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The Most Magical Place on Earth
Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney... and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place ... a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn — together. Dedicated this 25th day of October, 1971.
Roy Oliver Disney, Walt Disney World dedication on October 25, 1971, also read by Roy Edward Disney on the 20th anniversary dedication ceremony on October 1, 1991.note 

If Disneyland is the quintessential Disney theme park, then this massive recreational and entertainment resort complex is the Disney resort.

The flagship destination of the massive Disney theme park enterprise, and the world's most popular vacation resort, the Walt Disney World Resort in the Floridian cities of Bay Lake (where the theme parks and one of the water parks reside) and Lake Buena Vista (where Disney Springs and the other water park is, as well being the resort's mailing address) is just a relatively short driving distance from Orlando and Kissimmee in the central part of the state.

The year is 1959. Flush with the success of their first theme park, Walt Disney Productions wanted to have a second resort to supplement Disneyland as not many Americans east of the Mississippi River, where most of the country resides, visited the Californian park. Walt Disney himself also wanted to make a project that had enough land for all his ideas; he was not pleased with all the businesses that were built all around Disneyland after it quickly became popular.

Thus began "The Florida Project". After surveying the land near Orlando by air in 1963, seeing the area's efficient networks of roads, the construction of Interstate 4 and Florida's Turnpike, and nearby McCoy Air Force Base (which would eventually become Orlando International Airport), Disney set up several dummy corporations and secretly purchased thousands of acres of land totaling to a size roughly twice the size of Manhattan Island or roughly equivalent to San Francisco. After the secret got out in October 1965 thanks to the Orlando Sentinel's Emily Bavar (who managed to expose him because he knew too many details about the Orlando area; "No, I didn't believe him. He wasn't a very good liar."), Disney eventually admitted to it via Florida Governor Haydon Burns and officially announced it on November 15.

Sadly, Walt himself would not see the realization of Disney World; he died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966. His brother Roy Oliver Disney delayed his retirement to oversee the resort's construction. He got the State of Florida to create the Reedy Creek Improvement District for the resort, which established the two cities of Bay Lake and Reedy Creek (which was later renamed to Lake Buena Vista after the city boundaries were redefined away from the actual creek) and gave the Disney corporation much immunity from county and state land-use laws present and future. The resort opened on October 1, 1971, with the Magic Kingdom theme park, the Contemporary Resort Hotel, the Polynesian Village Resort, and the (actually already opened a few weeks prior) Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses as its first offerings. Roy declared the resort to be "Walt Disney World" to honor his late brother; he later died on December 20 that year.

Today, the resort now encompasses four theme parks, two (formerly three) water parks, many resort hotels, and more. Despite that, Disney hasn't even used half of their massive amount of land — they could build exact duplicates of everything they have and still have space left for more.

The main attractions

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    Theme parks (and their lands) 

Magic Kingdom Park (previously Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom [1971–1994] and The Magic Kingdom [1994–2017])

