Disneyland on the Mountain: Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was
A fascinating look at Walt Disney’s last, unfinished project and the controversy that surrounded it.
About the book
It was going to be Disneyland at the top of a mountain. A vacation destination where guests could ski, go ice skating, or be entertained by a Disney Imagineer-created band of Audio-Animatronic bears. In the summer, visitors could fish, camp, hike, or take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of a mountain. It was the Mineral King resort in Southern California, and it was Walt Disney’s final passion project. But there was one major obstacle to Walt’s dream: the growing environmentalist movement of the 1960s.
In Disneyland on the Mountain: Walt, the Environmentalists, and the Ski Resort That Never Was, Greg Glasgow and Kathryn Mayer provide an unprecedented look inside the Mineral King saga, from its origins at the 1960 Winter Olympics to the years-long environmental fight that eventually shut the development down. The fight, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, reshaped the environmental movement and helped to put in place long-reaching laws to protect nature. Although the court battle, coupled with Walt’s death in 1966, meant the end for the Mineral King resort, the ideas and planning behind it have permeated throughout the Walt Disney company and the ski tourism industry in ways that are still seen today.
With firsthand interviews and behind-the-scenes details, Disneyland on the Mountain offers incredible access to a part of Disney history that hasn’t been thoroughly explored before, including Walt’s love of nature, how the company changed after Walt’s death, and of course, the story of Mineral King. It’s a tale of man versus nature, ambition versus mortality, and how a gang of scrappy environmentalists took on one of America’s most beloved companies.
Reviews for "Disneyland on the Mountain"
Jake S. Friedman
Animation historian and author of "The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age"
New York Times bestselling author of "Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening"
Former Sierra Club Conservation Director and CEO
“Disneyland on the Mountain makes an important contribution not only to Disney’s history but also to the history of activism and resistance in the U.S.”
“An enticing combination of behind-the-scenes reporting on the Disney company and environmental movement history, including the ramifications of this episode on both the company’s future developments and on environmental law. It’s a rewarding deep dive.”
“Reveal(s) in great detail Disney’s plans for Mineral King and why the ski area was doomed.”
“One of the best Disney history books I have read in a long time … a well-balanced recap of what was was a contentious battle over Disney’s proposal to turn Mineral King into an innovative resort destination.”
“A fascinating journey through the animator’s efforts to build a resort … It examines the cross-section of popular culture, winter sports, and environmental concerns.”
“A masterful new book … Told with compelling detail and impressive interviews from participants, the book transports the reader into the drama that unfolded high in the mountains of Southern California, when the dream world of Disney clashed against the growing reality of conservation protections.”
Los Angeles Book Review
“Through meticulous research and firsthand reporting, Glasgow and Mayer give readers a glimpse into a tremendously compelling conflict that changed the way public land was viewed in the United States.”