Phase One – A Complete Vacationland

Phase One – A Complete Vacationland

In 1968, Walt Disney Productions produced a stunning book to help sell and promote the Florida property to governments and businesses. Let’s take a look at some of the sections of the spiral-bound book. In addition to discussing stats and demographics of Central Florida, the book offers some of the first concept art that was published for Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom.

Cover of the 1968 Walt Disney World - Florida with the 1970s WDW logo

In its first phase, Walt Disney World will present a new concept in vacation lands.

Conceived as a destination point for tourists and vacationers, it will be built around a “theme park” similar to a proven success – Disneyland. The “new Disney- land” theme park will include many unique attractions of its own, as well as many of the most popular features of California’s Disneyland.

You can find more maps at my earlier post.

In this “complete vacationland,” the new theme park will be just one of many entertainment and recreation adventures. In Florida, guests will not only play, but will also stay in a Vacation Kingdom that caters to the needs of those who stop here for a day … and those who stay here for a week or more.

A significant contrast to California’s Disneyland will be the inter-relationship between the theme park” and the nearby “theme resorts,” so that both become part of the same “world.” A transportation network – monorail, water craft and land vehicles – will link the hotel-resorts to the entertainment entertainment.

Taking maximum advantage of the setting as it exists in its natural state, the designers and planners of WED Enterprises have conceived a Vacationland oriented to both land and water recreation, and land and water entertainment:

On the land – in addition to the family adventures of the “new Disneyland” park, master plans are being developed for 18-hole championship golf courses, stables and bridle trails, nature tours that take advantage of the pristine beauty of the┬áproperty’s wilderness areas, an indoor sports center with bowling, swimming and other recreation activities, an ice skating rink, and theatres for the presentation of both motion pictures and stage shows.

Osceola Sidewheeler

Check out my post on the Ports-O-Call and Southern Seas Sidewheelers, which were deemed Osceola Class ships.

On the water – the natural water-sports potential of Bay Lake and the area surrounding is being expanded and extended into a three-mile pleasure water- way dotted with natural and man fade islands. In its new form, it will become the focus of water spectacles and sports, while at the same time retaining its original – often spectacular – beauty, in addition to boating, sailing and other water sports, the lake and lagoon will be lined with broad, sandy beaches for sunning and swimming. The waters of the lake and lagoon will always be crystal clear, for the enjoyment of water-sports enthusiasts.

The theme resort hotels – so called because each is being planned around a single theme that represents a culture or architectural style from around the world – will offer far more than simply convenience of location to the “new Disneyland” and its attractions. In design motif, food specialties, recreation activities, convention facilities and even the type of entertainment presented, these major theme resorts will complement each other, as well as the attractions of the theme park.

The Contemporary Resort with some extra wings and a surprising lack of parking.

Guests visiting Walt Disney World will leave their automobiles either at a day-visitor parking center (located nearly one-mile from the theme park’s main entrance), or at their hotel, for the vacationer staying in one of the theme resorts.

It’s obvious from the concept art, that there were very limited parking lots nor a need to bring your car for daily use.

The Persian Resort
The Venetian Resort
The Asian Resort
The Polynesian Resort
Fort Wilderness

From the parking center, or from their hotels, visitors will travel to the “new Disneyland” primarily by elevated Monorail trains. By inter-connecting the major areas, attractions and accommodations of the Vacation Kingdom, the monorail serves a dual purpose: first, it provides a means of access to the theme park and theme resorts; and second, it will be an attraction in itself – an excursion-tour, introducing all the adventures awaiting the visitor staying and playing in Walt Disney World.

Parking Center (Transportation and Ticket Center)

The broad “Lagoons of the World” that flows out of Bay Lake also interconnects the major attractions of this Vacation Kingdom. In addition to the pleasure craft that sail here, excursion boats will carry guests on cruises “around the world” between the theme park and docks at each theme resort.

When the sun sets, these excursion cruises will offer moonlight voyages around the waterways. And on special occasions – like the “Dixieland at Disneyland” show long popular in California, the Lagoons of the World will become a matchless “stage” for water extravaganzas…a two-mile long “parade route” that passes within viewing distance of every resort hotel in the Vacation Kingdom.

What Do You Think About this 1968 Description of the Florida Project?


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