Walt Disney World

Why is Walt Disney World such a popular travel destination? In addition to being a showcase for all things Disney, the ideal location in sunny Central Florida, and the sheer variety of attractions and experiences, the best part about Walt Disney World theme parks is that Disney knows how to operate theme parks the right way. Cast members, as Disney theme park employees are called, stay in character with guests of all ages. The grounds and restroom facilities are kept meticulously clean. There are first aid facilities on site, and the theme parks even provide transportation to the nearest walk-in clinic if a guest's illness or injury cannot be treated at the park.

Walt Disney World is the kind of place where cast members will spring into action to find a lost child or stop whatever they are doing at closing time to help a guest repair a broken pair of eyeglasses. For all of these reasons and more, Walt Disney World continues to attract new visitors and plenty of repeat business.

Walt Disney World History

After Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California in 1955, company founder Walt Disney wanted to build a theme park east of the Mississippi River. Disney also wanted to buy up more land than he had purchased for Disneyland to avoid outside businesses encroaching on the boundaries of the theme park. To avoid land speculation, dummy corporations were set up to purchase more than 27,000 acres of Central Florida marshland during the mid-1960s. Although Orlando is frequently cited as the location of Walt Disney World, the resort is outside of the Orlando city limits in the Disney-run towns of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake.

When Walt Disney died in 1966, plans for Walt Disney World were well underway. What is now known as the Magic Kingdom theme park was the entire Walt Disney World when the park opened in 1971. Today, Walt Disney World encompasses four theme parks, two water parks, 23 themed Disney hotels, and many other restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. With the availability of discount Disney World tickets (with special deals for Florida residents) and Disney World vacation packages, visitors can make their next Orlando vacation anything they want it to be at prices they can afford.

At a glance, here are the theme parks, water parks, and other recreational areas that comprise Walt Disney World:

Walt Disney World attracts honeymooning couples, young families and retirees. Some visitors spend their entire Disney vacation at Walt Disney World without ever leaving the resort grounds. And with the sheer number of choices for theme park rides, water park attractions, live entertainment, shopping and dining, it's easy to see why.



Delight in a dazzling array of over 100 topiary displays, each featuring seasonal designs or several favorite Disney characters—this year at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (Now through May 18, 2014).