Soon after my families arrival in the area my mother got excited...Disney announced plans to open a third US theme park resort in the very county we lived in!
Disney’s America was set to be a park that brought together Walt’s love for American history with the company’s flavor for entertainment. Imagineering even had a beautiful design laid out for the park, which would consist of nine different areas.
Unfortunately, many land owners whose families had owned property in that area since before the Revolutionary War opposed the concept. Mix the money of the landed-gentry in with the environmentalist, anti-congestion and historical preservation crowd and the park was quickly doomed. We constantly heard stories locally of how Orlando was destroyed by Disney and our town would be as well. I always wondered, would Orlando be on a map without Disney?! (Side Note: Today that same land is a country club and massive housing development. I suppose real issue is Disney wouldn't pay enough! We now live only five miles from the site.)
In 2008, local Disney enthusiast got excited about the possibility of revitalizing this project. InBev has just purchased Anheuser-Busch and was looking to sell off the theme parks division, which included Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. The entire concept of Disney’s America was spawned by a trip Michael Eisner took to Williamsburg, so this seemed like a good fit. Unfortunately, nothing came of the concept and Busch Gardens was sold to someone else.
Well last year we got another glimmer of hope for a taste of Disney in the Nation’s Capitol. Disney announced the purchase of 15 acres of land in National Harbor and that the company would build a 500-room resort. Unfortunately, no progress on the resort has been made and earlier this week Disney put out the following statement (H/T to DVC News):
"We remain in the early stages of planning and design work and no final decision has been made on if or when the project will move forward. We will follow the appropriate channels to bid out work associated with the project at the appropriate time."So, all we can do is wait. Hopefully someday soon the project will move forward. Would love have the many folks from the Disney Twitter-verse join the local enthusiast when Disney finally comes to Washington.