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What is Disney World?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dubbed the "happiest place on earth," Disney World — just southwest of Orlando, Florida — is one of several Disney theme parks dotting the globe. It all began with the smaller Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in 1955, when Walt Disney decided to incorporate his cartoons and animation studio into a theme park. Disney's dream was to create a live adventure where people could forget their cares and spend a day feeling like they were inside a cartoon.

When building his parks, Disney made it clear that the outside world should be kept outside. From within the Magic Kingdom, no signs of the real world were to be seen. He even took pains to make sure that the workings of the park and its attractions were hidden from view. Employees wear costumes or Disney garb, and they are called "cast members" instead of employees.

The streets are clean, the colors are bright, the sights, sounds, and smells are pleasant ones, and everyone wears a big smile, just as Walt Disney wanted it. Unfortunately, before the Florida park opened to the public in 1971, he passed away. His brother, Roy, changed the name to "Walt Disney World" to honor the name of its creator.

Disney World, or technically the Magic Kingdom, contains different "lands" filled with attractions and rides, such as Advertureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, and Mickey's Toontown Fair. There are nearly 50 major attractions to choose from, making it difficult to experience the entire Kingdom in just one day. Fortunately, there are vacation packages available that allow visitors to relax at the nearby resort and come back refreshed the next day.

Building on the Disney tradition of giving something back to the community, this park also offers a Walt Disney World College Program. It was developed to merge work experience with education, and it offers participants the chance to learn and work at the same time, while also enjoying free access to the Magic Kingdom, discounted rates at the resort, and discounts when purchasing Disney merchandise.

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Discussion Comments
By surfNturf — On Sep 16, 2010

Oasis11- There are also many Disney World vacation packages. For example, there is a Disney World land and sea trip in which you can enjoy the Disney theme parks for a few days and then go on a Disney cruise for a few more days.

The Disney cruise is incredible and the shows are Broadway quality. The restaurants spin and each night your dine in a different restaurant.

By oasis11 — On Sep 16, 2010

Bhutan-I love Epcot too. I think that if you can’t get the passes, it is best to get the Disney World tickets that say Park Hopper.

With a park hopper ticket you can enter and reenter the various Disney parks as often as you like for a week period.

This makes going to Disney better because when you get tired, you can go to your hotel and return when you’ve rested a bit. These trips are exhausting and you do a lot of walking, it is best to rest at the hotel pool for a while to avoid crankiness that will ensue.

By Bhutan — On Sep 16, 2010

Latte31-I have been to the Disneyworld Park and I love the Buzz Light-year ride. I also love Disney World Epcot.

I love all of the different countries. I had a great experience in a sit down Chinese restaurant in Epcot.

It was my son’s birthday and the waiter no only brought him a Chinese dessert, but he gave him a birthday card and inside he wrote a happy birthday message in Mandarin. It was so thoughtful.

I think the restaurants in Epcot are great, but this was exceptional service. I also love the Coke Cola station where you can sample several variations of Coke Cola throughout the globe.

By latte31 — On Sep 16, 2010

Greenweaver- If you live within a few hours of Disney World Fl, then it is well worth it. The Disney World Park is amazing and they always have nightly fireworks and in the summer, they have the electrical parade, which is so incredible.

Also, if you have Disney Passes, you can also get discounts at many Disney hotels. Staying in a Disney World hotel is great because the hotels have an arrangement with the park and you can take a shuttle bus to and from your hotel.

By GreenWeaver — On Sep 16, 2010

Icecream17-They also sell Disney World passes for Florida residents. They are not cheap, but if you go at least twice a year it pays for itself.

Our passes were about $1,200 for two adults and two children. You also get 10% discounts in the stores and in many of the restaurants.

When you renew your passes, it is usually a little less every year. You can also finance the passes and pay a small monthly payment every month.

By icecream17 — On Sep 16, 2010

Disney World theme parks consist of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM, and Animal Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom is what people refer to as Disney World.

It is the smallest of the four parks, but the most popular. It is broken down by various lands. There is Fantasyland and it has the Dumbo, Peter Pan, Snow White, It’s a Small World, the teacups, the carousel, and the Philar Magic show.

Frontier land has a railroad rollercoaster, Tom Sawyer’s Island, and Splash Mountain. Adventure land has the Pirates of the Caribbean, Aladdin, and the Jungle cruise.

Tommorrowland has space mountain, Buzz Light-year, and the Carousel of Progress. I love Disney World. There is just so much to see. My kids love it.

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