Disney's America Theme Park: the Third Battle of Bull Run Summary

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1. 1. Disney officials briefed reporters and legislators, stating that they had investigated possible obstacles to the project, including environmental and historic preservation concerns and believed there would be no serious problems.8 They also stated that they had studied traffic patterns on I-66, and believed additional theme park traffic would not exacerbate rush hour congestion.9 Because 65 percent of Prince William County residents commuted to jobs in other Northern Virginia counties, traffic congestion was a primary concern. 2. Other exhibits included “We the People,” depicting the immigrant experience at Ellis Island and “Enterprise,” a factory town featuring a high-speed thrill attraction called the “Industrial Revolution.” Disney officials predominantly sold the park on its economic benefits to the local area, stating that the park would directly generate about 3,000 permanent jobs11 along with 16,000 jobs indirectly.12 Around the park the company would develop resort hotels, an RV park, a 27-hole public golf course, a commercial complex with retail and office space, and 2,300 homes.13 Disney projected $169 million in tax revenues for the first ten years after the park opened in 1998, and nearly $2 billion over its first 30 years.14 In addition, Disney would donate land for schools and a library, and reserve up to 40 percent green space as a buffer around the core recreational area. 3. As he told a Washington Post reporter, “This is the one idea I’ve heard that is, in corporate locker room talk, what’s known as a no-brainer.”2 The idea of building an American history theme park originated in 1991 when Eisner and other Disney executives attended a meeting at Colonial Williamsburg in southeastern Virginia. 4. On November 10, the Washington Post ran the first full news story headlined “Disney Plans Theme Park Here; Haymarket, VA: Project

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