Although Walt Disney never saw the making of Disney World while he was still alive, it was really his concept to do so. That is why telling the story of Disney World would naturally begin with him. His concept lived on even after his death through his brother, Roy Disney.
Walt Disney idea
Walt Disney didn’t just want another Disneyland. He dreamed of something much more than Disneyland and yet similar. He still wanted to bring entertainment to his theme parks. But he wanted to have a place where he could constantly add or develop something new to his original park and structures. Not only that, he wanted to test his urban planning concepts through this project. It is true that what now emerged as the EPCOT or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow actually grew out of his ideas.
From the opening until now
Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971, five years after Walt Disney’s death. It opened with Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Resort, and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
The following year, Disney’s Village Resort was added with the tree house and vacation villas. Then Disney’s Golf Resort and Discovery Island opened in the next two years. In 1975, Fairway Villas and Walt Disney Village Marketplace were built.
In June 1976, Disney’s River Country Water Park was added. In 1980, the Walt Disney World Conference Center and another resort complex, Club Lake villas, were installed. Then, in 1982, EPCOT emerged.
In 1988, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Caribbean Beach Resort became available. And then in 1989, more parks were added. MGM Studios, Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Pleasure Island have opened.
In the years 1990 to 1992, more resorts were made for guests. These were Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort, Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort, Port Orleans Resort, Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Dixie Landings Resort. Disney Vacation Club and Bonnet Creek Golf Club were also added to the growing Walt Disney World.
In 1994, Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge became available. Then in 1995, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, Blizzard Beach Water Park, and Fairytale Wedding Pavilion were installed.
The following year, the Disney Institute and Disney’s Boardwalk Resort were ready. The Coronado Springs Resort followed in 1997. Disney’s Wide World of Sports and Downtown Disney West Side also arrived that same year; while Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney Quest just arrived in 1998. In 1999, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort was added. In 2001 and 2003, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Pop Century Resort were added, respectively. Finally, Disney’s Saratoga’s Springs Resort and Spa emerged in 2004.
This completes the list of facilities available over the years. The history of Disney World has truly come a long way and still continues each day as it touches the lives of many of its visitors.