December 12, 2018 – “The Lost World of Disney”

Hello, everyone!

As noted in the previous post, I came to work today not knowing the assignment Mr. Ogreten would assign me. The answer surprised me. Mr. Ogreten received an e-mail from Christopher E. Smith, the author of The Walt Disney World That Never Was: Stories Behind the Amazing Imagineering Dreams That Never Came True (https://www.amazon.com/Walt-Disney-World-That-Never/dp/1683900286). Mr. Smith inquired about some of the holdings in the Harrison “Buzz” Price Collection (http://ucfarchon.fcla.edu/index.php?p=collections/findingaid&id=109&q=) with any connections to Disney projects that were canceled. As such, my assignment was to peruse the collection and note any connection to canceled projects.

Before digging further into my scavenger hunt, perhaps an introduction is necessary to understand who Harrison “Buzz” Price was. Price (May 17, 1921 – August 15, 2010) was a research economist that specialized in the tourism industry, specifically theme park entertainment. His research played an integral part in influencing Walt Disney’s decision to establish Disneyland in Anaheim, California . Disney would rely on Price’s services in future endeavors, most notably Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  Of course, Price also consulted other companies like Universal Studios  with their projects as well.

The Harrison “Buzz” Price Collection is much larger than the George L. Stuart, Jr. Collection, totaling 153 boxes in all and divided into nine subcollections. Mr. Ogreten informed me that Mr. Smith already looked into the Digital Collection, so my work lessened ever so slightly. Nonetheless, the first 85 boxes were closely examined for anything related to projects Disney planned and ended up canceling anyway. At first, there were sparse documents regarding some projects such as a potential Disney Traveling Show, a Euro Disneyland Water Park, Port Disney, Disney Center Dallas Texposition, Mineral King, and the controversial Disney America Theme Park (those studying public history and Civil War Battlefield preservation would be familiar with this venture). Boxes 80 through 81 proved to be the motherlode of information regarding Disney projects, successes and failures.

The reason behind my examinations is to to create a miniature finding aid of some sorts for Mr. Ogreten to help find materials for Mr. Smith. Already at seven pages in length, there should not be any qualms about lack of material as there is plenty. Exactly how long this list will be is unknown. While pondering these questions, I noticed my time grew short and I saved my work before bidding farewell to the staff.

In review, I began compiling a list of documents related to planned Disney projects that were canceled. Tomorrow, I plan on continuing this work. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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