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21 Fantastic Images From The Argentine Disneyland

Meet the Republic of the Children, the Argentine theme park that inspired Walt Disney.

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Is this Disneyland?

Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

No, it’s the Republic of the Children in the city of Gonnet, Argentina, some 60 kilometers from Buenos Aires. It’s the first theme park in the American continents.

Nobody gives you so much for so little!

Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

The Republic of the Children is open every day and its admittance fee is only 20 Argentine pesos (barely $2.40). Parking is 10 pesos ($1.20).

Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

The project to build a theme park where children could learn about democratic institutions started in 1949 and pushed by Domingo Mercante, who was governor of the Buenos Aires province at the time.

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There's a bust memorializing Evita Perón.

Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

The Republic of the Children had its moment of glory during Perón’s time in power. But after the president was overthrown in 1955, the park lost its initial push and was nearly abandoned. Successive military dictatorships didn't make things better and the park was almost sold to private investors in the late '70s. With the return of democracy to Argentina, the Republic of the Children recovered its original purpose of teaching kids about Republican institutions.

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Apparently, Disney was very impressed by the place, a re-creation of a small country built in scale for 10-year-olds.

Mariano Lago / BuzzFeed

He was influenced by its style when he started to plan his own theme park in America. Disneyland opened in 1955.

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Fernando Gandolfi / Via es.wikipedia.org

The legislature building is inspired by the British Parliament. There, the Children’s Government gathers once a year. Formed by students from the Buenos Aires province, they debate subjects of interest and send their resolutions to La Plata city’s Deliberant Council to be discussed there by real councilors.

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