Tuesday, February 24, 2015

ABC's Marine World

When Walt Disney needed money for DISNEYLAND, The ABC Television Network was willing to provide some of the cash in exchange for the weekly DISNEYLAND TV Show, but had no real interest in the theme park itself. The network quickly cashed out its investment in the park, but eventually noticed he huge amounts of cash generated by DISNEYLAND. ABC owner Leonard Goldensen decided that ABC would diversify by getting into the theme park business. 

The network bought a parcel of land in Redwood City, California and announced plans to build an aquatic park- ABC Marine World. During an elaborate television special produced by future Disney CEO Michael Eisner, ABC introduced its new park to the world in 1968. ABC Marine World was a huge success, but ABC soon realized something that Mr. Disney had instinctually known years before; that a steady stream of new attractions and shows were needed to keep guests happy and coming back. ABC had hoped that the park wouldn't need further investment, so despite the project's success, it decided to sell the park. The buyer was a San Jose businessman who owned a struggling Safari themed park. He decided to move his animals up north to create Marine World Africa USA. ABC had left the theme park industry.

The combined park struggled for several years before it eventually became a non-profit enterprise, run by a group of conservationists. When the land the park sat on became too valuable, the park relocated to nearby Vallejo and continued to evolve, becoming The New Marine World Theme Park, Six Flags Marine World and now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. The land it used to stand on is now the world headquarters of the Oracle Corporation.