Building Walt Disney World | The B1M

Once upon a time, there was a man with a vision. That man was Walt Disney and his vision was.


Once upon a time, there was a man with a vision.
That man was Walt Disney and his vision was for a theme park like no other. A whole new world of unique attractions, hotels
and even a planned community that would set new benchmarks in innovation and city planning. Though he never saw his vision completed,
Disney is now immortalised in one of the world’s largest and most visited attractions. This is the incredible construction story behind
the Walt Disney World Resort. In 1959, following the success of their first theme park – which opened in California in 1955 – Walt Disney Productions began planning
the development of a second resort in the United States. With 75% of the US population at that time
living east of the Mississippi River, a location on the east coast was explored. The new project was personally conceived and
led by Walt Disney. He disliked the numerous businesses that had sprung up around his California
park and the lack of control that he had over developments in close proximity to the resort.
With the second destination, he set out to control a much larger area of land. Walt Disney flew over a potential site near
Bay Lake in Orlando, Florida (one of many locations he was reviewing) in November 1963. The site was attractive for its proximity
to Orlando International Airport (then McCoy Air Force Base) and the well-developed
road network which was set to be strengthened further with the construction of Florida’s
Turnpike and Interstate 4. To avoid unwanted attention and press speculation
the early development of Disney’s second park took place in complete secrecy – with
even the notion that a second park was being considered being kept under wraps. With the Orlando site selected, Walt Disney
Productions began quietly acquiring the land for their second resort. In the early 1960s, many owners were only
too happy to let go of the land, which was mostly swamp at the time. The land acquisitions took place as distinctly
separate transactions through a number of proxy companies. Some of these company names
– such as the “Reedy Creek Ranch Corporation” – are now cast into a window above Main Street
USA in the Magic Kingdom Park. The agents brokering these deals were unaware
who their ultimate client was, and in some instances areas of swamp land were acquired
for as little as USD $100 an acre. Knowing that recording of the first deeds
would ignite intense public scrutiny, Disney delayed the filing of paperwork until a large
enough portion of land was under contract and the proxy companies could be amalgamated
under the Disney brand. Despite being undertaken by proxy companies,
as the land acquisitions became public in quick succession to each other, rumours began
circulating as to what such a large area could be used for. Newspapers at the time speculated
that Henry Ford, the Rockefellers or even NASA were behind the purchases. Walt Disney Productions gently stoked these
rumours through intermediaries and even announced a $50M investment in their California park,
to throw people off the scent. In October 1965, Walt Disney was asked about
the land purchases directly in a interview with the Orlando Sentinel. Whilst Disney denied
the claim, his momentary look of shock when the question was first put to him led to the
Sentinel publishing a theory that Disney were planning a major new park in Florida. With the story breaking, Walt Disney and then-Florida
Governor Haydon Burns formally announced what was then described as “The Florida Project”
in November 1965. Unfortunately, just over a year after announcing
the development, Walt Disney passed away from lung cancer. Roy Disney, Walt’s brother and business
partner, delayed his retirement in order to oversee the first phase of his brother’s
vision. In order for the resort to grow and succeed, legislation was passed which made the land owned by Disney a special district
containing two incorporated cities, Bay Lake and Reedy Creek – known today as Lake Buena
Vista. This status gave Disney a degree of immunity from County and State land use laws. It also allowed for the issuing of tax-free bonds to fund public
projects within the district. In 1967, the district began construction of
drainage canals to dewater the vast site, along with roadways and supporting infrastructure
for the Magic Kingdom. By 1971, that theme park, together with the
first section of the resort’s monorail, numerous golf courses and hotels were completed
– including the Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village and the Fort Wilderness campsite. When the resort opened to the public on 01
October 1971, Roy Disney dedicated it to his brother, announcing that it would be officially
be known as “Walt Disney World” – ensure that the man who started it all would be remembered. Sadly, Roy Disney himself passed away just
three months after the park opened. While the first phase of the park opened to
much fanfare, Disney were determined to continually grow the resort and never allow it to become
dated; maintaining a continuous pipeline of new attractions. In its first decade, Walt Disney World added
further golf courses and hotels in the Magic Kingdom vicinity as well as the Village Marketplace
Shopping District (now Disney Springs) and the Walt Disney World Conference Centre. From inception, Walt Disney had wanted to
develop an ambitious Progress City within the resort district that would act as a blueprint
for cities of the future. This concept was abandoned by the board after
Disney’s death but later evolved into a version of Walt’s idea known as the “Experimental
Prototype Community of Tomorrow” or ‘EPCOT”. EPCOT officially opened in 1982, becoming
the second theme park at Walt Disney World. Famed for its World’s Fair-inspired Future
World exhibits and the internationally themed World Showcase, the park is centred around
a 55 metre (180 foot) high geodesic dome, known as Spaceship Earth. The completion of EPCOT also saw the monorail
system extended and today the system runs for over 14 miles around the resort carrying
150,000 people everyday. In 1989, a Hollywood inspired park, known
as “Disney’s Hollywood Studios” was added. Operating as both a theme park and an active
production studio – the facility contributed to a number of Disney’s productions in the
1990s and early 2000s including Mulan and Lilo and Stitch. More recently the park has become home to
the resort’s latest attraction – “Toy Story Land” – which opened in 2018. Typhoon Lagoon also opened in 1989 marking
the resort’s first step into water parks – and was followed by Blizzard Beach in 1995. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the latest theme
park to open at the resort, dedicated to the natural world and conservation. The attraction
was opened in 1998 and has since continued to grow with “Pandora – The World of Avatar”
added in 2017. Today, Walt Disney World extends over a 43
square mile, 110 square kilometre area. It features 30 themed hotels and has over 74,000
staff making it one of the largest employers in the United States. With more than 50 million visitors annually
since 2013, the resort’s growth shows no signs of slowing down and even more attractions
are currently under development. Disney’s acquisition of Marvel in 2009 and
LucasFilm in 2012 has given rise to “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” currently under construction
and due to open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019 and a “Guardians of the Galaxy”
attraction due to open at EPCOT by 2021. The Fox-Disney merger currently in the pipeline,
is also likely to generate new resorts in the years ahead. Over the past 60 years, this remarkable project
has seen an area of swamp land become one of the world’s most visited destinations,
a powerful tribute to its founder Walt Disney and symbol of what can be possible if you
keep on believing. If you enjoyed this video and would like to
get more from the definitive video channel for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

