This collection features an over-sized tri-fold brochure promoting the never-realized theme park project, Disney’s America. The park was announced in 1993, to be built near the town of Haymarket, Virginia, only a few miles from Manassas National Battlefield Park. The planned cost for the project was $650,000,000 with a targeted opening date of 1998 and was to span 1,200 acres of the larger 3,000-acre property owned by the Walt Disney Company. Subsequent phases of development were to include “hotels, golf courses, an employment center, residences, and pastoral open areas.”
The project met strong opposition from not only area residents who were against the over-development of the local community, but also groups across the country opposed to the “commercialization” of American history, as well as the possibility of “whitewashing” certain aspects of the nation’s past.
The two bumper stickers, dating from 1994, were created to emphasize the positive economic benefits of the project and sported by those Virginia residents who were pro-Disney in the matter. After a lengthy standoff that lasted into the fall of 1994, Disney and then-CEO Michael Eisner backed down, opting to pursue construction of the park elsewhere. Further complications in the years that followed, however, caused the project to be shelved for good. Certain elements of the proposed park would later be integrated into existing Disney parks, but the vast majority of the project would remain unrealized.
As pictured and explained in the brochure, the layout of the park would have included ten themed areas based on various eras and aspects of American history. The list included the following:
- CROSSROADS USA (1800-1850): A spirited portrait of mid-19th century commerce, Crossroads USA is the hub of DISNEY’S AMERICA, launching guests on an unforgettable journey through the vivid tapestry of American history. An 1840 train trestle bridge marks the entrance to this territory and supports two antique steam trains that visitors may board for a trip around the Park’s nine territories.
- HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS WITHIN CROSSROADS USA: Visitors to Crossroads USA may live the American dream of the Civil War era – literally – by lodging amid the hustle and bustle in a themed 19th-century inn, with additional suites spread throughout the town.
- PRESIDENTS’ SQUARE (1750-1800): From the struggle of the colonists and the War of Independence to the formation of the United States and its government, Presidents’ Square celebrates the birth of democracy and the patriots who fought to preserve it. Through the magic of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics® technology, guests may meet these American heroes in Hall of Presidents, a moving account of the making of our nation.
- NATIVE AMERICA (1600-1810): Native America explores the life of America’s first inhabitants, their accord with the environment and the timeless works of art they created long before European colonization. Guests may visit an Indian village representing such Eastern tribes as the Powhatans, or join in a harrowing Lewis and Clark raft expedition through pounding rapids and churning whirlpools.
- CIVIL WAR FORT (1850-1870): Emblematic of our nation’s greatest crisis, the Civil War Fort allows guests to experience the reality of a soldier’s daily life. Inside, the wizardry of Disney’s CIRCLE-VISION 360 technology will transport visitors into the center of Civil War combat; outside, they may encounter an authentic reenactment of a period battle or gather along Freedom Bay for a thrilling nighttime spectacular based on the historic confrontation between the Monitor and the Merrimac.
- WE THE PEOPLE (1870-1930): Framed by a building resembling Ellis Island, We The People recognizes the courage and triumph of our immigrant heritage – from the earliest native settlers to the latest political refugees. A powerful multimedia attraction, We The People explores and explains how the conflicts among these varied cultures continue to help shape this nation.
- ENTERPRISE (1870-1930): The factory town of Enterprise plays host to inventions and innovations spawned by the ingenuity and can-do spirit that catapulted America to the forefront of industry. Within Enterprise, those daring enough can climb aboard the Industrial Revolution, a high-speed adventure through a turn-of -the-century mill culminating in a narrow escape from its fiery vat of molten steel.
- VICTORY FIELD (1930-1945): The flight of the Wright brothers opened a new chapter in American history, bringing with it thrilling exploits and military advancements. With the assistance of modern technology, guests at Victory Field may parachute from a plane or operate tanks and weapons in combat, and experience firsthand what America’s soldiers have faced in defense of freedom.
- STATE FAIR (1930-1945): State Fair celebrates small town America at play with a nostalgic recreation of such popular rides as a 60-foot Ferris Wheel and a classic wooden roller coaster, as well as a tribute to the country’s favorite pastime, baseball. Amid a backdrop of rolling corn fields, fans may have a hot dog and take a seat in an authentic, old-fashioned ball park and watch America’s legendary greats gather for an exhibition all-star competition.
- FAMILY FARM (1930-1945): Offering a cornucopia of pastoral delights and insight into their production, Family Farm pays homage to the working farm – the heart of early American families. Visitors see how crops are harvested, learn how to make home-made ice cream or milk a cow, and even participate in a nearby country wedding, barn dance and buffet.
This unique collection provides a well-developed and highly-detailed look at a Disney theme park that was never meant to be, as well as a glimpse into the controversy and opposition responsible for the project’s demise.