St. Louis History: Disney World St. Louis

KSDK in St. Louis has been running specials during their news giving little known facts about St. Louis history. I think it’s a great thing they are doing because it’s important for people to know about where they live and a little history never hurt anyone. Plus it’s something positive and not the same old negative story you see on every other news broadcast. I’m going to start posting the ones I find most interesting since I am a history fan and I love the city of St. Louis. Today’s article is about St. Louis being the original site for Disney World (now located in Florida).

In 1964, downtown St. Louis was being courted as a possible location for, believe it or not, Walt Disney World.

“Disney was going to plan this sort of historical thing, it had rides, it had places dedicated to the mississippi river, places that were designed to give you an experience like Lewis and Clark and this was on a grand scale, this was no small plan,” said Dr. Archibald.

Legend has it that Disney abandoned the St. Louis plan over a disagreement with August Busch II over sale of alcohol.

While the fact that Disney planned for an alcohol free environment at his park, Dr. Archibald believes that the reasons the plans never went through were far less sinister.

“The truth seems to be that, financially the project wasn’t feasible, that disney got additional property in Florida at a very, very low price for the development of Epcot and the development of Disney World,” said Dr. Archibald. Source

4 replies
  1. Bill Streeter
    Bill Streeter says:

    Wow. Can you imagine? What would have become of the VP Fair? What about the Arch? While a Disney Park might have been a better use of the river front than what’s there now, I don’t think that Disney-fieing the river front would have preserved or taught history any more than the Disney theme parks teach anything about history now. Probably just as well that it never happened.

  2. shep
    shep says:

    I agree. I can’t imagine St. Louis without the beautiful riverfront scenery that is there now thanks to the Arch and the Arch grounds, Lacledes Landing, the Old Cathedral, etc. I’m glad it isn’t there.

    • jeffrey osborne
      jeffrey osborne says:

      Yeah, its such a beautiful riverfront…such pretty muddy water, dark colored people harrassing you for money, dead bodies in the water…yes, its paradise

  3. Peter W
    Peter W says:

    Also think about the number of tourists that would be visiting. But the trade off would be the money generated.


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