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#347 How Walt Disney Built His Greatest Creation: Disneyland
April 29th, 2024 | E347

What I learned from reading Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World by Richard Snow. 


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(8:00) When in 1955 we heard that Disney had opened an amusement park under his own name, it appeared certain that we could not look forward to anything new from Mr. Disney.

We were quite wrong.

He had, instead, created his masterpiece.

(13:00) This may be the greatest product launch of all time: He had run eight months of his television program. He hadn't named his new show Walt Disney Presents or The Wonderful World of Walt Disney.

It was called simply Disneyland, and every weekly episode was an advertisement for the still unborn park.

(15:00) Disneyland is the extension of the powerful personality of one man.

(15:00) The creation of Disneyland was Walt Disney’s personal taste in physical form.

(24:00) How strange that the boss would just drop it. Walt doesn’t give up. So he must have something else in mind.

(26:00) Their mediocrity is my opportunity. It is an opportunity because there is so much room for improvement.

(36:00) Roy Disney never lost his calm understanding that the company's prosperity rested not on the rock of conventional business practices, but on the churning, extravagant, perfectionist imagination of his younger brother.

(41:00) Walt Disney’s decision to not relinquish his TV rights to United Artists was made in 1936. This decision paid dividends 20 years later. Hold on. Technology -- developed by other people -- constantly benefited Disney's business. Many such cases in the history of entrepreneurship.

(43:00) Walt Disney did not look around. He looked in. He looked in to his personal taste and built a business that was authentic to himself.

(54:00) "You asked the question, What was your process like?' I kind of laugh because process is an organized way of doing things. I have to remind you, during the 'Walt Period' of designing Disneyland, we didn't have processes.

We just did the work. Processes came later. All of these things had never been done before.

Walt had gathered up all these people who had never designed a theme park, a Disneyland.

So we're in the same boat at one time, and we figure out what to do and how to do it on the fly as we go along with it and not even discuss plans, timing, or anything.

We just worked and Walt just walked around and had suggestions."


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