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Walt Disney World

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Coordinates: 28257N 813452W
Walt Disney World Resort

Industry Amusement parks and resorts
Founded October 7, 1971
Founders Roy Disney
Bay Lake, Florida, U.S. (actual) /
Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S.
(mailing address)
Key people George Kalogridis (President)
Owners The Walt Disney Company
Website disneyworld.disney.go.com
Walt Disney World
Theme parks
Magic Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Other attractions
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
Disney's Blizzard Beach
Downtown Disney
ESPN Wide World of Sports
Disney's BoardWalk
Resort hotels
Walt Disney World Resorts
The Walt Disney World Resort, informally known as Walt Disney World or simply Disney
World, is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake, Florida (mailing address is Lake Buena Vista,
Florida), near Orlando, Florida and is the flagship of Disney's worldwide theme park empire. The
resort opened on October 7, 1971 and, according to Forbes, is the most visited vacation resort in
the world, with an attendance of 52.5 million annually. It is owned and operated by Walt Disney
Parks and Resorts, a division of The Walt Disney Company. The property covers 27,258 acres
(11,031 ha; 43 sq mi), in which it houses 27 themed resort hotels, four theme parks, two water
parks, four golf courses, one camping resort, one residential area and additional recreational and
entertainment venues. Magic Kingdom was the first and original theme park to open in the
complex followed by Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom which
opened later throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Designed to supplement Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which had opened in 1955, the
complex was developed by Walt Disney in the 1960s, though he died in 1966 before construction
on "The Florida Project" began. After extensive lobbying, the Government of Florida created the
Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special government district that essentially gave The Walt
Disney Company the standard powers and autonomy of an incorporated city. Original plans
called for the inclusion of an "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow", a planned city
that would serve as a test bed for new innovations for city living.
1 History
o 1.1 Timeline
2 Location
3 Attractions
o 3.1 Theme parks
o 3.2 Water parks
o 3.3 Other attractions
o 3.4 Golf and recreation
o 3.5 Former attractions
4 Resorts
o 4.1 On-site Disney resorts
o 4.2 On-site non-Disney hotels
o 4.3 Former resorts
o 4.4 Proposed resorts
o 4.5 Disney's Magical Express
5 Executive management
o 5.1 Former executive management
6 Attendance
o 6.1 Employment
o 6.2 Corporate culture
o 6.3 Maintenance
o 6.4 Transportation
7 Name and logo
8 Twin town
9 See also
10 References
11 External links

Cinderella Castle, the icon of Magic Kingdom

Spaceship Earth, the icon of Epcot

The Tree of Life, the icon of Disney's Animal Kingdom
In 1959, Walt Disney Productions began looking for land for a second park to supplement
Disneyland, which opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955. Market surveys revealed that only
5% of Disneyland's visitors came from east of the Mississippi River, where 75% of the
population of the United States lived. Additionally, Walt Disney disliked the businesses that had
sprung up around Disneyland and wanted control of a much larger area of land for the new

Walt Disney flew over the Orlando-area site (one of many) in November 1963. Seeing the well-
developed network of roads, including the planned Interstate 4 and Florida's Turnpike, with
McCoy Air Force Base (later Orlando International Airport) to the east, Disney selected a
centrally located site near Bay Lake.

To avoid a burst of land speculation, Disney used various dummy corporations to acquire 27,443
acres (11,106 ha) of land.
In May 1965, some of these major land transactions were recorded a
few miles southwest of Orlando in Osceola County. Also, two large tracts totaling $1.5 million
were sold, and smaller tracts of flatlands and cattle pastures were purchased by exotic-sounding
companies such as the Latin-American Development and Management Corporation and the
Reedy Creek Ranch Corporation (some of these names are now memorialized on a window
above Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom). In addition to three huge parcels of land were
many smaller parcels, referred to as "outs".
Much of the land acquired had been platted into 5-acre (2 ha) lots in 1912 by the Munger Land
Company and sold to investors. Most owners were happy to get rid of the land, which was
mostly swamp. Another issue was the mineral rights to the land, which were owned by Tufts
University. Without the transfer of these rights, Tufts could come in at any time and demand the
removal of buildings to obtain minerals. Eventually, Disney's team negotiated a deal with Tufts
to buy the mineral rights for $15,000.

