Millions of youngsters tugging furiously at daddy's sleeve will call it "Disneyworld," running the syllables together in a single, breathless shout of unadulterated joy. To Walt Disney Productions, however, the $400-million entertainment complex that opens Oct. 1 near Orlando, Fla., is officially known as "Walt Disney World."
To some two dozen major corporations ranging in size from jelly maker J. M. Smucker Co. to U.S. Steel Corp., the operation is "Promotionland." Each is putting up a sizable amount of money for the right to sell its products to the throngs of visitors and to use the Disney name and trademarked characters in advertising. Over the next 10 years, for instance, Eastern Air Lines, Inc., gets to call itself "The official airline of Walt Disney World," and those seven words were considered important enough to elicit a payment of $10-million from Eastern. GAF Corp. sells "The official film of Disneyland and Walt Disney World" because it paid a cool $1-million for a three-year deal.
And those investments are strictly Mickey Mouse compared with the $60-million to $80-million that U.S. Steel is laying out to erect the first two hotels at the 27,000-acre development.