AAA Editor Notes
Walt Disney World® Resort, accessible from Florida's Tpke., US 192, Osceola Pkwy. and several exits off I-4 s. of Orlando, covers 40 square miles. The resort includes four theme parks: Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney's Hollywood Studios® and Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park; two water parks; more than 20 resort hotels; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Disney Springs™, a shopping, dining and entertainment district.
Drawn to the area by its climate, highway access and inexpensive land, Walt Disney and his “Imagineers” began transforming acres of swamps and orange groves into a magical vacationland that opened in 1971. Magic Kingdom® Park was an instant success. Other theme parks were soon on the drawing board. Epcot®, a celebration of technology and world cultures, opened in 1982. Disney-MGM Studios (later Disney's Hollywood Studios®), a natural addition considering Disney's background in animation and TV and film production, followed in 1989. Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park completed the quartet in 1998.
Navigating the resort property is simple thanks to concise road signs as well as monorail, boat and bus transportation. At the theme parks, parking lot tram service helps save time, too.
Large crowds and long lines are to be expected, especially during holiday periods. Options such as Magic Your Way allow you to customize your theme park tickets. Your park ticket or MyMagic+ MagicBand acts as your FASTPASS ticket. All guest tickets come with the FastPass+ option. This reservation system allows non-resort guests to select up to three FastPass+ experiences for each day of their stay 30 days before their visit, with the option to add more experiences once at the parks, and Disney resort guests can reserve their FastPass+ experiences 60 days prior to their hotel check-in.
Food is available.