Working under a strict cloak of secrecy, real estate agents who didn't know the identity of their
client began making offers to landowners in southwest Orange and northwest Osceola counties
in April 1964 - shortly after Walt Disney chose the site for his new theme park.
Careful not to let property owners know the extent of their land-buying appetites, the agents
quietly negotiated one deal after another - sometimes lining up contracts to buy huge tracts for
little more than $100 an acre.

Because they knew that recording the first deeds would trigger an intense wave of public
questioning about what was going on, Disney's representatives waited until they had a large
number of parcels locked up through options before filing their paperwork.
Meanwhile, a rumor had popped up in California that Disney had his eye on Orlando. On May
20, an Orlando Sentinel article acknowledged the persistent rumor that "the land is being
purchased for a second East Coast Disneyland attraction. But the paper discounted the gossip
because Walt Disney himself had specifically denied it when interviewed during a visit to Cape
Kennedy. Disney baldly lied in telling the newspaper he was spending $50 million to expand
Disneyland in California and was not interested in another such venture at that time.
According to author Ormund Powers' account in his book Martin Andersen: Editor, Publisher,
Galley Boy , Walt Disney Productions attorney Paul Helliwell paid a visit to Orlando banker
Billy Dial, who was involved in the negotiations, and said, "There's been a leak. If that leak gets
publicized, it's going to kill Orlando's chances.
"Let's go see [Orlando Sentinel Publisher] Martin Andersen, Dial replied.
"That's the last man we want to see, Helliwell said.
"That's the first man we want to see, Dial told him.
Powers wrote that Dial and Helliwell visited Andersen at the newspaper. The newspaper
publisher "called in his top people and said,`There is a big deal going on and while we don't
know what it is, we have assurances it will be good for the community, and we don't want a line
printed in this paper about it.' "
Former Sentinel editor Danny Hinson told Powers for his book, Martin Andersen: Editor,
Publisher, Galley Boy, that Andersen knew practically everything that went on in the Orlando
area, and he thought Andersen was "more or less in on the Disney secret.
The late Sentinel columnist Charlie Wadsworth said much later that "Andersen was such a good
newsman that it would have been inconceivable [that] Disney could buy that quantity of real
estate and Andersen not know about it, wrote Powers, who died in May.
Longtime Disney publicity director Charles Ridgway told Powers he had heard from Disney
executive Cardon Walker that Andersen knew "well ahead that Disney was the buyer, "but he
kept it a secret. He did not disclose it.
Still, years later, Andersen insisted that he did not learn the identity of the mystery purchaser
until late October 1965.
The first purchases, recorded on May 3, 1965, included one for 8,380 acres of swamp and brush
from state Sen. Irlo Bronson. The deal had been made seven months earlier. The first newspaper
account of the large-scale interest in Orange and Osceola county property ran the next day. The
May 4 Orlando Sentinel story said the transactions "will undoubtedly increase rumors already
afloat for the past year to the effect that a new and large industrial complex is about to locate in
this area. Indeed it did.
Because of the proximity to Cape Kennedy, much early speculation centered on space or aircraft
technology, according to anthropologist Stephen M. Fjellman in his 1992 book Vinyl Leaves:
Walt Disney World and America. Carmakers' names, especially Ford, also were mentioned.
Speculation during the summer about the identity of the buyer included the Rockefellers,
Howard Hughes and NASA's Manned Orbiting Laboratory Project.
One day while Hinson was putting out the Evening Star, Andersen's afternoon paper, he got a
phone call from a friend who said he had been in the office of a New York public relations firm
and had been told the firm was helping Disney plan a big development near Orlando.
"Hinson thought the `mystery industry' had been nailed down and rushed into the office of
editorial director Red McGee, Powers wrote.
" `You are not to touch that story,' McGee told him. "The story died right there.
Within three weeks of recording the Bronson transaction, Florida Ranch Lands had wrapped up
deals with 47 owners. Eventually, the firm negotiated agreements with 51 owners to buy some
27,400 acres for more than $5 million -- an average price of $182 per acre.
Disney wanted to announce his ownership of the land and his plans for Walt Disney World on
Nov. 15, 1965. But the secret wouldn't keep that long.
In October 1965, Emily Bavar, editor of the Sentinel's Florida magazine, was in Anaheim for
Disneyland's 10th anniversary celebration. During an interview with Walt Disney, Bavar asked
whether he was buying up vast acreage in Central Florida.
"He looked like I had thrown a bucket of water in his face, Bavar later told Powers for his book.
"I have never seen anyone look so stunned. He was too surprised, but then he recovered and said
But Disney's evasiveness, combined with other tidbits she picked up in Anaheim, convinced
On Oct. 21, 1965, a story by Bavar, written in the first person and acknowledging that she was
sticking her neck out, predicted Disney would build a new theme park on the huge tract. After
piecing together more information from various sources, the paper led its Sunday edition three
days later with a story headlined, "We Say: `Mystery Industry' Is Disney."
With the mouse out of the bag, Disney allowed Gov. Haydon Burns to confirm the next day, Oct.
25, that he intended to build "the greatest attraction in the history of Florida in Central Florida.
Disney himself came to Orlando for the formal announcement with Burns on Nov. 15.

