Disneyland Opens (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: By opening the first major amusement theme park in the United States, Walt Disney created a tourist attraction and established new standards for entertainment.
Summary of Event
The founding of Disneyland transformed the American amusement park industry and established a new standard for interactive entertainment. Prior to the creation of Disneyland, Coney Island in New York constituted the typical enclosed amusement park.
Walt Disney had gained a reputation as a cartoon genius capable of elevating animated films from cartoon shorts to full-length feature films. His Mickey Mouse character, who debuted in Steamboat Willie in 1928, captured audiences because the talking character—still somewhat of a novelty—appealed to children and adults alike. In 1934, Disney and his animators started work on a revolutionary animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Within five years of the film’s 1937 release, Disney had expanded his studio to 750 employees. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs brought in more than $8 million and established that animated features could excite the public. More important, the popularity of cartoon characters gave Disney the idea that they could serve as the basis for an amusement park.
Disappointed with existing parks as dirty, unsafe, and generally lacking a consumer focus, Disney nurtured a vision of a new type of park...
(The entire section is 2394 words.)
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