Some Walt Disney World Fun Facts

Walt Disney World Fun Facts

Walt Disney World Resort at nearly 40-square-miles, is a world-class entertainment and recreation destination featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon); 36 resort hotels (26 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, including nine Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 63 holes of golf on four courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Disney Springs, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex.  Walt Disney World Resort opened October 1, 1971 and is open daily, year-round.

There are nearly 70,000 Cast Members in Central Florida.

MAGIC KINGDOM 

Magic Kingdom, the first Walt Disney World Resort theme park, debuted in 1971 – 16 years after Walt Disney’s first park, Disneyland, opened in Anaheim, California.  Magic Kingdom’s blue- and gold-turreted, 18-tower icon, Cinderella Castle, rises 189 feet above the park’s 142 acres.

Following the success of Disneyland, which opened in 1955, entertainment pioneer Walt Disney (1901-1966) set his sights on what he called his company’s “most exciting and challenging assignment” — the creation of a vast vacation paradise known today as Walt Disney World Resort.  Walt’s dream was realized when Magic Kingdom, the first of four theme parks at the sprawling Florida site, opened October. 1, 1971.  Walt’s older brother and lifelong business partner, Roy O. Disney, inaugurated the park.  And the magic began.

The Magic Kingdom sits on 142 acres with the 189-feet-tall Cinderella Castle at its center.  Similar to Disneyland in California, Magic Kingdom is divided into six themed lands — Main Street, U.S.A.; Adventureland; Frontierland; Liberty Square; Fantasyland; and Tomorrowland.  Popular attractions include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, it’s a small world, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, “Mickey’s PhilharMagic,” Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jungle Cruise, The Hall of Presidents, Mad Tea Party, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Country Bear Jamboree, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and Princess Fairytale Hall.

EPCOT

Walt Disney envisioned a showcase for innovation, a place to celebrate human achievement and where people could experience the cutting edge of technology. On Oct. 1, 1978, Card Walker — then president of Walt Disney Productions — revealed plans for Epcot, a theme park inspired by Walt’s philosophies. A groundbreaking ceremony was held one year later and Epcot opened in 1982.  The debut of Innoventions in 1994 marked an exciting addition to the Epcot experience. This evolving technology exposition gives Epcot guests an opportunity to explore the latest inventions and innovations that may change the way they live their lives.

Epcot is an ever-changing international and discovery showplace covering 305 acres that opened October 1, 1982. Epcot has two entrances. The original entrance is convenient to the parking area and monorail station (the monorail runs between Epcot and Magic Kingdom Transportation and Ticket Center three miles to the north). The International Gateway entrance opened in 1990 between the United Kingdom and France pavilions in World Showcase, providing park access to guests staying in Epcot resort area hotels — Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk, Walt Disney World Swan and Walt Disney World Dolphin.

Future World – Themed areas focusing on discovery and scientific achievements: Spaceship Earth (Siemens), Universe of Energy, The Land, Soarin’, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Test Track, Mission: SPACE (HP).

World Showcase – Eleven nations surrounding World Showcase Lagoon: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Japan, The American Adventure, Italy, Germany, China, Mexico, Morocco, Norway.

DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

The idea for a park based on favorite movie themes originated with Walt Disney at a time when studio back lot tours were limited to a privileged few. He first considered a park on his own back lot. Land issues combined with potential traffic problems caused him to look elsewhere; namely, Anaheim.  The result was Disneyland.  In the mid 1980s, a greatly expanded production schedule for The Walt Disney Company demanded more facilities. Rather than buy expensive land in California, the company utilized its Florida property and combined production facilities with theme-park attractions to give Disney guests a behind-the-scenes Hollywood experience.

This theme park sits on 135 acres. Production facilities opened in the summer of 1988. Entertainment facilities opened in May of 1989. Attractions include: “Toy Story Midway Mania!, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, The Great Movie Ride, “Muppet*Vision 3D”, “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!”, “Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage,” “Voyage of the Little Mermaid,” The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror, “Fantasmic!”, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (Hanesbrands Inc.), “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!,” Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream, For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration. The park immerses guests in the glamour of show business 365 days a year with thrilling attractions, Broadway-style shows and world-class entertainment.

DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM

Adventures with real exotic animals, close encounters with prehistoric giants and warm, fuzzy moments with beloved Disney characters create unsurpassed fun. Walt Disney World Resort’s fourth major theme park sprawls across 403 acres. Jungles, forests and a vast savanna are divided into five themed lands: Africa, DinoLand U.S.A., Discovery Island, Asia and Pandora – The World of Avatar. Major attractions include: Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, DINOSAUR, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Primeval Whirl, “Festival of the Lion King,” “Finding Nemo-The Musical,” “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” and Tree of Life. The park opened April 22, 1998. Animal Kingdom celebrates one amazing adventure after another with wild animals, exciting attractions, lavish stage shows and lovable characters! Where else can you ride a runaway train, take an authentic African safari or a whirling white-water raft ride?

DISNEY SPRINGS

Disney Springs  is home to signature dining, retail and premier entertainment experiences. A bustling metropolis of shopping, dining and entertainment locations, Disney Springs is the exciting reimagination of Downtown Disney. It consists of four neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center.

  • The 120-acre Disney Springs is in the east-central portion of Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Springs borders the south shore of Lake Buena Vista at the intersection of Buena Vista Drive and Hotel Plaza Boulevard.
  • The location dates to its March 22, 1975 opening as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. Since then, it has taken several names in its evolution including, most recently, Downtown Disney.
  • Disney Springs was inspired by the welcoming, waterfront towns of the early 1900s; early Florida settlers were attracted by the springs and their natural beauty. “In Disney Springs, you enter more than a place to shop and dine,” said Keith Bradford, vice president of Disney Springs. “You enter a story–as only Disney can tell it.”
  • The multi-year makeover from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs more than doubled the number of locations. Today, more than 150 venues call Disney Springs home.
  • Entertainment ranges from street musicians to shows at Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues–in all, 25 different acts every night.
  • Shopping ranges from unique boutiques to high-end brand name retailers to Disney locations to everything in between.
  • Uniqueness stamps many shopping/dining/entertainment venues. In Town Center, UNIQLO’s Disney Springs location is the first in the southeast U.S. for the Japanese retailer. Dessert lovers can order from a cupcake-dispensing ATM at Sprinkles. Guests to the rooftop lounge of the Coca-Cola Store can pick from more than 100 drink choices. Vintage cars drive right onto the lake at The BOATHOUSE, among the waterfront restaurants and bars of The Landing. The Lego Store, Rainforest Café, World of Disney and Dockside Margaritas help anchor Marketplace. Or guests go for strikes, spares and sushi at Splitsville Luxury Lanes (West Side, home to House of Blues, Characters in Flight tethered balloon experience and the breathtaking performances of Cirque du Soleil).
  • Admission to Disney Springs is free. Disney Springs may be reached by car, bus, boat or via pedestrian bridge. Drivers can access either the Orange or Lime parking decks, steps from the action. Each is a “smart” garage: available parking spaces are designated by an overhead green light, eliminating the need for jockeying up and down rows of cars. Parking is free. Valet parking is available for a fee. Complimentary motorcoach service to Disney Springs is available to guests of Disney resort hotels and all four theme parks. Complimentary water taxis are available from several nearby Disney resort hotels; arrival docks are located at the Marketplace and The Landing neighborhoods.
  • Designated parking spaces for Guests with Disabilities are available in both the Orange and Lime garages. Wheelchair, ECV and stroller rentals are available in the nearby Sundries location at the Town Center bus loop.
  • Dining choices range from grab-and-go kiosks to food trucks to fast casual to table service to destination experiences. Disney Springs boasts five James Beard Award-winning chefs: Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto Asia), Art Smith (Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Kitchen and Southern Shine), Rick Bayless (Frontera Cocina), Tony Mantuano (Portobello), Wolfgang Puck (Wolfgang Puck Café). More than 50 food and beverage locations are open now, with more to come.
  • More than 57,000 recycled bricks from nearby Rollins College were used in the hardscape of The Landing, one of the four Disney Springs neighborhoods.
  • Featuring beautiful Spanish Revival architecture, the Town Center neighborhood utilized 15 shades of white paint.
  • The springs coursing through Town Center contains 1.2 million gallons of water. The distance from one end to the other is the same as the walk down Main Street, U.S.A. to Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom.
  • At the Marketplace, there are two “Hidden Mickeys” in the murals found inside World of Disney, the world’s largest Disney merchandise store.

ESPN WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS COMPLEX

A 230-acre complex designed to accommodate professional-caliber training and competition, festival and tournament events and vacation-fitness activities in more than 30 individual and team sports. The complex includes a 7,500-seat baseball stadium and 5,500-seat Hp Field House. Annual events include Atlanta Braves spring training. The first event was held on March 28, 1997.

THEMED RESORTS

36 resorts (including nine Disney Vacation Club properties) in a variety of price points featuring more than 30,000 hotel rooms; 3,293 DVC units; 799 campsites. 26 of the resort hotels are owned and operated by Walt Disney World Resort.

