In 2013, 18.58 million people visited the Magic Kingdom, making it the most visited theme park in the world.
With 18.58 million visitors, the Magic Kingdom bagged the title of the most visited theme park in the world for the 5th consecutive year in 2013, and that―mind you―is just one of the four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. Interestingly, also the first of the four.
The Walt Disney World Resort has four theme parks, two water parks, and 27 themed hotels to its credit.
World Disney World Resort Facts
# The Walt Disney World opened its door for the world on October 1, 1971, with the Cinderella Castle-famed Magic Kingdom. More than a decade later, on October 1, 1982, the Epcot―a theme park dedicated to international culture and technological innovation―was added to the resort. While May 1, 1989, marked the introduction of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom was added on April 22, 1998.
# The Magic Kingdom Park―the most visited theme park in the world―is where the Disney characters come to life. Its themed lands include the Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.
# The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, abbreviated as the EPCOT, is a city of the future which was designed by Walt Disney himself. It is divided into two main themed areas, the Future World and the World Showcase.
# Disney’s Hollywood Studios is inspired by the Hollywood of 1930s and 1940s. It is divided into six themed areas: the Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Streets of America, Animation Courtyard, Pixar Place, and the Sunset Boulevard.
# Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park has animal conservation as its theme. It is further divided into seven distinct areas: Oasis, Discovery Island, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia, DinoLand U.S.A., and Avatar: World of Pandora.
Interesting Facts about the Walt Disney World
~ The Walt Disney World Resort spans an area of 27,258 acres (42.59 sq mi), making it roughly of the same size as San Francisco. The Magic Kingdom theme park in itself is spread over an area of 107 acres, which makes it larger than the 85-acre Disneyland California.
~ The Disney World is the largest single-site employer in the United States. It employs more than 62,000 people and spends over USD 1.2 billion on their salaries. The employees of Disney World are referred to as cast members, given that they are always ‘on stage’.
~ Around 25 million people visit the Walt Disney World Resort every year. The Magic Kingdom alone has over 17 – 18 million visitors a year. Similarly, the Epcot has between 10 – 11 million visitors, while Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have around 9 – 10 million each.
~ Every theme park is represented by a distinct attraction. While the Magic Kingdom is represented by Cinderella’s Castle, EPCOT is represented by Spaceship Earth, Disney’s Hollywood Studios by The Sorcerer’s Hat, and lastly, Disney’s Animal Kingdom by The Tree of Life.
~ If the Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon boasts of being the most visited water park in the world. Additionally, it also has one of the world’s largest outdoor wave pools to its credit.
~ At 189 ft, the Cinderella Castle is the tallest structure in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The Castle looks much taller than it actually is, thanks to the ‘forced perspective’ technique applied to it.
~ The Spaceship Earth―the 18-story structure that serves as the principle gateway to the Epcot theme park―weighs a whopping 16-million lb. The construction of this gigantic structure took more than 2 years, and it was opened on October 1, 1982.
~ The Pirates of Caribbean attraction at the Magic Kingdom was renovated when the blockbuster Hollywood flick, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men’s Chest released, and several characters from the movie, including Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa, were added to it.
~ The Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland―made of concrete and polyethylene leaves―is 60-ft tall and weighs approximately 200 tons. It was one of the original attractions when the resort opened on October 1, 1971.
~ The 12 statues erected in The American Adventure attraction at the Epcot, the Spirits of America represent Adventure, Compassion, Discovery, Freedom, Heritage, Independence, Individualism, Innovation, Knowledge, Pioneering, Self-Reliance, and Tomorrow.
~ Dino-Sue at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a life-size replica of the Tyrannosaurus rex, which towers four stories over DinoLand USA.
~ The 183-ft Space Mountain is a 2 minute 30 second ride which sends you on a high-speed journey into the ‘darkest reaches of outer space’.
~ The 13 lanterns hanging on the Liberty Tree―a Southern Live Oak―represent the 13 colonies. Interestingly, the tree in itself is more than 100 years old.
~ The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios accelerates from 0 – 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds.
~ Spanning 500 acres, Disney’s Animal Kingdom boasts of being the largest Disney theme park and the second largest theme park in the world; the largest being the Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey.
~ Walt Disney did everything possible to ensure that the problems which plagued the Disneyland didn’t affect the Disney World. He even went to the extent of acquiring a large area and buying land in the name of dummy corporations mainly to rule out the chances of other businesses mushrooming in the vicinity. Sadly though, he died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966, even before the construction of this resort began.
The Walt Disney World, Florida, is one of the major tourist attractions in the United States. You can opt for one of the numerous vacation packages on offer. These packages are relatively inexpensive considering the sheer amount of fun you derive here. Disney vacations are quite popular among all age groups. There is no dearth of things-to-do at this Walt Disney resort. It is definitely a place that you have to visit at least once in the lifetime.