A look back at the history of Orlando’s theme parks


New Era: Magic Kingdom Theme Park Grand Opening

The public has never seen anything like it. October 1, 1971, The fictional world of Disney It came to life with the opening of the Walt Disney World Resort. Mickey Mouse led his lucky first visitors, Bill and Marty Windsor, who live in Lakeland, and their two grandsons, Jay and Lee, to the Magic Kingdom, where their beloved characters danced and sang.

Maestro Arthur Fiedler has conducted the World Symphony Orchestra in 60 countries, Hollywood star Bob Hope has conducted the dedication of the contemporary complex and “Music Man” Meredith Willson has conducted the Grand. A 1076-piece marching band from the opening parade.

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The highlight of the inauguration took place between October 23 and 25, flooding the complex with top American artists and icons of business, government and industry.

A first view of Space Mountain at Disney World's Magic Kingdom park.

Space Mountain welcomes real astronauts

The astronaut crew landed at Magic Kingdom on January 15, 1975, along with 2,000 people for the grand opening of Space Mountain, Star Jets (now Astro Orbitron) and Tomorrowland’s GE Carousel of Progress. I joined a key person. Available rocket men included Mercury 7 astronaut Scott Carpenter, Mercury 7 and Gemini 5 astronauts, Gordon Cooper, and Apollo 15 engineer and astronaut Jim Irwin. paddy field. The $ 20 million indoor roller coaster has become one of Disney’s iconic attractions, and the iconic mountain can now be found in all Disney parks around the world.

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Spaceship Earth at Disney World's Epcot Park, seen at the 2000 Fireworks Festival.

Utopian dream, Epcot

Epcott opened on October 1, 1982 with five Future World Pavilions and nine World Showcases celebrating the history and culture of Mexico, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, United Kingdom, Canada and United States. The opening ceremony featured the music of Count Basie and his orchestra, Lionel Hampton and his big band, Glenn Miller Orchestra. Artists from 23 countries performed at the World Showcase Festival. The theme of unity was clear: “Welcome to all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship.

Disney's Autumn Cooking Festival, Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, offers tasting seminars on tastes, foods and drinks from around the world.

Epcot (acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) was planned by Walt Disney and designed as a future utopian city with cutting edge technology. The park is also home to some of the most popular annual events, such as the International Flower and Garden Festival (born 1994) and the International Food and Wine Festival (born 1995).

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ABC Daytime Melodrama Actress Susan Lucci

Hello hollywood

The Disney-MGM studios opened on May 1, 1989. It is the third of the four theme parks of the Walt Disney World Resort, which has 135 hectares dedicated to the world of cinema, television, music and entertainment. theater.

Taken from the golden age of Hollywood, the park celebrated Tinseltown. Michael Eisner called Hollywood “a state of mind that does not exist in places on the map, but in places where people dream, marvel and imagine.” Great Movie Ride, a tribute to classic films like Casablanca, was the last attraction to close in August 2017.

In 2007, the sprawling theme park had nearly 10 million visitors in six themed areas, including the Hollywood Boulevard front door and a motion simulator based on a Star Wars movie. In 2015, a major expansion overhauled the backlot, opening Toy Story Land in 2018, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in 2020.

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Flashback to 2017: New Belt Topiary Based On Disney Anime Classic "the beauty and the Beast," Decorate the entrance to the France pavilion at the 2017 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Held for 90 days in the spring, the festival features dozens of character topiaries, stunning flower displays, gardening seminars and a concert series rock in the garden.

Epcot’s lush bloom event

The 1st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival was held from April 29 to June 5, 1994. Designed to increase traffic to Epcot, this special five-week festival showcases the stunning displays of plants and flowers that guests have loved. . Originally presented by Better Homes and Gardens, Florida’s perfect climate has allowed all manner of flowers and topiaries to thrive.

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Behind the scenes, gardeners worked to make the landscape comfortable, and nurseries and tree farms supported the garden with a supply of healthy foliage. In the first year, staff planted an additional 165,000 annual flowering plants in 250 flower beds. At least 75,000 Impatiens decorated the World Showcase. The festival has grown to feature outdoor cooking and entertainment, as well as garden design and eco-horticulture.

Animal world comes to Orlando

Walt Disney World Resort’s fourth theme park, Animal Kingdom, opened on April 22, 1998, Earth Day. The 580-acre zoo is the largest in Disney World and is home to wildlife such as rhinos, hippos, giraffes, miakats, zebras, Asian tigers, African lions and lowland gorillas Western. They share more than 4 million trees, plants, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, grasses, floor coverings and spaces on all continents of the Earth except the ‘Antarctic.

It took 10 artists and 3 Imagineers 18 months to create 325 animal sculptures on the Tree of Life alone.

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Puck Leader: The first animal acquired for Disney's Animal Kingdom was a pair of giraffes in 1997.

Expedition Everest, one of 18 Disney Mountain attractions around the world, rises to around 200 feet and covers 6.2 acres of high-speed trains through the Himalayas.

In 2016, Disney introduced the experience of darkness to Animal Kingdom park, and in 2017, Disney opened the world of Pandora-Avatar, based on the James Cameron film “Avatar”.

Today, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of North America’s premier hospital zoos, specializing in advanced imaging, digital radiation, ultrasound, and endoscopy.


About Monty S. Maynard

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