The Walt Disney name and brand has been synonymous with the world of fantasy, wonder, and wholesomeness, for many generations all over the world. Back in 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort was opened to the public, with its headquarters in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Its aim was to bring the world of fantasy a little closer to reality.
The massive complex, spanning 27,258 acres, plays host to a plethora of attractions, including two water parks, twenty-seven themed hotels, a scattering of golf courses and, of course, its four celebrated theme parks. The theme parks are Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom. Residents in nearby areas of Cape Coral, Ft. Myers, and all over Tampa love these theme parks as much as any visitor.
Let’s take a quick tour of these fan favorites, and see what Walt Disney World holds in store for any potential visitors.
This facility was opened in 1989, as a fully functional film, animation, and television production studio, and also an operational theme park. It’s major inspiration was drawn from the imagined worlds of cinema, television, theater, and music, with special regard for what’s referred to as the “Golden Age of Hollywood” (1917 – 1960s).
Its most iconic structures, as the park stands today, are The Chinese Theater and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Back in 2016, the park was seeing 10.7 million visitors, all coming in to enjoy the six theme areas that are designed to reflect idealized versions of real locations found in Los Angeles and Hollywood, the nexus of cinematography for many decades of film history.
These areas are: Hollywood Boulevard (which mimics Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom), Echo Lake (which is best known for its Star Wars-themed attractions), Grand Avenue (whose main attraction is a 4D film attraction known as MuppetVision 3D), Pixar Place (which is heavily imbued with Toy Story-themed attractions and performances), the Animation Courtyard, Sunset Boulevard, and Toy Story Land (which is expected to open up in June of this year).
Visitors will be treated to daily live shows, featuring popular celebrities and characters, in addition to annual events.
This theme park, originally known as the EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) Center, is dedicated specifically to celebrating human achievement, chiefly in the areas of international culture and technological innovations. It has earned itself the fond moniker of being a “permanent world’s fair”, owing to its global outlook.
It has two main sections: World Showcase (which hosts 11 national themes), and Future World (which hosts eight pavilions). Future World offers up the following attractions: Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Innoventions, Mission: Space, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, The Land, Imagination!, and the seasonal Festival Center.
World Showcase has pavilions dedicated to the U.S.A., Japan, France, Morocco, U.K., Canada, Mexico, Norway, China, Italy, and Germany. They are dedicated to showcasing these countries’ cuisine, landscapes, architecture, and streetscapes. Themed rides and attractions are also featured at the park, which welcomed 12,200,000 visitors last year.
Magic Kingdom is dedicated to the world of fairy tales and the characters that live in them. Immediately recognizable to most visitors will be the Cinderella Castle, inspired by the 1950 film of the same name. The park has consecutively stood as the most visited park in the world, seeing more than 20 million visitors in 2017.
As its dedication plaque states, its aim is to provide a magic kingdom, where those who are “young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together”. It features six main lands: Main Street U.S.A. (which features tributes to different stylistic influences from around the U.S.A.), Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland (which is styled as a carnival), Castle Courtyard, Storybook Circus, Enchanted Forest, and Tomorrowland.
This zoological theme park is dedicated to animal conservation, which is something that Walt Disney himself considered to be of utmost importance. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums gave the park accreditation, meaning it meets or exceeds expected quality standards in terms of research, education, and conservation activities.
One of the major draws here is the park’s iconic Tree of Life, which is an artificial, 145 foot tall baobab tree. Animal Kingdom features seven main areas: Discovery Land, Africa, Oasis, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Dinoland U.S.A., Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and Asia. All of these feature area-specific wildlife exhibits, landscape scenes, stylized adventure tours, and amusements.