In the early 1960's Walt Disney enlisted the help of his brother, Roy Disney, several friends and some business associates to look for some land for him to build his new park on. After looking at several different areas, including St. Louis and the Great Smoky Mountains, they decided on some swampland in Central Florida!
Actual construction began in April 1969 but all of this work was being done underground. The above ground construction began in early 1970, starting with Main Street USA and Cinderella's Castle. Merely two and a half years later the Magic Kingdom was ready to open.
They opened on October 1, 1971 but the official dedication was not held until October 25, 1971. With that opening came trouble. Tomorrowland was not ready for opening along with some of the attractions in other lands. Attendance was anticipated at approx. 100000 but was recorded at a mere 1/10 of that at 10000 Walt Disney had nothing to worry about though because a little over a month later, on the day after Thanksgiving, the gates had to be closed as the Magic Kingdom quickly filled to capacity.
These days the Magic Kingdom is one of the most visited theme parks in the world, and for good reason. With over 40 major attractions in seven different lands (Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Mickeys Toontown Fair, and Tomorrowland) there is something for everyone. Oh yeah, of course you can't forget about the Mouse!
Park Dedication (Roy O. Disney - October 25, 1971)
Walt Disney World is a 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. Dedicated this 25th day of October, 1971. Roy O. Disney