Historian of Capitalism and Disney

Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University

“In 1965, one decade after Disneyland opened, Walt Disney Productions consolidated ownership of Walt’s first theme park. The animation and film company’s acquisition marked the beginning of a new cornerstone of business—The Disney Parks and Resorts.”

Ch. 3: “Project Mickey” from Divestment to Disneyland

Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University. I research corporate financial strategy and highlight the Walt Disney Company’s business and investment activities that, according to Walt Disney, “all started with a mouse.” 


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The Garden

Jennifer Begakis, Historian and Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University shares her work on how Walt Disney got the money to fund the most magical places on Earth.

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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 California journalists casually referred to as…

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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 the theme park’s timeline for construction,…

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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, WDP owned approximately 34% of the…

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