Learn More About the Disney Ski Resort That Never Happened
In the past, MickeyBlog has discussed the odd set of events that nearly led to a Disney ski resort.
Now, a new book will tell the full story of what Walt Disney hoped to accomplish and why the project collapsed.
Here’s how you can learn about the Disney ski resort that never happened.
About Mineral King
Throughout MickeyBlog’s history, I’ve referenced the ski resort that never was, the place in California that provided the origin story for the Country Bears.
During the 1960s, Walt Disney fell in love with one of the hottest crazes of the era: the ski resort. It was a boom era for the industry, and Disney joined the gold rush.
As discussed here, the entrepreneur chose Mineral King as the location for a Disney family ski lodge and resort.
Alas, Uncle Walt died a short time after making these plans. After the company lost its leader, it floundered for a while.
Led by Walt’s older brother, Roy, The Walt Disney Company moved forward with plans for a Florida theme park it would name in Walt Disney’s honor.
As for the ski resort, well, that project faced an uphill battle once environmentalists caught word of what Disney planned.
This fascinating story demonstrates how much force of will carries a project, as we learned with Walt and Roy’s creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and, later, Disneyland.
However, the doomed Mineral King project also underscores how much theme parks and ski resorts need governmental and voter support.
Otherwise, many of these projects never get off the ground.
I’ve written several thousand words on the topic of Mineral King over the years, but I could never do it justice without writing an entire book. Speaking of which…
Let’s Talk about Disneyland on the Mountain
Recently, Kathryn Mayer and Greg Glasgow reached out to MickeyBlog about their upcoming book.
Entitled Disneyland on the Mountain: Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was, this book will do what I never have.
Mayer and Glasgow have diligently researched every angle of the Mineral King ski resort that Walt Disney never built.
The authors discuss the genesis of this ski resort, which occurred at the 1960 Winter Olympics.
Later, the writers detail how a prolonged legal battle with environmentalists killed the project…but not before the lawsuit reached the Supreme Court!
Disneyland on the Mountain will go on sale on September 13th, 2023.
Before then, the authors provided MickeyBlog with a Q&A about the project.
Here are a few tidbits that should entice you into giving the book a chance.
Q&A with the Authors
Q: Where and when did Walt Disney come up with the idea for Mineral King?
A: “Walt had been a skier for years, but when he was brought on as chairman of pageantry at the 1960 Winter Olympics at California’s Squaw Valley ski resort, he started thinking seriously about what it would look like if Disney built a ski resort of its own.”
Q: What did Uncle Walt envision for Mineral King?
A: “Walt envisioned it as a year-round vacation destination that would have everything from outdoor activities like skiing, sledding, wilderness walks, and fishing to shopping, a movie theater, and even a restaurant at the top of one of the peaks.
“He planned to create an entertaining musical show with Audio-Animatronic bears; this later became the Country Bear Jamboree at Walt Disney World, and later Disneyland.”
Q: Why did the Mineral King project prove so controversial?
A: “The Mineral King area where Disney wanted to build the resort was a favorite spot of hikers and campers from the Sierra Club, and they were adamantly opposed to putting a big commercial project on top of what they considered to be one of the great unspoiled wilderness spots in California.
“Mineral King was also directly next to Sequoia National Park, and many people were worried that the new road to the resort would cut through the park.
“On a larger scale, the environmental movement was just starting to take off in the mid-1960s, and a big company like Disney, which planned to not only build, but keep building, on national forest land, became a perfect target.”
I’ll throw in the tidbit that the area Walt Disney had planned as a ski resort is now part of Sequoia National Park.
How did that happen? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Disneyland on the Mountain: Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was is available on the official website.
Please note that MickeyBlog received no compensation for writing this, not even a free copy of the book.
We merely love this story and are thrilled that someone has told the tale of Mineral King in such detail.
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! Want to go to Disney? For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, please fill out the form below, and one of the agents from MickeyTravels, a Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, will be in touch soon!