Washington DC is home to our nations capitol, a place like no other with historical monuments and treasures intermingled with eclectic and trendy neighborhoods. 20 million people come to visit and work in this majestic city every year. Currently the second worst traffic in the nation, you can imagine the traffic headaches this 70 sq ft city causes. Now, image a world where Disney is competing in this traffic.
In the early 1990’s Disney bought over 3,000 acres in Haymarket, Va, just 38 miles from downtown Washington DC. With nice themed areas, they wanted to build a place to celebrate the history of the United States starting in the early 1600’s up to the two World Wars.
The main hub for guests would have been at the Crossroads USA, a pre-civil war area that would feature the 1840 steam engines and take a ride around the park.
The guests would have experienced what life for Native Indians would have been like in the area before thru interactive exhibits, arts, and crafts in the Native America area.
Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents would have been relocated for the President’s Square. Celebrating the birth of democracy and the people who fought to preserve it.
There was planned battles and thrilling nighttime spectaculars in the Civil War Fort. With a replica battlefield, they would have had staged reenactments to bring that time of history to life.
Traveling on a roller coaster type ride, you could journey thru the Industrial Revolutionary town called the Enterprise.
A replica of Ellis Island would act as the gateway for the We The People section of the park. Showcasing what it would have been like for immigrants coming to America in the 19th and early 20th century.
Coney Island as well as the nation’s favorite past time, baseball, would have been the star of the State Fair. It would have the nostalgic feel of main street with recreations of a 60 ft Ferris Wheel and classic wooden roller coaster.
Different types of food industries and hands on experiences would give guests the opportunity to view the authentic farm life in the Family Farm section.
And the Victory Field would have resembled an air field from World War Two, with several hangers and a runway. With the help of modern technology, guest would have been able to experience what the American soldiers would have faced in the defense of freedom.
Plans also included hotels, a golf course, campsites, and a huge retail area.
Despite the excitement of the local officials and town folk, surrounding areas and prominent historians opposed the new park quoting that it would desecrate the land which men fought and died on. Michael Eisner, chairman and CEO of Disney at the time, was surprised at the opposition and tried several ways to make the project work. They fought for several years to make history come alive, but in 1994, they abandoned the Haymarket site and announced to find a less controversial site in Virginia or Maryland.
Some of you may know, but those who don’t, we lived in Haymarket, VA the last 8 years. I used to stare out my kitchen window and wonder what it would have been like to live so close to not only national treasures, but a Disney park. For starters, my house would have probably been a parking lot and we couldn’t afford to live that close and secondly, how amazing that would have been to have my children experience history with the magic and technology of Disney. Maybe one day Disney will revisit the idea and build Disney’s America for future generations. It would be epic!
To bring some of the Magic to life, I created a shirt in homage to the forgotten park. It was truly too good to be true! Check out the shirt on Teepublic’s site by clicking here.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed learning more about Disney’s America!
Wikipedia: Disney’s America
Theme Park Tourist: The 9 Lost Lands of the Most Controversial Disney Theme Park Ever Conceived
Disney Avenue: The History of Disney’s America Park
and Abandoned: Disney’s America