A History of Walt Disney WorldRemember in Monty Python's The Holy Grail, where the father is going on to his son about "all we have is swamp!" That is what Orlando was like in the 60s. Swamp, swamp and more Swamp. Walt Disney came in and bought it all up, using fake names so that the locals wouldn't get suspicious. Then he terraformed it, drained it, and created a gigantic imaginary empire. In modern times, they probably would have complained about the water tables and the swamp critters that were now homeless :)
Finally in 1971, the doors opened. Orlando was suddenly a giant tourist town, drawing in people to the big castle and rides that were available. It grew. Epcot was added on in 1982, then MGM in 1989 and finally Animal Kingdom which is still being built out as we speak.
They aren't done yet - there's lots more land there to develop. The hotels, attractions and volume of people keeps growing each year.
Disney's complex of parks is HUGE. Remember that it could take you an hour to get from one area of the park to another. It is literally twice the size of Manhattan. It can even talk you a half hour just to walk from one side of a given resort hotel complex to another.
Gather up maps from each park area you visit. They are great to hang on the walls at home, and to help explain your travels to your friends with!
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