05/15/2017 12:05 EDT | Updated 06/20/2017 10:15 EDT

Surprising Facts About Walt Disney World Resort


So you think you know everything about Walt Disney World? Not so fast -- when it comes to the Resort and its four theme parks (Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Epcot, Magic Kingdom Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios) there's always something new and magical to uncover.

Ever since the Resort opened in 1971, its 25,000+ acres (roughly the size of Ottawa) has sparked imagination in every visitor. With this in mind, here are four things you probably didn't know about Walt Disney World.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Did you know that the biggest landmark of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park is the magnificent Tree of Life? Standing more than 14 storeys, it's more than 50 feet wide and has more than 300 beautiful animal carvings throughout its trunk. Opened in 1998, the park is divided into areas themed entirely around the natural environment and animal conservation.

Created in the same vein is Pandora — The World of Avatar -- the largest expansion in the history of the park. This new experience will have you hiking under gigantic floating mountains, navigating a mystical river, and exploring a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent flora. You can also embark on an all-new exhilarating adventure known as Avatar Flight of Passage that will allow guests to experience what it's like to fly with banshees!


The Epcot theme park is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, technological innovation, and international culture, but do you know how much the iconic Spaceship Earth structure weighs? It stands more than 180-feet-tall and weighs more than 16 million pounds -- that's nearly the weight of 1,040 very large African elephants.

Epcot is also home to the centrifugal motion simulator ride Mission: Space where you can pretend to be an astronaut launching into the galaxy and dodging meteors.

Magic Kingdom

Did you know that the classic Magic Kingdom Park was the very first theme park at Walt Disney World? Today, it's where you can meet your favourite Disney characters and watch the new Happily Ever After fireworks spectacular when it premieres on May 12, 2017.

Disney's first theme park in Florida has seven themed lands with dozens of attractions built around wonder, fantasy and fun -- Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square and Mickey's Toontown Fair are just some examples. Some of the most iconic attractions include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and, of course, The Haunted Mansion. No matter what you choose to see, you're bound to have an incredible time.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Did you know Disney's Hollywood Studios is a working film, TV and radio studio, as well as a theme park? Visitors can experience interactive attractions, Broadway-style shows and world-class entertainment that pay tribute to the world of show business.

Celebrate the much-loved Star Wars franchise at Star Wars Launch Bay, take on the 3-D extravaganza (Star Tours – The Adventures Continue) or enjoy the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular laser and special effects show set to an iconic musical score. You also have to visit the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and Toy Story Mania!

These are just a few things you might not have known about Walt Disney World Resort — and the truth is that it's just the beginning! As Walt Disney once said, Walt Disney World "will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."