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History of Magic Kingdom

Updated: 09 July 2013 01:35:06 AM

Walt Disney’s vision of building the world’s biggest and best theme park began in the early 1960’s when he started snapping up land in central Florida, bought under different names so no one would suspect a thing.

Bought in different amounts of acreage, the fast real estate deals had tongues wagging – who would buy this much land at these prices?

The world didn’t have long to wait, as Mr. Disney arrived in Orlando on November 16th, 1965 and announced his intentions.

After land was acquired, water was controlled, utilities discussed, and two cities were created, construction began in 1969.

Over the next two years, Disney employed over 9,000 workers to build a 200 acre lake, two 18 hole golf courses, two unique hotels, land and water transportation, and of course, the Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Opens

In October of 1971, right on schedule, the Magic Kingdom opened to delighted guests from all over the country – and world.

Over the next year, hotels opened, celebrities visited, monorail trains and transportation boats were added, and over 10 million people visited Walt Disney World.

The Magic Kingdom became the world’s best-known vacation destination.

Expansion

During the following decades, the Magic Kingdom added rides, shows and different attractions to the park, but these endearing classics still remain: Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Liberty Square Riverboat, It’s A Small World, and Tomorrowland Speedway.

As time goes on, the Magic Kingdom has stayed relevant by adding thrill rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad.

Currently, the Magic Kingdom is in the process of a major addition – a whole new world of Fantasyland, which was built to include more princesses including Rapunzel from Tangled, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

The Magic Kingdom now has over 50 million visitors per year, and has expanded its empire to become Walt Disney World, and includes three other theme parks, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

By Marie Ospina

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