit Americana 1900 and see what I was able to include, and even if the Circle Swing didn't make the cut right now, remember the last line of Jack Cahill's Dedication Speech for Americana 1900- "The history of Americana 1900 has just begun!"

James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster


A book will be written someday telling the story of how Americana 1900 came to exist. Until then, accept the premise that a man with a vision and another man with the financial means came together and brought that vision into reality on a plot of land a short, pleasant drive north of Birmingham, Alabama. The Americana Land Company acquired 47,914 acres of forest, farmland, gently rolling pasture and even a few small towns and began the most massive privately-funded development project in Alabama history- the construction of one of the largest theme park complexes ever created in the nation. The site was chosen because of its direct access from Interstate 65 and its location within easy driving distance from several major metropolitan areas in the American Southeast, as well as the region’s temperate climate that would allow the park to remain open, at least partially, the entire year.


General Theme

Americana 1900, “America’s Grand New Theme Park,” is a place where the challenges and excitement of our nation’s historic past meet the entertainment demands and capabilities of today and tomorrow. It is a highly-themed amusement park that fuses modern technology with the charm, sophistication and fun of what is romantically remembered as our nation’s most elegant era- the “Gilded Age”. Eight themed Townships transport guests back to that bygone era when automobiles were the latest fad, when most of America was rural, most Americans lived on farms and when the Industrial Revolution was just starting to make our great-grandparents’ lives a little bit easier.


Americana 1900 is not a dry, boring history lesson, but a place of fun, excitement and visual beauty, and is designed for families to explore and experience together. The historic era it emphasizes is from the late 1800s through the early decades of the 1900s, with some artistic license allowed to maximize visitor enjoyment and safety. The Townships are not intended to be historically accurate recreations of the era- nobody wants to return to the age of preventable infectious diseases, racial and social inequality, and unpaved roads. Perhaps Americana 1900 should be viewed as a physical remembrance of a nation as we would like it to have been, the way we would like to remember it, the way we would like to imagine it once was. An idealized nation. A “perfect society.” Sanitized? Yes, but why not? Americana 1900 is a place to enjoy the best of the past, with all the benefits of the present.

The rides and attractions at Americana 1900 are all inspired by those that entertained our forefathers a century ago. Some are careful restorations or authentic reproductions, while others are modern adaptations that take their themes and inspiration from earlier entertainments. The architectural styles and designs, the floral gardens and fields of corn and wheat, even the wardrobe of the park employees, the “Townsfolk” of Americana 1900, would all be familiar to our forefathers of 1900. Elegance, quality and good taste never go out of style.



Americana 1900 consists of the main entrance plaza and eight Townships, each of which is a chapter in the story of America, a story that explains how America of today was built on the foundations laid by our forefathers.


Note: In some places, the appearance of an attraction or structure on this map might vary from its description in the presentation. There were several instances when research discovered or decisions made after the completion of the map caused these discrepancies. These alterations are minor and should not seriously impact the presentation.

Each Township has a backstory included in its presentation. Some of these stories are brief, while others are- I’ll be honest here- quite long. Some of these backstories come directly from one of the five novels I have written- so far- in what I am calling the Americana Chronicles. It was my intention to use these backstories to demonstrate that, while each Township and its theme is unique to that Township, it also relates to its neighboring Townships and demonstrates that the history of America didn’t occur in an isolated vacuum, but was part of and influenced by the events and accomplishments of the entire nation and world. In Americana 1900, as in America, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Maple Grove, the main entrance to the park, is where the simple, rustic homes and shops of a small farming community provide guest services, shopping and dining opportunities, and transportation to the rest of the park. The Gulf Coast & Santa Fe Railroad has a station here, providing easy access to the other Townships in Americana 1900. Also found here are several operating craft shops where skilled men and women produce goods for use in Americana 1900 and for purchase here and at several other shops throughout the park.


Morrison Farm is a working farm with animals to be petted, crops growing in the fields, and thrilling rides themed appropriately to the rural feeling of this exciting Township. However, Morrison Farm is more than just a large petting zoo and playground. As a working farm, it is a major component of the mission statement of Americana 1900. It demonstrates agricultural techniques of the past, techniques being rediscovered by modern society and agriculture as so many people try to eat and live healthy, organic and eco-friendly lives.

James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster

Green Springs, the water park of Americana 1900, is themed to the popular hot springs and mineral water resorts that so many people of that era visited to enjoy the “health benefits of taking the waters.” This is an area to both relax in and be thrilled by the water slides, wave pools and lazy rivers that our great-grandparents would not have recognized but would undoubtedly have quickly learned to enjoy.


Courthouse Square recreates the heart of the prosperous county seat of Americana County, where the Courthouse was the largest and most elegant building in town. The Americana County Courthouse acts as both an attraction in itself and as an icon for the entire park. A magnificent Beaux-Arts structure, the Courthouse is built of an orange-golden colored sandstone, rises three stories high and is surmounted by an elegant clock tower and dome. The Courthouse stands in the center of Courthouse Square, and is surrounded by the shops, businesses and entertainment facilities of this lovely town of 1900. To the south of the Courthouse is the park entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt Hotel, where guests can enjoy the elegance of the past with the full-service comforts and family friendliness of the present. Some of the hotel rooms occupy the upper floors of buildings lining the south side of Courthouse Square, bringing guests right into the fun, excitement and beauty of Americana 1900.


State Fair- The name says it all. Amusement rides, carnival games, sideshows and prize-winning foods are just a few of the attractions featured in this quintessential part of American life. Visitors to the fairgrounds will find a collection of traditional and historic rides offering thrills and fun for the entire family. Featured here is one of the landmark rides of Americana 1900, The Steeplechase, a ride once popular throughout the world but hard to find today- but not here. A cross between a roller coaster and a derby racer, the Steeplechase is one of the star attractions at this State Fair.


The Pike- Named after and inspired by the amusement area of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904, this Township is an eclectic collection of rides, attractions, corporate pavilions, restaurants and shops. Like the original Pike, this area is laid out like a long, wide boulevard with a sunken garden running down the center of it. However, unlike the original Pike, where most of the attractions were private concessions recreating exotic lands from around the world, every ride, restaurant and attraction on the Americana Pike is based on the history, culture and commercial development of America.


Keystone Studios- The movie industry exploded in the early 1900s with such then-famous movie stars as Fatty Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, the Keystone Cops and Mack Sennett’s Bathing Beauties. Keystone Studios was one of the production centers of this entertainment phenomenon in the years before “talkies” changed cinema, and here at Americana 1900 guests can experience the making of these early films, discover how amazing stunts and special effects were created decades before the computer was invented, race through a movie set on a wild cops-and-robbers car chase, and even star in their own film.

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