History of Walt Disney World

Updated: 17 July 2013 01:54:31 AM

In the early 1960’s, buoyed by the success of Disneyland in California, Walt Disney began buying huge amounts of land in central Florida.

He did this under assumed names and did not announce his plans until November of 1965, when he made an appearance in Florida, stating his intent to build the world’s most spectacular theme park.

Sadly, Mr. Disney died before he saw his plans come to fruition, but he would have been proud of what his Imagineers have accomplished since that time.

In 1971 Magic Kingdom Opened

In 1971, after two years of construction, the Magic Kingdom opened its doors to delighted guests and in the first two years welcomed over 20 million people into the park.

Disney quickly started plans to build another of Walt Disney’s visions, but with a few changes.

In 1982 Magic Kingdom Opened

EPCOT, or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, was opened not as a city, which is what Walt envisioned, but as another theme park.

Epcot was built as a park dedicated to the future of technology and to showcase the customs and cultures of other countries.

In 1982 Epcot opened its gates and is still welcoming millions of visitors every year.

The next project for Walt Disney World was a celebration of the golden age of movie making, Disney-MGM Studios.

In 1989 Disney-MGM Studios Opened

In 1989, guests flooded into the new park and delighted in the multiple shows and attractions dedicated to the art of animation and movie making.

Now named Hollywood Studios, it is in the process of expanding and adding new attractions.

In 1998 Animal Kingdom Opened

Walt Disney World’s fourth and final park, Animal Kingdom, opened on Earth Day in 1998.

This park is dedicated to conservation and animal care, education and research, all topics which were close to Walt Disney’s heart.

Walt Disney World Today

Walt Disney World now boasts over 20 resorts ranging from standard to luxury accommodations, two water parks – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, a shopping and entertainment district called Downtown Disney, spas and fitness centers, and their very own Boardwalk.

Walt Disney’s initial land grab has turned out to be one of the wisest business decisions he made, other than putting paper to pen and creating that endearing mouse, Mickey.

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