A place where the fantasy world of Walt Disney is brought to life, this mammoth resort is a magical adventure waiting to happen. From the futuristic globe of the Spaceship Earth and the thrilling rides of Disney's Hollywood Studios to France, Japan, Germany, Morocco and Italy Pavilions, Walt Disney World encompasses the farthest reaches of the earth and a fanciful stretch of boundless imagination. After the incredible success of Disneyland in Southern California in the 1950s, Walt Disney decided to expand his empire with the purchase of 27,443 acres (11,106 hectares) of land near Orlando, Florida in 1965. Although Walt Disney himself died in 1966, his vision was realized when Walt Disney World opened to global anticipation and unparalleled excitement in 1972. Since opening, the park has expanded to include four separate theme parks - the original Magic Kingdom with its iconic fairytale castle, alongside Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. There are also several water parks, themed hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, fireworks shows and endless opportunities for fun!