This graphic was included in a 1958 Wall Street Journal article titled “Walt’s Profit Formula” exploring The Walt Disney Company’s business structure just a few years after it had successfully jumped into the theme park business. The business flow chart was produced by the company for internal use in 1957.
The article notes how Disney initially held just a 33% ownership stake in Disneyland. However, that number had doubled to nearly 66% by 1958 after a number of buyouts. ABC held the other 33%. The article goes on to say the company’s revenue from Disneyland exceeded $5 million in the three months starting in July of 1957, the point where it controlled more than half of the park’s ownership. “Park income is generated by admissions, rides, television activities, the sale of advertising space and revenue from concessions.” Disney also made $200 in landing fees from the heliport located at the Disneyland Hotel. According to the article, Disney was also making money by selling some oranges from a grove on its Anaheim land that wasn’t being used for the park yet and by bottling a perfume that was sold at the Art Corner. At the time, around 65 companies were paying for sponsorship or other advertising opportunities in Disneyland.
The flow chart describes a number of activities that we’ve come to associate with he relationship between Disney Parks and the Disney Studio. It’s no surprise the studio is leveraged to promote the park, while the park reciprocates and promotes studio films. It’s worth nothing that the chart includes a line stating the studio is responsible for manufacturing and testing new Disneyland rides. In Disneyland’s early years, the majority of Walt’s Imagineers came from the Disney Studio or other Hollywood studios. Over time, WED, the predecessor to Walt Disney Imagineering, would literally and functionally move away from the studio and become a more independent organization.
Also Walt's little personal company sold castings of his hand sculpted miniatures. While not technically part of W.D.P., the mail-order address was actually the back gate of the Studio in Burbank!
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".
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