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Disney World Land Purchase/RCID Collection

Identifier: SC-092

Scope and Contents

Series I: Land Acquisition Files, 1959-1992, Undated, contains materials used by Foster during the process of surveying and purchasing land in Central Florida for use by Walt Disney World. Materials include maps, land ownership atlases, correspondence, property evaluations, schedules, trademark summaries, litigation documents, invoices, mineral rights agreements, real estate contracts, revenue bonds, tax bonds, newspaper clippings, notes, photograph negatives, and studies on drainage, taxes, utilities, and Florida laws and statutes.

Series II: Publications, 1965-2007, Undated, contains published materials which feature articles related to the Walt Disney World land purchases and development. Materials include books, magazines, newsletters, photocopies of articles, and publications from Disney itself.

Series III: Manuscripts, 1992, 2001, Undated, contains drafts and one complete, edited copy of Robert Foster's unpublished manuscript, The Founding of a Kingdom, as well as a manuscript copy of Walt Disney and the Quest for Community: The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (2001), by Steve Mannheim.

Series IV: Maps, 1950-1960, Undated, contains U.S. Geological Survey Maps of Central Florida, used by Foster to track land purchases.

Series V: Photographs, 1969-1970, Undated, contains photographs and negatives of site locations, construction, and press conferences.

Series VI: Reports, 1965-1974, Undated, contains reports, plans, and surveys related to the development and economic impact of Walt Disney World.

Series VII: Research Materials, 1965-2005, Undated, contains materials compiled by Foster and used in research of his manuscript. Documents include meeting minutes, correspondence, notes, promotional material, and a large number of newspaper clippings.


  • Created: 1958-2009
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1965-1972


Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical or Historical Information

Robert Price Foster, also known as Bob Price, was born August 2, 1924. He became an attorney employed by Walt Disney Productions and was charged with overseeing land purchases in Central Florida for the purpose of building Walt Disney World. Foster began working in the Law Department of Walt Disney Productions in 1956. In 1965, he became Vice President of the Florida Project, responsible for the site selection, land acquisition, and the legislative package that created the Reedy Creek Improvement District, where Walt Disney World was to be constructed. Using the pseudonym Bob Price, he was able to maintain secrecy regarding the land purchases for eighteen months before word got out about Disney's interest in developing the area. Foster authored an unpublished manuscript that details the entire process of site selection and land purchases, which is a highlight of this collection. Foster held several different positions during his tenure with Disney from 1956 to 1975, including Vice President of the Buena Vista Land Company, which developed the community of Lake Buena Vista, FL. Foster also served as Vice President for Administration and Counsel for Sea World, San Diego, CA., from 1975 to 1982, and worked in real estate investment and development during the 1980s. Foster served in the Pacific Theater of World War II as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the College of Emporia, Emporia, Kansas (1947), a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Education from the University of Southern California (1952), and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law (1954). Foster was admitted to the California Bar Association in 1954. As of 2012, Foster and his wife, Jane, were living in Prescott, Arizona.


4 Linear Feet (6 Boxes, 3 Flat Files)


Compiled by attorney Robert P. Foster, the collection consists of a variety of documents, clippings, maps, and photographs, all of which pertain to the process of purchasing and developing land in Central Florida for the purpose of creating the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), where Walt Disney World would be constructed.

Arrangement Note

The collection is divided into seven series and is organized by type of materials, all of which relate to the Walt Disney World land purchases and development in Central Florida.

Method of Acquisition

Robert Price Foster donated these materials to the University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives in 2012 (CFM2012_06).

Related Materials

Harrison "Buzz" Price Papers, 1952-2006.

Disney Ephemera Collection, 1971-2009.

Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World (2010), by Chad Denver Emerson. UCF Special Collections - GV1853.3.F6E44 2010.

Processing Information

Folder contents were kept intact, while some rearrangement of folders was conducted to group similar materials together. All paper materials have been placed in acid free pH neutral folders and stored in archival containers. Larger maps were also placed in acid free folders but are stored in archival flat files. Sheets of acid free paper were placed in between the maps. Paper clips and staples have been removed and replaced with plastic clips. Photographs have been individually sleeved. Land Ownership Atlases have been individually wrapped in acid free archival paper.
Disney World Land Purchase/RCID Collection
John Settle
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the UCF Special Collections Repository

Special Collections & University Archives
University of Central Florida Libraries
P.O. Box 162666
Orlando Florida 32816-2666 US
(407) 823-2576