Walt Disney explained the plans for the site, including EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype
Community of Tomorrow, which was to be a futuristic planned city (and which was also known
as Progress City). He envisioned a working city with commercial and residential areas that also
continued to showcase and test new ideas and concepts for urban living.
Walt Disney died from lung cancer on December 15, 1966, before his vision was realized. His
brother and business partner, Roy O. Disney, postponed his retirement to oversee construction of
the resort's first phase.
On February 2, 1967, Roy O. Disney held a press conference at the Park Theatres in Winter
Park, Florida. The role of EPCOT was emphasized in the film that was played, the last one
recorded by Walt Disney before his death. After the film, it was explained that for Disney World,
including EPCOT, to succeed, a special district would have to be formed: the Reedy Creek
Improvement District with two cities inside it, Bay Lake and Reedy Creek (now Lake Buena
Vista). In addition to the standard powers of an incorporated city, which include the issuance of
tax-free bonds, the district would have immunity from any current or future county or state land-
use laws. The only areas where the district had to submit to the county and state would be
property taxes and elevator inspections.

The legislation forming the district and the two cities was signed into law by Florida Governor
Claude R. Kirk, Jr. on May 12, 1967. The Florida Supreme Court then ruled in 1968 that the
district was allowed to issue tax-exempt bonds for public projects within the district despite the
sole beneficiary being Walt Disney Productions.
The district soon began construction of drainage canals, and Disney built the first roads and
Magic Kingdom. The Contemporary Resort Hotel, the Polynesian Village, and Fort Wilderness
were also completed in time for the park's opening on October 1, 1971. The Palm and Magnolia
golf courses near Magic Kingdom had opened a few weeks before. At the park's opening, Roy O.
Disney dedicated the property and declared that it would be known as "Walt Disney World" in
his brother's honor. In his own words: "Everyone has heard of Ford cars. But have they all heard
of Henry Ford, who started it all? Walt Disney World is in memory of the man who started it all,
so people will know his name as long as Walt Disney World is here." After the dedication, Roy
Disney asked Walt's widow, Lillian, what she thought of Walt Disney World. According to
biographer Bob Thomas, she responded, "I think Walt would have approved." Roy O. Disney
died on December 20, 1971, less than three months after the property opened.
Much of Walt Disney's plans for his Progress City were abandoned after his death, after the
company board decided that it did not want to be in the business of running a city. The concept
evolved into the resort's second theme park, EPCOT Center (renamed Epcot in 1996), which
opened in 1982. While still emulating Walt Disney's original idea of showcasing new
technology, it is closer to a world's fair than a "community of tomorrow". Some of the urban
planning concepts from the original idea of EPCOT would instead be integrated into the
community of Celebration much later. The resort's third theme park, Disney-MGM Studios
(renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2008), opened in 1989, and is inspired by show
business. The resort's fourth theme park, Disney's Animal Kingdom, opened in 1998.
George Kalogridis was named president of the resort in December 2012, replacing Meg Crofton,
who had overseen the site since 2006.

