The American history theme park that Walt Disney Co. plans to build west of Washington will include "painful, disturbing and agonizing" exhibits on slavery, American Indian life and the Vietnam War, unlike the fantasy attractions at the company's other parks, Disney Chairman Michael D. Eisner said yesterday.

"We are going to be sensitive, but we will not be showing the absolute propaganda of the country," Eisner said in a telephone interview yesterday after Disney officials took the wraps off their long-secret plan for Disney's America, a park proposed for a 3,000-acre tract in Prince William County near Haymarket, about 30 miles from Washington. "We will show the Civil War with all its racial conflict."

At a news conference in nearby Manassas yesterday, Disney officials said the aim of the project -- which would be the company's third U.S. park and the first since Walt Disney World opened in Florida more than 20 years ago -- is to present the controversies and conflicts in the nation's history in a way not likely to offend visitors.

Disney officials said that like the company's other parks, the one to be built in Prince William County will celebrate all that is American. But by showing the not-so-sunny side of the American experience, the company that brought Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck to life plans to show a bit of an edge in its new park.

"This is not a Pollyanna view of America," said Bob Weis, a Disney senior vice president.

"We want to make you a Civil War soldier. We want to make you feel what it was like to be a slave or what it was like to escape through the underground railroad," Weis told a packed room of reporters, local and state politicians and community residents. He described in detail the nine different historical theme areas of the park.

Peter Rummell, president of Disney Design and Development, said the company isn't concerned that the park's attractions will violate standards of political correctness. "An intelligent story properly told shouldn't offend anybody," he said.

The park also would have thrill rides, including a wooden roller coaster and a 60-foot Ferris wheel. In an area of the park devoted to the Industrial Revolution, tourists would visit a simulated factory town and take a high-speed ride through a turn-of-the-century mill, simulating an escape from a fiery vat of molten steel.

The plan outlined yesterday by Disney officials was revealed after more than two years in which undercover Disney representatives secretly bought or obtained options on land in Prince William County. They used false names and kept Disney's interest in the area secret to prevent land prices from soaring.

Disney officials have not said specifically how much the complex will cost. The cost "is still moving around," Rummell said. "It is in the hundreds of millions of dollars."

The park, which Disney officials said would have an entrance with a Civil War motif and be closed only about six weeks during January and February, would open by the spring of 1998 and create 3,000 permanent jobs, Rummell said. About 2,000 people would be hired to build the park, he said.

The plan, which sources said could attract an estimated 30,000 visitors a day during peak periods, drew wide praise at yesterday's news conference from state and local officials, most of whom learned of the project only recently.

But Disney's America does face some hurdles.

The park would be near increasingly congested Interstate 66, and would require hundreds of millions of dollars in road and other transportation improvements. Because the project would bring thousands of cars to the area, it would need an endorsement from a regional panel that is struggling to find ways to clean the Washington area's air, which exceeds federal standards for pollution.

And the Disney project is likely to face opposition from a feisty anti-growth movement in western Prince William, which crushed a developer's plans five years ago to build a shopping mall adjacent to the Manassas Battlefield.

Neither Disney nor state officials offered specifics yesterday about how much state and local money might be required for public improvements. But Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and Gov.-elect George F. Allen said they believe it makes sense for taxpayers to bear part of the bill because of the state and local tax revenue that would be produced by the Disney project, which company officials estimate would be $1.5 billion over 30 years.

"I think it'll be a moneymaker for the state," said Allen, who learned of the project recently while visiting Walt Disney World in Florida. "Our administration will certainly kick down any hurdles."

Wilder, who said he first learned of Disney's interest in Prince William about two weeks ago, noted that Virginia did not have to offer concessions to Disney as part of a competition for the park.

"We didn't have to bid for this," Wilder said.

"That's a rare, rare thing. How gratifying that Disney didn't subject us to a bidding war," he said. The Danish toy maker Lego is planning to build a $100 million American theme park in either Prince William or Carlsbad, Calif., and both governments have made proposals to try to attract the project.

Other officials expressed reservations about what they saw as a lack of details about how the project would be financed.

"I'm enthusiastic about this, but I want the facts," said Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Manassas), whose district includes the park site. "I want to know what will be the cost to the state and how fast we can expect a payback. I want to see all the cards on the table."

Disney officials said the 100-acre park and a 27-hole public golf course would be built in the project's first phase. People involved in negotiations with Disney said that the company, which recently reported a $921 million, first-year loss for its Euro Disney park near Paris, wants to build the Prince William park more gradually.

Disney officials say they will submit their proposal by the end of the month to Prince William officials, who already have promised to quickly consider it. The county will aim for July 1994 approval, which would allow Disney to meet its goal of beginning construction in 1995. Getting zoning approval for such a project normally takes about two years.

Eisner said the idea for an American history park surfaced three to four years ago after he and other Disney executives visited Colonial Williamsburg. Disney officials spent about two years searching for a Washington area site and selected the Prince William location over 12 to 15 others.

Unlike other Disney parks, Disney's America would have some hotel rooms that would be virtually a part of the exhibit areas. The company plans to build about 150 rooms near the park's main entrance, where there will be a 19th century village exhibit.

Eventually, the company plans some residential and commercial development as a buffer between the park and neighboring properties. Officials said that Disney isn't planning to build a major shopping center, but might put in some retail shops.

The park would be a tourism coup for Prince William, a rapidly growing county with attractions that include the historic battlefield and the huge Potomac Mills outlet mall, which drew more than 14 million visitors last year.

"If accomplished as planned, the Disney project will exceed all reasonable expectations for economic development for the next four years," said Kathleen K. Seefeldt (D), chairman of Prince William's board of county supervisors.

Disney officials said yesterday that the park would employ high-technology to make exhibits as realistic as possible to visitors, including "virtual reality," which uses sophisticated computer graphics to simulate actual experiences. In one section of the park, visitors will be able see and feel what it's like to parachute from a plane or operate tanks and weapons in combat.

With exhibits marking proud and painful moments in American history, "we are hoping to really be a little controversial . . . and not be quite as nice and sweet . . . as {Disney parks} may have been in the past," Weis said. "And we are going to be authentic."