When Walt Disney opened his famed Anaheim park back in 1955, he turned to corporate sponsors to keep construction and operation costs under budget.
That helps explain why two of the original attractions were the less-than-thrilling Monsanto Hall of Chemistry — sponsored by the agrochemical giant — and the Aluminum Hall of Fame — sponsored by Kaiser Aluminum.
“It was just as bad as it sounds,” said David Koenig, author of several books on Disney.
More than 60 years later, sponsorships are on the rise throughout the theme park industry. Brands including Honda, Alamo and Coca-Cola are spending big money...