Walt Disney (left) with his brother Roy O. Disney (right) and then-governor of Florida W.
Haydon Burns (center) on November 15, 1965, publicly announcing the creation of Disney
1965 Walt Disney announces Florida Project
1966 Walt Disney dies of lung cancer at age 65
1967 Construction of Walt Disney World Resort begins
Magic Kingdom
Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Polynesian Resort
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Roy O. Disney dies at age 78
1972 Disney's Village Resort
1973 The Golf Resort
1974 Discovery Island
1975 Walt Disney Village Marketplace
1976 Disney's River Country
1980 Walt Disney World Conference Center
1982 Epcot
1986 The Disney Inn
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney-MGM Studios
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
Pleasure Island
Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort
Walt Disney World Swan
Walt Disney World Dolphin
Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter
Disney Vacation Club
Disney's Old Key West Resort
Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside (Dixie Landings)
Bonnet Creek Golf Club
Disney's All-Star Sports Resort
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Shades of Green
Disney's All-Star Music Resort
Disney's Blizzard Beach
Disney's Fairy Tale Wedding Pavilion
Walt Disney World Speedway
Disney Institute
Disney's BoardWalk Inn and BoardWalk Villas
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex
Downtown Disney West Side
Disney's Animal Kingdom
1999 Disney's All-Star Movies Resort
2000 The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
2001 Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
2002 Disney's Beach Club Villas
2003 Disney's Pop Century Resort
2004 Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
2007 Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas
2008 Disney-MGM Studios is renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Treehouse Villas
2011 Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Phase 1 of New Fantasyland
2013 The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
2014 Phase 2 of New Fantasyland

Map showing the Magic Kingdom portion of the park.

One of four arches welcoming guests to the resort.
Despite marketing claims and popular misconceptions, the Florida resort is not within Orlando
city limits, but is actually about 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Orlando, much of it in
southwestern Orange County, with the remainder in adjacent Osceola County. The property
includes the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake which are governed by the Reedy Creek
Improvement District. The 27,258 acres (11,031 ha; 43 sq mi)
site is accessible from Central
Florida's Interstate 4 via Exits 62B (World Drive), 64B (US 192 West), 65B (Osceola Parkway
West), 67B (SR 536 West), and 68 (SR 535 North), and Exit 8 on State Road 429 (Florida), the
Western Expressway. At its founding the park occupied approximately 30,500 acres (12,343 ha;
48 sq mi). Portions of the property have since been sold or de-annexed, including land now
occupied by the Disney-built community of Celebration. Now the park occupies 27,258 acres
(11,031 ha; 43 sq mi),
about the size of San Francisco, or twice the size of Manhattan.


Germany pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase (one of 11 country pavilions)

Typhoon Lagoon, one of two waterparks at the resort

View of Downtown Disney and Characters in Flight
Further information: List of Walt Disney World Resort attractions
Theme parks
Magic Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Water parks
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
Disney's Blizzard Beach
There are also many beaches around the area
Other attractions
Downtown Disney, opened March 22, 1975
Disney's BoardWalk, opened July 1, 1996
Disney's Wedding Pavilion, opened July 15, 1995
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, opened March 28, 1997
Walt Disney World Speedway and Richard Petty Driving Experience, opened November
28, 1995
Golf and recreation
Disney's property includes five golf courses. The four 18-hole golf courses are the Palm (4
Stars), the Magnolia (4 Stars), Lake Buena Vista (4 Stars) and Osprey Ridge (4 Stars). There is
also a nine-hole walking course (no electric carts allowed) called Oak Trail, designed for young
golfers. The Magnolia and Palm courses play home to the PGA Tour's Children's Miracle
Network Hospitals Classic. Arnold Palmer Golf Management manages the Disney golf
Additionally, there are two themed miniature golf complexes, each with two courses,
Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland.
Catch-and-release fishing excursions are offered daily on the resort's lakes. A Florida fishing
license is not required because it occurs on private property. Cane-pole fishing is offered from
the docks at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney's Port Orleans Resort.
Additional recreational activities include watercraft rentals, surrey bike rentals, and firework
cruises that launch from several resort marinas.
Former attractions
Disney's River Country: The first water park at the Walt Disney World Resort. It opened
on June 20, 1976 and closed on November 1, 2001.
Discovery Island: An island in Bay Lake which was home to many species of animals
and birds. It opened on April 8, 1974 and closed on April 8, 1999.
Of the thirty-four resorts and hotels on the Walt Disney World property, twenty-eight are owned
and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. These are classified into four categories:
Deluxe, Moderate, Value, and Disney Vacation Club Villas, and are located in one of five resort
areas: the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Wide World of Sports, Animal Kingdom, or Downtown
Disney resort areas.
While all of the Deluxe resort hotels have achieved a AAA Four Diamond rating, Disney's Grand
Floridian Resort & Spa is considered the highest tier flagship luxury resort on the Walt Disney
World Resort complex.

