How Walt Disney wanted to create Disney CITIES which instead became a theme park

THE iconic Disney theme parks may not have been Walt Disney’s most famous creation – with the designer wanting to create Disney CITIES instead.

Next year marks 50 years since Disney World was built, but the huge resort wasn’t his only suggestion.

Epcot isn't just a theme park attraction - it was a prototype to building a Disney city


Epcot isn’t just a theme park attraction – it was a prototype to building a Disney cityCredit: SCPhotos

What he wanted to build was the “perfect utopian city” which would be self-sustaining for everyone who lived there, and constantly experimenting and adapting new technology.

The land of Epcot was the prototype for this, which stands for Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow.

Called Project X, the city would encompass 27,400 acres – more than double the size of Oxford – and this would have the 20,000 locals who lived and worked in the cities who could get around without the use of cars.

Instead, automated Peoplemovers would be used, which are seen in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, while a monorail, seen at the theme park still, would be used for commuting.

Of course, the theme park would still feature, but would be a much smaller part of the bigger concept, with residents being part of the newest technological advances, all hoped to improve city living.

Project X wanted to build a utopian city


Project X wanted to build a utopian cityCredit: DisneyThe land would be the focus of new technology


The land would be the focus of new technologyCredit: Getty Images – GettyThe project was scrapped after Walt Disney died


The project was scrapped after Walt Disney died

The land would have five sections – an airport, an entrance centre, an 1,000 acre industrial park, the theme park and the heart of the project – with theatres, restaurants and even a 30-storey hotel.

The centre of the city would be separated from the residential area by a “green belt” with parks, community centres and schools.

Describing his plan, Walt Disney said at the time: “An experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centres of American industry.

“It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems.

“And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.”

Some features, like the PeopleWalker and the monorail still exist at the park


Some features, like the PeopleWalker and the monorail still exist at the parkCredit: Handout

Sadly, the plan would never come into fruition, with the project deemed too impractical after Disney’s death.

Problems included how the city would stay modern and futuristic with technology moving so fast, as well as what would happen if companies or residents wanted to leave the area.

Also, residents would not own this properties, and have no voting rights, which would allow Walt Disney to easily make technological changes at his behest – this raised concerns over people’s rights in the area.

Some parts of the designs still remain, however.

Plans for restaurants from all places around the world in the centre of the city are similar to the World Showcase at Epcot, while the PeopleMovers and monorail are still used.


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A massive £3.5billion theme park is set to open just outside London by 2024, called the London Resort.

There are also some amazing theme parks which were never built, including one in Battersea Power Station.

A huge theme park called Disney America that would feature nine themed lands along with mock battles and retro rollercoasters was never built – after concerns that it would trivialise slavery history.

Disney has a secret resort that offers huge discounts to military families called Shades of Green

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