Thursday, May 15, 2003 11:10 AM
Does anyone here know how I can get information on how Walt Disney accomplished his dream in owning a theme park?
Thursday, May 15, 2003 11:26 AM
He made the parks because he was already rich. He made the movies, and then wanted a park , to put it really simply.
Thursday, May 15, 2003 11:31 AM
o, I never thought of that.
Thursday, May 15, 2003 11:36 AM
A search of "Walt Disney" and "biography" will lead you to all sorts of book titles and other material.
Thursday, May 15, 2003 11:59 AM
Well, Walt wasn't exactly "rich" enough to open the park himself. His brother Roy handled the finances for the company and had to broker deals and leverage the company to get Disneyland built. But, yes, he was already famous. Snow White was huge. The Mickey Mouse Club was popular. His Wonderful World of Disney show let him pimp the park to the country every week as it was being built. He did amazing things, but he did most of it on borrowed money.
Once it was a hit, Disney World was far easier to bankroll.
Thursday, May 15, 2003 12:50 PM
Allow me to elaborate on Paris' mostly correct statements. Walt Disney Studios was largely controlled by the bank through much of the 40's and fifties, as well as stockholders. Walt's personal wealth was tied up in the studio. They had just begun making 'significant' animated films again after over a decade of mediocre compilation films, and hadn't had a huge money making hit since Snow white in 1937 (Pinocchio, their second animated feature, suffered heavy financial losses on it's initial release b/c of the escalation of tensions in Europe, cutting off that lucrative market. Fanatasia was a critical and popular flop. Dumbo made a little money, but only because it cost so little to produce.)
Walt did several things to finance the construction of 'his dream'. First he created a seperate entity from the Disney Studios called Walt Disney, Incorporated, which allowed him to work autonomously from his Studio shareholders (He later changed the name to WED due to Roy's concern about using the Walt Disney name) Then, he sold his second home which was in Palm beach to raise a little preliminary cash. Next, he struck a deal with ABC television to produce the 'Disneyland' TV show (It was not 'The Wonderful World of Disney' yet) at a time when all other film producers were terrified of TV and wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. ABC was so thrilled to have Walt's participation they agreed to help finance the construction of Disneyland. Finally, he borrowed heavily from the banks. Disneyland was so underfunded he couldn't even afford to build the Disneyland hotel, so he had to plead with a developer friend of his to build it on his own, licensing the name 'Disneyland' to him as part of the deal.
So you see, Derrick, even Walt Disney couldn't afford to build his park on his own. You'd better be ready to do more than just become a famous pop star if you're going to see your dream come true.
Maihama, Maihama Desu