Why Walt Disney chose Florida over New Orleans

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – OCTOBER 29: Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez (R) and slugger David Ortiz (L) check out Mickey Mouse’s red socks after a parade at Walt Disney World October 29, 2004 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Hundreds of fans turned out to support the World Series champions. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

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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.

Orlando went from being a small town to a big city. New Orleans gets a little more than 10 million visitors each year. Orlando gets about 40 million tourists 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.

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