Vivian's Corner
U.S. Areas, Cities, States
Foreign Cities
Foreign Countries
Adventure & Sports
About Us
Yearly Index
Contact Us

Walt Disney World Update

The Attractions Grow

In the beginning it was merely meant to entertain. Walt Disney World opened its doors on October 1, 1971 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. with the Magic Kingdom, a replica of California's Disneyland, two hotels and two golf courses. But as the number of theme parks grew, along with the destinations and attractions, the wish to educate, as well as amuse visitors, became part of the grand plan. Witness EPCOT where information about space, energy, agriculture, the human body, science and technology is dished up with subtlety and "spoonfuls of sugar" through the use of rides, animation and audio-animatronics.

Later, more formal ways of learning were introduced when Disney University came into being and developed business seminars and programs for adult groups that center on professional development. Also under the auspices of the university, individuals are offered tours that focus on horticulture, animation and cultures of other lands.

Enter Disney Institute (1996) and a whole new approach to skill developing while on vacation. More than 60 programs allow guests to have a hands-on experience in eight areas of interest, such as entertainment, design, performing and culinary arts, gardening and sports and fitness. It's back to school in a recreational environment where young and old are taught to rock climb; hone their techniques with a camera, using the great park as a backdrop; and improve their green thumbs in the luxuriant arboretums and gardens.

Disney's Boardwalk, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

To celebrate its 25th anniversary Walt Disney World hosted a year-long, great big birthday bash throughout 1997 with all kinds of new attractions. But the one that tickled us the most was Disney's BoardWalk, a hotel and amusement complex that fronts onto an authentic boardwalk and Crescent Lake. Monopoly players, this is much like the real thing. Even without Steel Pier and the peanut man, the mood of Atlantic City in its heyday of the late 30s and early 40s is evoked with wicker rolling chairs, bicycles built for the whole family, a fudge and salt water taffy shop, arcade games and performers.

Disney Institute, 196 N. Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830. Tel. 800-282-9282 for a brochure, video and reservations. www.disney.go.com/vacations/websites/disneyinstitute

Disney's BoardWalk, Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830. Tel. 407/W-Disney for reservations at the BoardWalk Inn and BoardWalk Villas. http://disneysboardwalkinn.orlandofloridareservations.com

Spring 1997