Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Man and the Mouse

My wife and I recently took a trip to Walt Disney World outside of Orlando, Florida, and I was thinking about the impressive empire that Disney created. The Disney company bought 28,000 acres in Florida to build the theme parks. The construction of Magic Kingdom was launched in 1967, and it opened in 1971. Epcot opened in 1982, Hollywood Studios in 1989 and Animal Kingdom in 1998. Walt Disney never saw the park bearing his name since he died in 1966. His brother Roy died in 1971, only 3 months after the opening of the Magic Kingdom. We saw all four parks and visited one each day. Disney's Florida properties also include two water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). There are also 2 Disney areas that have lots of retail/dining/entertainment venues and they are called Disney Downtown and Disney Boardwalk. We went to Disney Downtown and they have a House of Blues, a Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Cafe, several Disney stores, a Lego store, a riverboat that serves seafood, and a performance venue for Cirque du Soleil. There is also a Disney Wedding Pavillion, Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex and the Walt Disney World Speedway. In addition to all of this, the area also has 23 Disney owned and operated hotels and 5 golf courses. Anaheim, California's Disneyland opened in 1955, and Walt Disney wanted to open a park that would attract visitors from the eastern portions of the U.S. Walt Disney World employs 66,000 people, and it is the largest single-site employer in America.

* Some information from
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