Divestment to Disneyland

“One decade after Disneyland opened its gates to guests in 1955, Walt Disney Productions consolidated ownership of “Project Mickey.” The publicly traded animation and film company famous for inventing a talking mouse named Mickey, finalized a seven-year purchase plan of Walt Disney’s Anaheim, California theme park; its operating company, Disneyland Inc., and Walt Disney’s independent startup, WED Enterprises, commonly known as Disney Imagineering. The 1965 acquisition closing date marked the beginning of a new cornerstone of Disney entertainment business—the Disney Parks and Resorts.”

Chapter 3: “Project Mickey,” from Divestment to Disneyland
Jennifer A. Begakis; Ph.D. Candidate & Historian


  • Walt’s Fairyland Project

    Ch. 3: “Project Mickey” from Divestment to Disneyland J. Begakis In the summer of 1954, Walt Disney met with the Orange County League of Cities to tour his new Anaheim property. Explaining to local officials that while the men of WED Enterprises were busy drafting construction plans, Walt was eager to begin building what Southern […]


  • Consolidating Walt Disney

    Ch. 4: “Project Mineral King” – From Consolidation to Failure J. Begakis In 1958, Walt Disney Productions (WDP) began a seven-year corporate consolidation of Disneyland. Between 1958 and 1965, the publicly traded animation and film company acquired and then purchased Walt Disney’s two startup companies, Disneyland Inc., and WED Imagineering. When Disneyland opened in 1955, […]


  • Publicly Walt Disney

    Ch. 3: “Project Mickey” from Divestment to Disneyland J. Begakis Before Disneyland, Walt Disney tried and failed at a similar, albeit less risky, investment than a owned and operated theme park.[1] In 1938, one year after the successful premiere of Walt Disney Productions (WDP) full-length animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney […]


  • ABC’s “Dateline Disneyland”

    Ch. 3: “Project Mickey” from Divestment to Disneyland J. Begakis  One week before Disneyland opened its gates to the public on July 17, 1955, Walt Disney invited select members of the press to stroll his park grounds and experience firsthand all its wonders. Among this first group of Disneyland guests was one vocal skeptic of […]