Camping 

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground (409 Wilderness Cabins/799 Campsites)

Disney’s Value Resorts

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (864 rooms /1,120 family suites), Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort (1,920 rooms), Disney’s All-Star Music Resort (1,704 rooms/215 family suites), Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort (1,920 rooms), Disney’s Pop Century Resort (2,880 rooms)

Disney’s Moderate Resorts

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside (2,048 rooms), Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-French Quarter (1,008 rooms), Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (2,112 rooms), Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (1,917 rooms).

Disney’s Deluxe Resorts

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (972 rooms), Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (727 rooms), Disney’s Contemporary Resort (655 rooms), Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (484 rooms), Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (621 rooms), Disney’s Beach Club Resort (576 rooms), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (867 rooms) and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn (372 rooms).

Disney’s Deluxe Villa Resorts

Disney’s Old Key West Resort (558 units), Disney’s BoardWalk Villas (282 units), The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (114 units), Disney’s Beach Club Villas (177 units), Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (924 units), The Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (449 units), The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (106 units), Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (295 units), Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows (20 over-the-water bungalows and 360 deluxe studio villas).

Official Hotels of Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Swan (756 rooms), Walt Disney World Dolphin (1,509 rooms), Buena Vista Palace (1,013 rooms), Doubletree Guest Suites Resort (229 rooms), The Hilton (814 rooms), Holiday Inn (323 rooms), Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel (325 rooms), B Resort & Spa (394 rooms) and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista (626 rooms). Shades of Green on Walt Disney World Resort (586 rooms) is a U.S. Armed Forces Recreation Center for vacationing servicemen and women from all branches of the armed forces.

CONVENTION FACILITIES

More than 600,000 square feet of modern meeting space located throughout the areas. Major function space is available at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Disney’s BoardWalk, Walt Disney World Dolphin, Walt Disney World Swan, Buena Vista Palace, The Hilton, Hotel Royal Plaza and Regal Sun Resort.

RECREATION

Three 18-hole championship golf courses and a nine-hole family-play walking course; Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water parks; Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland mini-golf courses; tennis courts; basketball courts; pools; lakes for swimming, boating, parasailing, water skiing and fishing; jogging paths; horseback riding; biking; Segway tours.

TRANSPORTATION

Monorail trains, ferryboats, launches or motor coach shuttle service between all areas.

Walt Disney World Resort is truly a one of a kind location with so much to do and see. There is something for every size family and every family budget. It will always be my favorite vacation spot!




2017 to Bring New Eateries to Disney Springs

With the ever-changing look of Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, new restaurants have been popping up lately and 2017 will bring even more new restaurants for us to try. Disney Springs has essentially become a year-round food festival ~ A Walt Disney World Theme Park For Food!

Disney Springs Restaurants

The Edison

This Disney Springs nightclub is a long time coming – and is expected to open in spring 2017. A sister venue in Los Angeles with a steampunk vibe offers drinks, food and entertainment. The Edison in Florida will be quite similar to its sister location in Los Angeles. As for the menu, the restaurant will serve classic American food and craft cocktails. For entertainment, there will be live music, cabaret performances, contortionists, palm readers, and DJs. The Edison is a bit saucier than other venues at Disney Springs and may not be as child friendly as other eateries in Disney Springs. With seven different bar and lounge spaces, each visit will be a completely new experience.

Here’s a little of what goes on at the Los Angeles location:

Paddlefish

The former Fulton’s Crab House being revamped to the Paddlefish was due to open in the Fall of 2016. After an extensive revamp, this iconic Disney Springs restaurant is now set to reopen in early 2017. Look forward to outdoor seating, a more upscale nautical aesthetic, new dishes such as table side lobster guacamole and a “build your own” lobster boil, and previously popular dishes like Florida Stone Crab, Alaska King and Queen crab and lobster corn dogs.

Photo via Disney Parks

Planet Hollywood Observatory

Sporting a new look as an observatory, a burger and sandwich menu from Food Network star Guy Fieri and more, Planet Hollywood Observatory will open in Disney Springs in early 2017. The theme of the re-imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory will still feature stars from the big screen but much of the new focus will be on stars in the sky, as the restaurant completes its transformation into a turn-of-the-20th-century observatory. The restaurant will feature Stargazer Lounge where you’ll find signature craft cocktails with names that reflect the planets and space travel.

