Disneyland: The Magic Kingdom
When Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, in
1955, many people had already learned about it from Disney's weekly
ABC television program. Millions recognized the map of the heart-shaped
theme park. What
is fantasy and reality in the architecture of reassurance? M. Sorkin,
in Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public
Space,1992, p. 227, calls this place the "Holy See of Creative
Geography." Walt Disney toured Henry Ford's
Greenfield Village in
Dearborn, Michigan, which opened in 1929, to get ideas for his own
In this course, we are only interested in three of the seven Lands: Main Street, Frontierland, and New Orleans Square. Only one way leads into Disneyland; all visitors must pass through Main Street: "our" shared historical experience.
|Disneyland and Disney World employ 90,000 workers; by contrast,
Nations and all its agencies employ only 53,589. In
Orlando, three-quarters of Disney's own employees need housing assistance
because they get paid such low pages that they can not afford the cost of local
housing! Who dominates the world?!
theme parks have expanded to Orlando, Tokyo,
Paris and their architectural
styles have spread to shopping malls and resorts across the United States. Disneyland is a metaphor
for U.S. entertainment culture and a synonym for what trivializes
sentimentalizes authenticity with all its varieties and conflicts.
1) James Howard Kunstler's The Geography of Nowhere, especially chapter 12
2) Richard Foglesong, Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando.
Disney products and associated culture are spreading around the world. See where at Disney's international web page. And read about the newest (2005) Disneyland in Hong Kong and its competition, Ocean Park.
In 1997 Walt Disney Company gave Michael Ovitz, the Hollywood agent who spend 14 months as Disney's president, $38.9 million in cash and $54 million in stock options to leave the company. What do you think workers who actually ran Disneyland received when they are fired?!