Walt Disney started the plans for Disney World in 1959 after the success of Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California. With much enthusiasm from Florida officials, Disney chose the Florida location for Disney World in 1963 and continued acquiring land for his resort before he died in 1966. Roy O. Disney, Walt's older brother, took over the planning for Disney World, and the park opened on October 1, 1971. Shortly after the opening, Roy Disney conveyed to visitors the dreams that his brother had for the park in a dedication that officially named the park Walt Disney World to honor his brother's legacy. For a more in-depth history on the Walt Disney World Resort as a whole as well as a history of the parks, visit wikipedia and WDW History.
In order to ensure that each theme park had its own identity, the Walt Disney Corporation decided to mark each park with a unique symbol. Cinderella's Castle helps visitors to identify Magic Kingdom. Epcot is symbolized by a huge globe-shaped sculpture named Spaceship Earth. Disney's Hollywood Studios is marked by Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat. The Tree of Life is the icon of Disney's Animal Planet. More in-depth information about each theme park can be viewed below.
Disney's Animal Kingdom was the fourth and last park added to the WDW Resort in 1998. Credited as being the largest of the Disney theme parks, the overall theme of the park is animal conservation. The design of theme park ensured that visitors would be getting more than a typical zoo experience. One of the other unique features of the theme park is that it honors three specific classifications of animals: animals that exist currently, extinct animals and legendary/mythical animals. Animal Kingdom features seven lands: Africa, Asia, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Dinoland U.S.A., Discovery Island, The Oasis, and Rafiki's Planet Watch. Listed Below are attractions in Disney's Animal Kingdom divided by area.
Two water parks reside in the WDW resort: Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach. Typhoon Lagoon was opened in 1989 with a storm-wrecked tropical island theme. The park consists of five areas: Mount Mayday, Hideaway Bay, Typhoon Lagoon, Shark Reef, and Castaway Creek as well as around 20 attractions. Typhoon Lagoon contains the world's largest outdoor wave pool and is the most visited water park in the world. Blizzard Beach, opened in 1995, has a melting ski resort theme. The park's biggest attraction is "Mount Gushmore," a mountain that covers the tubing for the park's several water slides. Mount Gushmore consists of three color-coded sides each containing different types of slides. The ground level of the park consists of areas for children shorter than Mount Gushmore's height requirement. Blizzard Beach is the second largest water park in the world after Typhoon Lagoon.
Guests at the WDW resort are not limited to the thrill of the water and theme parks, Disney also offers other opportunities to make memories beyond the parks. Other highlights of the WDW resort include Downtown Disney Area, Disney's Boardwalk, Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney's Golf Courses. Located near Saratoga Springs, Downtown Disney Area gives guests a nice experience with more than 70 shopping and dinning experiences. Disney's Boardwalk, located near two Disney theme parks and many WDW resort hotels, is a quarter-mile strip filled with entertainment. Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex is the headquarter for all of the sporting events at the WDW resort. The complex can host over 50 types of sports and every level of competition - from amateur to professional worldwide host events and tournaments in this sports resort. Walt Disney World's five golf courses are another way to enjoy the recreation and leisure of sports at the resort. Four 18-hole miniature golf courses are also available.
Before booking your reservations, consider these tools for more information on Walt Disney World, Florida, and the city of Orlando. The official web site for Walt Disney World offers a vast array of information from scheduling, maps, reservations, promotions, and the latest Walt Disney World news updated regularly. MousePlanet offers an extensive guide to Walt Disney World from an insider's perspective. Remember to visit Tripspot.com before booking your trip for flight information, travel guides and tips and much more!