On-site Disney resorts
Number of
Deluxe resorts
Disney's Animal Kingdom
April 16,
African Wildlife
Disney's Beach Club
19, 1990
Newport Beach cottage 576
Disney's BoardWalk Inn July 1, 1996
Early 20th Century
Atlantic and Ocean City
Disney's Contemporary
October 1,
Modern 655
Disney's Grand Floridian
Resort & Spa
July 1, 1988 Victorian seaside resort 867
Disney's Polynesian
Village Resort
October 1,
South Seas 847
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
May 28,
Pacific Northwest,
National Park Service
Disney's Yacht Club
November 5,
Martha's Vineyard
621 Epcot
Moderate resorts
Disney's Caribbean Beach
October 1,
Tropical Islands 2,112 Epcot
Disney's Coronado Springs
August 1,
Mexico, American
Disney's Port Orleans
Resort - French Quarter
May 17,
New Orleans French
Disney's Port Orleans
Resort - Riverside
February 2,
Antebellum South 2,048
Value resorts
Number of
Disney's All-Star Movies
January 15,
Disney films 1,920
Disney's All-Star Music
22, 1994
Music 1,604
Disney's All-Star Sports
April 24,
Sports 1,920
Disney's Art of Animation
May 31,
Disney and Pixar
animated films
Wide World
of Sports
Disney's Pop Century
14, 2003
20th century American
pop culture
Disney Vacation Club
Disney's Old Key West
20, 1991
Early 20th Century Key
Disney's BoardWalk Villas July 1, 1996
Early 20th Century
Atlantic City
530 Epcot
The Villas at Disney's
Wilderness Lodge
15, 2000
Pacific Northwest 181
Disney's Beach Club Villas July 1, 2002 Newport resort 282 Epcot
Disney's Saratoga Springs
Resort & Spa
May 17,
1880s Upstate New
York resort
Disney's Animal Kingdom
August 15,
African safari lodge 708
Bay Lake Tower at
Disney's Contemporary
August 4,
Modern 428
The Villas at Disney's
Grand Floridian Resort &
October 23,
Victorian Seaside
Cabins and campgrounds
Disney's Fort Wilderness
Resort and Campground
19, 1971
Rustic Woods Camping
409 cabins
Residential areas
Golden Oak at Walt
Disney World Resort
Fall 2011 Varies 450 homes

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Walt Disney World's flagship resort

Disney's Polynesian Resort, a deluxe level resort

Caribbean Beach Resort, the first moderate resort at Walt Disney World

Fort Wilderness, Disney's campground and cabin resort

Disney's All Star Movies Resort, one of five value resorts
On-site non-Disney hotels
Hotel Name
of Rooms
Owner Area
Best Western Lake
Buena Vista
Resort Hotel
21, 1972
None 325 Best Western
Hotel Name
of Rooms
Owner Area
Doubletree Guest
Suite Resort
March 15,
Hilton Hotels
Wyndham Lake
Buena Vista
October 15,
Wyndham Hotels &
Hilton Walt
Disney World
23, 1983
Hilton Hotels
Holiday Inn in the
Walt Disney
World Resort
February 8,
Hotels Group
Royal Plaza
October 1,
394 N/A
Buena Vista
Palace Resort &
March 10,
1,014 Blackstone Group
Bonnet Creek
3,000 total
Hilton Worldwide,
Wyndham Worldwide
Walt Disney
World Swan
January 13,
Underwater &
756 Westin Hotels
Walt Disney
World Dolphin
January 1,
Sheraton Hotels and
Shades of Green a
Walt Disney
World Resort
February 1,
Country Club
United States
Department of

