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When Walt Disney Eyed Niagara Falls: A Disney Resort that Almost Was

The breathtaking Niagara Falls, a wonder of nature that has mesmerized visitors for centuries, nearly became a magical playground for Walt Disney. As one of the world’s most successful visionaries, Walt Disney sought the perfect location to create a theme park bigger and better than his first venture, Disneyland Resort in California.

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The enchanting vision of Walt Disney World started to shape up in Disney's mind in 1963, yet the perfect location for this monumental project was a challenging prospect. The site needed vast amounts of land, favorable accessibility, and most importantly, amicable weather all year round.

During a US tour with his wife, Lillian, brother Roy, and sister-in-law Edna, Walt set foot in the charming and beautiful region of Niagara Falls. It wasn't long before the mesmerizing beauty of the Falls and the throng of tourists visiting it attracted Walt Disney. The Disney visionary instantly saw the massive potential Niagara Falls held and seriously contemplated making it the location for the future Walt Disney World Resort.

Sadly, Walt’s idea never came to fruition due to the severe winter weather in Niagara Falls. For Disney, a crucial requirement for his new resort was that it could function and attract tourists all year round, just like the Disneyland Resort. Thus, the harsh winter weather made Niagara Falls an impractical choice.

Even though Walt eventually chose Orlando, Florida, as the perfect site for Walt Disney World Resort, the thought of a Disney Park nestled against the backdrop of the captivating Niagara Falls still stirs up intrigue. Although Walt Disney's magical touch never made its way to the Falls, they remain one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations and a source of enchanting beauty that never ceases to attract millions of visitors.

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