Why Walt Disney chose Florida over New Orleans

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The daughter of Walt Disney passed away. Diane Disney was quite the influence on her father. So much in fact, that he credits her with inspiring him to build Disneyland in California, and eventually Disney World in Orlando. Funny thing is, Walt wanted Disney World to be in metro New Orleans, on the North Shore.

The Disney Corporation was already lining up parcels of property on New Orleans’ North Shore for their second park. The then little town of Orlando, Florida offered Disney everything while Louisiana’s politicians demanded everything. After a while, Walt Disney realized Orlando would always “give” to him and his company, while New Orleans and its seedy leaders would always be asking for something. Florida offered Disney major incentives while Louisiana had its hand out. The savvy Disney went to Florida and the rest is history.

Louisiana and New Orleans have remained stagnant in growth since that time and Orlando went from being a small town to a big city. New Orleans gets right under 10 million tourists a year while Orlando gets about 40 million a year. You think Disney World had anything to do with it?

Diane Disney has passed away, the inspiration behind Disney World.  And if her father had his way and Louisiana’s politicians would have done the right thing, Disneyworld would have been right here in metro New Orleans.