Walt Disney World, located in Orlando, Florida, is one of the most popular and beloved theme parks in the world.
It attracts millions of visitors each year and is known for its iconic attractions, such as Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, TRON Lightcycle Run, and Pirates of the Caribbean. However, few people know the history behind the opening of this magical place.
Disney World Resort officially opened on October 1, 1971.
Here’s a brief history of how it came to fruition.
The Idea of Walt Disney World
Walt Disney first dreamed of creating a family-friendly amusement park in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that he began to seriously pursue the idea. After the success of Disneyland in California, Disney turned his attention to the east coast, where he began searching for a suitable location for his new park. He ultimately chose a sprawling plot of land near Orlando, Florida, which he purchased in the late 1960s. Construction of Walt Disney World officially began in 1967.
Walt Disney World’s Opening Day
Walt Disney World officially opened its gates on October 1, 1971. The opening of the park was a massive undertaking, with more than 10,000 workers involved in the construction and preparation of the park.
The opening day of Walt Disney World was a huge success, with thousands of visitors flocking to the park to experience the magic for themselves.
The park was comprised of three main areas:
- Magic Kingdom, which was similar to Disneyland in California
- The Contemporary Resort, a modern hotel with a unique design
- The Polynesian Village Resort, which was inspired by the South Pacific
Disney World Opening Day Attractions
Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971 with 19 attractions:
- Cinderella’s Golden Carousel
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Diamond Horseshoe Revue
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Frontierland Shooting Gallery
- Grand Prix Raceway
- The Hall of Presidents
- The Haunted Mansion
- ”it’s a small world’
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey Mouse REvue
- Mike Fink Keel Boats
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Snow White’s Scary Adventures
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Tropical Serenade
- Walt Disney World Railroad
Since its opening in 1971, Walt Disney World has grown and evolved, with new attractions, hotels, and experiences added regularly.
Today, the park is home to four main theme parks, two water parks, a shopping and dining district, and dozens of hotels and other accommodations.
The park has since become one of the most popular and beloved theme parks in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year.
With its iconic attractions, immersive experiences, popular food festivals, and magical atmosphere, Walt Disney World is a true testament to the imagination and creativity of its founder, Walt Disney.