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Revisiting Disney's America: The Theme Park That Never Was

The Disney parks around the world have a lot in common, but there have been other Disney projects that went nowhere. One of them was Disney’s America, a theme park announced in 1993 that would be built near Haymarket, Virginia.

The park would be arranged into nine sections, loosely focusing on significant periods of U.S. history. One land would focus on the founding fathers while others would feature a 20th century farm, world war battlefields, factories of the industrial revolution. The park would also cover some potentially controversial topics too, like turn-of-the-century immigration, Native Americans, and slavery.

Disney’s new park would be state-of-the-art amusement while mixing in education and sensitivity towards the “painful, disturbing, and agonizing” aspects of American history. Attendees could expect VR technology, innovative motion-simulators, next generation animatronics, and a nightly ironclad ship battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia.

For various reasons, the project was canceled less than a year after it was announced. But what they had planned is quite intriguing, including the development of technologies that were later used elsewhere in the Disney universe. Read a description of the attractions planned for Disney's America at Popular Mechanics. -via Digg

(Image credit: Mliu92)


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I remember the big uproar over this getting built and ruining the bucolic nature of the area around the Bull Run battlefield park. Don Henley, on the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over tour, made a point to pick a cause to champion at every tour stop. He chose Disney America for the Washington DC leg. I vividly remember him stating his case and summarily getting booed. Visibly taken aback at the reaction, he responded with, "And now for a song that has nothing to do with this."
Funny this is, with the DC suburban boom swallowing up Haymarket, it's as crowded today as anything people were forewarning about if Disney had come.
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