Archives » September 20th, 2006

September 20, 2006

Mineral King

If you’re a true Disney Geek, you’ve heard of the Mineral King Ski Resort that Walt Disney wanted to build in the California Sierra backcountry. It was going to be a huge, first class resort, rivaling any at Tahoe or Colorado, and it was also going to be the home to an animatronic stage show that later became the Country Bear Jamboree.

Well, Walt Disney died, and the Sierra Club fought against the project, so it never got built. A decade later the Mineral King Valley was annexed into Sequoia National Park, and that was the final nail in the plans. Today the area is remote, at the end of a winding mountain road, and out of all the people who have heard of Mineral King probably only the smallest percentage have actually been up there to visit it. I sure haven’t.

But storyteller-extraordinaire Jim Hill has. And yesterday, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Disney’s original Mineral King press conference, he posted an entire article about his visit, full of pictures of the road, the ranger station the conference was held at, and the valley where the resort was going to be built.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

If you have any interest in Disney history, you’ve got to check out his article. He promises that sometime soon he’ll have more details on what the resort itself would have been like had it been built, and his stories of “the Disney that never was” are always entertaining.