"I Remember Discovery Island"
A Last Day Memoir by
Allan Oakley of Kissimmee, Florida
Web and Pictures: http://www.floridasunshine.com/oakleyflorida/OakleyFamily_SubPages/1999-2000/DiscoverIsland.htm
History and Background
According to Walt Disney's colleagues, repeated aerial surveys of Central Florida land parcels led to Walt taking notice of the 11.5-acre island ( at that time named Riles Island and having been owned by several other parties before Disney's purchase ) in Bay Lake and deciding more or less immediately that this was the ideal location for his Florida Project.
The story goes that as Walt Disney was flying over the land he was interested in purchasing to locate his new Florida theme park (reported to be on November 22, 1963, around the time that JFK had been shot), it was the sight of this island in the center of Bay Lake that convinced him that this was the ideal place to build his Disney World Theme Park.
From the early 190…