Forty years ago today – 1 Oct. 1971

Disney World opens on this date in 1971. The Magic Kingdom was the only theme park to open on that date but they also opened Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Resort (hotels). Walt Disney was instrumental in the planning of the park but he died in 1966 before construction had begun. Disney was not happy that he had no land to expand Disneyland in California so he made sure that he more than enough land in Florida.

The Magic Kingdom is similar to Disneyland except that it is larger. One interesting difference is that in Disneyland has “Great Moments with Lincoln” and at Disney World they have the “Hall of the Presidents” with all the Presidents, 3 of which speak. Under the Magic Kingdom is a series of access tunnels and dressing rooms for “cast members,” as the employees are called. Cinderella Castle is the main focal point of the Magic Kingdom but it is not as large as it looks. It uses “forced perspective” which is a technique of making the upper stories shorter to make it look higher than it’s 189 feet. In front of the Castle is the sculpture, “The Partners” of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.

Disney World continues to evolve. Since 1971, besides adding Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, there are water parks, ESPN Sports Complex and more. Fantasyland is currently under renovations that should be completed by 2013. After 40 years the park has given much enjoyment to both kids and adults.