"East Coast Disneyland". The resort's first theme park (and second park overall for the company) opened on October 1, 1971 as a larger copy of its west coast counterpart, and has since become the most popular theme park in the world for at least twelve years running. It's the only Disneyland-styled park to not use the Disneyland name. Its globally famous icon (pictured at the top of this page) is the 189 feet (58 meters) tall Cinderella Castle.note  The castle is actually built one level above the ground due to Florida's high water table, on top of the park's well-known Utilidors. In another oddity, the entrance to the park does not directly face a plaza or a parking lot, but rather the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon; the park's parking lot is located across it, and guests need to take a monorail or a ferryboat from the Transportation and Ticket Center over there to reach it. It currently comprises of six (seven previously) lands:
  • Main Street, U.S.A.: Like its Disneyland counterpart, it's based on an early 20th century American small town. However, instead of being based on one or two real-life locations, it instead encompasses a number of architectural styles from around the country, like Missouri and New England. This is most apparent at the "four corners" midway down the street. It has a fully-operational barber shop near the firehouse, and an exposition hall instead of an opera house. The upper story windows have the names of fake businesses named after real people who were affiliated to Disney, arranged like the opening credits of a movie.
  • Adventureland: Much bigger than the one in Disneyland, it's actually split into two sub-areas; the Arabian Village where the The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is found, and Caribbean Plaza, which has the park's version of Pirates of the Caribbean. The original version's jungle and Polynesian themes are still found around attractions such as Swiss Family Treehouse, the Jungle Cruise, and The Enchanted Tiki Room, the latter which saw a much-maligned updated version with Iago and Zazu taking over from 1998 to 2011.
  • Liberty Square: The park's smallest land and the only one completely unique to the Magic Kingdom, themed after colonial America rather than early 20th century New Orleans (since the real thing is not as far from Florida as it is from California). Together with Frontierland, the two lands were designed as a chronological and geographic tour of America. Remaining practically unchanged since the park's opening in 1971, it features replicas of the Liberty Tree and the Liberty Bell,note  the park's own version of The Haunted Mansion off to a back corner, based on Dutch Colonial architecture one would find in upstate New York, and The Hall of Presidents show in a theater presiding over the New England portions of the square. The dock for the Liberty Belle Riverboat is also located here.
  • Frontierland: Continuing Liberty Square's journey across America, Frontierland's town covers multiple parts of the American West. Past the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon (intended to represent St. Louis), guests travel through the Rockies (represented by the Country Bear Jamboree's Grizzly Hall) on their way to the American Southwest and the Monument Valley inspired Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Splash Mountain, which ended up taking the space of the unbuilt Western River Expedition, was given a slight Texan red earth flavor to stand out less as a Southern detour.
  • Fantasyland: This park's Fantasyland has grown to become so big (thanks to the "New Fantasyland" expansion in the early to mid-2010s) that it's divided up into three sections:
    • The Castle Courtyard is the classic portion of the land, with medieval and Bavarian village themes. Besides Cinderella Castle at the entrance, it features Prince Charming Regal Carrousel,note  Mickey's PhilharMagic, ports of Peter Pan's Flight and "it's a small world", and a Tangled-themed rest area.
    • Enchanted Forest was built over the former area used for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage (which ran from opening day to 1994) and takes inspiration from many of Disney's animated films. Along with the pre-expansion rides Mad Tea Party and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, it also features Seven Dwarfs Mine Train,note  Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, and a small Beauty and the Beast-themed area with a quick service and table service restaurant called Be Our Guest Restaurant.
    • Storybook Circus replaced Mickey's Toontown Fairnote  and is themed after Dumbo and certain aspects of the Classic Disney Shorts. It features The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini and the park's version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which was moved over here after the renovation and now includes a second version going in the opposite direction and an indoor interactive queue area.
  • Tomorrowland: From 1994 to 1996, it was called "New Tomorrowland", with the 1994 renovation giving it a retro-futurist sci-fi feel. Its most recent revision in the late 2010s restored its original sleeker-looking (and very white) 1970s looks, but with some modern touches added. Despite its futuristic looks and focus, several attractions such as Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin,note  Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, a roller coaster called TRON Lightcycle / Run, and the infamous, late Stitch's Great Escape!, are based on recent, modern-day-based Disney properties, while also being home to some all-time classics including Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, the original Space Mountain, the high-in-the-air Astro Orbiter (formerly Star Jets),note  the still-operating Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and the ever-shortening Tomorrowland Speedway.

EPCOT (previously EPCOT Center [1982–1993], Epcot '94 [1994], and Epcot '95 [1995])
The magic of possibility.

To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship, welcome.
EPCOT is inspired by Walt Disney's creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.
May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere
Esmond Cardon Walker, EPCOT dedication on October 24, 1982.

A "permanent World's Fair" that's twice the size of the Magic Kingdom, this park is loosely based on Walt Disney's idea of an "Experimental Prototype Community of Tommorow", a city that would have constantly changed with new ideas and technologies. His death led to the company putting the kibosh on his fanciful concept, but they still decided to honor the idea with this park based on technological innovation and global culture. Opened on the resort's eleventh anniversary on October 1, 1982, it was the largest and most expensive construction project on Earth at the time it opened, taking three years and costing an estimated $800 million to $1.4 billion dollars to build. Its geodesic sphere icon at the front of the park, that 180-foot high, 165-feet in diameter, giant golf ball called Spaceship Earth, is also globally famous. It's also literally the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of theme parks; story goes that the Imagineers couldn't decide whether to build a futuristic park or a park with an international World's Fair theme, so two models featuring those concepts were pushed together and the rest is history.

Beginning in 2019, the park will be undergoing a massive multi-year renovation, which will begin with the opening of some major new attractions in time for the resort's fiftieth anniversary, and the full-fledged transformation of the entire northern half of the park. A new throwback logo to the former EPCOT Center logo has replaced the previous pastel-colored Times New Roman-based logo, and new retro-styled logos for the new non-World Showcase pavilions were also introduced, with some of the classic ones for the older existing pavilions being reintroduced with some touch-ups.

