Published: November 4, 2009 at 1:02 PMRobert, great post! As a Disney dork and skiing fanatic I often dream about what Mineral King could have been.
I read a short column in Ski Magazine a while back that said we owe the idea of using a uniform color coded slope rating system to some preliminary work done by Disney for that resort.
There aren't really any ways to theme a ski slope but imagine the possibilities for a base area with superior themed restaurants and hotels. Imagineers could have dreamt up new ski lift technologies that would make the ride up the mountain faster and/or more entertaining. Some lift rides could have dioramas similar to what you see along the Magic Kingdom railroad. It would be the ultimate kid friendly ski area with character greetings right on the bunny slopes. Those cast members wouldn't mind wearing the fur in freezing temps!
I had heard in other articles about Mineral King that local opposition ultimately led to its demise, not necessarily the lack of resources competing with the ongoing WDW project.
For a small taste of Disney on the slopes check out Sugar Bowl near Lake Tahoe. Walt Disney was supposedly an investor in the resort at its opening and some of the slopes have very familiar names: Donald Duck, Buena Vista, and a peak named Mt. Disney.
Published: November 4, 2009 at 2:52 PMAs someone who spent his summers in Three Rivers near Mineral King during that era, I remember the controversy well. While I always thought it would be great to have a Disney development in that rather inaccessible area, there was indeed tremendous opposition to it, including by the Sierra Club, and that's what killed the project.
Published: November 4, 2009 at 2:54 PMThe problem with skiing is that once you get started, it's all downhill...
Published: November 4, 2009 at 4:07 PMI am suprised a bit that Disney has not built Mineral King or a form of it. With success of Hilton Head, Vero Beach, and likely Hawaii, they could probably put together a Mineral King type place. Adventures by Disney? Yes please!
But its probably better Walt Disney and Disney decided against it, but now with the offshoots of DVC and Adv. by Disney gives this plan a bit of legs in my opinion.
And why can't Disney do Skiing? They have pretty much changed or put up quality stuff in television, movies, theme parks, cruises, etc?
I, being from Chicago, love skiing! Though honestly, I want an ice rink at ESPN's Wide World of Sports