Disney World Parks
Walt Disney World Parks are the backbone of the Walt Disney World Resort. They are the attractions draw us to Florida. In fact Disney is what turned Orlando from a sleepy little tourist trap Florida town into the meg-gigantic tourist trap Florida city that it is today.
The Magic Kingdom is the star theme parks both in Orlando and around the world. The other parks are really good. You can see the world and take a ride all the way to Mars in Epcot, you can dream about being in the movies (and ride some really great rides) at Disney Hollywood Studios, and you can spend a day with nature at Animal Kingdom. Plus you have two of the coolest water parks on the planet. The Disney World Parks are truly a place where you can have a Perfect Walt Disney World Vacation.
The Magic Kingdom - Where it all began
The Magic Kingdom is the original Walt Disney World Park. In fact, a lot of people say Disney World when they mean The Magic Kingdom. Disney World opened in October of 1971 to large crowds that were drawn to the attractions and the crowds continue to this day.
Every year, The Magic Kingdom is the number one tourist attraction in the world in terms of visitors.
The Magic Kingdom is divided into "lands". Each land has a unique theme. The lands are;
- Main Street USA - The entrance to The Magic Kingdom. Modeled after Walt's boyhood home.
- Fantasyland - A place of Princesses and magic. Full of timeless classic attractions.
Liberty Square - The birth of the United States is heralded.
Frontierland - Westward Ho. See the wild, wild west in action.
Adventureland - Step into the tropical, exotic home of pirates and tiki gods.
Tomorrowland - The future that never was and should be.
Disney calls The Magic Kingdom "The Most Magical Place on Earth". I can't argue with them.
Epcot - Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
Explore the future of cities, that was Uncle Walt's dream for EPCOT. But alas, Uncle Walt died and Epcot didn't turn out like Walt planned. The Imagineers planning EPCOT struggled for a long time, arguing between two totally different concepts. Finally they pushed the 2 models together and EPCOT was born.
The 3 models are
Today Epcot is the most diverse of the Disney World Parks. It's also the most educational. Every pavilion was developed with an educational purpose.
Disney Hollywood Studios - The Hollywood that never was
Walk through a working movie studio. That was the original concept of Disney Hollywood Studios. At one time it even included a working animation studio with glass windows where you could actually watch artists creating Disney animation movies.
Somewhere along the line all of that went away. The animators are gone and replaced by an animation training studio. Today's Disney Hollywood Studios is a fictionalization of the movie industry. Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of fun, but real movies aren't made here anymore.
Animal Kingdom - The Zoo of Dreams
Disney's Animal Kingdom is an amazing place. Is it a theme park or a zoo? The best answer to that question is, yes, it's both. Disney has created a hybrid theme park. They've take a zoo and added great attractions and shows and come up with a truly unique experience.
The shows are out of this world. Of course the Lion King is spectacular, but only Disney can find a way to turn fish being caught into a great musical. Check it out at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Not only the shows but the rides shine too. You've got a great new roller coaster and a true animal experience. Don't miss it.
Blizzard Beach - Snow Skiing in Florida?
A freak snow storm in Florida. Someone spends a billion bucks and develops a ski resort. Pretty far fetched. But it's a great introduction into the most imaginative Disney World Park.
Disney's Blizzard Beach is a great water park. Even the Travel Channel lists it as one of the top 5 water parks in the country. Summit Plummet is one of the most celebrated water slides ever built. Take your sun glasses and your sunscreen and head to the slopes.
Typhoon Lagoon - Do hurricanes reach ...
Enough of the freak storms already. Who really believes that a hurricane could hit Orlando and bring a fishing boat all this way. What? A hurricane really did hit Orlando? You gotta be kidding. OK, so it really happened, how many fishing boats were planted on top of pseudo mountains? Yeah, take that.
Typhoon Lagoon is a great place to relax and soak up some sun. There are a bunch of great water slides, places for kids of all ages, and you can swim with sharks (for real.)
You can keep up with the happenings at the parks on Dad's Disney World Parks blog.
Dad's Bottom Line
The Disney World Parks are the number 1, 2, 3 and 4 tourist attractions in the world. There is a good reason for that. They really must be experienced.