The Simple Guide to Walt Disney World

Disney World - CastleThere’s a lot to consider when planning an Orlando vacation. In fact, many visitors don’t realize the different parks within Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. Here you’ll learn the Walt Disney World guide and get a basic idea of what your trip could entail.

Walt Disney World – A Four Park System

There are four major parks within the Walt Disney World Resort: The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. Each one has its own focus and features rides, attractions, and parades. All parks except Animal Kingdom have a nightly firework extravaganza. Park hopper tickets allow you to go from one park to the next on the same day, while base tickets allow access to a single park per day.

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Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom is home to the iconic Cinderella Castle and is likely the first park most think of when they think of Walt Disney World. It’s composed of 6 lands, each with their own unique theme:

Main Street U.S.A.

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Built to replicate the main street of Walt Disney’s hometown, Main Street U.S.A. is lined with shops, booths, and food. Main Street is where guests first enter the park and though there are no rides here, walking through the gates and down this street has been known to give guests goose bumps.

Adventureland

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Here guests can experience what it’s like to visit foreign lands with famous rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise, as well as mesmerizing shows like the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Frontierland

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Head back in time to the old west, where you can take on the water coaster Splash Mountain, the rollicking Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or enjoy the jams of the Country Bear Jamboree.

Liberty Square

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Dedicated to the memory of the American Revolution, this colonial-inspired land includes the Haunted Mansion, the Hall of Presidents, and the dock of the relaxing Liberty Belle Riverboat cruises.

Fantasyland

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Just a few years ago, Disney started what ended up being the largest expansion in the history of the park: The New Fantasyland. There the classic rides of yesteryear are right alongside some of the newest, most innovative rides in all the parks.

Tomorrowland

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Probably best known for the exciting space-themed roller coaster Space Mountain, Tommorrowland is also home to the Tomorrowland Speedway and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Animal Kingdom

By far the largest of all the Walt Disney World theme parks, the Animal Kingdom spans more than 500 acres and features an 110-acre replica of an Africa Safari – by far the largest ride in any of the parks. The fun doesn’t end there, though, there’s plenty more to explore in the Animal Kingdom:

Broadway style shows

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Finding Nemo – The Musical, and the Festival of the Lion King.

Rides and Roller Coasters

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Ride the thrilling Expedition Everest, the only roller coaster in Disney World to go forwards and backwards on the same track.

The Animal Kingdom

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Hop the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to visit with the animals up close, and keep your eye on the schedule

Insider’s Tip:

When deciding what type of Walt Disney World ticket to get, choose a base ticket. You can upgrade it once you’re in the park if you decide you’d prefer a park hopper, but could save money if you realize you won’t need it.

Epcot

There are two main areas within Epcot: Future World and the World’s Showcase. Future World includes tons of innovative and sometimes interactive experiments and rides, while the World’s Showcase, which was built to be a permanent world’s fair, lets you walk through a series of beautiful pavilions that showcase the food, architecture, and customs of a variety of cultures.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Home to many of the best thrill rides in the Walt Disney World parks, including Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrates the Hollywood of yesterday. This park has more shows than any other:

  • American Idol Experience
  • Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Jedi Training Academy
  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage!
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Fantasmic!
  • Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

There are also a number of traveling shows that pop up on the sidewalk, seemingly at random – though at the entrance you can pick up a map with a long list of daily show times.

There are many parks and lands to explore at Walt Disney World, and with the right touring plans, you can minimize waits and pack a ton of fun into a trip of any length.

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Walt Disney World – The Most Magical Place On Earth

Walt Disney World vacations have the distinction of being one of the most popular family trips in the world. It’s also the largest theme park in the United States, covering over 40 square miles and making it about the size of the city of San Francisco. This should give you some idea of the amount of ground to be covered in such a massive theme park. This place is huge, and is comprised of four major theme parks, an area known as Disney Springs (featuring family attractions, many dining options and lots of shopping), two fun-filled water parks, a couple of top-rated golf courses and much, much more.

Important Note: 

Please be aware that your Walt Disney World ticket purchase does not include park reservations.  Reservations will need to be made once your receive your tickets from us.  During high seasons, reservations are not guaranteed.  Please check park availability prior to your purchase with us. Tickets are non refundable. For more info read our blog post on Theme Park Reservations.


