Location: Orlando, Florida
Years Active: 1971 – Active
The Walt Disney World Resort, also called Walt Disney World or Disney World, is an entertainment resort complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States, near Orlando and Kissimmee.
This page is an archive of Walt Disney Word maps and brochures dating back to 1975. And I’m proud to say that we are the only place in the world that describes Disney World map changes from year to year. But first, let’s look at some Walt Disney World history and fun facts…
Walt Disney World History
Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971. WDW is owned and operated by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and The Walt Disney Company division. The property covers nearly 25,000 acres, of which half has been used.
The resort comprises four theme parks:
- Magic Kingdom (see Disney Magic Kingdom Map and Brochure)
- Epcot (see Disney Epcot Map and Brochure)
- Hollywood Studios (See Disney’s Hollywood Studios Map and Brochure)
- Animal Kingdom (see Disney’s Animal Kingdom Map and Brochure)
Two water parks, Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. There are 31 themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues, including the Disney Springs outdoor shopping center.
Designed to supplement Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which opened in 1955, the complex was developed by Walt Disney in the 1960s. “The Florida Project,” as it was known, was intended to present a distinct vision with its own diverse set of attractions. Walt Disney’s original plans also called for the inclusion of an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” (EPCOT), a planned community intended to serve as a testbed for new city-living innovations.
Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, during the initial planning of the complex. After his death, the company wrestled with whether to bring the Disney World project to fruition. However, Walt’s older brother, Roy, came out of retirement to ensure Walt’s biggest dream was realized. Construction started in 1967, with the company building a resort similar to Disneyland, abandoning the experimental concepts for a planned community.
The Magic Kingdom was the first theme park to open in the complex in 1971, followed by Epcot (1982), Disney’s Hollywood Studios (1989), and Disney’s Animal Kingdom (1998). Roy insisted the name of the entire complex be changed from Disney World to Walt Disney World, ensuring that people would remember that the project was Walt’s dream.
In 2018, Walt Disney World was the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an average annual attendance of more than 58 million. The resort is the flagship destination of Disney’s worldwide corporate enterprise and has become a popular staple in American culture. In 2020, Walt Disney World was chosen to host the NBA Bubble for play of the 2019–20 season of the National Basketball Association to resume at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Walt Disney World (as well as Disneyland) is also covered by an FAA-prohibited airspace zone that restricts all airspace activities without approval from the Federal government of the United States, including the usage of drones. This level of protection is otherwise only offered to American critical infrastructure (like the Pantex nuclear weapons plant), military bases, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area, official presidential travels, and Camp David.
How much does it cost to go to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida?
Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, offers a range of ticket options that vary in price depending on factors such as the number of days, park hopper access, and whether you choose to add options like water parks or park hopper plus. A single-day ticket to one of the four theme parks typically ranged from $109 to $159 for adults, with discounts available for multi-day tickets. Full details, including current prices and any discounts, can be obtained directly from the official Walt Disney World website or authorized ticket sellers.
What is Disney World Orlando known for?
Disney World Orlando is renowned as one of the world’s premier family vacation destinations. It is known for its iconic Cinderella Castle, which serves as the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom park. The resort boasts four major theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, each offering a unique and immersive experience. Visitors come to Disney World to enjoy thrilling rides, spectacular parades and fireworks, character meet-and-greets, world-class dining, and the enchanting atmosphere created by Disney’s meticulous attention to detail and storytelling.
Where in the USA is Disney World?
Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida, which is in the southeastern part of the United States. The resort covers a vast area southwest of downtown Orlando and is easily accessible by road from various major cities and airports in Florida. Orlando International Airport is the primary gateway for travelers arriving by air, and the resort is situated approximately 20 miles southwest of the airport.