Shades of Green Resort, owned and operated by the United States Military

The Walt Disney World Dolphin

The Walt Disney World Swan

Double Tree Guest Suites, located at Hotel Plaza Boulevard

The Hilton at Walt Disney World, located at Hotel Plaza Boulevard
Former resorts
The Golf Resort Became The Disney Inn, and later became Shades of Green.
Disney's Village Resort Became the Villas at Disney Institute and then Disney's
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. The "Tree House" Villas were decommissioned for a
time because they were not accessible to disabled guests. Until early 2008, they were
used for International Program Cast Member housing. In February 2008, Disney
submitted plans to the South Florida Water Management District to replace the 60
existing villas with 60 new villas.
The Treehouse Villas opened during the summer of
Celebration (A town designed and built by Disney, now managed by a resident run
Lake Buena Vista (Disney originally intended this area to become a complete community
with multiple residences, shopping, and offices, but transformed the original homes into
hotel lodging in the 1970s, which were demolished in the early 2000s to build Disney's
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa)
Proposed resorts
Disney's Asian Resort
Disney's Persian Resort
Disney's Venetian Resort
Disney's Mediterranean Resort
Fort Wilderness Junction
Disney's Magical Express

Disney's Magical Express logo.

The file above is being considered for deletion. See files for deletion to help reach a consensus on what to do.
Guests with a Disney Resort reservation arriving at Orlando International Airport can be
transported to their resort from the airport using the complimentary Disney Magical Express
service, which is operated by Mears Destination Services as Walt Disney World is not allowed to
transport guests off resort property. Guests can also have their bags picked up and transported for
them through a contract with BAGS Incorporated. Mears operates custom motor coaches and
luggage is delivered to the guests' rooms by BAGS. Disney Cruise Line buses are also operated
by Mears.
Executive management
President, Walt Disney World ResortGeorge Kalogridis
o Senior Vice President of Operations and Next Generation Experiences, Walt
Disney World ResortJim MacPhee
o Senior Vice President of Operations, Sales, and Alliance Development, Walt
Disney World ResortGeorge Aguel
Vice President, Magic KingdomPhil Holmes
Vice President, EpcotErin Youngs
Vice President, Disney's Hollywood StudiosDan Cockerell
Vice President, Disney's Animal KingdomJosh D'Amaro
Vice President, Downtown DisneyKeith Bradford
Vice President, Resort Hotel OperationsKevin Myers
Vice President, Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney
Water ParksKen Potrock
Vice President, Transportation, Sports, and GolfJim Vendur
Vice President, Global Relationship Marketing, Disney Destinations
LLCGreg Albrecht
Vice President Engineering, Walt Disney World ResortJohn Watkins
Vice President, Animal Programs and Environmental InitiativesDr.
Jackie Ogden
o Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Walt Disney World ResortBrian
Vice President, Community Relations and Minority Business
Development, Walt Disney World ResortEugene Campbell
Vice President Government Relations, Walt Disney World ResortBill
Former executive management
Former President, Walt Disney World Resort 19942006Al Weiss
Former President, Walt Disney World Resort 2006-2013-Meg Crofton
Former Executive Vice President of Operations, Walt Disney World Resort 19942006
Lee Cockerell
Former Senior Vice President of Operations, Walt Disney World Resort 20062009
Erin Wallace
Former Senior Vice President of Operations, Walt Disney World ResortKarl Holz
Former EVP Marketing 19731996 Tom Elrod
Former EVP Marketing 19962006 Linda Warren
o Former Vice President, Magic Kingdom 20002001Erin Wallace
o Former Vice President, Magic Kingdom 19871994Bill Sullivan
o Former Vice President, Epcot 2011Rilous Carter
o Former Vice President, Epcot 20092011Dan Cockerell
o Former Vice President, Epcot 20072009Jim MacPhee
o Former Vice President, Epcot 20012007Brad Rex
o Former Vice President, Epcot 19941996Linda Warren
o Former Vice President, Epcot 19871990Norm Doerges
o Former Vice President, Disney's Hollywood StudiosMichael O'Grattan
o Former Vice President, Disney-MGM-StudiosBruce Laval
o Former Vice President, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Animal ProgramsDr.
Beth Stevens
o Former Vice President, Disney's Animal KingdomVal Bunting
o Former Vice President, Disney's Animal KingdomKevin Lasnsberry
o Former Vice President, Downtown DisneyKevin Lasnsberry
o Former Vice President, Downtown DisneyDjuan Rivers
o Former Vice President, Downtown DisneyKarl Holz

