Port Disney: The Disneyland Companion Park That Could Have Been

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DisneySea concept art

It took greater than 10 years for Walt Disney World to open its second theme park, however when that occurred, every part concerning the theme park enterprise modified. With two separate parks, a visit to Walt Disney World went from being one cease on a Florida trip to being a whole trip all by itself. When Michael Eisner grew to become CEO of the Walt Disney Firm, plans to construct much more theme parks in Flordia went into near-immediate motion, and together with that got here plans to do the identical factor at Disneyland in California.

Ultimately, these plans became what’s at present Disney California Journey, however DCA was, on the very least, the third thought for what a second gate in California would appear to be. One of many earlier concepts would have put a second California park miles away from Disneyland, and created probably the most distinctive leisure complexes we would ever seen. Sadly, we might by no means truly see it. It was known as Port Disney.


The Disneyland Lodge Provides Beginning To Port Disney

The story of what would have been Disney’s latest attraction begins with one of many locations that has been round virtually so long as Disneyland itself. When Disneyland was being constructed, Walt Disney wished to construct a resort to accompany the park, however with a lot of Walt’s personal wealth tied into the theme park, there was no cash obtainable to construct the resort. Walt turned to identified resort firms, like Hilton and Sheraton, however each declined. Ultimately, Walt made a take care of movie producer Jack Wrather, who already owned just a few accommodations throughout the nation, to construct the Disneyland Lodge.

The Disneyland Lodge was so successful that when Walt made provides to buy the resort from Jack Wrather years later, Wrather refused to promote. When Michael Eisner grew to become CEO of Disney in 1984, he wished to buy the resort too, however Wrather nonetheless would not promote. Nonetheless, Jack Wrather died shortly after Eisner grew to become CEO, and 4 years after that, Wrather’s widow handed away. After that occurred, Disney did not merely purchase the Disneyland Lodge, however the whole Wrather Firm. This made Disney lastly the homeowners of the Disneyland Lodge, and a number of other acres of close by land, however it additionally gave the corporate the lease to the Queen Mary and the Spruce Goose, which have been on show in close by Lengthy Seaside, CA, the place the Wrather firm additionally owned the rights to develop over 200 acres close to the Port of Lengthy Seaside.

This gave Disney not one, however two totally different potential places for a second theme park: one close to Disneyland, however one other probably extra attention-grabbing thought on the California coast.

DisneySea concept Art

Port Disney

The Port Disney plans have been fairly bold. Whereas we might have seen a second Disney theme park, known as DisneySea, surrounded by as much as 5 accommodations, the possibly extra attention-grabbing elements of the bigger complicated would have been Disney’s management of the cruise ship terminal and the development of a Monorail system that may have linked the whole Port Disney complicated.

DisneySea would have been a Disney theme park the place every part had a distinctly oceanic bent. In truth, along with theme park lands with names like Mysterious Island and Fleets of Fantasy, the park would have additionally seen some reliable scientific development by way of an space known as Oceana, which might have included each an academic Ocean Outreach Middle and a spot known as The Future Analysis Middle, which might have been a purposeful oceanographic analysis middle.

The Queen Mary would have remained on show as a part of Port Disney, although the hangar that housed the Spruce Goose would have been changed; it is unclear what Disney deliberate to do with it.

Probably essentially the most attention-grabbing a part of Port Disney, no less than on reflection, was the inclusion of the cruise ship terminal. All this got here years earlier than the Disney Cruise Line would turn out to be an actual factor, however it’s simple to see simply how simply Disney may have leveraged the cruise line as half of a bigger Disney trip. A cruise ship package deal that included a day or two at DisneySea, with resort lodging, earlier than or after your cruise, is a factor that clearly would have occurred had each Port Disney and the Cruise Line come to be; maybe with a pair extra days at Disneyland as effectively.

Disneyland Paris

Port Disney Issues

In fact, Port Disney didn’t occur, so let’s dive into why. As probably spectacular as Port Disney was, there have been a whole lot of roadblocks to its creation. Its very dimension and scope would have radically modified the Lengthy Seaside port space, and lots of people who lived and labored there weren’t in love with that concept. There was virtually instantly a group revolt that did not need Port Disney to come back to Lengthy Seaside. Past that, the California Coastal Act truly prohibited a lot of Port Disney from present as designed. The quantity of filling of the port that Disney wished to do exceeded the bounds the act had in place. California Senate Invoice 1062 was written to amend the coastal act to permit for the issues Disney wished to perform, however opposition to the invoice was sturdy and it was by no means voted on.

As well as, there was the truth that, when in comparison with placing a second theme park subsequent door to Disneyland, the power to leverage one park to learn the opposite was only a bit extra sophisticated for Port Disney. Promoting visitors on a two or more-day trip when the 2 parks have been subsequent door to one another was a lot simpler than doing the identical factor with parks that may both require visitors to drive there or to construct some type of transit system between the 2 spots.

Finally, constructing the second theme park within the present Disneyland car parking zone was simply a neater and cheaper factor to do. Even the park that grew to become Disney’s California Journey was hampered by cost-cutting on account of the lower than glowing response to the opening of EuroDisneyland, and it appears doubtless that the identical have to trim prices would have drastically decreased Port Disney, and will have even resulted within the idea getting canceled anyway.

Tokyo DisneySea

The Legacy of Port Disney

So Port Disney was canceled and the choice to go together with a second Anaheim park grew to become the plan. Disney divested itself of all of the holdings in Lengthy Seaside and life went on, however the plan for Port Disney wasn’t a whole waste of time. Across the similar time that Port Disney was being shelved, the Oriental Land Firm, the homeowners of Tokyo Disneyland, have been excited by including a second theme park of its personal, and so all of the concepts that been conceived of for DisneySea by Walt Disney Imagineering have been dusted off.

Quite a few the unique Lengthy Seaside DisneySea concepts obtained reused or reimagined in a model new park that may come to be known as Tokyo DisneySea. One of many advantages of working with the Oriental Land Firm was that it did not have the identical monetary issues that the Walt Disney Firm had on the time. As such, no expense can be spared when constructing Tokyo DisneySea, and lots of are of the opinion that the park stands out as the single biggest accomplishment in theme park design ever produced.

Each theme park concept that by no means occurred appears superior as a result of we by no means obtained to see it turn out to be a actuality, and there is definitely quite a bit to like within the thought of Port Disney. We have undoubtedly by no means seen something of its like since. Even Tokyo DisneySea is barely a reimagining of the theme park with out the remainder of the stuff that was going to go together with it. Port Disney was an extremely bold thought, a lot in order that it is little shock it by no means occurred. But it surely’s enjoyable to marvel about simply how superior it may have been.


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