Walt Disney World Resort Orlando opened in 1971 as the second Disney park, after predecessor Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The park is located in Orlando, Florida and located on Lake Buena Vista. The park opened with the main park The Magic Kingdom and two hotels. In the following years, the resort has grown to include four theme parks, two water parks and several shopping and entertainment areas. The Magic Kingdom was built as a larger and more exclusive version of the original Disneyland park in California and is considered the main park of the resort. Later, several Disney resorts were built around the world, all with a main park based on the two original parks.
- Walt Disney World Resort Orlando
- The Magic Kingdom
- Main Street USA
- Liberty Square
- Tomorrow Land
Walt Disney World Resort Orlando
After the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim California, Walt Disney started looking for a location for a larger park. He found this near Lake Buena Vista, located near Orlando in Florida. The area covered an area of 121 square kilometers, making it larger than Manhattan. The park was built partly out of Walt Disney’s frustration with the appearance of cheap bad motels near his original park in California. For this reason, he bought a large piece of land around the park this time, so that he could create a complete Disney world including hotels for his guests. After years of planning,
The Magic Kingdom park, along with two hotels, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, opened in 1971. He was never able to experience the opening of the park himself. Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966 from lung cancer.
Walt Disney Resort Orlando consists of several parks. Below are four theme parks, two water parks and two shopping and entertainment areas:
- Magic Kingdom – 1971
- EPCOT – 1982
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 1989
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 1998
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon – 1989
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach – 1995
Shopping and entertainment areas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
- Disney Springs
The Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom was the first Disney park in Orlando and is usually seen as the main park. The park is a renovation of the original Disneyland park in Anaheim, California. It is the only park in Orlando where Walt Disney himself was involved in the design. The park can be recognized by the castle, characteristic of Disney parks, in the middle of the park (although the castles are very similar, every park in the world has its own uniquely designed castle). It is the Disney park with the most visitors (16 million in 2010).
The Magic Kingdom is located on a man-made lake, Seven Seas Lagoon. Because the parking lot is on the other side of the lake, the park can only be reached by visitors via a ferry or a monorail specially constructed by Disney. It is also possible to take this monorail to the EPCOT park. The Magic Kingdom consists of a number of different themed areas:
- Main Street USA
- Liberty Square
- Tomorrow Land
Prices The Magic Kingdom
In 2016, Walt Disney World made history by becoming the first theme park in the world to charge more than $100 for an entrance ticket. Depending on the season, day tickets are $96 to $114 dollars. The more days the park or parks are visited, the cheaper the tickets become, up to $40 for a 10-day ticket. For comparison, when the park opened in 1971, the price of a ticket was $3.50.
Because Walt Disney did not want staff walking through the park wearing an outfit from one theme area to another theme area, he decided to build tunnels under the park. However, the park was built on swamp land, which meant that it was not possible to dig under the park. It was therefore decided to raise the entire park by 30 meters so that a tunnel network could still be constructed. It is the only Disney park in the world with a tunnel network. Other parks are designed so that staff can walk from each theme area to another theme area via an outside exit.
Source: Patrick Pelletier – Wikimedia Commons
Main Street USA
Visitors enter the park via the park’s main street, Main Street USA. This street, full of shops and restaurants, is based on an American town around 1920 and made in the style of the film Lady and the Tramp. To get more buildings on the same surface area, these were made 2/3 of the original dimensions. The street ends at the castle, Cinderella Castle. From Main Street itself, the castle appears larger than it actually is. This is due to the use of an optical illusion. Each floor on top of the first has been made a little smaller, creating perspective and making it seem to the eye as if the castle is much higher than the 55 meters it actually is.
Main Street USA offers a number of attractions in addition to shops and restaurants. These are mainly displays and exhibitions to walk through. There is also a station for the train that runs around the park.
Attractions on Main Street USA:
- The Disney Gallery – Exhibition
- Disneyland Railroad – Train Station
- The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln – Show with Lincoln’s automated doll
- Main Street Cinema – Cinema with shortest Disney films (shorts)
- Main Street Vehicles – Various carriages with or without Disney characters
- Mickey’s Soundsational Parade – Parade through the park and down Main street
- Main Street Arcade – Arcade Hall
- Disneyland Forever – Fireworks show around the castle
- Paint the Night Parade – Parade of Lights
All the windows of the buildings on Main Street USA contain names of businesses. These are names of people who have been important to Disney in the past, such as cartoonists and designers. Often the type of company refers in some way to the person behind the name.
Source: SteamFan, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-2.5)
The Magic Kingdom, like the original Disneyland in California, contains the Adventureland theme area. This area is based on distant travels and undiscovered areas. Or as Walt Disney himself explains: To create a land that would make this dream reality