2. It brought Disney magic to more people
For decades, Disneyland has been a dream destination for people. Generations of us have grown up seeing images of the Park on television. Starting with The Mickey Mouse Club that my Mama Mouse watched and moving through the years to the Disney Channel that The Princess watched, Disneyland has been a goal set before millions of children. For most of those children it was an unrealistic goal.
If you have never driven cross country, let me tell you it is not for the faint of heart. In the days before reasonably priced airfare, a trip to Disneyland involved a car trip. It is a long drive and not inexpensive. We took that drive in 1976 in a VW Camper van and had a great time. We were a road trip family. We would drive until the adults were tired and then simply find the closest campground to spend the night. Not every family had the time and resources for a cross country journey to see the Happiest Place on Earth. So the dream of visiting Disney was unrealized for a lot of east coast and Midwest kids. Then came Walt Disney World.
All of a sudden you didn’t need two weeks to get to a Disney park and back. There was one so much closer! From where our family lived in Ohio you could get to Walt Disney World in two days. It was half the time it took to get to Disneyland. Half the time means half the cost. In 1978 we visited Walt Disney World. We didn’t even have to camp. We had family who had retired in the area that we got to stay with. I wouldn’t go back to Disneyland until 1993.
Opening Walt Disney World on the east coast made a Disney trip more accessible to a whole new group of people. That can only be a good thing.