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Learn About Walt Disney World®

Walt Disney himself once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” What once began as his dream to expand an already-successful Disneyland Resort in California into a more private haven where families could leave their worries behind has now become more than 31,000 acres and 47 square miles of family fun right in the heart of Central Florida. And, in the process of fulfilling Walt’s dream, this place known as the Walt Disney World® Resort has not only become synonymous for family fun – it has also become one of the leading tourist destinations in the world, with millions of visitors making the trek each year to enjoy everything this vacation destination has to offer.

Walt Disney World’s history started more than 40 years ago when Disney decided to expand his enterprises in the Sunshine State. After ruling out the cities of Tampa and Miami due to hurricane threats, he flew over a large area of undeveloped land in the middle of Central Florida near the intersection of two major highways and proceeded to purchase the land under different aliases to keep competitors from purchasing the adjoining land. Once he announced his plans in the late 1960’s, he began building the first venture at the Walt Disney World® Resort, the Magic Kingdom® Park, which opened in 1971. The Magic Kingdom® Park was followed by Walt’s second vision for the resort, Epcot® Park, a futuristic park that stands for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow that was originally Walt’s idea for a planned community, similar to what the nearby city of Celebration, Fla., is today. While his exact vision wasn’t carried out in building Epcot®, his influences are still all around the park, just as they are with Disney’s other two theme parks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, both of which touch on his love of show business and animals, respectively.

The Walt Disney World® Resort is not just about the four theme parks, however. There is much more to see and do here, including two water parks, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. While both of these consistently rank among the Top 10 water parks in the nation, both are distinctly unique in theme and with their attractions. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is themed after a “snowstorm” that hit Central Florida, and the resulting melting of the snow has made for some of the world’s most exhilarating water rides, including the world’s tallest body slide at Summit Plummet. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, however, is set in a tropical oasis that has recently been hit by a raging typhoon and is home to one of the world’s largest wave pools – one that has waves so big, even surfers can enjoy it!

In addition to the four theme parks and two water parks, Disney also has a ton of other recreation and attractions on the resort’s premises. Downtown Disney® Area is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex that is home to the Downtown Disney® Marketplace, the Downtown Disney® West Side, DisneyQuest® Indoor Interactive Theme Park and Cirque du Soleil’s resident show La Nouba. Guests at the resort can find anything and everything that they are looking for right here, from unique dining options to merchandise and even more entertainment options for the whole family. Downtown Disney® isn’t the only complex besides the theme parks to be located on Disney property, however – Disney’s Wide World of Sports® Complex is also a big draw at Disney, hosting hundreds of professional and amateur athletic events each year, from Atlanta Braves spring training to national AAU events each summer. And, if that isn’t enough to keep you occupied, Disney also has championship golf courses, spas, the Richard Petty Driving Experience and many more recreation activities to keep your family entertained while you are not in the theme parks.

To fully enjoy everything that the Walt Disney World® Resort has to offer, Disney also has a wise assortment of hotels right on property that can fit into any budget and any family vacation. Guests can choose to stay at one of the Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts, part of the Disney Vacation Club, which feature spacious accommodations, amenities like living rooms and kitchens/kitchenettes and furnishings that make your hotel feel more of a home away from home. The Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts are comprised of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas and the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Disney also has additional deluxe accommodations at eight resorts on property, each of which offer top accommodations, fine dining opportunities and premium recreational activities to complete your vacation experience. Disney’s deluxe resorts include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.

If you want to save your money for the parks and not into your hotel accommodations, Disney also has moderate and value resorts to help families save money while also providing the same Disney touches, customer service and benefits that staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort hotel offers. The moderate resorts at Disney are Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, while the value resorts comprise of Disney’s All-Star Movies, Sports and Music Resorts and Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The great thing about staying right on Disney property is that everyone has the same great guest benefits, which include free transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport and to the parks and attractions at Disney, free merchandise package delivery, Extra Magic Hours in the theme parks and much more!

Whether you plan on visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort for a day or a week, one important thing to remember is that it is impossible to experience everything here. But, one way to see as much of it as possible – without breaking the bank – is to purchase your discounted tickets right here through Orlando’s largest ticket store, In addition to discounted Disney tickets, we also offer discounts on tickets to Universal, Sea World, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, local dinner shows and other area attractions. Just as the Walt Disney World® Resort may very well indeed be your one-stop shop for your vacation entertainment, is the only place you need to find all of the latest information regarding everything going on in Central Florida! To experience everything at Disney that you have read about above, begin your vacation planning by clicking here now!

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