Walt Disney World, not to be confused with Disneyland, is the world’s premiere recreational resort. It has a range of theme parks, attractions and accommodation that draws visitors from all over the world. In fact, it is the most visited vacation resort in the world. The resort once covered over 30,000 acres, but today has a total of 25,000 acres. Although many people believe that the resort is located in Orlando, it is actually located about 21 miles (34km) southwest of the city.
Who built Walt Disney World?
Walt Disney had the idea for a luxury vacation resort that provided a complete getaway, unlike Disneyland where visitors stay for the day. His company Walt Disney Productions began looking for possible sites for the resort in 1959. The Orlando site was eventually chosen because of the good network of roads in the area. Disney used dummy corporations to buy approximately 27,000 acres of land. After the truth about the land purchases was leaked to a local paper in 1965, Disney called a press conference to provide the details of his plans for the site.
Unfortunately, Walt Disney died in 1966 and never got to see his dream completed. His brother Roy Disney decided to push back his retirement to oversee construction. The designs were completed by WED Enterprises (now know as Walt Disney Engineering) and the construction was mostly completed by independent contractors. The park opened in 1971 and the name was chosen in honor of Walt Disney.
There have been many additions to the site since it opened, including the EPCOT Center (now called Epcot), Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and much more. There are many development plans for the future, which will keep visitors coming for years to come!