  • The futuristic-styled northern half of the park used to be known as Future World, which was divided between "East" and "West". It focused on the advancements and innovations of science and technology. In The New '20s, it became three different smaller lands—or "neighborhoods" as Disney is calling Epcot's themed areas now—during the park's massive transformation.
    • World Celebration is the central spine in the northern half, encompassing Spaceship Earth,note  the former Innoventions Plaza,note  the Odyssey pavilionnote  to the southeast, and the Imagination! pavilion,note  which features Journey into Imagination with Figment,note  to the southwest.
    • World Discovery, formerly Future World East, has the thrill ride pavilions of Mission: Space (an advanced, "space-faring" motion simulator that replaced fan-favorite dark ride Horizons), Test Track (a giant slot car ride focused on transportation in the old World of Motion building and the resort's fastest attraction), and Wonders of Xandar, which solely contains Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (an indoor roller coaster based on the titular team as they appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having replaced the Universe of Energy and its last attraction Ellen's Energy Adventure). Another former pavilion, Wonders of Life (which featured Cranium Command, Body Wars, and The Making of Me), has long since been closed and was turned into an event pavilion for several years; it will be replaced by Play!, a pavilion with the initially planned theme of an interactive city filled with Disney characters, although this idea is now being reworked.
    • World Nature, formerly Future World West, makes up for its lack of thrill rides with more substantially filled pavilions. The Seas with Nemo and Friends (formerly The Living Seas) features one of the largest saltwater aquariums in the world, a dark ride based on the Pixar film Finding Nemo, and an interactive show called Turtle Talk with Crush where you can totally talk with the Surfer Dude turtle from the movies. The Land has the sole thrill ride of World Nature, Soarin' Around the World (a high-flying 4D film where The World Is Just Awesome),note  along with Living with the Land (a dark ride and greenhouse tour about agriculture), a nice food court, and a restaurant featuring some of the foods grown at the pavilion. The pavilion also has the Harvest Theater, currently showing Awesome Planet; it previously showed Symbiosis and Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable. A Moana-themed walkthrough attraction, Journey of Water, will open in this neighborhood.
  • World Showcase: Circling around the man-made World Showcase Lagoon, Epcot's southern half is the fourth and only original "neighborhood" left from opening day. It features eleven nations condensed into literal theme park versions as pavilions. Going clockwise from the former Future World, guests can walk between Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, host pavilion The American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada, within the span of a half-hour. Some of these pavilions have been hijacked by Disney films in the years since—The Three Caballeros are performing in Mexico, Remy's now infesting France, and Norway is practically Arendelle now—but at least the cast members working in this land are represented by actual native citizens of the countries they represent. A nighttime show called HarmonioUS, celebrating how music connects humanity, replaced the famed IllumiNations shows (including IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which was originally made for the Millennium Celebration) as the park's nighttime spectacular. World Showcase also has two sub-pavilions; the Outpost, an African-inspired refreshment stand and shop between Germany and the footbridge next to China, and the International Gateway, a second entrance to the park between the United Kingdom and France that leads to most of the resorts of the Epcot Resort Area. There's also the World Showcase Adventure , a walk-around interactive game for kids involving cell phones themed after hit Disney Channel and Disney XD animated shows of a given time; Kim Possible from 2009note  to 2012, Phineas and Ferb from 2012 to 2020, and DuckTales (2017) took over beginning in 2022.note 

Disney's Hollywood Studios (previously Disney-MGM Studios (Theme) Park [1989–2008])
The Hollywood that never was—and always will be.

The World you have entered was created by the Walt Disney Company and is dedicated to Hollywood—not a place on a map, but a state of mind that exists wherever people dream and wonder and imagine, a place where illusion and reality are fused by technological magic. We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was—and always will be.
Michael Eisner, Disney-MGM Studios dedication on May 1, 1989

As the name implies, it's a park inspired by The Golden Age of Hollywood. It opened on May 1, 1989 as both a theme park and a working production studio, including backlots, soundstages, and even a satellite animation studio for Walt Disney Feature Animation; Mulan (1998), Lilo & Stitch (2002), and Brother Bear (2003) were all produced here. During the years it was partnered with MGM, contractual restrictions forced Disney to call the park "The Disney Studios" or "Disney Studios Florida" in certain marketing contexts, such as for the 1996/98 application The Walt Disney World Explorer.

This park has gone through so many changes over the years that it's the only Disney park were none of the original attractions from opening day still exist; the last one—The Great Movie Ride—closed in 2017. It has even gone through a few icons over the years. The first was the "Earffel Tower", a faux water tower with giant Mickey Mouse ears that was located outside of the normal guest area of the park. It was replaced in 2001 by the Sorcerer's Hat, a giant hat structure and pin trading store based on Yen Sid's hat in Fantasia. It was initially built in front of The Great Movie Ride for the 100 Years of Magic celebration at the resort (celebrating what would have been Walt Disney's one-hundredth birthday), but Disney kept it around until January 2015 when they took it apart. The Earffel Tower still existed during the Hat's existence, but it wasn't reinstated as the park icon; in fact, it was removed in 2016 to make way for Toy Story Land. Today, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on Sunset Boulevard is the park's icon in Disney's marketing, since it always has been one of the most popular and famous attractions (and easily the biggest one) at the park, while the Chinese Theatre is the park's visual centerpiece.

