From Disneyland To Disney World Resort
Walt Disney Envisions The Florida Project
Walt Disney World Resort is the flagship resort of Disneys worldwide corporate enterprise, and by far its largest and most visited park. However, its Disneyland that holds the honor of being the first Disney park to open. No history of Disney World is complete without first mentioning the influence that Disneyland has had on it.
Disneylands Early Success
Walt Disney first conceived of Disneyland in the late 1940s after visiting Griffith Park in Los Angeles with his daughters. The concept was simple: build a destination where adults and their children could go to bond and have fun together.
Although he was busy with his film company Walt Disney Studios, at the time, Walt realized that a movie studio didnt offer much to visiting fans and began to conceptualize an amusement park near the Burbank studios for guests to visit.
The concept was to be named Mickey Mouse Park, and span 8-acre across Riverside Drive.
Construction of Disneyland began on July 16, 1954, and was opened one year and one day later to much fanfare. It cost $17 million to complete the project.
Walt Disney Looks to Expand in the East Coast
After the early success of Disneyland, Walt Disney began to think of expanding beyond California.
Only 5% of Disneylands visitors came from east of the Mississippi so it made sense to look eastward.
What We Know About Buena Vista Construction Company
Buena Vista is a name used for many of Disneys subsidiaries. Distribution companies, gaming companies, home entertainment distribution, and yes, construction, are all done under the Disney umbrella under the name Buena Vista.
Buena Vista Construction Company doesnt have a lot of public information available. One of the few pieces of information about it is about Joe Fowler, a U.S. Navy veteran who helped to build warships during WWII. He retired from the navy in 1948 but was convinced to retire from retirement by an offer from Walt Disney himself to help build Disneyland.
According to a book called Walt Disneys Railroad Story by Michael Broggie, Joe joined Disney for a temporary construction job in 1954. It turned into a full-time 18-year career with the company. He eventually held the title of Director of Construction for Walt Disney Productions and Disneys Buena Vista Construction Company.
Joe Fowler and Walt Disney. Image borrowed from Disney History Institute.
Gran Destino Tower Hotel
Disneys Coronado Springs Resort has just got a big upgrade last year by opening its new luxury tower the Gran Destino Tower.
The Gran Destino Tower is 15 stories and has 545 new guest rooms and 50 suites, aimed at the high-end and corporate guests. There will also be 2 new restaurants on property.
The Gran Destino Tower opened in July 2019 and we absolutely love it! Its been used to house many of the NBA teams while in the bubble for the playoffs.
We think its a great addition to the Walt Disney World hotels and perhaps the best moderate hotel.
Opening: NOW OPEN
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Mickey And Minnies Runaway Railway
Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railway is an ambitious new dark ride taking the place of The Great Movie Ride in the iconic Chinese Theater.
It features trackless vehicles and an incredible new technology to render the environments Imagineers are calling: 2 1/2 D.
We had a blast on opening day and in the days following and while we miss The Great Movie Ride, this is an acceptable replacement that fans are going to love for a long time.
Opening: NOW OPEN
Work is starting to take off for the Star Wars Hotel after last year saw the entire structure for the building rise from its foundation. Now its completely sealed off and work is focused on the interior.
Just like Galaxys Edge, this ground-breaking new hotel is Disneys most ambitious one yet and will have guests sleeping onboard a starship while taking part in interactive missions.
Site work is ongoing and more construction has been done recently adding trees to block guests view of the building as they arrive.
The opening has likely been delayed, and a 2022 is probably most likely at this point.
Estimated Opening: 2022
Construction Companies Working With Disney
While Disney employs a collection of what they call Imagineers to help plan and design the park, it is often local construction companies and contractors who actually do the work in the park. Disney+ has a historical documentary series called The Imagineering Story that dives into this part of the Disney company.
There is, however, a Disney-specific construction company that does much of the work itself: the Buena Vista Construction Company.
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List Of Incidents At Walt Disney World
This is a summary of notable incidents that have taken place at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The term “incidents” refers to major injuries, deaths, loss , or significant crimes related to the attractions themselves, or personal altercations and incidents between the theme park guests and employees. Attraction-related incidents usually fall into one of the following categories:
- Negligence on the parks part, either by ride operator or maintenance.
- Negligence on the guests partthis includes refusal to follow specific ride safety instructions, or deliberate intent to break park rules.
- The result of a guest’s known or unknown health issues.
- Acts of God, which include generic accidents that are not the direct result of an action on anyone’s part.
According to a 1985 Time magazine article, nearly 100 lawsuits are annually filed against Disney for various incidents. Florida theme parks are required to notify the state of any ride-related injuries or illnesses that require a hospital stay of at least 24 hours.
Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge Updates
This new DVC resort was being built on the old River Country site along Bay Lake and near the Fort Wilderness Campground.
