Happy Birthday Walt Disney World

Let’s go and have a look in time to see what happened over 40 years ago, before October 1st 1971. It all started in 1964 when Disney starts to buy land in Florida under fictional names. The first land was bought on April 15th 1964 and a final large plot of land was purchased on June 18th 1964. While Disney tried to keep it as secret as possible rumors of the East Coast Disneyland started to emerge as from May 4th 1965. On November 15th 1965 Disney formally launches the new Disney World project, a name that changed on December 17th 1966 to Walt Disney World. On may 30th 1967 the land is being prepped for the project. The Compact East Corp. becomes Walt Disney World Company on September 26th 1967 and is incorporated in Florida on May 22nd 1968. On April 30th 1969 is Walt Disney Worlds very first official press event for the resort and on April 6th 1971 the general public has the chance to see the almost completed WDW for the first time in Look magazine. On September 30th Walt Disney World’s preview center closes and on October 1st 1971 the Walt Disney World park opens to the public.

Some newspapers had predicted 200.000 people would turn up but only about 10.000 people visited the Magic Kingdom on the very first day. A small amount of people for such a big event, but the gates to the park especially opened during off season to avoid an firs day with an overcrowded park. Like this WDW had the time to find the problems and bugs and made sure they would be fully operational by the next big holiday. By the end of the first month 400.000 guest had visited the park and on November 26th 1971, one day after thanksgiving, the park was packed with 50.000 guest. Walt Disney World was a success.

Today, on October 1st 2011, we celebrate a special birthday for the Walt Disney World Resort. A big 40 years of success, magic and fun in a fantastic place we all love so much. Happy Birthday Walt Disney World!

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply