Did Walt Disney Ever Consider Opening Other U.S. Theme Parks?

Disneyland was originally meant to be a one-of-a-kind project for creator Walt Disney, but eight years after it opened in 1955, Disney became intrigued by the idea of a building a second theme park in Missouri, where he had spent much of his childhood. Disney met with the mayor of St. Louis during a time of major redevelopment for the city’s bicentennial. Soon after, blueprints were drawn up for Riverfront Square, a proposed five-story indoor theme park spanning two city blocks. Two years later, high development costs were blamed for the scrapping of those plans, but some also wondered if Disney not allowing the sale of beer at the park might have been a contributing factor. Disney soon turned his attention to Orlando, Florida, the future site of Walt Disney World.

Won't see you in St. Louis:

  • Planned attractions at Riverfront Square included re-creations of old St. Louis and old New Orleans, plus rides inspired by the Lewis and Clark expedition and Davy Crockett.
  • Costs for the park were projected at $40 million USD, with a targeted attendance of 25,000 visitors per day.
  • Several classic attractions were originally conceived for Riverfront Square, including one that would later become the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
More Info: History.com

Discussion Comments


I believe what they are saying, is that Walt would not sell beer, at the family themed park. Since the Budweiser headquarters are there, the Busch family probably did not want Disney to set up shop in their territory, if he would not sell their beer. Since Walt would not help make them richer, the Busch family probably made it impossible to set up shop there. Oh, the horrors of Big Business, snuffing out the little guy!


I believe Disney did not want to sell beer, but Budweiser, Busch family, probably did and would have nixed the plans, as this was their town, and had considerable clout on what was and what was not allowed in St. Louis, their hometown.


Referring to phrasing, "but some also wondered if Disney not allowing the sale of beer at at the park......"

Is this to be interpreted that Walt Disney himself did not want beer sold in the park, or that there were restrictions on him that he could not sell beer? It seems unreasonable that if he himself did not want to sell beer, that his financial analysis of the project would foretell if income derived from selling beer was necessary or not. Why would he pull the plans if he needed the selling of beer? Or, was it his "family-oriented belief for the park?

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