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Won't Blow Your Mind, But You Can Read In A Day
on October 21, 2013
This book is a short and sweet history of Walt Disney's plans and first efforts to construct Disney World in the swampland of central Florida after his first theme park, Disneyland, was seen as only a moderate success. After its opening, Disneyland's shortcomings were quickly realized. The main disappointment was that the company had failed to secure enough land to expand the park after its initial success on a commercial level had become apparent, and Disney was also disappointed to find so-called 'leech' businesses (bars, strip malls, and motels) springing up close to the property and ruining the aesthetic experience Walt had initially envisioned. For his east coast sister theme park, Walt Disney was determined to avoid similar issues. This book details the clandestine nature and ingenious legal structures that the Disney company used to prevent a land grab in the years leading up to the groundbreaking on Disney World. The book also discussed other concept projects that never came to fruition.
Unfortunately, where the book succeeds in documenting the business and legal sides of the history of Disney World, it fails in discussing the actual planning of the property itself (which for an avid fan of Disney World might be interesting). This book is not a "behind the scenes" or "behind the magic" history book. It is very much a lesson in strategic planning.