So this week is all about celebrating the fact that a year ago I finally decided to stop submitting Mousetrapped to agents, editors, anyone who might possiblly perhaps read it, etc. and publish it myself, and that I didn’t then subsequently fall flat on my face, dig myself into hole of debt or produce a book that looked like something the cat threw up and then another cat threw up on.
This afternoon I’m sharing “Project X”, the book’s original second chapter that got cut because it didn’t really fit in with the rest of the book, and came too early in it for that not to matter.
In early drafts of Mousetrapped there was a chapter in between “The Call of the Mouse” and “Arrival” that gave a very brief overview of the history of Walt Disney World, from the origins of Walt’s dream right up until the day I arrived to take up a job there.
“On November 22, 1963, Walt Disney looked out the window of his borrowed plane and studied the flat expanse of land below him. He was just south-west of Orlando, Florida and about to decide on a location for his beloved ‘Project X.’
Walt and his team of Disney executives had been searching for a site on or near a good road network. It had to be inland and large enough to enable expansion. The climate had to be warm and sunny. With its newly built Interstate 4 and proximity to Florida’s Turnpike, Orlando appeared to be ticking all the boxes.
What did Walt see when he looked out that window?
Photographs taken at the time show a huge tract of swampland, scattered with clumps of trees and spotted here and there with lakes and rivers. While bordered on its west side by the freshly-laid asphalt of I-4, the site extended towards the east as far as the eye could see.
But that’s not what Walt saw.
He looked down and saw the gold turrets of Cinderella’s Castle.
He saw an intricate, futuristic city of skyscrapers connected by a Monorail.
He saw the realisation of his dream to build an amusement park that both children and their parents could enjoy, and he saw people coming from all over the world to visit it.
Walt saw Walt Disney World.”