Walt Disney World

The Walt Disney World Resort first opened with Disney’s Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. In its first year alone, Disney World surpassed the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gettysburg and Yellowstone National Park as a tourist destination. Epcot opened its doors in 1982, followed by Disney-MGM Studios (now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in 1989 and Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998. Today, Walt Disney World Resort encompasses 30,500 acres (47 square miles), making it twice as large as Manhattan and approximately the same size as San Francisco, California. About 46 million tourists visit Walt Disney World Resort annually. For more information about Walt Disney World history, visit the Walt Disney World Timeline.