100 thoughts on “Building Walt Disney World | The B1M”

  1. Typhoon Lagoon was not Disney's first step into water parks. The first was the now abandend River Country. It was situated right next to Fort Wilderness Camp Grounds. The infrastructure as alot of the slides are still standing today.

  2. Great video content and information. On the other hand, I think the volume of the voice is somehow unaudible.

  3. I've heard this so many times when they talk about Disney buying land and it was mostly swamp land that is not true. If you go around the undeveloped area on Disney property that's what the the land was like. I was on that land before Disney was there I grew up right behind Disney property. There may have been some patches of swampy area like anywhere in Orlando but it wasn't the freaking Everglades.

  4. Too bad Disney World has become such a ripoff. Pay thousands of dollars for a family of four to wait in line all day. Planning a Disney trip used to be easy, now it takes a year and picking rides and times months in advance, crazy. I've been there 6 times, probably never go back, too many other places to go that are actually better.

  5. Nice touch, having the aerial photos covered in BIG WHITE LETTERS. No one wanted to see those anyway.

  6. you did not say was land was alot cheaper then news find out there building they bump the land price true story

  7. Hey man, I adore this video! Could you maybe do a video like this examining the construction of their first theme park – Disneyland in Anaheim, California? That'd also be super interesting because it was Walt Disney's first theme park and he oversaw the whole thing, he even opened it! I'd love a video like that!

