Walt Disney World Resort Orlando

A popular misconception is that the resort exists in Orlando. In fact, the entire Walt Disney World property is outside Orlando city limits; the majority sits within southwestern Orange County with the remainder in adjacent Osceola County to the south.

Most of Walt Disney World's Central Florida land and all of the public areas are located in the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, located southwest of Orlando and a few miles northwest of Kissimmee. The land within Walt Disney World Resort is part of the Reedy Creek Improvement District which allows the Disney corporation to exercise quasi-governmental powers over the area.

Walt Disney World Resort features four theme parks, each represented by an iconic structure:

The Magic Kingdom (Cinderella Castle)
The Magic Kingdom is a theme park covering 107 acres (433,000 m) at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company, through its Walt Disney Parks and Resorts unit. Opened on October 1, 1971, it is the most famous Florida theme park and is credited with beginning the Floridian tourism boom. Its layout and attractions are generally similar to those of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and the park was designed and built by WED Enterprises. Because Disneyland was still the name of both the park and hotel complex during the planning of the Walt Disney World resort, it was decided that it would be wrong to have a Disneyland Park in the Walt Disney World resort, thus it was settled that the theme park would be called The Magic Kingdom, for the Walt Disney World resort would most certainly expand with both more theme parks and hotels in the years to come, however the Magic Kingdom was also a reference to Disneyland Park, even though it was never officially called that.

Adventureland
Adventureland represents the mystery of exploring foreign lands. It is themed to resemble the remote jungles in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the South Pacific.

 

Frontierland
Frontierland is where guests can relive the wild west -- from cowboys and indians, to exploring the mysteries of the Rivers of America.

Liberty Square
This area of the park is based on an American Revolutionary town. The Magic Kingdom's Rivers of America hosts the Liberty Belle river boat.

Fantasyland
In the words of Walt Disney: "Fantasyland is dedicated to the young at heart and to those who believe that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true."
Fantasyland is themed in a medieval-faire style.

Mickey's Toontown Fair
An expansion of the expansion Mickey's Birthdayland and Mickey's Starland, this area is the location of Mickey's Country House, Minnie's Country House, and Donald's Boat.  

Tomorrowland
In the words of Walt Disney: "Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future."
Tomorrowland is themed to be a futuristic bustling spaceport.

Epcot (Spaceship Earth, the geodesic sphere.)
Epcot is the second theme park built at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. It was dedicated to international culture and technological innovation. The park opened on October 1, 1982, and was named EPCOT Center from 1982 to 1993. Based on square footage, it was the largest Disney theme park in the world until 1998, when Disney's Animal Kingdom opened.

Future World and World Showcase
Pavilions in the World Showcase
Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, America Gardens Theatre, Japan,  Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada

Disney-MGM Studios (The Sorcerer's Hat; formerly the Earful Tower)
Disney-MGM Studios is a theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, USA. It opened on May 1, 1989. 135 acres (546,000 m) in size, the park's theme is Hollywood classic movies and popular TV entertainment.
The only affiliation that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has to the Disney park is via contracts that allow Disney to use the MGM name and lion logo in marketing, and separate contracts that allow for specific MGM content to be used in The Great Movie Ride.

Sunset Boulevard
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, a simplified version of the film.
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, an indoor roller coaster in the dark, with three inversions and a high-speed launch.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a thrill ride which drops guest in an elevator in a randomized set of 4 sequences each involving multiple high speed drops and ascents. In addition, special effects including smell, lighting and sound enhance the trill.
Fantasmic! a nighttime show with characters and fireworks held in the specifically-built Hollywood Hills Amphitheatre off the Sunset Boulevard.

Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard is lined with shops selling Disney merchandise and food. This is also the location of the "Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade." Michael Eisner, who had a major part in the park's creation ever since the earliest development, demanded the opening land operate on the same principle as Main Street, U.S.A.a street lined with shops and food, but in a style more fitting to the Studios.
The Great Movie Ride, a dark ride paying homage to several classic films is located at the end of Hollywood Boulevard.

Disney's Animal Kingdom (The Tree of Life)
Disney's Animal Kingdom is a theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. It opened on April 22, 1998. It is the largest Disney theme park in the world, covering more than 500 acres (2 km). It is the first Disney theme park to be themed entirely around animal conservation, a philosophy once pioneered by Walt Disney himself.

Oasis
Upon entering the park, guests must walk through this area to get into any of the other lands in the park. The Oasis consists of different paths leading to Discovery Island which walk guests past animal habitats such as giant anteaters, boars, Hyacinth Macaws, and others. The Rainforest Cafe is also located at the entrance of the Oasis.

Discovery Island
The main land in the park, it is the home of the The Tree of Life. It is the center island in the park and has paths to all six of the other lands.
It's Tough to be a Bug - At the roots of The Tree of Life see what life is like as a bug as Flik from A Bug's Life shows a 3-D Film about bugs and their daily lives.

Camp Minnie-Mickey
The Festival of the Lion King. Timon is visible.
This land is the home of two shows and four character greeting spots where Guests can see such characters as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and others.
Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends - A children's show with live animals based on the film Pocahontas.
Festival of the Lion King - A high-energy musical performance featuring songs and characters from the film The Lion King.

Africa
The Africa area features an exhibit of Silverback Gorillas
Kilimanjaro Safaris - Climb aboard your open-sided safari vehicle for an exciting expedition for the entire family. Animals from Africa freely roam through acres of savanna, rivers and rocky hills.
Look out for giraffes, hippos, elephants, rhinos, lions and poachers too!
Pangani Forest Exploration Trail -
Trek into the forest in search of gorillas! Along the way, enjoy a nature walk through a verdant African valley filled with Nile hippos, birds and fish. Enter an exotic bird aviary, an underwater hippo viewing area, a savanna overlook, and have an intimate up-close encounter with a magnificent troop of gorillas.

