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Electric Park in Kansas City inspired creation of Disneyland

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Electric Park in Kansas City inspired creation of Disneyland
Editor’s Note: The Star’s Past|Present video series goes back in time to present how Kansas City scenes that were portrayed in old postcards appear in the present day. Would you like to share a postcard with our team? Here, tell us about it.

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“Coney Island in Kansas City.” Electric Park loved to refer to themselves as that.

Originally located in the East Bottoms, the amusement park was established in 1899 as a means for the Heim Brothers, who brewed beer, to increase sales.

It was successful. They did so well that, by 1906, they moved to a new address at 47th & Lydia, which is somewhat north of Brush Creek. Now that they had 29 acres at their disposal, the owners swung for the fences, stocking the park with attractions, roller coasters, a lake and pool, shooting galleries, and what appeared to be an alligator farm—all while being prohibited from selling beer due to new local regulations.

Walt Disney, a young Kansasite, traveled by streetcar from his Bellefontaine Avenue home to this second location.

The influence of Electric Park, namely its immaculate gardens, striking “living statuary” exhibits, and the park’s nightly fireworks, might have manifested itself in Disneyland’s architecture some decades later.

Ironically, Electric Park’s demise began with a huge fire in 1925. A young Walter Cronkite, who is no less of a local legend, observed the rapidly spreading fire from a nearby perch.

Up to 1934, the park was open in restricted quantities before having to close permanently due to another fire.

The Village East apartment complex now stands where Electric Park’s midway previously greeted hundreds of guests each day when it was first constructed as apartments in 1950.

View the video to observe the current state of affairs there.

A mere component of Tom Pendergast’s Ten Year Plan was paving Brush Creek.

The bizarre abduction case of Nell Donnelly

Is this possible to be true? Has Wild Bill Hickock officiated a ballgame here before?

Continue reading our reports on Past|Present: Take a trip down memory lane to observe the evolution of Kansas City over time.
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