Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited vacation resort in the world. With 17,536,000 guest every year it has earned the title of ‘Happiest Place on Earth. ’ Disney World contains 27,258 acres of property. This property includes many building like themed resort hotels, non–Disney hotels, theme parks, water parks, golf courses, a camping resort, a shopping district, and other entertainment venues. Magic Kingdom is the first and original theme park to open in the Disneyworld followed by Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park first opened on October 1, 1971.
Back then an adult ticket for one day cost $3. 50. Each park is unique in their own way. Magic Kingdom contains the world famous Cinderella castle and many their famous rides like the teacups and Dumbo ride. Epcot contains the ‘golf ball’ and 11 parts of the world that show the culture of each country. Animal Kingdom is the largest animal theme park in the world and cares for over 2,000 animals and 300 species. Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s show the glamour and style of the golden age in Hollywood and features the behind the screens and the insider information on working in television.
The history of Disney World shows how their parks have evolved and have pleased customers for years. In 1959, The Walt Disney Company began looking for a second theme park for people on the east coast who could not afford to travel to California where Disneyland was. Walt Disney selected a centrally location near Bay Lake. He also visited other sites but finally made a negotiable deal for a little more than $100 an acre. Neighbors to the location were happy to get rid of the land because it was mostly swamp and pretty useless to the community.
Disney wanted the second park to be a secret and denied buying the land to many news reporters. Walt Disney had planned on revealing the Disney World project on November 15, 1965, but in the light of the moment, Disney asked Florida Governor Haydon Burns to confirm to the press that following Monday that he planned to build “the greatest attraction in the history of Florida”. Disney joined Governor Burns in Orlando for the official reveal of Disney World on what was the originally planned date, November 15th.
Walt Disney died from lung cancer on December 15, 1966, before being able to share his vision with the world. His brother and business partner, Roy Disney, postponed his retirement to become the head of the project and watch over the construction of the resort’s first phase. On February 2, 1967, Roy held a press conference at the Park Theatres in Winter Park, Florida. A film explaining that for Disney World to succeed a special district would have to be formed was played. The district soon began construction of drainage canals and Disney built the first roads and the Magic Kingdom.
The Contemporary Resort Hotel, the Polynesian Village, and Fort Wilderness were the hotels completed in time for the park’s opening. Roy Disney dedicated the property and declared that it would be known as “Walt Disney World” in his brother’s honor. Roy Disney died on December 20, 1971, less than three months after the property opened. On Friday October 1, 1971 after seven years of planning Disney World opened their doors to only 10,000 visitors. The Magic Kingdom, was made up of approximately 107 acres, featured Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Tomorrow land, Main Street USA, and about 5,500 Cast Members.
Resort planners scheduled the opening in October in the hopes that estimated crowds would be small and they were. Two days before the opening of Walt Disney World, the Florida Highway Patrol had issued a statement that they believed as many as 300,000 people may try to be one of the first to get into the Magic Kingdom. Fortunately the small crowd of 10,000 people on October 1, 1971which allowed any problems to be fixed with minimal effort. Unlike Disneyland’s chaotic grand opening day.
Even official dedications and media events were held off until later in the month to make sure everything ran smoothly. The park’s actual dedication didn’t take place until October 25. “On opening day, I remember Card Walker and I think Don Tatum going up in a helicopter to see the traffic coming in to park. Originally, we had predicted there would be about 10,000 people but the newspapers kept increasing that figure. One paper on the East Coast predicted 200,000 and that was picked up by a foreign newspaper that added an additional zero so it was reported that two million people would show up.
We purposely opened in the off-season to work out the bugs and it turned out we were right that there was about 10,000 that first day. Anyway, they are up in the helicopter and they see this long line of cars and they are smiling and then suddenly the line turns the wrong way and they realized that the cars weren’t guests but cast members driving to work. We had about 5,000 cast members in those days. ” -Press Agent Charlie Ridgway. The early morning of October 1st found guests driving around the toll plaza trying to make their way in to be the first visitors to the Magic Kingdom.
For more than 40 years The Walt Disney Park Company has evaluated and refined the Florida Park’s daily operation, improving and enhancing the themed entertainment experience for their many guests every day. Mr. Disney’s motivation to build the Magic Kingdom was simply to do it better he explained this in an interview before the park opened. While the Magic Kingdom borrows its layout from the company’s original park, while the Florida project included its own editions of “It’s a Small World” and “The Haunted Mansion” the Magic Kingdom also premiered its own original productions of “The Mickey Mouse Revue” and “The Country Bear Jamboree”.
The success of the Magic Kingdom’s attractions found its fame in the start of Disney, because of this more and more people were attracted to going to Disneyworld. In addition to advancements in the park’s attractions, the day to day operation of the Magic Kingdom stands out as another example of Disney “doing it better. ” “May Epcot Center entertain, inform and inspire. And, above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere. ” Epcot opened with five Future World pavilions and nine World Showcases on October 1st.
This showcases include Mexico, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Epcot Center’s grand opening ceremonies in late October featured Count Basie and his Orchestra, Pete Fountain and his New Orleans Jazz Band at Spaceship Earth Ball; West Point Glee Club; 450-piece All-American Marching Band; and World Showcase Festival performers representing 23 countries. Disney’s Hollywood Studios originally Disney-MGM Studios until 2008 is the third of four theme parks built at the Walt Disney on May 1, 1989.
Taking up135 acres it is dedicated to show business, drawing inspiration from the rise of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s. In 2014, the park welcomed approximately 10. 31 million guests, making it the fifth-most visited amusement park in the United States, and eighth-most visited in the world. The park was formerly represented by the Sorcerer’s Hat from Fantasia. It replaced the Eiffel Tower as the park’s icon in 2001 and served that role until its removal in January 2015. Disney’s Animal Kingdom was the last park built at the Walt Disney.
It was dedicated and opened to the public on Earth Day on April 22, 1998. It is the largest animal theme park in the world, covering 580 acres. The park is dedicated and themed entirely around the natural environment and animal conservation once pioneered by Walt Disney. The park is represented by the Tree of Life, a sculpted 145-foot-tall and 50 feet wide. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is given credit by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, for having or exceeding the standards in education, conservation, and research.
After all the years that Disney World has evolved history has been made. Every day thousands of people still go to Disney World. If Walt Disney or Roy Disney were still alive today I think they would be proud of the achievements this park has made. Disney World has granted over 100,000 wishes and will grant many more in the future. The history of Disney World shows how their parks have evolved and have pleased customers for years.