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The Colorful History of
Disney World

The history of Disney World began with one man, one vision. And what a vision it was!

Walt Disney entered the theme park business in 1955 with the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Originally, he came up with the idea to build a park to provide entertainment for the people that wanted to visit the Disney Studios.

But the California property had (at least) two problems in the eyes of Walt Disney:

  • Not enough land and room for growth,
  • And, a huge, untapped market east of the Mississippi. Much of the United States population lived on the East Coast and did not get out to California very often!

Now if I were Walt, I might have just settled for what I had and continued on with the status quo. But I have a lot to learn about setting my business sights a bit higher. And that is why I find Disney World History to be so interesting. The entire concept is about thinking "outside of the box".

So, in 1959 Walt Disney set off to the East Coast, the state of Florida in particular, to find a suitable site for a larger version of Disneyland. He was attracted to the Orlando area because it was easily accessible by several highways. Buying up a lot of land was more of a challenge. Several "dummy" corporations were created to buy large parcels of what was then swampland.

In 1965, the plans for, what was then referred to as the "Florida project" were announced. This included the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tommorrow).

The Magic Kingdom opened it's gates on October 1, 1971 with what was known as EPCOT Center, following eleven years later on October 1, 1982. Sadly, Walt Disney never saw the results of his vision. He passed away on December 15, 1966 - five years before the park's completion. His brother Roy, took over the project after Walt's death.

I know this is a simplified version of the history of Disney World. There is are so many more interesting facts. But in a nutshell, this is how the Orlando theme parks and entertainment complex of today began.





Check out some fun Disney trivia about Walt Disney.



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