A place full of magic that lets you live all your childhood fantasies and dreams- Disney World! Envisioned by Walt Disney, this is more than just a theme park featuring attractions based on characters and stories created by the Disney company. Also called Walt Disney World, this entertainment resort complex is located in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S.A, near Orlando and Kissimmee.
Being a complete pack of enjoyment, it consists of four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of accommodations from luxurious to affordable, numerous restaurants, shops, and ample spectacle sources. From thriller rides to delicious treats, all make sure never to have a dull moment in this magical paradise. So come along with us and discover why it is truly the happiest place on the earth.
History of Walt Disney World: Early Years
On July 17, 1955, after the success of Disneyland near Anaheim ( California), Walt Disney began planning to build his 2nd theme park for whom he purchased 43 acres of barren land in central Florida. Unfortunately 1966, he died, and his elder brother Roy O. Disney supervised the project and ensured Walt’s biggest dream and last wish was accomplished.
After 5 years of his death, the project was finally completed and opened in 1971, which was a huge success and grew to 47 sq. miles of land by the early 21st century. Roy insisted on changing the complex’s name from Disney World to Walt Disney World, ensuring the people would remember Walt’s dream. In 2018, with an average annual attendance of more than 58 million, Walt Disney World was the most visited vacation resort in the world.
A) Theme & Water Parks: Ultimate Sources of Thrill and Fun
For an unbeatable experience, be sure to visit these prime destinations with ample time to explore their wonder and fun to the full extent. Walt Disney World parks are a dream come true for visitors of all ages. Here’s a list of the theme parks;
- Magic Kingdom
A popular quintessential fairy tale theme park having attractions like Cinderella’s Castle, Space Mountain, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and Pirates of the Caribbean. In 2022, around 17.1 million visitors were recorded, declaring it the most visited theme park worldwide.
Often known as a “permanent world’s fair! Stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, twice the size of Magic Kingdom, i.e., it spans 305 acres (123 hectares). It is dedicated to celebrating human achievement, particularly technological innovation and international culture. This year, 100 years of Disney memories will be celebrated here from September to December 2023.
- Hollywood Studios
Split into 6 main areas: Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Grand Avenue, Animation Courtyard, Toy Story Land, and Sunset Boulevard. Each is dedicated to a different Disney-related theme featuring rides, attractions, shows, shops, and restaurants.
- Animal Kingdom
Inaugurated in 1998, this theme park offers attractions like Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris for up-close animal encounters. With themed lands like Pandora – The World of Avatar, and Asia, the park perfectly combines thrilling rides with a commitment to preserving nature’s beauty.
Along with these theme parks, Walt Disney World boasts two exceptional water parks. These destinations provide refreshing aquatic adventures, from thrilling water slides to lazy rivers.
5. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
Opened on April 1, 1995, it has speedy slides, lazy rivers, and a pool with big waves. Approximately 2,091,000 guests visited the park in 2016, making it the world’s third-most-visited water park. Remember, Blizzard Beach is open year-round, with an annual maintenance closure in the winter.
6. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
This outdoor water park is in the 61-acre area featuring America’s largest wave pool with 6 more water slide rides like one for children’s play area, a small explorable trail, etc. It is being closed in November 2022 for refurbishment purposes and reopened this year in March 2023.
B) Places to Stay: Luxurious to Affordable Options
- Disney Resorts Collection
Right now! They have around 31 theme-based resorts, 9 non-Disney hotels, and a camping resort to pick from the collection. Their choices range from budget-friendly options like Port Orleans Resort or Disney’s Pop Century Resort to fancy ones, i.e., Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Explore the different 4 categories mentioned below and choose the accommodation according to your budget.
- Deluxe Villas
- Deluxe Resort Hotels
- Moderate Resort Hotels
- Value Resort Hotels
- Other Select Deluxe Resorts
Besides the main Disney Resort Hotels, there are Epcot Resorts are operated by a third party but have Walt Disney World branding. These fancier hotels add more comfort and fun to your visit; options such as
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
- Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
The list of on-site non-Disney hotels never ends here! There are many more to explore; these are just the top 3 ones.
C) Things to do: Make Your Visit Full of Fun
- Dinning: Convenient Choices
At Walt Disney World, you have lots of food options! There are fun restaurants such as Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table with themes & characters where you can pick meal plans with different food and snacks. Remember to book a table, especially in places like these.
- Activities: Endless Entertainment
From exciting rides like Space Mountain to shows that tell stories like “The Lion King: A Celebration of Festival,” there’s so much to enjoy. Surely, you will not run out of ways to have a good time there!
- Shopping: Retail Therapy
To discover special, unique Disney goodies and items, take time to shop at Disney World Stores.
Go for a walk through the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A., for souvenirs, and explore MouseGear at Epcot for unique finds.
- Destination: Beyond Parks
This destination place has more than just the parks to offer. Feel the cozy vibes of Disney’s Boardwalk and catch exciting sports at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Walt Disney World is not just a vacation spot; it’s a destination that makes your dreams come true. Fun rides, cool shows & performances, different foods, and a lot of shopping will surely make your time amazing here.