With a name that doesnt exactly roll off the tongue and concept art that looks a bit like a Marriott draped in the middle of the woods, the verdict is still out on Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge.
While construction was making incredible progress before the park closures, it now looks like Reflections has been canceled. Concrete has been taken out and the site covered over.
It looks like if we ever see this get built it wont be until years down the line.
Estimated Opening: Maybe Canceled?
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Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- On April 22, 2010, a 61-year-old woman from Celebration, Florida, suffered a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, and back pain due to a boating accident near the Treehouse Villas. The rented Sea Raycer that her husband was driving collided with a Disney ferryboat. The Orange County Sheriff’s report states that the Sea Raycer crossed into the ferry’s right-of-way.
Canceled Disney Wish Sailings
These are Disney Wish sailings from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas that have been canceled:
A five-night cruise scheduled for June 9.
A three-night cruise scheduled for June 14.
A three-night cruise scheduled for June 17.
A four-night cruise scheduled for June 20.
A three-night cruise scheduled for June 24.
A four-night cruise scheduled for June 27.
A three-night cruise scheduled for July 1.
A four-night cruise scheduled for July 4.
A three-night cruise scheduled for July 8.
A four-night cruise scheduled for July 11.
A three-night cruise scheduled for July 15.
A four-night cruise scheduled for July 18.
Disney said affected passengers would get either a full refund on their cruise or they could accept a 50% discount on a future cruise that sails before Dec. 31, 2023, plus a refund of the difference.
Disney also transferred the reservations of Disney passengers who were booked on its June 9 maiden voyage to a newly scheduled cruise departing on July 14. And passengers booked on the June 14 special Disney Vacation Club cruise were rebooked on a newly scheduled cruise departing on July 19.
In seeking to reassure Disney Cruise Line passengers, Mazloum said: Despite this unavoidable adjustment to our plans, our team at Disney Cruise Line has never been more optimistic about the future, and cannot wait to welcome families aboard the magnificent Disney Wish.”
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Disney Wish Cancels First 12 Cruises Out Of Port Canaveral Due To Construction Delays
Construction delays at a shipyard in Germany have pushed back the first sailing of the Disney Wish cruise ship at Port Canaveral by five weeks resulting in the cancellation of 12 sailings, two of which were rescheduled.
Disney Cruise Line says the first sailing of the ship with passengers will be July 14, instead of June 9.
Disney blamed the delay in part of the arrival of the omicron variant of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany at “a crucial point in the production process” at the Meyer Werft shipyard, where the ship is being built.
Disney did not say how many passengers were affected by the canceled cruises, but it is almost certainly in the tens of thousands, considering the Wish has a capacity of 4,000 passengers.
Crazy Things You Never Knew About Walt Disney World
Walt Disney sure had some grand plans when it came to building the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. He not only wanted it to be a fun theme park, but also to include an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that would be a real working futuristic city, utilizing the latest push-button technology a la The Jetsons. The visionary sadly died in 1966, several years before Disney World opened in 1971, and EPCOT eventually just became another theme park incorporated into the larger resort in 1982. But did you know it was once meant to actually be lived in? Below are a few other fun facts that you might never have guessed about the Happiest Place on Earth.
Early Expansion Multiple Rebrandings
Characters in Flight
The Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, which opened on March 22, 1975, was originally envisioned as an area shopping mall. Two years after its opening, the complex was renamed Walt Disney World Village. With the advent of new management under Michael Eisner in 1984, Disney began looking for ways to keep vacationers on Walt Disney World property longer, and prevent them from leaving for entertainment beyond Disney’s borders.
To compete with the popular Church Street Station clubs in downtown Orlando, Disney announced the addition of Pleasure Island, featuring nightclubs showcasing Disney’s quality and creativity, to Walt Disney World Village on July 21, 1986. Construction began the following August and Pleasure Island was opened on May 1, 1989, the same day as the Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Later that year, the complex was renamed Disney Village Marketplace.
In the mid-1990s, the growth of Walt Disney World created the potential for further expansion, leading to a $1 billion investment in projects across the resort. The first World of Disney store opened October 2, 1996, in Marketplace.
Disney Worlds Hollywood Studios
Another story to share in figuring out how was Disney World built is Disney Worlds Hollywood Studios. Opened on May 1, 1989, this theme park marks as the third of its kind in Disney World. It originally bears the name Disney-MGM studios.
The park measures 135 acres and exhibits the filmmaking theme, with a dash of feels from the past particularly during the Hollywoods Golden Age in the 1930s. On top of this vibe that it gives it has attractions inspired by blockbuster films like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. It also provides all sorts of entertainment from music to television to the theatre.
A month after its opening, the then Disney MGM Studios welcomed a new attraction. Typhoon Lagoon, which is Disney Worlds first-ever water park. It was then followed by another water park on April 1, 1995, which is Disney Blizzard Beach.
