SHOW BUSINESS: How to Make a Buck

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Once upon a time, in the magic realm of California, there was a grown-up heady boy named Walt Disney who set out to create the happiest place on earth. So he went into his countinghouses and to his moneylenders, and he collected millions of dollars. Then he ordered his royal artists and carpenters to build a whimsical wonderland of spaceships to the moon and Mark Twain river boats, of mechanical monkeys and bobbing hippos, of moated castles, wilderness forts and make-believe jungles. All the children, young and old, came to visit this happy place, called Disneyland. And Walt and his friends made millions happily ever after.

Last week, as Disneyland celebrated its second birthday, Walt Disney was indeed the world's biggest boy with the world's biggest toy. By bus, car and helicopter, on anniversary day close to 25,000 visitors trooped to his 60-acre playground at Anaheim, 23 miles south of Los Angeles —and emptied their pockets to see how it worked. The average visitor plunked down $2.72 for rides and admission, $2 for food, another 18¢ for souvenirs—Disneyland pennants, maps, Donald Duck caps, etc. All told this year, with attendance running 11% ahead of 1956, the turnstiles will clink 4,500,000 times. Disneyland will gross more than $11 million, and into Disney's treasure house will flow a Dumbo-sized profit after taxes of more than $1,000,000.

Taj Mahal & Niagara Falls. Thanks to Disney's pixilating power to strike the youthful nerve in Americans, Disneyland is proving California's biggest tourist attraction since Hollywood. Of the visitors, 43% come from out-state, many of them drawn by the compelling lure of Disney's children's TV shows—which get paid $10 million a year for advertising Disneyland and forthcoming Disney movies. Said one parent: "Disneyland may be just another damned amusement park, but to my kids it is the Taj Mahal, Niagara Falls, Sherwood Forest and Davy Crockett all rolled into one. After years of sitting in front of a television set, the youngsters are sure it's a fairyland before they ever get here."

Even adults can lose themselves in Disneyland, where the past they have not seen melts into the future they will never know. A father and son can sweep from the 1800s into Tomorrowland, pilot an astro jet in simulated flight through space; a 25¢ piece buys a skyway ride to Fantasyland, reposing behind" Sleeping Beauty's moated castle, where still another ride whisks visitors over a make-believe London, Never-Never Land and Captain Hook's Hideaway. At nearby Frontierland, a Wild West stagecoach and a mule train churn the dust; if business slacks, villainous Black Bart conveniently shoots it out with Sheriff Lucky in a haze of gun smoke, later distributes used cartridge cases to the newly corralled crowd. On Disney's miniature Mississippi, a five-eighths scale stern wheeler carries 9,000 landlubbers daily over waters alive with birchbark canoes paddled by Disney-employed Sioux, Shawnee and Winnebago Indians. And in Adventureland nearly 3,000,000 people (adults 50¢, children 35¢) paid more than $1,000,000 last year to sail down a jungle river—most popular of Disneyland's 42 paid attractions—where trap-jawed crocodiles and painted warriors glare menacingly at every turn.

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