Rafiki's Planet Watch
Formerly Conservation Station and still accessible by train only, this area contains small animals, a petting zoo with domesticated goats, and exhibits teaching about conservation efforts. The veterinary hospital's viewing window allows guests to watch medical procedures conducted by the veterinary staff.
Wildlife Express Train - Ride the rails on this rustic African train that travels the savanna for a behind-the-scenes journey through several animal housing and care areas of the park. In just over five minutes, your guided train ride transports you to the core of the park's conservation center. All aboard!

Habitat Habit! - See endangered Cottontop Tamarin primates up close. Trek down this adventure trail and help your animal friends in ways that you never thought possible. It's fun to share your world and your own backyard with animals!
Affection Section - Don't be shy! Enjoy this delightful animal encounter with goats, sheep, pigs, chicken, llamas and more. Watch for special guest appearances by some of the park's friendlier animals. This is a great way to help little ones begin to "open their eyes to the world around them.

Conservation Station - At trail's end, the discovery has just begun as you visit the center of Disney efforts to promote wildlife conservation awareness. Inside, there is a whole herd of wild animal experiences, interactive games and fun-filled shows. See animals up close in this rare behind-the-scenes adventure!

Asia
Flights of Wonder - "Wing" on in to the Caravan Stage and join a trainee bird handler and a wayward tour guide who teach each other about the delicate state of nature. See birds such as vultures, hawks, colorful macaws, crowned crane and the American Bald Eagle up close. May your spirits fly sky-high

Kali River Rapids - Raft down the turbulent waters of the Chakranadi River aboard a 12-passenger raft through an enchanting Asian rain forest. A blazing inferno rushes toward you! Escape down a rushing waterfall! Beware of gushing geysers! Get set to get wet!

Maharajah Jungle Trek - Trek into the lush forests for an unparalleled adventure into the wilds of the mystical Anandapur Royal Forest of Southeast Asia. Have up-close encounters with Komodo dragons, tapirs and tigers. Make eye contact with stalking tigers. Wander among the ruins of an ancient palace inhabited by beautiful and exotic animals!

The Expedition Everest 'mountain' which houses the roller-coaster attraction.
Expedition Everest - In this runaway-train roller coaster, Himalayan trekkers board refurbished steam trains on their way to the base camp of Mount Everest, using a shortcut that passes through the "forbidden mountain" guarded by the legendary yeti.

DinoLand U.S.A.
The Boneyard - Slip, slide, slither and slosh through a play maze filled with fun fossils. "Exploration. Excavation. Exultation." is the motto of the Dino Institute and nowhere is this truer than here. Would-be paleontologists young and old play amidst a world of dinosaur discoveries like a Triceratops, T-Rex and Wooly Mammoth. Frolic among the fossils!

DINOSAUR (formerly Countdown to Extinction) - Whoosh back to primeval times for a wild ride of an expedition to complete your dangerous mission. The clock is ticking on your Time Rover and you have mere minutes to rescue a stray dinosaur. Beware the hungry clutches of one large meat-eating predator and the devastating power of an impending asteroid! It's fast. It's a blast! It's in the past!
Animals located in Dinoland include an American Crocodile, Abdim's Storks, and Asian brown tortoises.

Finding Nemo - The Musical - Set to debut in November, 12th 2006, the original musical stage show developed by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment tells the story of the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo with new songs by Avenue Q composer Bobby Lopez and puppets designed by Michael Curry. Production combines dancers, acrobats, animated backdrops, and theatrical puppetry. Marlin, Dory and Nemo are depicted by actors holding larger than life puppets while other characters utilize a number of puppetry styles.

Dino-Sue - Visit Disney's oldest "cast" member, clocking in at 67 million years. Dino-Sue is a painstaking reproduction of the largest, most complete T-Rex ever found! The length of a four-story building, the mighty T-Rex is available to pose for pictures with you at the Dino institute. It's fossiliferous!

Cretaceous Trail - Enjoy a lush, shady, relaxing and surprising walking tour amidst plant and animal survivors that have outlived the dinosaurs. Play with a Pachycephalosaurus, encounter living animal species that have survived since prehistoric times and discover fossil dig sites!

DinoLand also contains " Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama!", an area made to look like a tacky 1950s roadside attraction built on an old parking lot. Dino-Rama! has been criticized by Disney fans for containing only "off-the-shelf" attractions (whack-a-mole and other carnival games) similar to what other parks offer, and for charging guests money for each play.
Primeval Whirl - Take a whirl into prehistory in one of these spinning time machines. Thrill to the sudden dips, hairpin turns and tight curves of this rollicking coaster. Each colorful car spins independently so you never know how things will "turn" out! It's the best time you've had in ages.

TriceraTop Spin- Take the family for a spin aboard this whirling, twirling, friendly 4 person flying dinosaur.
Fossil Fun Games - Erupting with fun, these dinosaur-themed games offer a good time for everyone.

There are also two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach (a third, River Country, operated from 1976-2001), and the Disney's Wide World of Sports athletic complex.

 

The Downtown Disney area, consisting of three sections (Marketplace, Pleasure Island, and West Side), contains many shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. This includes Disney Quest (an indoor "interactive theme park"), the House of Blues, and a permanent Cirque du Soleil show (La Nouba).

Walt Disney World Resort covers a total of 47 square miles (122 square kilometers), about the size of San Francisco or twice the size of Manhattan. Less than half the property has been developed. A quarter has been set aside as a wilderness preserve.

 

With thanks at Wikipedia    Photos by Disney