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In 1953, Walt Disney hired some of the country's best talent to create an eight page prospectus to convince investors to finance a new kind of amusement park - Something that we now all know as 'The 'Happiest Place on Earth' or Disneyland. While many of the attractions that the team had envisioned, made it in some form or shape when the first park opened in Anaheim, California, on July 17th, 1955, there are a few that just remained on their wish list because they were either illegal or, just too radical.
One thing Walt Disney was always honest about was the fact the Disneyland was a going to be place where people would be encouraged to buy things. So it was not surprising to learn that his initial plan had included not just toys and stuffed animals, but also live creatures like miniature donkeys, exotic birds and even rare fish. He thought that people visiting the park could pick the animal of their choice and then have it shipped to their home. Alas, shipping animals between States is illegal and the idea never made it past the prospectus.
Walt Disney also wanted 'Adventureland' to include an area where visitors could embark on a safari and witness several species of animals, ranging from alligators to monkeys and otters. Given that they all need different habitats to thrive, this would have been no easy task. It was therefore fortuitous that the idea was not pursued.
His desire to have live animals did not end there. The initial vision of Frontierland included 'Granny's Farm' - a real working farm complete with horses, cows, oxen and donkeys - all miniature of course. While this was doable, it wasn't very practical, which is probably why it was eliminated from the final plans.
Walt Disney also seemed to love miniature stuff and had even proposed building a miniature world on Main Street! Then there was were the ideas that Mickey Mouse should reside in a treehouse on Treasure Island, and that the island should have real treasure buried underneath.
While some of these ideas were not practical there were a few that were technologically impossible, 61 years ago. Among them were doors that opened and closed upon verbal request or as Disney described it 'obey(ed) your voice like a Genie', a 'Fly through London' with Peter Pan, as well as, a trip to the Moon aboard a giant rocket ship so that visitors could experience a 'scientifically accurate' trip through Space!
Though none of these attractions will ever see the light of day, it is sure fun to imagine how different the amusement park would have been, if they had been included.
Resources: Boing Boing.com, fastcompany.com