Thursday, September 9, 2010

Progress City – Amusement Park Terminal Shops

In 1967, the Progress City display was located at Disneyland, above the Carousel of Progress Theater.  Walt hadn’t planned on dying when he did, and the selling of his future city ideas to sponsors was going to be his job.  The huge model took up less than half of the space on the second floor.  The remaining area was designed as showrooms, display space and a sponsor’s lounge.  This is where Walt would have entertained his potential investors, sneaking in the back door to review the model.

For this reason the model had to show more than just Progress City.  The model was a microcosm for the entire Disney World resort.  Everything that was to spread out across the 43-square miles of Disney World had to be crammed into a model that represented only about two square miles.

Starting in the south, the resort was supposed to contain: a jet airport, a motel complex, an industrial park (including a nuclear power plant), the city, lakes and resort area, and the theme park.  These complexes would have covered close to a square mile each; and would have been located along a spine of the resorts main highway and interconnecting monorail that stretched almost the entire length of the property.

Instead, smaller versions were created to give viewers a sense of the entire scope.  Instead of building a whole Disneyland, the model contained a small amusement park.  But even this tiny amusement park was well thought out and planned.  Everything that would be needed for a real amusement park was included. 

This SketchUp drawing is for the Terminal Shops.  Two of these structures were built for the amusement park in the model.  Each was located along the Casey Jr. train tracks, and each was located near a parking lot.  The buildings could have served as both train station and entrance complex.  Of interest is the fact that the Walt Disney World Transportation and Ticket Center has an entrance complex that seems to be a scaled-up version of the little Terminal Shops.

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