  • Hollywood Boulevard: Inspired by the Real Life street of the same name, it serves as the park's "Main Street" (à la Main Street, U.S.A.), lined with streetscape facades filled with stores. The entrance gates are styled after the late Pan-Pacific Auditorium, there is a recreation of the Crossroads of the World with a Mickey Mouse statue on top just after the gate, and at the end of the boulevard is an exact replica of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, which used to house The Great Movie Ride and is currently home to Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.
  • Echo Lake: Based on Echo Park in Los Angeles, it has building and facades styled after the Art Deco-inspired "California Crazy" architecture from Hollywood's Golden Age. It primarily surrounds the small namesake lake and features Star Tours, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, and For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, plus the ABC Commissary and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, the latter which is inspired by old drive-in theaters of the 1950s with classic convertible tables and a screen showing clips of old sci-fi B-movies.
  • Grand Avenue: Named after the L.A. street, it's currently styled after a gentrified historic district. This used to be a much larger section called the Streets of America, which had working backlots based on the streets of New York City and San Francisco. The only attraction here is Muppet*Vision 3D, a 4D film which was going to be the main attraction of a whole land themed after The Muppets, but Jim Henson's death prevented that. After most of the Streets of America closed in April 2016 to make way for the then-upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the area was renamed Muppets Courtyard, but this was only a placeholder name until the renovations of the remaining area were completed in September 2017, when it took on its current name.
  • Toy Story Land: The park's second-newest land that opened in 2018, themed after the famous Pixar franchise. A port of similarly-named lands in other Disney Parks outside the U.S., it's made to look like Andy's backyard from the perspective of a toy. Its main attraction is Toy Story Mania!, an interactive 4D shooting gallery dark ride that opened in 2008 as part of a land called Pixar Place. The ride was expanded and the entrance moved upon Toy Story Land's opening, which also led to Pixar Place's closing. The other two attractions here are Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers.
  • Animation Courtyard: Marked by a square arch, this section used to be the starting point of the Studio Backlot Tour tram ride that ran through the park. It has a building that used to be home of The Magic of Disney Animation, a walking tour that included a walk past an actual Disney animation studio. Today, it's used for a Star Wars meet-and-greet. Two shows, Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Disney Junior Dance Party, and a walk-through gallery about the life and legacy of Walt Disney are located here.
  • Sunset Boulevard: Opened in 1994 as the park's first expansion section and inspired by the famous street in L.A., it's home to the famed drop tower ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Another thrill ride, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, is located right next to it. Another two shows also run here: Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage! and the nighttime spectacle Fantasmic!.
  • Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: Opened on August 29, 2019, after its Disneyland counterpart, this land is based on the reboot of the famous Space Opera franchise, taking place on the planet Batuu. It features two attractions; Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, where guests can "pilot" the Millennium Falcon itself, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, where guests can fight the First Order. A Star Wars-themed resort hotel, Galactic Starcruiser, was also built next to this land exclusively for Walt Disney World, but operated for only 18 months before closing.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Welcome to a kingdom of animals… real, ancient and imagined: a kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons; a kingdom of balance, harmony and survival; a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder, gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama, and learn.
Michael Dammann Eisner, Disney's Animal Kingdom dedication on April 22, 1998.

The newest of the four theme parks, which opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. A zoological theme park based on Walt Disney's beliefs in animal conservation and the natural environment, it features a giant artificial baobab tree called the Tree of Life, which has 325 carvings of animals living and extinct all around its trunk and roots.

  • The Oasis: This park's equivalent of Main Street, U.S.A. is filled with animal exhibits and dense vegetation. It's meant to be a transitional buffer between the natural world of the park and the outside world of man. A Rainforest Cafe is located just outside the park gates near here.
  • Discovery Island: The central hub of the park was formerly named Safari Village until after the closure of a small zoological park on Bay Lake called Discovery Island in 1999. Surrounded by the Discovery River and connecting to most of the other lands via bridges, it features the Tree of Life, gift shops, and a couple major restaurants. A 3D film called It's Tough to Be a Bug!, based on the Pixar film A Bug's Life, is featured inside the Tree of Life itself.
  • Pandora – The World of Avatar: The newest land of the park, themed after James Cameron's Avatar, opened in May 2017, replacing the American wilderness camp-themed Camp Minnie-Mickey. Read the Ride page for more information.
  • Africa: Taking place in a fictitious East African port village called Harambe,note  it features Kilimanjaro Safaris, which takes guests on a safari expedition through the fictional Harambe Wildlife Preserve, where guests can look at real African animals and save a baby elephant from poachers. It also features the Festival of the Lion King, which was previously located in the former Camp Minnie-Mickey area for some reason.
  • Rafiki's Planet Watch: The only land that cannot be accessed by foot, guests have to ride the Wildlife Express Train to reach this area. This is most traditionally zoo-like of all the lands at the park. It features exhibits based on conservation, animal care, and the protection of endangered species. It also has a petting zoo.
  • Asia: The first expansion area of the park, it takes place in a fictional kingdom called Anandapur (Sanskrit for "place of many delights"). It first opened in 1999 with Kali River Rapids, a river rapids ride touching upon illegal logging and habitat destruction, and Maharajah Jungle Trek, a walking trail featuring several Asian animals. The land was later expanded in 2006 with Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, a roller coaster where guests come face-to-face with a yeti in the tallest artificial mountain in all the Disney Parks. In addition, a nighttime show called Rivers of Light opened in February 2017 in the lagoon near the land, although it was declared closed in 2020.
  • DinoLand U.S.A.: Themed around dinosaurs and prehistoric life, this land is primarily split into two areas. A fictitious paleontological facility called the Dino Institute is home to Dinosaur,note  a dark ride where guests time travel to the Late Cretaceous period just before the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs. The Boneyard playground is just nearby. The other area, Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama, has TriceraTop Spin and carnival games. The Theater in the Wild hosts a decidedly non-prehistoric themed show, Finding Nemo: The Musical.

