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Measles Outbreaks And Disneyland In California

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There are seven different Disney resorts in the world with a total of twelve different theme parks. There are resorts in Florida, Japan, France, Hong Kong, China, California, and Hawaii. The Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California is the oldest of all the Disney theme parks in the world. It was built in 1955 as part of the Disneyland Resort Park and is the only resort completely designed and built under the instruction of Walt Disney. The park covers over 160-acres, hosts approximately 18-million yearly visitors, and takes in over $3-billion dollars a year. (Walt) Though Disneyland theme park is extremely popular and has a wide range of avid fans, many are unaware that the park is also known for having a problem with measle outbreaks, a private member club named Club 33, and that Walt Disney had an apartment above the fire station.

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Measles outbreaks aren’t something generally associated with adventure theme parks. But Disneyland in California has seen it fair share of measle related incidents. Measles are spread by air when an individual coughs or sneezes. The virus can live in the air where the cough or sneeze occurred for up to two hours. In 2015, an eleven-year-old who had never been vaccinated for the virus visited the theme park and happened to be contagious with the virus. In the weeks following the child’s visit a hundred and twenty-five measle cases developed in California. Fifteen cases developed in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and the countries of Mexico, and Canada. (Halsey, 655) All the cases could be linked back to either visits to Disneyland or direct exposure to someone who had been infected at Disneyland while the eleven-year-old was visiting the theme park.

In addition to measles outbreaks, there is another lesser know fact about Disneyland. The Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California has a private member club named Club 33. Club 33 is in New Orleans Square on the second floor of the building located at 33 Royal Street. The elaborate club has two dining rooms, and several lounge areas. The private VIP club was established in May of 1967 as a sort of private lounge for corporate guests and investors. When originally developed, there weren’t any fees associated with it. Five months after Walt’s death board members changed the club into an exclusive cost associated membership club. (Club 11) Although the fee schedules aren’t published anywhere, it is rumored that there are different levels of membership with initiation fees ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 and annual fees ranging from $12,500 to $30,000.

If measles and private clubs weren’t enough, there is one last little-known fact about Disneyland, California. Walt Disney had an apartment on grounds. The apartment was built on the second floor of the Disneyland Firehouse on Main Street so that Walt could watch guests enter the park through the front gates. (Gabler) Only him and his family were permitted to enter the apartment, and there are only a couple of pictures of it in existence today. The apartment is only 500 square feet and is decorated to match the firehouse. It does not have a bedroom, but does have a small kitchen, family room and work station. Today, visitors of the park will see a small lamp lit at night in the window above the fire station to always represent Walt, and his never forgotten spirit. (Gabler) Although, Walt Disney’s apartment above the fire station can never be toured. Getting the measles from visiting a theme park is scary to think about; and the private member club named Club 33 is unattainable to most of the U. S. population. It does not stop the fact that the Disneyland theme park is extremely popular and has a wide range of avid fans. The theme park is open to anyone who can afford the price of a ticket and is appropriate for all ages. It has a large history and is still the place where as Walt used to say, “dreams can come true”.

31 October 2020

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