Disney World Discount Tickets


Walt Disney World Base Tickets

Disney World Base Tickets choose one park per day from ALL of  Disney World’s attractions

Disney World Park Hopper Tickets

Disney Magic Your Way Park Hopper Tickets allow entry to more than one theme park per day.

Park Hopper, Water Parks & More

See it all! This ticket option gives you access to all Disney World’s attractions and water parks!

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Disney World Parks

Magic Kingdom

When you think about Disney World the image that pops into most people’s mind is the Magic Kingdom. This is Disney World’s largest and most popular theme park with and it is home to Cinderella’s Castle. If you are going to Disney World, you must visit this magical theme park.

Epcot

EPCOT, at twice the size of the Magic Kingdom, is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and is divided into Future World and World Showcase. With an eye to the future, you’ll glimpse the world of tomorrow today and then travel the globe in all its radiant beauty. 

Animal Kingdom

As the largest of the four theme parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park encompasses adventure and entertainment beyond your expectations…even throwing in some education and research to the mix. Home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species, it rivals any African safari.

Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers a back stage pass to Hollywood’s filming with action-filled live shows, exciting attractions and a variety of special events. Experience movie magic by entering the world of Hollywood as only Disney can show it to you…like you’ve never seen it before!

Other Disney World Attractions

Disney Water Parks

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon features fast waterslides, 6-foot waves in the surf pool and Shark Reef (where you can snorkel with real sharks!) and Disney’s Blizzard Beach features one of the world’s fastest and tallest waterslides. A guarantee of a wet and wild time for your entire family!

Disney Springs

Disney Springs is the shopping and entertainment district at Walt Disney World formerly known as Downtown Disney. If you’ve ever visited in the past, you’ll hardly recognize the area that once contained the Marketplace, Pleasure Island, and the West Side.


Helpful Disney World Vacation Planning Tips

Below is a helpful planning section to assist you in making the most of your Disney World vacation planning. Here you’ll find information on all of the Disney World attractions, from a general overview of each theme park, to dining options, to some lesser-known Walt Disney World facts, and special needs planning resources – all of which will help you plan the perfect Disney vacations! To get started view our vacation planning 101 article to make putting together the ideal trip a breeze!
 

Disney World Special Needs Guide

If you are traveling with someone with special needs, we can help to ensure your Disney World vacation is as comfortable as possible with tips, ideas and special options for those with special needs. Disney has not overlooked those who require extra assistance…and here you’ll find ways to ensure you (or your loved one) will receive some TLC…Disney-style.

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Off The Beaten Path

This section encompasses some of the little-known options to touring Disney World, from a behind-the-scenes tour of the Magic Kingdom to learning about some hidden themes your family can look for within the park.

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Walt Disney World Fun Facts

Fun facts are just that…fun, plain and simple. Trivia, history, facts (both technical and interesting) are covered here. We’ve listed everything we know…but feel free to email us if you find some more. We’d love to hear!

  • Disney’s Wedding Pavilion was deliberately situated in a specific way so that while standing at the altar, the bride and groom have a perfect view of Cinderella’s Castle!
  • Although you may think that Cinderella’s Castle is made of stone, it’s actually entirely built of fiberglass!
  • Spaceship Earth (the iconic centerpiece of Epcot) weighs in at a staggering 16 million pounds. That equals more than 3 times the weight of a space shuttle fully fueled and ready for takeoff!
  • The Tree of Life, (the centerpiece of Animal Kingdom) is 14 stories high and 50 feet wide at its trunk.
  • More than 1.6 million turkey drumsticks are gobbled (pun intended) every year in the Disney parks.
  • On October 3, 1996, The World of Disney Store, the largest merchandise location of its kind (at over 50,000 square feet) opened in Downtown Disney Marketplace (now known as Disney Springs).
  • The waves in the Surf Pool at Typhoon Lagoon are one of the world’s largest artificially created waves. Every ninety seconds, waves crash to the shore of a pool that’s twice the size of a football field!
  • In the 1980’s, Disney executives began incorporating “hidden mickeys” throughout the park. Today, there are over 200 of them! How cool is that!

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