No matter how magical Disney World seems, it wasn't created out of pixie dust. It took a lot of imagination and hard work to fill 125,000 acres of land
with dazzling displays that would attract millions to the swampy land of Florida.
If you plan to visit Mickey Mouse any time soon, you should know a little bit about how it came to be.
Read on to discover the genius behind Disney World history.
Disney World History Began with a Dream
After creating a small amusement park in 1955 located in Anaheim, Cali., called Disneyland, Walter Disney had a bigger dream.
He hoped to develop a park designed for people of all ages to not only visit for a day but be immersed in a vacation experience. This idea would include several parks, hotels, and even highways to get you around.
His dream wouldn't come true until 1971 when Walt Disney World opened 5 years after he passed away. Roy Disney finished his vision and only 3 months later passed on as well.
Since the grand opening, Disney has developed into something more than Walt could ever imagine. And it all started with an unlikely piece of land in the middle of a swamp.
Finding a Home for Disney World
The history of Disney World begins with a search for the right location. Walt Disney found the perfect place in Central Orlando.
Perfect weather provided warmth and sunshine all year so the park would never inconvenience its visitors by being closed. Orlando was also near highways connecting the traffic caused by the rush of tourism to Florida in the 1960s.
Over the course of 2-years, it took 9,000 workers to construct the landscape, creating lawns, gardens, and even lakes. Private roads and public transportation made it easy for guests to stay in the park for all their needs.
The Disney World park was big enough to control all aspects of its commercialism and its aesthetics, so it truly was a magical world all its own.
A Place of Innovation
Another specialty of Walt Disney World history is its quest to innovate. The parks aren't just filled with typical roller coasters and bumper cars.
In the main park of Magic Kingdom, ride concepts were used to predict the progress of tomorrow, using some of the first animatronics.
It's second park addition, EPCOT, experimented with innovations in energy, horticulture, and communication technology.
Then in 1989, MGM Studios (now called Disney's Hollywood Studios) revealed new innovations in movie magic like special effects, live-action stunts, theatrical design, and animation.
Each year, Disney World adds new attractions and lodging options to its list of accomplishments. They now have 4 main parks, including Animal Kingdom, 2 water parks, 25 resort hotels, and a residential area called Celebration.
Visitors have many options to explore Disney with a range of ticket and hotel packages. They can even get a guided tour of the parks. Get a quote
for your VIP tour so you don't miss all that Disney has to offer.
Learning More Before Your Vacation
Getting caught up with your Disney World history can help you get around the park and appreciate all the work put into it.
But, you should also know how to navigate the park and prioritize your time. Plan ahead to get the most out of your vacation.
If you are coming to Disney by car, check out our games section for some road trip fun.