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Constructing A Dream
on April 13, 2007
What Would Walt Do? is a first hand look through the eyes of a young civil engineer into the contruction of Walt Disney World from Walt's Seventh Premliminary Plan to Opening Day, 23 October 1971. It's a good read for engineering students, "wannabee" engineers and lovers of all things Disney. Readers will smile at the story of Levi, the arm wrestling champion of champions; the author's night on the town with an "Acadian Queen" and amused when engineers and technicians are dumped into a very cold Reedy Creek from a supposedly all terrain (including water) 4 wheel drive vehicle called a "Coot." The Coot was hoot!
Although the author had never met Walt Disney who died in 1966, he learned through the leadership of Walt's brother Roy and others with long standing at Disney to apply to difficult construction decisions, union conflicts, contractor disputes, quality control issues the question: "What Would Walt Do?" In their considering that question, the ideal always sought was to apply Walt's standards of quality and safety to accomplish even the smallest details in the spirit of Walt's Dream. The ultimate compliment came on opening day from Walt's widow Lily who said, "I think Walt would have approved."
Other accounts of this remarkable engineering/construction feat may be more technical or more historically accurate. However, WWWD gives insight not only into the day to day operation, construction ups and downs, but also into the personal lives of the men and women who helped to bring Walt's dream into a reality. They were a very special team who soon realized that after the gates had opened, the Boston Pops had played and Mickey had paraded....they had left a part of themselves in the dirt, steel and cement that covered hundreds of acres of Central Florida called Walt Disney World.