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Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
- In October 2016, a 67 year old man from Memphis, Tennessee died after riding Star Tours. The rider had a pre-existing heart condition, along with other contributing factors. The incident was described as part of a quarterly report filed with the Florida Department of Agriculture, which oversees the safety of the state’s amusement parks.
- On August 19, 2019, a 40 year old man with a pre-existing medical condition had a seizure and fell after riding.
Who Was The First Person To Visit Disney World
William J. Windsor Jr. was the very first person to ever enter the park. His wife, Marty, and their two children Jay and Lee accompanied him and they were escorted by Mickey Mouse.
What theme parks are in Disney World?
Disney World is an entertainment and recreation centre and has four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disneys Hollywood Studios and Disneys Animal Kingdom. It also has two water adventure parks Disneys Blizzard Beach and Disneys Typhoon Lagoon.
How big is Disney World?
How many rides are there in Disney World?
The Magic Kingdom has 53 attractions across six different lands. Disneys Animal Kingdom has 25 attractions. Disneys Hollywood Studios has approximately 20 rides and shows across six different themed lands and the number of attractions at Epcot is constantly changing.
How many people work at Disney World?
Disney World resort employs over 70,000 Cast Members. It is the biggest single-site employer in the United States.
How many people visit Disney World?
Almost 21 million people visited The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in 2019. It is the most visited theme park in the world. In the same year, almost 14 million people visited Animal Kingdom at Disney World. It is the 6th most visited theme park in the world. With an average annual attendance of more than 58 million, Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world.
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Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
- In March 2010, a 4 year old boy from San Diego, California suffered severe face and neck burns after being scalded by a tray of hot nacho cheese. The accident occurred when the boy sat down to dinner in an unstable chair and grabbed a food tray to prevent himself from falling, resulting in the cheese falling off the tray and into his lap. The childs parents sued Disney, with their attorney claiming that “the cheese should not have been that hot” and that Disney made no effort “to regulate and monitor the temperature of the nacho cheese which was being served to young children.” A Disney representative commented on the incident: “It’s unfortunate when any child is injured. We just received notice of the lawsuit and are currently reviewing it.” The family settled out of court in 2011.
Disney Wanted To Capture The East Coast Theme Park Audience
When Disneyland opened in California in 1955, it quickly became a big success, but the company soon realized that only 2% of visitors came from east of the Mississippi River. Walt Disney went looking for an East Coast location and eventually settled on Florida.
Rick Foglesong, professor emeritus at Rollins University and author of the book, says the interstate highway system drew him to Orlando.
“Roads were all important to the Disney company because they wanted to build a park that would be 10 times the size of Disneyland in California,” Foglesong says. “That meant, that if they were going to build such a big park, they would have to import tourists from afar, from down the East Coast, from the Midwest.”
The grand opening dedication ceremony included a parade down Disney World’s Main Street on Oct. 25, 1971. APhide caption
“At that time, Orlando was more of a cow town and literally when you’d come down Orange Blossom Trail, you could smell the orange blossoms,” Demetree says.
Her father and uncle were uncertain they would ever find a buyer for the property because of all the wetlands. But, as she heard the story, that’s one of the things that appealed to Walt Disney when he flew over the area in a private plane.
“He saw that wetland and said, ‘Right there is Tom Sawyer’s island,'” Demetree says. “And that was the wetlands that they had been complaining about.”
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Amusement And Theme Parks Today
The amusement park industry’s offerings range from immersive theme parks such as the and to thrilling coaster parks such as the parks and parks. Countless smaller ventures exist across the United States and around the world. Simpler theme parks directly aimed at smaller children have also emerged, such as .
Examples of amusement parks in shopping malls exist in , and .
Family fun parks starting as miniature golf courses have begun to grow to include batting cages, go-karts, bumper cars, bumper boats and water slides. Some of these parks have grown to include even roller coasters, and traditional amusement parks now also have these competition areas in addition to their thrill rides.
In 2015, theme parks in the United States had a revenue of US$8 billion and theme parks in had a revenue of US$4.6 billion, with China expected to overtake the United States by 2020.
Disney Fun Facts And Secrets
From the Marvel universe to galaxies far, far away, to the jubilant animation of such classics as Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King, it is safe to say that the wonderful world of Disney® has made an indelible mark on film, TV, and pop culture.
Ready to celebrate National Disney Day with our best Disney fun facts and secrets?
For over 50 years, Disney productions and theme parks have brought magic, imagination, and happiness to audiences everywhere.
In honor of Disney, and the enigmatic man behind everyones favorite animation, every December, we celebrate National Disney Day!
On December 5th, we celebrate National Disney Day in conjunction with Walt Disneys birthday.
This festive occasion is a joyous testament to the Disney brands eternal fascination, love, and admiration.
So grab your mouse ears, sit back and relax, as we dive into the best ways to commemorate National Disney Day this year plus our best Disney fun facts and secrets.
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