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Disneyland

Disneyland is a theme park, arguably the first of its type, and resort in Anaheim, California, created by Walt Disney. Walt wanted to create a kind of family park where kids and parents could have fun together. The original plans called for the park to be built on three hectares (eight acres) next to the Disney studios in Burbank, California where his employees and families could go to relax.

After World War II, it became clear that more area would be needed, and in the 1950s, difficulties in obtaining funding caused Walt to investigate other ways of raising money. He decided to use television to get the idea of the Magic Kingdom into people's homes, and created a show called "Disneyland." Walt was finally able to acquire a little less than three-quarters of a square kilometer (180 acres) of orange groves and walnut trees south of Los Angeles.

When the real planning began, Walt turned to his movie studio staff, who designed a park with five different "lands."

Main Street, U.S.A. relived the stereotypical turn-of-the-century city Main Street. Walt said, "For those of us who remember the carefree time it recreates, Main Street will bring back happy memories. For younger visitors, it is an adventure in turning back the calendar to the days of grandfather's youth." It would, of course, be "great-great-grandfather" now.

The old-town shops that line Main Street appear to be full two-story buildings. In reality, however, they implement false perspective[?] to achieve the illusion that they are full height. In fact, the second levels of the buildings are a few feet short of being full size. If the Disneyland architects had made the buildings a full two stories high, they would have towered above the park's Matterhorn[?] and looked incongruously tall compared to Cinderella's Castle[?].

Adventureland was an "exotic tropical place" in a "far-off region of the world." Walt said, "To create a land that would make this dream reality, we pictured ourselves far from civilization, in the remote jungles of Asia and Africa."

Frontierland recreated the myths of the pioneer days of the American frontier. Walt said, "All of us have cause to be proud of our country's history, shaped by the pioneering spirit of our forefathers. Our adventures are designed to give you the feeling of having lived, even for a short while, during our country's pioneer days."

Fantasyland was created with the goal to "make dreams come true" from the lyrics of When You Wish Upon a Star[?]. Walt said, "What youngster has not dreamed of flying with Peter Pan over moonlit London, or tumbling into Alice's nonsensical Wonderland? In Fantasyland, these classic stories of everyone's youth have become realities for youngsters-of all ages-to participate in."

Tomorrowland was a look at the "marvels of the future." Walt said, "Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future."

Construction began on July 21, 1954. After spending US$17,000,000, Walt opened the "Magic Kingdom" on July 17, 1955. Since the opening, the park has been revised and updated several times. Recently, a strong trend toward political correctness has been seen: animatronic pirates that had chased women from sheer lechery now chase them because they are carrying plates of food, and not only have the formerly-hostile Indians in Frontierland been thoroughly pacified but the settlers also have no need of firearms.

Disneyland was inspired by Fairyland (http://www.fairyland.org/facts) built in 1950.

In the 1990s major construction began to transform Disneyland from an amusement park into a vacation resort. This resulted in the addition of new hotels; California Adventure[?], a separately gated area of rides and attractions inspired by California's natural and historical features; and Downtown Disney, a shopping, dining and entertainment area similar to one previously constructed at Disney's Florida resort.

Other parks

Disney has built several similar parks elsewhere in the world based on Disneyland's success: Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland Resort Paris in France, and Tokyo Disney in Japan. A new park is planned in Hong Kong.

See also: The Walt Disney Company



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