The fascinating story of how Walt Disney acquired 27,000 acres of land in Central Florida, and his great reveal of Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.
But how does Walt Disney go and buy up thousands of acres of land without the landowners holding out for exorbitant prices? He doesn’t. Sort of. Walt Disney set up dozens of “dummy” corporations, with names like “M.T. Lott” (get it? Empty Lot?), the “Latin-American Development and Managers Corporation” and the “Reedy Creek Ranch Corporation” to purchase seemingly worthless parcels of land ranging from swampland to cattle pastures. By May of 1965, there had been major land purchases recorded in Osceola and Orange Counties (just southwest of Orlando), although no one realized (or suspected at first) that Disney had anything to do with it. One of the earliest purchases included 8,500 acres owned by Florida state senator Irlo Bronson.