In 1955, Walt Disney opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California. It was a great success but he did not like that new businesses such as hotels were springing up around his property. It limited the park's expansion. From this came the idea for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. At the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, Disney created four attractions to see how the eastern coast of the United States responded to Disney entertainment.
Disney created small front companies as he began to buy the land in central Florida. He used these companies to avoid any press while buying significant land for what he called his “Florida Project”. Doing so left the price of the land cheap, therefore allowing him to buy an excessive amount.
Construction began in the 1960s, but Walt Disney died of cancer in 1966 before the park was completed. His brother Roy proceeded to take over and continued to see the project through to the park’s opening in 1971. This included only one of the four eventual parks, the famous Magic Kingdom, which is symbolized by a huge castle known as “Cinderella’s Castle.” EPCOT, or “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow”, was the next park to open in 1982 and was followed by MGM Studios in 1989, which has now been renamed Hollywood Studios. The final park to be added to Walt Disney World was Animal Kingdom in 1998.
Walt Disney wanted Disney World to be a place that was big enough to hold all of his dreams to avoid being hemmed in like Disneyland. Walt Disney World also includes multiple hotels and resorts, three water parks, Disney’s Wide World of Sports, the Boardwalk, and Downtown Disney. The Boardwalk and Downtown Disney are both full of shops, restaurants, clubs, and shows like Cirque du Soleil.