After Walt Disney’s death, his plans for an experimental planned community were abandoned by the company because they determined that running a city would be too complex of a task. However, the general concept behind the project was designed into Disney World’s second theme park, EPCOT Center.
EPCOT Center opened in 1982 (renamed to just EPCOT in 1996) and incorporated several of Walt’s ideas including the promotion of modern innovation through edutainment attractions (Future World) and showcasing a world nation’s exposition (the 11 countries of World Showcase).
Some of the urban-planning concepts from Walt’s original EPCOT plan would later be integrated into the planned community of Celebration, Florida.
Disney-MGM Studios opened in 1989 as Disney World’s third theme park. The park was initially developed to include both a theme park inspired by show business (film, television, music) and a fully operating production studio for film, television, and animation production services w/ a backlot.
The theme park was re-named Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2008 and began to phase out the “studio-like” attractions in order to focus on the attraction development and immersive theming of Hollywood-inspired stories.
Disney’s 4th theme park, Animal Kingdom, opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. The park is dedicated to animal conservation and the natural environment, a cause Walt Disney himself was passionate about.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is unique in that the theme park features traditional attractions while also showcasing hundreds of species of live animals.
The park is accredited by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums which certifies they meet the standards in research, education, and conservation.
Blizzard Beach & Typhoon Lagoon Water Parks
Typhoon Lagoon opened in 1989 as Disney World’s first water park. It boasts one of the world’s largest outdoor wave pools. Blizzard Beach is the sister water park to Typhoon Lagoon and opened in 2016.
Most of the park’s attractions are located on top of Mount Gushmore. See our Typhoon Lagoon vs Blizzard Beach comparison page for more information.
On October 18, 2017, Disney announced a new pet-policy that allowed guests to bring dogs to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.