Walt and Roy Disney discuss the Florida Project

Walt and Roy Disney Announce “Florida Project”

On this day in 1965, with the largest media aggregation in Florida history, Walt and Roy Disney joined Florida Governor Haydon Burns to announce their new “Florida project.” It had been publicly known that Walt had purchased great amounts of land, but what was not known was what that land was going to be used for. If you’re wondering just what the intended new Florida project was at that time, well, even Walt Disney himself didn’t exactly know, but he knew it was “the biggest thing we’ve ever tackled.” Governor Burns asked Walt what type of attraction or what type of usage he had planned, and Walt replied, “At this stage, Governor, it’s hard to spell it all out…  We have many things that will make this unique from Disneyland… but this concept here will have to be something that is unique so that there is a distinction between Disneyland in California, and whatever Disney does, notice I didn’t say Disneyland in Florida, whatever Disney does in Florida.” A member of the press asked if this new project would be called ‘Disney World.’ “That term has been used in many ways in our business. We have a publication called The Disney World, which encompasses all of our activities for our employees and our offices all over the world. Disney World is something we’ve been using… what we’ll call this here, we haven’t got into that. That takes a little study.” While specifics were sparse, the Florida Governor concluded, “I have made the appraisal that this is the most important day in the progress and the future development of this state. I know of no single thing in history that could have made the impact that the establishment of the Disney facility here will make.”