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Orlando


Florida

Disney's Magic Kingdom Park

The Magic Kingdom park opened Oct. 1, 1971, and soon after was dedicated on Oct. 25. Many celebrities were on hand for the festivities, as well as Walt Disney's entire family. Arthur Fiedler conducted the World Symphony Orchestra at the base of Cinderella Castle. Roy O. Disney stood with Mickey Mouse in Town Square and read the dedication plaque. The park opened with six themed lands: Main Street, U.S.A.; Adventureland; Frontierland; Liberty Square, a land originally planned for Disneyland; Fantasyland; and Tomorrowland. (Mickey's Birthdayland was created in 1988 to honor Mickey Mouse's 60th birthday, and eventually changed its name to Mickey's Starland in 1990. In 1996, the land changed again to Mickey's Toontown Fair.)

Eventually, all the lands came together with their own unique themes. Ordinary buildings were cloaked with intricately designed exteriors and interiors. Details were installed and the final coats of paint were put on. Imagineers used an architectural trick called "forced perspective" to make buildings look taller than they actually are. They shrunk windows, balconies and even furniture on the second floors and shrunk any third floors even further to achieve the illusion of tall buildings climbing far into the sky. To complete the feeling of being in a three-dimensional movie, background music was created for each particular land, as if it was part of any film's soundtrack. In the end, it took more than 9,000 workers to build the world's most famous vacation resort.

The Magic Kingdom park occupies 107 acres. It is located off Interstate 4 on Walt Disney World Resort property, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., approximately 22 miles southwest of Orlando. Phone: 407-939-4636

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Cinderella Castle in Disney's Magic Kingdom
Cinderella Castle in Disney's Magic Kingdom

   
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Source: Orlando CVB,Photo: Diana Zalucky/Disney
Last modified: 20050620
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