Magic Kingdom, the world's most visited theme park
Year Magic Kingdom Epcot Disney's Hollywood Studios Disney's Animal Kingdom
17,063,000 10,935,000 9,608,000 9,540,000
17,233,000 10,990,000 9,700,000 9,590,000
16,972,000 10,825,000 9,603,000 9,686,000
17,142,000 10,826,000 9,699,000 9,783,000
17,536,000 11,063,000 9,912,000 9,998,000
18,588,000 11,229,000 10,110,000 10,198,000
When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, the site employed about 5,500 "cast members".
Today Walt Disney World employs more than 66,000 cast members, spending more than $1.2
billion on payroll and $474 million on benefits each year. The largest single-site employer in the
United States,
Walt Disney World has more than 3,700 job classifications. The resort also
sponsors and operates the Walt Disney World College Program, an internship program that
offers American college students (CP's) the opportunity to live about 15 miles (24 km) off-site in
four Disney-owned apartment complexes and work at the resort, and thereby provides much of
the theme park and resort "front line" cast members. There is also the Walt Disney World
International College Program, an internship program that offers international college students
(ICP's) from all over the world the same opportunity.
Corporate culture
Walt Disney World's corporate culture is based in some respects on that of its older sibling
Disneyland, of which the most interesting is the use of a unique jargon based on theatrical
terminology. This phenomenon is so well known that travel guidebooks have to include lists of
common terms and abbreviations.
For example, park visitors are always "guests",
employees are "cast members," rides are "attractions" or "adventures", cast members costumed
as famous Disney characters in a way that does not cover their faces are known as "face
characters", jobs are "roles", and public and nonpublic areas are respectively labeled "onstage"
and "backstage".

In a March 30, 2004 article in The Orlando Sentinel, then-Walt Disney World president Al
Weiss gave some insight into how the parks are maintained:
More than 5,000 cast members are dedicated to maintenance and engineering, including
750 horticulturists and 600 painters.
Disney spends more than $100 million every year on maintenance at the Magic Kingdom.
In 2003, $6 million was spent on renovating its Crystal Palace restaurant. 90 percent of
guests say that the upkeep and cleanliness of the Magic Kingdom are excellent or very
The streets in the parks are steam cleaned every night.
There are cast members permanently assigned to painting the antique carousel horses;
they use genuine gold leaf.
There is a tree farm on site so that when a mature tree needs to be replaced, a thirty-year-
old tree will be available to replace it.

A Disney bus, one of the transportation modes within Walt Disney World
A fleet of Disney-operated buses on property, branded Disney Transport, is complimentary for
guests. In 2007, Disney Transport started a guest services upgrade to the buses. SatellGPS
systems controlling new public address systems on the buses give safety information, park tips
and other general announcements, with music. They are not to be confused with the Disney
Cruise Line and Disney's Magical Express buses, which are operated by Mears Transportation.
The Walt Disney World Monorail System also provides transportation at Walt Disney World.
They operate on three routes that interconnect at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC),
adjacent to the Magic Kingdom's parking lot. One line provides an express non-stop link from
the TTC to the Magic Kingdom, while a second line provides a link from the TTC to Epcot. The
third line links the TTC and the Magic Kingdom to the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand
Floridian resorts. Disney Transport also operates a fleet of watercraft, ranging in size from water
taxis up to the ferries that connect the Magic Kingdom to the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Additionally, it is also responsible for maintaining the fleet of parking lot trams used for
shuttling visitors between the various theme park parking lots and their respective main
The major roads within the resort (World Drive, Osceola Parkway and Epcot Center Drive) have
segments that are built as freeways with full grade-separated interchanges. World Drive enters
Walt Disney World from U.S. Route 192 and heads north to the Magic Kingdom Resort Area.
Osceola Parkway heads east from the Animal Kingdom Resort Area to Interstate 4. Epcot Center
Drive is a freeway for most of its route, running east from World Drive, past the Epcot parking
lot to Interstate 4. Buena Vista Drive is a major surface street, running east from the Animal
Kingdom Resort Area to Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Epcot Resort Area, and Downtown
Name and logo
During the resort's early planning stages, Walt Disney referred to the project as Project X, The
Florida Project, Disney World, and The Disney World. Early visual references used the same
medieval font as Disneyland. Walt Disney was very involved in the site selection and project
planning in the years before his death. The secretive names were chosen because of the high
confidentiality of the project during the initial planning. After Walt Disney's death, Roy O.
Disney added the name Walt to Disney World as a permanent tribute to his brother.
The original Walt Disney World logo featured an over-sized "D" with a Mickey Mouse-shaped
globe containing latitude and longitude lines, with the property's name presented in a blocky,
modern, sans-serif font. The original logo was retired during the resort's 25th anniversary
celebration in 1996 and was replaced with the current logo, which features the "Walt Disney"
portion of the logo in the typical Disney corporate signature font and "World" in Times New
Roman font. Remnants of the original logo can still be found in many places throughout the
resort, including the SpectroMagic title float, on the front car of each monorail, manhole covers,
survey markers, and flags flown at several sites across the property. During the resort's 40th
anniversary celebration in 2011, the original logo began to reappear on merchandise sold at the
resort and can still be found on select items sold at various gift shops and stores at Walt Disney
Twin town
As part of a competition run by Disney for 2010, Walt Disney World has an unofficial twinning
(sister city) with Swindon, England, since 2009.
Rebecca Warren's submission to the
competition granted Swindon to be the twin town of Walt Disney World, which is famous for its
intersection with six roundabouts. Warren and the mayor of Swindon were invited to a
"twinning" ceremony, where a plaque revealing the connection will be placed.

