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  • Do you know all the secrets behind the Happiest Place on Earth?

  • December 5th, 1901, Walt Elias Disney is born in Chicago, Illinois.

  • As a child, Walt always had an interest in animation and storytelling, which really worked out for him, I would say.

  • By the 1920s, Walt moves to California with his brother Roy to start an animation company.

  • In 1928, the brothers release a short film called Steamboat Willie.

  • Now we can't show it or we'll be sued immediately, but it introduced the world to a character called Mickey Mouse.

  • And as you almost definitely know, it became a world phenomenon.

  • Throughout the '30s and '40s, Walt's studio releases a series of massively successful iconic films like Snow White and Seven Dwarfs ....

  • Cinderella, Pinocchio, and Fantasia. By the 1950s, Walt wanted to expand the Disney empire.

  • He was getting letters from young fans all over the world asking if they could visit Walt Disney Studios.

  • He would also watch his own daughters enjoy the kiddie rides at LA's Griffith Park and thought: What if we created a park that could cater to both kids and adults?

  • He developed a plan for a simple eight-acre park called Mickey Mouse Land.

  • But then, in classic Walt Disney fashion, decided it needed to be bigger, better, and way more expensive.

  • Walt traveled around the world, visiting legendary amusement parks, like Denmark's Tivoli Gardens, for inspiration and realized he had to load his park with a crap-ton of spectacle and a poop-load of whimsy.

  • So he buys 160 acres of orange and walnut groves in Orange County, California, and on July 17th, 1955, Disneyland officially opens with much fanfare.

  • By 1959, Walt was already looking to expand his first park.

  • He noted that only 5 percent of Disneyland's visitors were coming from east of the mighty Mississippi, but also that's where most Americans lived.

  • He also desired to have greater control over the area around his park.

  • He hated the random businesses that surrounded his land.

  • Walt started secretly purchasing large plots of land in Orlando, Florida, to make an east coast Disneyland that was bigger, better, and more polished than the original.

  • 1965, Walt announces his grand plan for Walt Disney World, designed not to be a theme park, but a destination surrounded by golf courses, hotels, and wholesome shopping experiences.

  • It's like a little bubble of happiness tucked away in the Florida swamps.

  • 1966, Walt Disney passes away before he can see his dream fulfilled, is possibly cryogenically frozen, and his brother Roy takes over.

  • 1971, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom opens, and it is enormous.

  • Less than three months later Roy also passes away, but Disney World becomes an immediate hit, soon becoming the must-visit destination for crying children and sweaty parents alike.

  • The original park featured many rides that still exist today, including the rage-inducing It's a Small World, whose titular song plays on an eternal loop and some people claim it might be the most played song of all time, like ever; the Haunted Mansion, morbid fact, according to the LA times, Disney employees have to constantly stop guests from spreading their loved ones' ashes throughout the ride, and if they catch you, you get a lifetime ban; the Country Bear Jamboree, which I actually don't want to make fun of the Country Bear Jamboree.

  • It's just plain fun.

  • Throughout the 1970s, more classic rides were added to the Magic Kingdom gauntlet, including the then Johnny Depp-less Pirates of the Caribbean and the always Johnny Depp-less Space Mountain.

  • 1982, as the park exploded in popularity, a second themed area opens, Epcot.

  • This stands for experimental prototype community of tomorrow.

  • And originally Walt Disney envisioned this as an actual utopian community that people could actually live inside.

  • It was Walt's vision of what the future of America could look like.

  • For reference, this is what it actually looks like.

  • Instead, it became the go-to destination for people who want to drink overpriced beer all day while pretending they're in Venice.

  • Since then, the park kept expanding and the cult of Disney fanatics ballooned.

  • A ton of urban legends and conspiracy theories came out about the park, and many of them are surprisingly true.

  • There is an underground system of tunnels underneath the park that employees use to quickly navigate the park space, which as of right now is bigger than the world's five smallest nations combined.

  • All of the American flags in the park are fake.

  • Real flags are required to fly at half-mast in times of national mourning, but Disney flags are missing stars or stripes so they are technically pennants, and them rules don't apply to pennants.

  • There is, in fact, a secret speakeasy in every park named Club 33, but to get in you have to be an official member.

  • People have reported waiting periods of up to 14 years and initial fees could be upwards of US$40,000 with an additional annual fee in the tens of thousands.

  • I think I'd rather chug a beer at Epcot and fake Venice, personally.

  • By 2019, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge opens and hundreds of thousands of nerds emerged from their parents' basements, pale and red-eyed to make the pilgrimage to the new geek Mecca.

  • Started as an IRL extension of Walt Disney's dream, grew to a worldwide tourist destination with over 58 million visitors per year, thank you Disney World for confirming Walt's original suspicion that if you make a park that's fun for kids, fun for adults, and has plenty of turkey legs you can eat with your bare hands, people will show up and just hand over their hard-earned money.

  • Alright thank you so much for watching this season of History Of, remember to subscribe to Thrillist, like this video, share it with your friends, comment on what you liked about this video and why not watch it again, you might have missed something

Do you know all the secrets behind the Happiest Place on Earth?

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History of Disney World

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    Seina posted on 2020/08/21
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