Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is one of the top vacation destinations in the United States. It’s easy to see why once you realize there are 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a shopping district, and 31 resort hotels, all covering 42 square miles of space.
The Magic Kingdom is the most well-known of all the Disney theme parks and is home to the iconic Cinderella Castle. Open since 1971, the Magic Kingdom is full of characters, rides for all ages, stage shows, and fireworks. Magic Kingdom is home to classic rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s a small world, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Big Thunder Mountain. The nostalgia found here will bring out the young at heart in all of us.
October 1, 1982 was opening day for EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Walt’s original vision for Epcot was a private residential community featuring all the latest technology available. After his death in 1971, the reality of that vision shifted to what we have today – one of the world’s most visited theme parks divided into two distinct sections – Future World and World Showcase. Future World offers guests the chance to explore under the sea, outer space, and everywhere in between. World Showcase is made up of 11 different country’s pavilions, all set around World Showcase Lagoon.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios became part of the Walt Disney World Resort on May 1, 1989, but was originally named MGM Studios. This theme park celebrates the movies and everything that goes into making them. Guests can experience a 13-story drop in a haunted elevator on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, play a series of wild interactive carnival games on Toy Story Mania, and even eat dinner in an old-fashioned drive-in theater. Hollywood Studios is currently undergoing a transformation, with many new attractions underway. There will be two new lands – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land – and even a new Mickey and Minnie-themed ride replacing the Great Movie Ride. All of this should be complete by 2019.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day 1998, a perfect testament to this park’s theme of conservation, which shines through in everything this park does. When the park first opened, the tagline “nahtazu” (not a zoo) was created, and it’s still true to this day. Guests will certainly encounter a wide variety of animals, but there are also rides and attractions, shows, character meet and greets, and much more.
Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Parks
There are two water parks at the Walt Disney World Resort – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. The water parks offer a variety of waterslides, so guests of all ages can find one just their speed. If speed isn’t your thing, Typhoon Lagoon has a lazy river, and Blizzard Beach features a wave pool. Unless you have a Water Parks, Fun, and More ticket package, the water parks do require separate ticketed admission.
Great for when guests need a break from the theme parks, Disney Springs offers a wide variety of retail stores, dining venues, a movie theater, and nighttime entertainment.