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50 years later, it’s the whole universe of Walt Disney – press enterprise

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Disneyland may have changed the travel industry by showing how amusement parks could become more immersive theme parks. But the Walt Disney World Resort changed entertainment by showing how a theme park can help make a business a lifestyle brand.

The Walt Disney World Resort opened 50 years ago on October 1, 1971. Disney is celebrating this anniversary with a “World’s Most Magical Celebration.” Visitors will find a few new shows and a clone of the Ratatouille merry-go-round that Disney first installed at its Paris resort in 2014. But Disney has given up on the big giveaways that the late Disneyland President Jack Lindquist threw for previous birthdays. Disney theme parks.

Disney no longer has to donate toys, tickets or even cars to get people’s attention. Over the past five decades, Disney has cultivated an intense loyalty among its growing fan base, many of whom have made Disney a defining part of their lives. This effort began with Walt’s plans for his “Florida Project”.

Prior to his death in 1966, Walt Disney viewed his property in Florida as a “prototype experimental community of tomorrow,” or Epcot for short. In 1982, Disney officials relaunched the acronym as the name of Disney World’s second theme park, after Magic Kingdom of 1971. But the original Epcot was to be a real city where people worked and lived.

This city never existed, of course. After Walt’s death, his successors cut plans for what they named Walt Disney World in honor of their founder. When the resort opened in 1971, it only included the Magic Kingdom theme park, two hotels, and a monorail connecting them. Today, Disney World includes four theme parks, two water parks, more than 30 time-share hotels and resorts, and the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment district.

Walt Disney’s modernist take for Epcot looks a bit more like a 1950s suburb on steroids than the mixed-use pedestrian communities that city planners are trying to design today. But the original Epcot had plenty of entertainment, including this Magic Kingdom theme park. It literally had to be a place where people would live and play with Disney, 24/7. And in that regard, even though Walt’s Florida project did not provide an accurate forecast of city life. in the 21st century, he provided a model for The Walt Disney Company today.

People spend all their vacations at Walt Disney World Resort. Fans dress in Disney clothes and fill their homes with Disney sets. They raise their kids in Disney movies and TV shows, read Disney books, and listen to Disney music. Disney has cruise ships and Broadway shows. With its Golden Oak development for wealthy homebuyers, Walt Disney World is now a place some people have made their home.

Disney has grown into a lifestyle brand that touches the lives of some of its fans almost every hour of every day. Fifty years after the opening of Project Florida, many of us are now living in the world of Walt Disney.

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