  8. So many wonderful memories with family here. We visited twice with our two, young sons. It was the perfect 'training ground' to prep all of us for Universal! Soon … we'll be back at Disney with our new granddaughter. The circle of life? ; )

  9. Very well made and absolutely interesting video! But the scenes with the narrator pulls you out of the story every time…

  10. So beautiful park I like Disneyland whit all the attentions the most beautiful park from Disney is in California this is the first one and Walter Disney work zelf on this first park in California gr Jeffrey ??☕??.

  11. Very sad that Walt Disney never put foot at WDW ! Of all the parks only Disneyland in California he walked, ate and slept !

  12. great job
    On the documentary… Walt Disney world is my favorite place to go with family .. it truly is magical ❤️

  13. My main criticism of Disney's Florida theme parks are it's limited curb appeals due to the parks themselves situated behind a layer that's deep behind acres of parking lots and wooded areas. I understand that the sheer number of visitors limits people from being able to actually see Cinderella's Castle driving by from the street, but other than a large welcome sign and a small number of themed signs and street lamps, a kid wouldn't feel like he's entering a world until he's walking through the park's entrances. Most other theme parks have beautiful skylines that can be seen for miles. Or, the surrounding areas are covered in the parks themed brand so visitors antipate excitement from miles away and those passing by become curious. Think of South of the boarder. Random fireworks stores in the middle of nowhere. They attract millions of visitors because it's made to look exciting long before anyone notices that it's just a bunch of stores with fire works. No rides, no lovable characters there to give hugs and take pictures, no huge wave pools, nothing affiliated with anything in the movies. Just stores. When visiting Disney, I just see a million pine trees and parking lots until the amazing park comes out of no where. Leaves much to be desired.

  14. Well, I like what Walt and Mickey did. One of USA's biggest employers and gives pleasure to millions each year. Big up for Disney.

  15. My family remembers them buying up the land. Ripping folks off left and right. Till word got out. Then locals started getting the right amount of money $$$$$$ for there land.

  16. I have no idea why people like World instead of the original idea. The original of anything is always much better than following things. It could be movies, stores or anything. The only reason he had more control in Florida was the fact that he lied. He had a bunch of shell companies purchase small plots of land. Real honest company.

  17. That man also promoted a nazi war criminal on his saturday morning show. But no one talks about that or the fact he was 33.degree mason. Love your videos though????

  18. at 5:19 in the vid- the water spot listed as Bay lake is incorrect… bay lake is a MUCH larger lake area located directly north of the Spot listed and is at the upper-right corner of the Green "Bay Lake" district

  19. Informative video. Disney, controversial as ever, hypocritically has a conservation park even though so much important natural swamp land has been built on. Wonder what Extinction Rebellion would say? #ExtinctionRebellion ??

  20. Fun fact i live in a city right outside of disney world and everyone is in someway or another employed by or because of disney

  21. Disney Land and Disney World owned and operated by Liberals. Oh and lets not forget those special occasions when they have their special Gay Pride days.

  22. Wow!!! What a journey and what a storytelling, very informative… One suggestion on the video though.. would be great if you made it more interactive, engaging by using a few tricks.. say print the 110 kmsq text on the screen, and maybe compare the size to an existing city, etc.. same can be done for hard figures… Would just make it easier to visualize and get a better perspective…

  23. We were there on October 30t
    h 1971, I was 10 years old. One memory I have is we visited the bakery on Main Street and asking my parents why there was a Halloween cake in the window? Who wants to carry around a cake all day? Such great memories. Definenintly an E-Ticket.

  24. Makes dreams comes true for Walt Disney and the World❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  25. This video would have been impressive, had it not been narrated almost word-for-word directly from the Walt Disney World page on Wikipedia.

  26. DISNEYWORLD was either the greatest thing to happen to Central Florida or the worst. YOU DECIDE…
    I have read that agents from Disney Corp. posed as" independent" real estate developers interested in buying land in ORANGE County, since they knew that the local property owners would want much more money if they realized the offers were really coming from DISNEY for a huge project. Sharp business practice or shady dealing? WWMD ( What would Mickey Do?)