    Water parks 
Walt Disney World is also unique in that it's Disney's only resort to have water parks.
  • Disney's River Country was the company's first water park, located along the shores of Bay Lake next to Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. It lasted from June 20, 1976 to November 2, 2001. It was themed after an old-fashioned swimming hole and used the actual waters of the adjacent lake—albeit heavily filtered to get rid of the harmful bacteria and water moccasins that plague Florida's inland waters—for its pools, one of which had a sandy bottom. Probably one of the defining features of the park was Slippery Slide Falls, a pair of water slides that emptied into the Upstream Plunge pool. As the years went on, River Country later became outdated by the two bigger water parks mentioned below. After its closure, Disney left the park to deteriorate until 2018, when they announced that a new deluxe resort would be built over the park's former grounds.
The iconic Surf Pool of Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, with Mount Mayday and "Miss Tilly" in the background
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is the second water park, opened on June 1, 1989, and it currently stands as the oldest operating Disney water park after River Country's closure. It's also the only park actually located within Lake Buena Vista city limits. It's themed after a tropical bay paradise that was ravaged by a powerful typhoon. The shipwreck icon of the park, "Miss Tilly", stands at the center impaled by Mount Mayday, spewing a 50-foot (15 m) water geyser every half hour. The park's two biggest attractions includes a water coaster called Crush 'n' Gusher and one of the world's largest outdoor wave pools. There was also Shark Reef, a salt water reef where guests could snorkel above sharks, stingrays, and tropical fish, but Disney closed it in 2016 to build Miss Adventure Falls, a raft ride through a salvage operation of a shipwrecked treasure hunting ship owned by Society of Explorers and Adventurers member Mary Oceaneer and her parrot Duncan.
The Wave Pool at Disney's Blizzard Beach, with Mount Gushmore and the iconic "ski ramp" of Summit Plummet in the background
  • Disney's Blizzard Beach is the third and most recent Disney water park, having opened on April 1, 1995. The theme is (according to the park's "legend") that of a ski resort that was built after a freak snowstorm occurred in Florida, only for snow to naturally melt away. After its operators saw a blue alligator called "Ice Gator" careening down Mount Gushmore in the snowmelt, they turned the ski resort into a water park. The flagship attraction of the park is the 120-foot (36.6 m) tall Summit Plummet, where guest can ride down Mount Gushmore at speeds up to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). Other attractions include Teamboat Springs and Slush Gusher on the Green Slope (which also has Summit Plummet and can be accessed by either chairlift or climbing stairs); Downhill Double Dipper, Snow Stormers, and Toboggan Racers on the racing-focused Purple Slope; and the Red Slope's only attraction Runoff Rapids, among several other attractions on ground level.

