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The 1950's
The Mouse Finds a House



The Mouse Finds a House
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.51

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    vendors, entertainment, span, inspiration, broadcast, investors, presented, pioneer, entire, productive, public, jobs, record, attend, member, single
     content words:    Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse, World War II, Main Street, You Wish Upon, Peter Pan, Los Angeles


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The Mouse Finds a House
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Walt Disney always had the vision of a child. He began drawing cartoon characters at an early age. He grew up making a very good living from his cartoons. One of his favorite characters was like a member of his own family. Mickey Mouse was popular all over the world.
 
2     In the late 1930's, Walt decided he wanted to build a park. This park would be for the employees of his studio and their families. He bought eight acres of land right next to his studio in Burbank, California. It was his plan to provide a few rides and some entertainment for his employees. They could bring their families to the park and relax. He knew that happy employees were more productive in their jobs. He thought the park would make them happy.
 
3     Unfortunately for his employees, World War II put a stop to Walt's plans. The war did not stop him from thinking about what he would put into a fun park when he got the chance. As the years passed, Walt's ideas for a fun place grew a bit larger. By 1953, he knew it would take more than 100 acres of land to set his dream into motion.
 
4     Disney knew what he wanted, and he set out to find the land he needed. He settled on a 160-acre plot of land that held an orange grove. The land was close to a ramp on the interstate highway. That would make it easy for people to reach. He was able to purchase the land at an affordable price. But now the dream was not only for his employees. He wanted to share his vision with everyone who wanted some fun.
 
5     Walt Disney was making a good living from his cartoon studios, but he knew he didn't have nearly enough money to build the kind of theme park he had in mind. He also knew that it would be hard to convince a bank to loan him the money. After all, this was a new kind of venture. Most amusement parks in those days were small and carnival-like. His idea was to bring the idea to the people of America by way of television. He created a show called "Walt Disney's Disneyland." He presented his ideas to the viewing audience. By getting the people behind his idea, he was able to convince investors to put money into the project.

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