  27. I had friends in Florida that owned hundreds and hundreds of acres in central Florida. In the late fifties, they were approached by men in business suits, ‘city slickers”. They were wary, of these men. They offered my friends a very good price for their land. My friends laughed to themselves, that those stupid city slickers were paying much too much money for their land. They sold off their land, thinking they’d made the deal of a lifetime. Laughed all the way to the bank. A year or so later, they learned the land they sold was going to be developed by Disney, and would be a multi billion dollar development. Had they known that, they’re land was worth 100x more than they received. Maybe ever higher. They thought they swindled the city slickers, in reality, they were the ones who were swindled.

  28. Ugh
    Less video of the doofus talking in front of a green wall please lol and more images and video of the place the narration is actually talking about!

    The pimply dork with the yellow teeth talking is not a necessary element of the overall context lol is it?!

    (BTW; That's a geodesic sphere lol NOT a geodesic, "dome.")

  29. There was an hour or 2 hour story about the construction of Disney world on either History or Discovery network. It goes into more detail.

  30. My first visit at WDW was in 1980. My parents lived in Miami and after that we made the 4 hour pilgrimage to WDW every year or two for the next 20 years. Eventually moving to central Florida.

  31. I worked at Walt Disney World from Sept 1971 – 1976, Actually, the dollar amount per acre was even less than  $100 per acre, it was considered worthless land and often went for pennies on the dollar per 100 acres. EPCOT, The Environmental Prototype of Tomorrow, was not abandoned, it was refused by the State Government because the size would have guaranteed a seat on the State Senate. Too bad Eisner completely destroyed the vision and everything Walt Disney wanted to accomplish, such as all the hotels being built on the sections of Disney land that was supposed to be left pristine for nature with only annual survey teams allowed to monitor flora and fauna.

  32. it was called MGM studios when when it opened not Disney's Hollywood studios and typhoon lagoon was the second water park the fist one was in 1976. also space ship earth is a not a dome as you can plainly see. i'm not trying be a stickler but these are very commonly known things not minute details.

  33. You are very young to have such a deep yet smooth voice. I feel sleepy while listening to you for over 5minutes, but i like that as well.

  34. So blessed my parents used to take us for 2 weeks vacation our pick was Walt Disney world & occasionally to Naples it was heaven living in Florida in the 70’s

  35. I was actually wondering if Star Wars Edge is going to be at Disney world in Orlando but now I know it will be there in 2021.

  36. Seriously, you got so much incorrect information! Hollywood Studios was first opened as MGM Studios, Spaceship Earth is in the front of the park, not the center, Typhoon Lagoon was not Disney's "1st steps" into water parks, Their first water park was opened in 1976, it was called River Country! The park is not officially known as Walt Disney world, it's officially known as the Magic Kingdom. the whole property is known as Disney World and that was officially on 11/17/1967 in a name change filing, 4 years before the speech, you can see on Sunbiz.org

  37. How do you have so many followers when everyone of your videos has errors in it. River country was its first water park.

  38. Imagine, 10,000 years into the future when visitors from another galaxy arrive and probe the area. Humans have long since destroyed themselves with only skeletal remains free floating aimlessly in space light years away in doomed space craft on hopeless evacuation missions. The visitors wonder what on earth this was all about. Much like the discovery of Angkor Wat centuries after its heyday. All over-grown by new species of unrecognisable plant life and unusual small mammals who survived the holocaust by re-inventing themselves Darwin-style. Fascinating. The mind boggles. Nice video. I visited Walt Disney World in 1976, before the EPCOT centre opened, and it's only now I realise what EPCOT actually stood for. Thank you.

  39. I wonder what Walt would have thunk about the MCU. I wonder if he’d be all for it, excited about it, and just completely off put by owning something that didn’t have any Mickey or Minnie in it.

  40. 0:28 Walt Disney World is actually the largest theme park resort in the world (by far), and the number one vacation destination in the world.

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