Walt Disney World Resort is situated about 32 kilometers southwest of Orlando, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. But the entire property is outside of the Orlando area. A part of the resort is in Orlando's limits, other one at southwest of Orange County, and the rest in the south neighboring county of Osceola,
Walt Disney World, in Orlando Florida, is the biggest and the greatest of Orlando attractions. It is a huge area that occupied approximately 120 km², about the size of San Francisco, or twice the size of Manhattan.
The resort is a world class entertainment center in which featuring four separate and exciting theme parks, three water adventure parks, 32 resort hotels, 99 holes of golf on different courses, two full service spas, Disney's Wedding Pavilion, Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex and Downtown Disney's entertainment, shopping, dining complex and outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, boating and swimming.
Magic Kingdom, the first theme park built at the resort, shows diferent attractions; it is divided among in seven fantasy areas. This is the perfect place to find all your favorite Disney characters and also attractions.
Epcot is divided into two areas: Future World and World Showcase. The attractions in Future World are based on modern and futuristic advances in communication, transportation, energy, agriculture and much more. World Showcase allows you to explore culture, cuisine, shopping and entertainment from many countries including Canada, UK, France, Japan, Morocco, US, Italy, Germany, China, Norway and Mexico.
The Disney-MGM Studios offers behind the scenes, since movies are realized, popular TV shows, etc. There are also a number of thrilling rides or attractions based on blockbuster movies, which provide exciting stunts and amazing special effects.
Animal Kingdom is the newest and largest theme park. This 2 km² park is divided into three areas: The Real, The Mythical and The Extinct. The Real area features live animals in unusual landscapes and provides a safari experience. In The Mythical area, guests come face to face with magical and make believe creatures. In the Extinct Area, dinosaurs come to life.
A fairly new addition to the resort is the state of the art sports complex where Disney hosts a wide variety of sporting events. Also there are about 18 Disney owned and operated hotels and also several non Disney hotels in the resort. All this combined with many other attractions in the Orlando and central Florida area can be quite irresistible.
In 1959, Walt Disney Productions, under the leadership of Walt Disney, began looking for land for a second theme park to supplement the existing one in Anaheim, California.
Walt Disney flew over Orlando on November 22, 1963. He first appealed to the Sanford, Florida city council to allow him to build Disney World in Sanford, but his appeal was declined. The citizens of Sanford did not want the crime that was sure to come with tourism. He saw the well-developed network of roads, including Interstate 4 and Florida's Turnpike, with McCoy Air Force Base to the east, and immediately fell in love with the site.
To avoid a burst of land speculation, Disney used a mystery company that started buying up a lot of undeveloped land in central Florida in the early 1960s. After most of the land had been bought, the truth of the property's owner was leaked to the Orlando authorities on October 20, 1965. A press conference soon was organized for November 15. At the presentation, Walt Disney explained the plans for the site, including EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, which was to be a futuristic city. Plans for EPCOT would drastically change after Disney's death.
Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, before his dream was realized. His brother and business partner, Roy O. Disney, postponed his retirement to oversee construction of the resort's first phase.
The district soon began construction of drainage canals, and Disney built the first roads and the Magic Kingdom. Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Polynesian Resort, and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground were also completed in time for the park's opening on October 1, 1971. The Palm and Magnolia golf courses near the Magic Kingdom had opened few weeks before.
Roy O. Disney dedicated the resort and declared that it would be known as "Walt Disney World" in his brother's memory. He said: "Everyone has heard of Ford cars. But have they all heard of Henry Ford, who started it all?, Walt Disney World is in memory of the man who started it all, so people will know his name as long as Walt Disney World is here".
Roy O. Disney died on December 20, 1971, barely three months after the resort opened. Disney subsequently opened EPCOT Center in 1982, a theme park adapted from Walt Disney's vision for a "community of tomorrow". The park permanently adopted the name Epcot in 1996, also opened Disney's Hollywood Studios on May 1, 1989 and Disney's Animal Kingdom on April 22, 1998.
Walt Disney World Orlando Florida is the result of Walt Disney of the original vision that has been built and improved over the last few decades.