Walt Disney Parks and Resorts was founded in 1971, when the Magic Kingdom in Florida became the second Walt Disney theme park. Today, the division is in charge of 11 theme parks and dozens of smaller attractions spread across five resorts around the world, as well as the Disney Cruise Line.
The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., is the original Walt Disney Resort. It houses two parks and has no room left to expand.
Founded in 1955, Disneyland is the only Disney park that Walt Disney himself lived to see. It has served as a model for later projects around the world.
Disney's California Adventure opened in 2001. Its theme is the history of California. The park has struggled to find its audience and, as of September 2009, is undergoing dramatic refurbishment.
Walt Disney World Resort
Located near Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Walt Disney World addressed imperfections that Walt Disney saw in Anaheim, particularly the size of the property. Disney World has four theme parks.
The first Walt Disney World park, Magic Kingdom, opened in 1971. It remains the most visited theme park in the world, with more than 17 million visitors in 2008.
Opened in 1982 as the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow Center, Walt Disney World's second theme park became simply Epcot in 1994. Epcot blends scientific achievement and world cultures.
Disney-MGM Studios opened in 1989 as a working movie production facility and attached theme park. Film production ceased in the 1990s; in 2008, the park became Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Disney's Animal Kingdom opened in 1998. The fictional Swahili word "nahtazu" was used in early advertising to indicate that this animal conservation center is more than a traditional zoo.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Just east of Tokyo, Japan, is the Tokyo Disney Resort. It is owned and operated by the Oriental Land Company rather than The Walt Disney Company.
Opened in 1983, Tokyo Disneyland is the third-most attended theme park in the world. Attendance was just under 14 million guests in 2007.
Tokyo DisneySea opened in 2001. The most expensive theme park ever created, at U.S. $4 billion, the park features a nautical theme and dramatic, high-tech rides.
Disneyland Resort Paris
Disneyland Resort Paris is located 20 miles outside the city. Originally known as Euro Disney, the resort struggled to adapt to the local culture.
Parc Disneyland, opened in 1992, is the largest park based on the original Disneyland. It covers 140 acres.
Modeled on Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, Walt Disney Studios Park opened in 2002. The park's theme is show business, although it has never been a working production studio.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort opened in 2005 as a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong government. As of 2009, it had only one theme park.
The Hong Kong Disneyland park is the smallest version of the original Disneyland. Designed with local culture in mind, the park is continually evolving.
- Photo Credit Lisa Fritscher
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