    Other attractions 
  • Disney Springsnote  is an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment district. The current theming is that of a fictional Floridian coastal town. It's currently divided into four districts:
    • The Marketplace is the oldest district and features the World of Disney store, a LEGO Store, and a Rainforest Cafe, among other stores and restaurants. It currently carries an 1930s American Craftsman style.
    • The Landing used to be Pleasure Island, a nighttime entertainment district with dance clubs and comedy clubs themed as a reclaimed sailmaking factory complex owned by lost adventurer and industrialist Merriweather Adam Pleasure that lasted from May 1, 1989 (the same day Disney's Hollywood Studios opened) to September 27, 2008. It wasn't until 2015 that it eventually became The Landing, which depicts Disney Springs's fictional transportation hub and marina. It features a full-size replica (but stationary) paddle steamer riverboat named the Empress Lilly, which currently features the Paddlefish restaurant.
    • The West Side used to be just an AMC movie theater and a Planet Hollywood, but the general area was expanded to become Downtown Disney West Side in 1997, which held an eclectic feel. The "indoor interactive theme park" DisneyQuest and the Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba used to operate in this area; DisneyQuest was closed in 2017 to make way for an NBA attraction, and La Nouba played its final show at the end of the same year to make way for a new Cirque show, Drawn to Life, which premiered in 2021. Today, the West Side depicts Disney Springs's exposition center, which was "built" in The '50s.
    • The Town Center opened in 2016 as the newest district. With 1920s-based Spanish Revival architecture, it's the "central business district" of the "town" and has the namesake artificial "springs". It has a bunch of well-known high-end retailers over there.
  • The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complexnote  is an athletic complex featuring several sports venues including baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, a track and field complex, and multi-purpose arenas. Was useful for helping resume the NBA & MLS' seasons in 2020 after their seasons stopped due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as hosting the entire 2020-21 NBA G League season under the nicknamed "2021 G League Bubble". It's also been the spring training home for two MLB teams; the Atlanta Braves held spring training there from 1997 to 2019 and the Tampa Bay Rays have been using it as their spring training camp in 2023 after Hurricane Ian damaged their actual spring training grounds of Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte.
  • Walt Disney World Golf is the name given to several golf courses located on Walt Disney World property.
    • Disney's Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses are two 18-hole courses located next to the Polynesian Village resort, and have been in operation since the opening of Disney World in 1971. Until 2012 they hosted the Walt Disney World Golf Classic, an annual golf tournament formerly on the PGA Tour. The Palm is considered to be the more scenic of the two, while the Magnolia is the more challenging course.
    • Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course is a nine-hole walking course located at the Palm and Magnolia. While not as challenging as its sister courses, it does offer a more relaxing, family-friendly experience, as well as programs such as FootGolf. It's also certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary.
    • Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is an 18-hole course which opened in 1972 and is currently located at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort, though half of it is located in Disney's Old Key West Resort next door. The most "open" of the courses, it meanders through the two aforementioned resorts as well as near Disney Springs. It is also certified as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary by Audubon International.
    • Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando is an 18-hole course that is, as the name suggests, not operated by Disney. It was formerly known as Disney's Osprey Ridge Golf Course and was reworked to include the surviving greens from its sister course, Disney's Eagle Pines Golf Course, which was removed in the early 2010s to make room for Disney's Golden Oak residential community. While no longer an official Disney course, it is located on Disney property and leased to Four Seasons by Disney.
    • Disney's Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf are two 18-hole miniature golf courses located next to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts. The Gardens feature eighteen scenes from five segments of Fantasia (Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Nutcracker Suite, The Pastoral Symphony, Dance of the Hours, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice), while the Fairways are a more traditional, challenging course.
    • Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf are two 18-hole miniature golf courses located at Disney's Blizzard Beach water park, just outside the park gates, themed as a vacation home for Santa Claus and his elves. While themed differently, both the Summer and Winter courses are similar to each other in terms of difficulty.