Disney Springs Restaurants

The Polite Pig

Local flavors will get a Disney Springs location in spring 2017. A sister restaurant to The Ravenous Pig of Winter Park, The Polite Pig will serve wood-fired smoked and grilled items, locally-brewed Cask & Larder beer, and more. Owners and James Beard award nominees James and Julie Petrakis are partnering with James’ brother, Brian for this eatery. The Polite Pig will be located in the Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs and also offer outdoor seating. The 5,000-square-foot restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner, with seating for about 200 guests.

I’m really looking forward to the opening of The Edison! Which one are you looking forward to trying?




Wine Bar George Coming to Disney Springs


Wine Bar George Disney Springs

Wine Bar George, Featuring Master Sommelier George Miliotes, Opens Fall 2017 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Fans of California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort may remember Master Sommelier George Miliotes from the opening team of the award-winning restaurant when it debuted in 1995. Miliotes returns to Walt Disney World Resort with his new venture, Wine Bar George, opening in fall 2017 at Disney Springs.

The design for the 210-seat wine bar is reminiscent of a winemaker’s home estate featuring oak wood, warm lighting and a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.

Wine Bar George also will include a food menu featuring small plates designed to complement the wine list. Offerings will feature local artisans and seasonal flavors – “bringing guests ideal food and wine pairings and culinary explorations,” says Miliotes.

Wine Bar George will offer more than 100 selections both by the bottle and the glass in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. Guests will be able to experience sips from acclaimed wineries as well as up-and-coming growing regions and wineries. Wine education will be served up in an approachable and fun manner, says Miliotes, and he is planning special events and visits from renowned winemakers.

Miliotes is one of just 230 master sommeliers in the world.




House of Blues Disney Springs to Host Two Craft Beer Events This Month

House Blues Disney Springs Craft Beer
Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

I can never pass up a good beer event! With Labor Day behind us and fall in the air, it’s time to visit Disney Springs and the House of Blues for some craft beer fun!

“Local Brews, Local Grooves”: On Saturday, September 10, 2016, House of Blues will host the 4th rendition of this popular event, mixing FL-based musicians with breweries that call the sunshine state home. No matter what your tastes, whether you prefer ambers or ales, pilsners or ports, you’ll find something to suit your tastes. Featuring 15 craft breweries, there’s a good chance you’ll find a new favorite. And with four of the hottest local bands taking the stage, the $11 general admission price will feel like a steal. Sampling tickets are $3 each for guests ages 21+ and the event will take place 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., one day only.

Featured Breweries: Barley Mow Brewing Co., Bold City Brewery, Central 28 Beer Co., Darwin Brewing Co., First Magnitude Brewing Co., Funky Buddha Brewery, JDUBS Brewing, M.I.A. Beer Company, Motorworks Brewing, Orange Blossom Brewing Co., Orlando Brewing, Original Sin Cider, Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co., Sweetwater Brewing Co., Two Henry’s Brewing Co.

Tip: Advance Purchase VIP Packages are also available for those who want a more all-inclusive experience including admission for two, ten sampling tickets and two food vouchers.

Big Storm Brewery Untapped Event:  The House of Blues Patio will become a haven for fans of Big Storm Brewery on Sunday, September 25, 2016. Taking place from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., the event will feature Big Storm tastings and beer flights, with a live musician performing on the patio stage while you sip the day away.

For full details on “Local Brews, Local Grooves,” visit http://www.houseofblues.com/orlando/localbrewslocalgrooves. Check the House of Blues website in the coming weeks for more details about the Big Storm Brewery Untapped Event.




Pete’s Dragon Opens Today! Check Out These Activity Sheets and Dragon Cupcakes

Pete's Dragon Activity Sheets Dragon Cupcakes

The most magical movie of the year, PETE’S DRAGON is finally opening in theaters everywhere TODAY! August 12th! This is one of the best family movies of the year and equally perfect for kids and adults alike!

 

Check out these Pete’s Dragon Activity Sheets and Dragon Cupcakes!

“Bryce Dallas How-To” with Bryce Dallas Howard – Dragon Cupcakes!

Pete's Dragon Activity Sheets Dragon Cupcakes

 

 

“Bryce Dallas How-To” with Bryce Dallas Howard – Dragon Cat Costume!

 

Like PETE’S DRAGON on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPetesDragon

Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypetes

Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneypetesdragon/  

Visit Disney Animation on Tumblr: http://disneyanimation.tumblr.com/

Visit the official PETE’S DRAGON website here: http://movies.disney.com/petes-dragon-2016

And don’t forget your Disneybound outfit when you hit the theaters this weekend!

Petes Dragon Activity Sheets Dragon Cupcakes