New Orleans Square
The first land to be added to Disneyland, New Orleans Square literally changed the landscape of Disneyland Resort. The expansion pushed the borders of the park into office areas, rerouting the train around the park. DLR was incredibly restricted where land was concerned. Growth of the park not only cannibalized infrastructure, but had to go deep underground.
Walt talked about his expansion during the “Disneyland 10th Anniversary” (on YouTube) with Disney Legend Julie Reihm – Cassaleto, the first Disney Ambassador. Walt joked about the cost his New Orleans Square costing more then the Louisiana Purchase in total.
They talked quite a bit about the hole in the ground which turned out to be arguably one of the most historical attractions in all the parks history. Pirates of the Caribbean was the last ride Walt personally over saw, and worked on directly. The two waterfall drops were a design need because there was not enough land. The ride actually goes underneath beach Boulevard.
Pirates of the Caribbean arguably is one of the, if not the, most iconic ride in all the parks, spawning a billion dollar movie series and the longest lines in the park.
In 1969, a mansion arrived in the area, and 999 ghosts made their home at DLR where Walt guaranteed creaky doors and creaky floors.
credit: “Disneyland 10th Anniversary” snippit screen capture
Showcased on Disneyland’s Showtime (available on YouTube), this ride also spawned a movie. However, it probably should be buried as the 1000th ghost. DLR also changes the decor from Halloween to Christmas with Jack Skellington.
The first land expansion is going to be a hard one to top. New Orleans Square has set the bar quite high, Fantasmic, the Blue Bayou Restaurant, Beignets, and Kincaid artwork.
Walt said the parks would always be changing. New Orleans Square was just the beginning. Toon Town, Critter Country, Toy Story Land and the upcoming Star Wars, the ever changing road of park maps takes some keeping up. Where will Disney go next…..