On this day in 1971, the vacation kingdom of Walt Disney World (Wikipedia’s article) first opened the gates of the Magic Kingdom (Disney’s second theme park), the doors of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, and the links of the Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses.
Walt’s big brother Roy O. dedicated the Magic Kingdom with these words:
Walt Disney World is tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney … and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney’s dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place … a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn – together.
Roy O. Disney, 25 October 1971
Then, as the culmination of Walt Disney World’s 10th anniversary in 1982, Disney opened their third theme park, EPCOT Center; a tribute to Walt Disney’s vision for an experimental prototype community of tomorrow re-imagined as a sort of permanent world’s fair featuring (on opening day): 6 pavilions “showcasing the land, communication, imagination, energy & technology” (thisdayindisneyhistory.homestead.com) and 9 pavilions dedicated to various nations of the world.
To all who come to this place of Joy, Hope and Friendship – Welcome. EPCOT is inspired by Walt Disney’s creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all. May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere.
E. Cardon Walker, 24 October 1982