Walt Disney’s first concept to build a park wasn’t called Disneyland and wasn’t located in Anaheim. This concept drawing depicts the Mickey Mouse Park Walt initially wanted to build on land next to the Disney Studio in Burbank.
As you can see from the streets on the drawing, the location is on the other side Riverside Drive – a space that is occupied today by the ABC administration building and the Roy E. Disney Animation Building.
Just how early Walt envisioned this park is up to debate, but one of the earliest official records is an August 31, 1948 memo he sent to Disney Studio artist Dick Kelsey describing the park. In 1952, Walt started assembling the initial team to design and develop his Mickey Mouse Park idea. One of the first people brought in was Disney Legend and illustrator Harper Goff. It was Goff who was tasked with taking Walt’s ideas and drawing them out on paper.
The plan to build a park at the Studio would come to an end in September of 1952 when the Burbank City Council rejected the idea. After the vote, one of the city leaders said:
“We don’t want the carny atmosphere in Burbank! We don’t want people falling in the river, or merry-go-rounds squawking all day long.”