We all knew I would start off the series on America’s most amazing theme parks by talking about Walt Disney World in Florida didn’t we?! Well, it does take the number one spot for America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks.
Amazing Parks WDW
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom opened in October, 1971 and today receives 20.5 million visitors annually.
Walt Disney World is a huge property that is well over 100 acres and still has room for expansion. For twelve consecutive years the Magic Kingdom alone has been the most visited theme park in the world.
Although Walt Disney World is one of America’s most amazing theme parks, the entire property is so much more. The property as a whole is actually a resort vacation experience made up of several theme parks. Amazing!
Walt Disney World has many components so let’s break the entire property down into sections.
Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is the largest of all the Disney properties around the globe. Roughly the size of San Francisco, Walt Disney World includes four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping-and-entertainment zone, golf courses, lakes, and more.
There are currently more than 25 Disney Resort hotels to pick from when visiting Walt DisneyWorld Resort, from budget-conscious value Resort hotels to luxurious deluxe Resort hotels.
There are more than 200 places to get food within Walt Disney World, including about 90 full service restaurants.
- Magic Kingdom – 1971
- Disney Springs (Downtown Disney) – 1975
- Epcot – 1982
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios (MGM) – 1989
- Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – 1989
- Blizzard Beach Water Park – 1995
- ESPN Wide World of Sports – 1997
- Animal Kingdom – 1998
The Magic Kingdom
The park is made up of six lands: Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland. Liberty Square and Adventureland. There are over 40 attractions in the Magic Kingdom and due to the overwhelming popularity of park it can often take more than one day to enjoy them all.
A day at the Magic Kingdom isn’t complete without getting to meet some of the big Disney stars – Mickey and Minnie, Cinderella, Snow White Belle, Donald – the list of Disney personalties is long.
There is magic at every turn in the most magical place on earth. Princesses, rides and attractions, shows, parades and fireworks create endless enchantment for visitors. Since I began visiting WDW in the 1970’s when only the Magic Kingdom was in existence, it will always be my favorite park. I don’t feel like I’ve really visited unless I spend at least one day in the Magic Kingdom.
Epcot – Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
Epcot opened in 1982 and welcomes 12.2 million visitors annually. Technological innovation and international culture are the cornerstones of Epcot. The park is broken down into two distinct areas: Future World and World Showcase.
Future World is home to educational rides and pavilions while World Showcase is home to countries from around the world with their own pavilions, attractions, cuisine and culture.
Epcot is also a much loved destination for epic annual events such as the International Food & Wine Festival, Festival of the Arts and the International Flower & Garden Festival.
The most popular rides are Soarin’ and Test Track in Future World and Frozen Ever After in World Showcase. Although the number of rides/attractions in Epcot is small, the shows, food and happenings throughout the park make it a great, fun-filled day.
Of course it’s also possible to visit with Disney celebrities in Epcot as well. Each country’s pavilion in World Showcase features its own: France/Belle; Germany/Snow White; China/Mulan; Morocco/Aladdin and Jasmine, and United Kingdom/Alice. In Norway you can dine with princesses and visit with Anna and Elsa.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios opened in 1989 as MGM Studios and welcomes 10.7 million visitors per year.
It may be 2,000 miles away from the real Hollywood but this theme park celebrates movies in a grand way.
The movies come alive with their own attractions and lands – Star Wars, Cars, Toy Story – visitors are sure too have action packed adventure when they spend a day at Hollywood Studios.
As with all Disney parks you’ll be able to meet some more stars from Disney movies like Buzz Lightyear, Woody, BB-8 and Chewbacca.
The latest expansion opening in late August of this year – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will let Star Wars fans live their Star Wars Adventure in a Galaxy far, far away! You will be Batuu in the blink of an eye.
Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 and welcomes 12.5 million visitors each year. The park offers five lands – Discovery Island, Pandora, Africa, Asia and Dinoland USA.
There are dozens of creatures on display from rhinos, elephants, lions, giraffes, insects, birds, reptiles and more. You can get up close and personal with some of the animals by taking a tour like the Caring for Giants elephant tour.
Animal Kingdom showcases veterinary care and conservation and is not only fun but also educational.
As with all Disney parks you’ll be able to meet some more Disney stars like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy and Pocahontas. You also won’t want to miss the Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party!
The Water Parks
Blizzard Beach: You can chill out all year round at this 66-acre water park, built around the mythical tale of a one-time ski resort that melted into soothing, warm water—creating the perfect water playground.
Typhoon Lagoon: Delight in this tropical paradise that’s been transformed by a legendary storm into an oasis of pure excitement! Enjoy the largest wave pool in America and relax on a sandy beach and enjoy the plunges and spills of a whitewater journey!
ESPN Wide World of Sports
Located in the middle of Walt Disney World, athletes competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex live the “I’m going to Disney World” MVP moment each and every day. From professionally manicured fields and ESPN entertainment to the awe-inspiring attractions of the world-class theme parks, there is something magical about playing here!
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People continue to visit WDW over and over again for many reasons: Family reunions, making memories with little ones, and re-living childhood memories are just some of the reasons to visit!
So there you have it! Just this little bit of information explains why World Disney World comes in as Number 1 on the list of America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks!
Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started!