what year did walt disney world open in florida?

what year did walt disney world open in florida?

what year did walt disney world open in florida?

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Disney World opened its doors and welcomed guests to its Magic Kingdom

Disney World, the largest theme park in the world, welcomed its first guests on Oct. 1, 1971. Over the next five decades the park — which covers more than 40 square miles in central Florida — grew into an entertainment complex that includes four theme parks, two waterparks, golf courses, a shopping destination and 27 resort hotels.

Before Disney World and Disneyland, amusement parks had existed for centuries. But Walt Disney came up with a new concept, the theme park, and it connected deeply with visitors.

“You always get that feeling in your belly when you come through the gates. It’s exciting every time, no matter how old you get,” says Paulette Stinson, who has been to the park some 20 times.

what year did walt disney world open in florida?
what year did walt disney world open in florida?


Disney wanted to capture the East Coast theme park audience

When Disneyland opened in California in 1955, it quickly became a big success, but the company soon realized that only 2% of visitors came from east of the Mississippi River. Walt Disney went looking for an East Coast location and eventually settled on Florida.

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Rick Foglesong, professor emeritus at Rollins University and author of the book, Married to the Mouse, says the interstate highway system drew him to Orlando.

“Roads were all important to the Disney company because they wanted to build a park that would be 10 times the size of Disneyland in California,” Foglesong says. “That meant, that if they were going to build such a big park, they would have to import tourists from afar, from down the East Coast, from the Midwest.”

what year did walt disney world open in florida?
what year did walt disney world open in florida?

Disney World proved that theme parks could be vacation destinations

The creation of Disney World changed Florida, and it also changed theme parks and the entertainment industry. Carissa Baker, an assistant professor who studies theme parks at the University of Central Florida, says Walt Disney pioneered the concept of synergy.

“He creates…the Disneyland TV show in 1954, which kind of sells the idea of the Disneyland Park,” Baker says. “But all of these movies and TV shows that are on the Disneyland TV shows were of course his previous properties. So now, you’re kind of tying all this together.”

Baker says Disney World also showed that by adding hotels and more attractions, theme parks could become vacation destinations, a place where families can spend a week or more without ever leaving the Disney bubble.

what year did walt disney world open in florida?
what year did walt disney world open in florida?


Year Openings
1971 Magic Kingdom – October 1, 1971
Disney’s Contemporary Resort – October 1, 1971
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – October 1, 1971
Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – November 19, 1971
1975 Disney Springs (originally called Lake Buena Vista Shopping Area) – 1975
1982 Epcot – October 1, 1982
1988 Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – June 28, 1988
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – October 1, 1988
1989 Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly called MGM Studios) – May 1, 1989
Typhoon Lagoon – June 1, 1989
1990 Walt Disney World Swan – January 13, 1990
Walt Disney World Dolphin – June 1, 1990
Disney’s Yacht Club – November 5, 1990
Disney’s Beach Club – November 19, 1990
1991 Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter – May 17, 1991
Disney’s Vacation Club (DVC) is launched – December 20, 1991
Disney’s Old Key West Resort (DVC) – December 20, 1991
1992 Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside (originally called Disney’s Dixie Landings Resort) – February 2, 1992
1994 Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – April 29, 1994
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – May 28, 1994
Disney’s All-Star Music Resort – November 22, 1994
1995 Blizzard Beach – April 1, 1995
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Boardwalk Villas (DVC) – July 1, 1996
1997 Disney’s Wild World of Sports Complex – March 28, 1997
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – August 1, 1997
1998 Disney’s Animal Kingdom – April 11, 1998
1999 Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort – January 15, 1999
2000 Disney’s Boulder Ridge Villas (DVC) (originally called The Villas at Wilderness Lodge) – November 15, 2000
2001 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – April 16, 2001
2002 Disney’s Beach Club Villas (DVC) – July 1, 2002
2003 Disney’s Pop Century Resort – December 14, 2003
2004 Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (DVC) – May 17, 2004
2007 Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo (DVC) – Summer 2007
2009 Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani (DVC) – May 1, 2009
Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs (DVC) – June 1, 2009
Bay Lake Tower (DVC) – August 4, 2009
2012 Disney’s Art of Animation – May 31, 2012
2013 Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (DVC) – October 23, 2013
2015 Polynesian Villas & Bungalows (DVC) – April 1, 2015
2017 Disney’s Copper Creek Cabins at Wilderness Lodge (DVC) – July 17, 2017
2019 Disney’s Riviera Resort (DVC) – December 16, 2019
2022 Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser – exact date tbd

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