Walt Disney World '99
Millenium Celebration Trip & Review!
DISNEY THEME PARKS
Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida is comprised of 4 major theme parks:
The Magic Kingdom
The main attraction where all the Magic begins is the famous Magic Kingdom. This original park is where it all began in Orlando. Opened in 1971, the Magic Kingdom is home to several distinct areas including Main Street USA, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and more. Because it is one of the original parks, it is located on the monorial line in close proximity to Disney's Deluxe Luxury Resorts, the Polynesian, the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian. There is also bus and boat service to the park from the TTC. Interesting is that in creating the magic of Disney, there is NO parking lot adjacent to the park!
The Magic Kingdom is home to the famous Cinderella's Castle, as well as the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, It's A Small World, The Carousel of Progress and Space Mountain.
No trip to Disney, no matter how brief, is complete without a visit to the Magic Kingdom. Be certain to check on the special events including "Fireworks in the Sky" and "The Main Street Electrical Parade".
The "Environmental Prototype Community of Tomorrow" opened as Disney's second major theme park in 1982. Home to Future World and the World Showcase, Epcot is another unique theme park, much different from any other in the Disney collection. This theme park also features Monorail Service to the TTC. Here, resort guests can transfer to another resort monorail or bus depending on their hotel location.
EPCOT is home the several attractions and a few rides in it's "Future World" section. This area is comprised of attractions designed to stimulate the mind in regards to Energy, Imagination, The Land and The Sea. Through partnering with many major corporations including AT&T, Exxon, Nestle and Kodak, EPCOT features designs for our future.
The second major section of EPCOT is the World Showcase featuring attractions native to the countries of China, Japan, France, Canada, Morocco, Germany, Norway & Italy. Emphasizing diversity and understanding of the many cultures of our world, these sections including many authentic goods and services of their native countries and even feature people from those countries in their exhibits.
Be sure to stay late for "Illuminations" presented by GE - a fireworks, laser and light show set to music over the World Showcase Lagoon.
DISNEY / MGM STUDIO'S
This third Disney theme park opened in 1989. An actual working production studio, Disney/MGM features lots of rides and attractions designed around television and the movies. This park also contains the most thrill rides of any other with the "Rock & Roller Coaster" and the "Twilight Zone Tower of Terror". Probably the smallest park in the Disney Collection, most visitors can cover all attractions in one full day. The park was most likely designed to compete with the similar "Universal Studios" theme park in Orlando.
Resort guest's can only get to Disney / MGM Studio's via bus service as Disney as yet to expand it's monorail service even though EPCOT and Disney / MGM are located in close proximity.
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
Disney's Animal Kingdom is the 4th and currently final theme park in the collection. A far more comprehensive undertaking then Disney / MGM Studio's, the park opened in 1998. Like Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom and Spaceship Earth at EPCOT, Animal Kingdom's signature item is "The Tree of Life" which stands massive and proud in the center of the park. During our first visit in 1999, we spent about 4 or 5 hours at the park and were able to enjoy a few attractions including "Countdown to Extinction" and "The African Safari". Both were wonderful attractions and we suggest both. We spent a great deal of time enjoying the natural wildlife found throughout the park. This park is a welcome addition and great extension to the Disney collection of theme parks.
OTHER DISNEY ATTRACTIONS
Aside from the 4 major theme parks, the modern Walt Disney World also features several water parks, a sports park, golf courses, miniature golf, the Disney Boardwalk and Downtown Disney, which features Pleasure Island. You will find more to see and do then one could possibly imagine seeing and doing in a weeks time. We suggest you first visit the major theme parks before venturing off to the other attractions. Most of these attractions, while exciting and fun, are no grander then those you might find elsewhere in the country. Downtown Disney is basically a shopping mall ala Disney. Not to take anything away from these establishments, but I feel your time is better well spent on those attractions that truly make Walt Disney World a magical place - The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Disney/MGM Studio's.