While recently looking through one of the Sunday bonuses posted at Vintage Disneyland Tickets, I took note of the way the publication talked about New Orleans Square. It's unquestionably regarded as one of the "lands" today, but its status seemed a little more uncertain at first.
The Summer 1966 Disney News says, "Together, New Orleans Square and Pirates of the Caribbean are virtually a new 'land'--the largest attraction in Disneyland." Well, which is it? One big attraction or a land? Was it heresy to have a new land that didn't have land in its name? (For that matter, was Holidayland a land proper?) The issue sometimes also refers to it as "the New Orleans Square," which sounds a little funny to our ears because we've accepted New Orleans Square as its own proper noun.
I looked to newspaper coverage to see what it was called on opening. The following advertisement should put to rest any doubt what Disney considered the area in July 1966:
The July 25 Long Beach Press-Telegram called it a "2.7-acre parcel of Americana." The Pasadena Star-News of the same date said it was part of Walt's plan "to develop the theme of Americana." The article concludes by noting, "Disney said his next 'land' to be developed will be the Territory of the Gadsden Purchase." Of course! The Territory of the Gadsden Purchase...