Walt Disney examines an artist's conception of Disneyland with C. V. Wood, Jr.,
and Harrison A. Price of SRI's Los Angeles office. Following completion of the
site study, Wood was appointed general manager of Disneyland.

Location Survey



 LOS ANGELES. Walt Disney may
be synonymous with fun with most
Americans, but when it comes to site
selection Disney is all business.
 The Mickey Mouse mogul has just
completed plans for a $9 million
"combination world's fair, play-
ground, museum of living facts, and
showplace of beauty and magic." To
be located in the metropolitan area
here, the spectacular installation will
reflect a year of intensive study by
engineers, economists, and other re-
 When completed in 1955, Disney-
land will feature entertainment in
four major realms: Fantasyland,
Frontierland, True-Life Adventure-
land, and Land of Tomorrow. From
these will come subjects for Disney-
land television series beginning on
ABC-TV in October.
 Ten months ago, Disney called in
Stanford Research Institute (I.D.
Jan.-Feb. page 30) to make economic

feasibility and location studies for
the big undertaking. The site search
involved dividing the Los Angeles
metropolitan area into 10 geographic-
ally homogeneous districts to which
set standards of comparison could be
 Areas to be investigated were sub-
stantially reduced by disqualifying
land in which there were intensive
improvement and build-up, producing
oil fields or leases, poor topographi-
cal features, municipal parks, golf
courses, airports, and land under gov-
ernment control.
 The selection of specific sites for
close consideration was made after
studying population trends, accessi-
bility, topography, environmental
characteristics, zoning, tax rates, and
available utilities. Using these cri-
teria, some 40 sites were initially
 The possible sites were first nar-
rowed to four top choices; then, after

detailed weighing of location factors,
a 160-acre site near Anaheim in Or-
ange County was picked. This site
comprises 15 parcels in an unincor-
porated area adjoining the Santa Ana
Freeway about 15 minutes' driving
time from the downtown area.
Attendance Prediction
 SRI's feasibility study included a
thorough survey of attendance pqt-
terns for amusement areas and the
projection of an annual rate of opera-
tions for Disneyland. This was based
on the size of the local population
reservoir, tourist activity in the area,
and attendance figures for related
enterprises. It is estimated that 5,-
000,000 visitors annually, averaging
15,000 daily, will go through Disney-
land. The study took into considera-
tion the seasonal, monthly, and daily
fluctuations of tourist volume.
 SRI's report included typical rela-
tionship patterns between attendance
and total dollar sales volume in out-
door amusement enterprises. A con-
servative annual revenue was pro-
jected and revenue distribution bro-
ken down between amusement, food
and refreshment, and merchandise.
These figures were presented as a
planning guide for the Disneyland
 A similar breakdown was made for
 projected costs. For this, the re-
 searchers developed a functional or-
 ganization plan to establish the op-
 erating framework. By estimating the
 different jobs involved in each func-
 tion, a forecast of direct and indirect
 labor costs was prepared. These costs
 were based on a variable staff organi-
 zation capable of operating Disney-
 land with up to 5,000,000 visitors a
 Other costs estimated were insur-
 ance, materials, food, and merchan-
 dise. The latter two were based on as-
 sumed operating profits. Profit esti-
 mates for .customer spending levels
 were projected and a break-even at-
 tendance figure calculated.
 Capacity Studies
 The researchers also concerned
 themselves with the problem of plan-
 ning capacity in relation to expected
 attendance, load factors, and sched-
 ules. Data on these were gathered
 and capacity estimates made- sub-
 ject to a series of variables. These
 capacity studies covered each of the
 project's planned activities. Manage-
 ment problems and policies were also