See also
Disney College Program
Incidents at Walt Disney World
Rail transport in Disney Parks
Walt Disney Travel Company
Walt Disney World Casting Center
Walt Disney World Company
Walt Disney World Explorer
Walt Disney World Hospitality and Recreation Corporation
Walt Disney World International Program
1. Fogleson, Richard E. (2003). Married to the Mouse. New Haven, CT: Yale University
Press. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-300-09828-0.
2. Mannheim, Steve (2002). Walt Disney and the Quest for Community. Aldershot,
Hampshire, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited. pp. 6870. ISBN 0-7546-1974-5.
3. Koenig, David (2007). Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World. Irvine,
CA: Bonaventure Press. pp. 2526. ISBN 978-0-9640605-2-4.
4. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1993-05-30/news/9305280833_1_walt-disney-
5. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2000-08-06/news/0008050172_1_walt-disney-
6. Walt Disney World News
[dead link]
Press Release on Resort Landscape Facts (2008)
7. Jason Garcia (August 24, 2011). "Disney golf: Disney World to turn its golf courses over
to Arnold Palmer - Orlando Sentinel". Orlando Sentinel. Articles.orlandosentinel.com.
Retrieved April 22, 2013.
8. "Grand Floridian Construction Project". Laughing Place.
9. "Treehouse Villas To Be Replaced By New Treehouses At Walt Disney World".
Netcot.com. 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
10. "TEA/AECOM 2008 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association.
2008. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
11. "TEA/AECOM 2009 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association.
2009. Archived from the original on June 2, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
12. "TEA/AECOM 2010 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association.
2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
13. "TEA/AECOM 2011 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association.
2011. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
14. "TEA/AECOM 2012 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association.
2012. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
15. "TEA/AECOM 2013 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association.
2013. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
16. "Disney Profile". Hospitality Online. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
Retrieved 2007-07-07.
17. Bob Sehlinger; Len Testa (2014). The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2014.
Birmingham, AL: Keen Communications. pp. 1415. ISBN 9781628090000.
18. Mohney, Chris (2006). Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Walt Disney World. Hoboken, NJ:
Wiley Publishing, Inc. p. 115. ISBN 9780470089880.
19. "Walt Disney World to become twin town of Swindon". BBC News Online. December 7,
2009. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
20. Gammell, Caroline (2009-12-07). "Swindon twinned with Disney World". London:
Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
21. Dewayne Bevil (December 9, 2009). "Disney World taps "twin town"". Orlando Sentinel.
Retrieved 8 March 2012.
Kellehe, Michael. "Images of the past: Historical Authenticity and Inauthenticity From
Disney to Time Square".
External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Walt Disney World Resort.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Walt Disney World.
Official website
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Buildings and structures in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Buildings and structures in Osceola County, Florida
Resorts in Florida
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Visitor attractions in Orange County, Florida
Visitor attractions in Osceola County, Florida
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