How Did Walt Disney Acquire the Land for Disney World?

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Walt Disney was a famous man by the time he decided to develop an East Coast theme park, so he came up with a few different dummy investment companies that he used to purchase relatively cheap Florida swampland while keeping his identity a secret. Disney knew that the land he was looking at wasn't particularly valuable, but he also knew that his name was famous enough to encourage price gouging, making the use of a secret identity a prudent technique.

Disney used a variety of company names, including cheeky names such as M.T. Lott Real Estate Investments, to buy the Florida swampland that has been developed into Walt Disney World Resort. He paid about $180 an acre for the land until the Orlando Sentinel uncovered his activity. After this, prices soared as high as $80,000 an acre. After Disney's land acquisition and subsequent successful development of the Disney World resort, the Orlando area changed from a quiet, swampy backwater into one of the world's most popular family vacation destinations.