    Resort areas and their resort hotels (and other lodgings) 
Disney has a lot of hotels, each with their own amenities in various price ranges ("value", "moderate", and "deluxe", as well as Disney Vacation Club resorts and deluxe villas), located in different "resort areas" named after their main attractions (most of the theme parks, Disney Springs, and the ESPN Sports Complex). Since there are twenty-seven resorts in the resort complex, we'll try to keep their descriptions as brief as possible, mainly by focusing more on their themes.
  • The Magic Kingdom Resort Area is the first and northernmost resort area, comprising of various deluxe and Disney Vacation Club resorts, and a moderate campground resort, situated mainly around the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon and the natural Bay Lake that gives one of the Reedy Creek cities its name.
    • Disney's Contemporary Resort: A contemporary deluxe resort that opened with Walt Disney World. Primarily revolves around an iconic A-frame tower with a huge atrium that monorails go through. Cemented itself in a place of infamous political history when Richard Nixon said, "I'm not a crook," here on November 17, 1973.
      • Disney's Bay Lake Tower: The Disney Vacation Club version in a more "modern" looking tower. It has been criticized for overshadowing the older tower.
    • Disney's Polynesian Village Resort:note A Polynesian-themed deluxe resort that also opened with Walt Disney World. The monorail also goes through here. In an odd bit of music history, The Beatles officially disbanded here when John Lennon signed the legal paperwork declaring so here on December 29, 1974.
      • Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows: The DVC counterpart adds twenty bungalows over the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Three of the full resort's longhouses are also part of this DVC resort.
    • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:note  The flagship resort hotel of Walt Disney World. This deluxe resort carries a Victorian era elegance, and its exterior looks like the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire and the Hotel del Coronado in California. The monorail goes through here as well. More pop music history, The Beach Boys recorded the music video for "Kokomo" here.
      • The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: The DVC building at this resort houses 147 villas and studios that (according to The Other Wiki) "include split bathrooms alongside Disney theming to Dumbo and Mary Poppins."
    • Disney's Wilderness Lodge: A rustic-styled deluxe resort that looks like it's located in the national parks of the Pacific Northwest. Its main building was modeled after the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park.
      • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge:note  The resort's first DVC villas (taking from The Other Wiki again) "are themed to the antecedent lodgings built by workers on the transcontinental railroad in the late 19th century." Oh, and two train cars from Walt Disney's own Carolwood Pacific Railroad can be found in the main building for this one.
      • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge: The resort's second DVC offering include twenty-six cabins built along the Bay Lake shoreline at the resort, and also features 158 units in the original resort building's south wing.
    • Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: The only campground resort at Walt Disney World, situated in the wilderness. Bring your tents or RVs, or stay in one of the resort's own cabins.
    • Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge: A new DVC resort themed after a nature lakeside lodge is currently being built over the former land of Disney's River Country water park, between Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. However, due to COVID-19 the project was delisted on upcoming projects list. Permits filed shows that the project has been postponed or cancelled.
    • Shades of Green: This country club-esque deluxe resort is mentioned here because it's actually owned and operated by the United States Department of Defense, not Disney, although it was a Disney-owned resort, first as the Golf Resort from 1973 to 1986, then later The Disney Inn from 1986 to 1996. It's one of the five Armed Forces Recreation Centers (AFRC) resorts for the country's active and retired military service members and their families to relax at; it is not open to the general public.
  • The Epcot Resort Area is located in the center and is mainly situated around the man-made Crescent Lake. Guests at the deluxe resorts that are situated around the lake can either walk or take a FriendShip boat to either Epcot (and access that park through the special International Gateway entrance into World Showcase) or Disney's Hollywood Studios (which doesn't have a resort area to call its own, the poor thing). Since 2019, it also features Disney's new cable car gondola system, the Disney Skyliner.
    • Disney BoardWalk Resort: Themed after early 20th century Atlantic City, New Jersey and Ocean City, Maryland, this is the only resort on Walt Disney World that is also treated by the company as an attraction. Guests can visit the titular "seaside" boardwalk alongside Crescent Lake filled with shops, restaurants, and even a dance hall. The Luna Park Pool at the resort also features the 200-foot Keister Coaster water slide. The BoardWalk Resort itself is divided between the deluxe-priced Inn and the DVC Villas.
    • Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts: A pair of deluxe resort hotels themed after New England beach town. The Yacht Club looks like a resort found in Martha's Vineyard, while the Beach Club has a Newport Beach cottage design. Both resorts share what is usually regarded as the best resort swimming pool in Walt Disney World, the pirate shipwreck-themed Stormalong Bay. The Beach Club also has DVC Villas.
    • The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin: A pair of non-Disney deluxe hotels designed by Michael Graves that have a more upscale design. The Swan is operated by Marriott under the Westin brand, while the Dolphin is operated by Starwood under the Sheraton brand. However, both buildings are leased by Disney (who still own the land both resorts sit on) to the Tishman Hotel Corporation and MetLife. Even though they are not Disney resorts proper, they are still under the official collection of Disney resorts, so guests who stay in either hotel still get much of the special benefits that regular resort guests receive (although the Disney Dining Plan is not possible).
    • Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort: A Caribbean-themed moderate resort, circling a lake called Barefoot Bay. For 31 years, it was the only Epcot Resort Area hotel that wasn't connected to Cresent Lake. The Disney Skyliner hub is located here, allowing guests direct access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios without taking a bus.
    • Disney's Rivera Resort: A DVC resort themed after a European Riviera. It is the first newly-built resort to be served by the Disney Skyliner.
    • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser: A Star Wars-themed deluxe resort built next to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Unlike the other resorts, it was a completely immersive two-night experience where every guest arrived and departed together like a cruise line. Guests staying at this hotel only got to go to the Galaxy's Edge portion of Hollywood Studios and no other parks. It permanently closed after its final "cruise" on September 28 to 30, 2023.
  • The Animal Kingdom Resort Area is to the west and has five differently-priced resorts scattered around the area. Besides Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Blizzard Beach, there's also, of all things, a big McDonald's franchise located here.
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: An African-themed deluxe resort that, much like the park it's named after, allows guest to view live animals grazing outside their rooms.
      • Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas: The DVC counterpart covers the fifth and sixth floors of Jambo House (the original Lodge building) and its own building, Kidani Village.
    • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort: The first moderate resort with a convention center, it features an American colonial Spainish and ancient Mexican theme. It also features a large themed pool area, The Lost City of Cibola Feature Pool (a.k.a. The Dig Site), with a five-story tall Mayan pyramid with water flowing down its steps. In 2019, was expanded with the addition of the Gran Destino Tower, a hotel tower with Spanish Modernist influences and thematic touches from Destino, the collaboration film between Disney and Salvador Dalí. The convention room was once used to host a majority of NBA teams for practicing purposes with their own practice courts inside it in 2020 (with proper barriers separating each team there).
    • Disney's All-Star Resorts: A trio of value-priced resorts that opened in The '90s (and one could easily tell that they are just by looking at the larger-than-life novelty theming of them). All-Star Sports opened first (April 1994) and features sections modeled after surfing, baseball, American football, basketball, and tennis. All-Star Music is second (November 1994) and has sections styled after calypso, jazz, rock, country, and Broadway tunes. All-Star Movies is last (1999) and is themed after iconic Disney films that were mostly more popular then than now; 101 Dalmatians,note  Toy Story,note  The Mighty Ducks,note  Fantasia (and Fantasia 2000),note  and The Love Bug.note  As a small piece of trivia, these resorts are the only places in Walt Disney World that are situated in Osceola County; everything else is in Orange County.
  • The ESPN Wide World of Sports Resort Area is the newest, smallest, and southernmost resort area, consisting of just two value resorts located next to each other a short drive away from the sports complex, surrounding an artificial body of water called Hourglass Lake and connected to one another via a footbridge once called the Generation Gap Bridge. The area is usually held for local, amateur events for younger athletes of various sports, but it was used to resume the MLS and NBA's seasons in 2020 after they were previously halted in the spring that year, as well as host an entire NBA G League season for early 2021. Since 2019, this also has the southernmost terminus of the Disney Skyliner cable car system.
    • Disney's Pop Century Resort: Themed after 20th century American popular culture, mainly The '50s, The '60s, The '70s, The '80s, and The '90s. It was originally supposed to be two sections situated on both sides of the lake, with the one that's open today being the "Classic Years" and the other one called the "Legendary Years", but a tourism drop after 9/11 caused construction on the latter section to stop for several years, hence why the footbridge was previously called the "Generation Gap Bridge". The fact the the first half of the 20th century is not represented has led to many calling it "Disney's Pop Half-Century Resort".
    • Disney's Art of Animation Resort: A higher-end value resort (and a lot more tasteful-looking than the other four value resorts) mostly consisting of value suites, this resort themed after Disney animated and Pixar films was built on what was meant to be Pop Century's Legendary Years; only the main building and two housing buildings with exterior walkways like the ones at Pop Century were originally built prior to the abandonment. Three of the four sections (Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King) have buildings with enclosed interior walkways, while The Little Mermaid section uses the standard exterior walkway buildings (including the two original "Legendary Years" housing buildings that were built before the Development Hell).
  • The Disney Springs Resort Areanote  is the eastern-most area and the resort area situated in Lake Buena Vista proper. There are just three Disney resorts here; most of the resorts in this area are situated along Hotel Plaza Boulevard, a designated street for non-Disney owned hotels. The three Disney resorts that are here have watercraft access to Disney Springs.
    • Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and Riverside: A pair of moderate resort hotels themed after New Orleans' French Quarter and the Antebellum South, respectively. They were initially two separate resorts, with the French Quarter being the original Disney's Port Orleans Resort and the Riverside formerly being Disney's Dixie Landings Resort; they were united as one Disney's Port Orleans Resort in 2001.
    • Disney's Old Key West Resort: The original Disney Vacation Club resort; it was even named Disney's Vacation Club Resort until January 1996. True to its name, it has a turn-of-the-20th-century Key West theme.
    • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: A DVC resort themed after the New York city of the same name. It was built on the former site of the Disney Institute, which provided a "working vacation" approach to staying at Walt Disney World with various educational programs held there. Obviously, it didn't work out, hence this resort.
    • Hotel Plaza Boulevard: A street located close to Disney Springs that features more familiar name brand hotels. Of course, aside from being close to Walt Disney World, guests don't get much benefits from staying at any one of the seven hotels here (nor over at Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area).
    • Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort: This one is not a resort, but actually a residential community located southeast of the Magic Kingdom (but still zoned to the Disney Springs Resort Area nonetheless). As you can imagine, it costs a lot of money to stay here.
  • Bonnet Creek Resort: Wait, this isn't Disney-related at all. Well, to go over this odd one a bit, this resort development is actually located on its own land between Walt Disney World and Interstate 4, but because of its placement, it can only be accessed from within Disney itself. Yesterland has a good write-up on this place.
  • Celebration, Florida: And lastly, we cannot avoid mentioning Disney's master-planned community located to the south of everything else, even though the company no longer owns anything here and residents say that despite the allure of a Disney-designed town, this place is actually falling apart. Read more about the unincorporated community over on The Other Wiki, and also watch Disney-focused YouTube channel Midway to Main Street's (formerly Rob Plays) videos on Celebration here and here.

Reporter: Trope-tan, you've just read through the entire page! What are you going to do next?
Trope-tan: I'm going to go to bed!


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Alternative Title(s): Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disneys Hollywood Studios, Disneys Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Epcot Center, Disney MGM Studios


Take Flight to Buzz Lightyear

One of the most noticeable differences between 1996's The Walt Disney World Explorer and the 1998 Second Edition of the computer program is the Tomorrowland attraction Take Flight (Delta Dreamflight) being replaced by Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Take Flight/Delta Dreamflight was a dark ride featuring the history of flight that replaced the similar If You Had Wings (June 5, 1972 to January 3, 1989) and operated from June 23, 1989, to January 5, 1998. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, a shooting gallery dark ride based on Disney/Pixar's Toy Story franchise, soft opened on October 7, 1998 (likely a few months after the Second Edition's release, since only concept art is shown here), then officially opened on November 3, 1998, still operating to this day. In The WDW Explorer, the attraction switch required swapping the hotspot's design on the Tomorrowland screen from a propeller airplane on a cloud to Buzz Lightyear blasting off with smoke behind him. Additionally, the upper-left corner of the Tomorrowland screen shows that the land was renamed from "New Tomorrowland" (reflecting a major renovation it had in 1994) back to its original name. (Hettie Lynne Hurtes's narration for the area still called it "New Tomorrowland", though.)

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