If you are a Disney fan, then you are not alone. Walt Disney's influence and his beloved icon, Mickey Mouse, have fans all over the world. From Disney's first park in California to its most recent one in Shanghai, there's a little piece of Disney magic in many parts of the world.
This article will explore an overview of the parks plus their locations and addresses in the order that they were built.
Disneyland: The Beginning of a Dream
Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
Opening Date: October 5, 1955
When Walt Disney built Disneyland in California, he had a dream of building a place that families could go to together and enjoy themselves.
In 1955 that vision came true with the opening of Disneyland in California. The park was later expanded to add more hotels, a shopping area and, in 2001, a second park, Disney's California Adventure.
The original Disneyland brought us so many classic attractions such as "It's a Small World' and "Pirates of the Caribbean." But despite Disney's fantastic vision, he didn't adequately plan for space and found himself trapped and landlocked.
He vowed that the next time he built a park he would not make that mistake.
Disneyland Grand Opening
Walt Disney World Resort: The Theme Park in the Swamp
Address: Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Opening Date: October 1, 1971
When Disney started buying up swampland, for cheap, in the middle of Florida, no one really knew what was going on. It was only near the very end of his land acquisition that word got out that Walt Disney was indeed buying land to build a new and better theme park.
This time he was not landlocked and the first park, Magic Kingdom opened to great fanfair. Unfortunately, Walt himself died of cancer and did not live to see the park open.
.But this time his vision was flawless. Currently Disney World resort in Florida boasts four theme parks, over 25 unique hotels ranging from Value Resorts to Vacation Club Villas and an entire central Florida built up and bustling because of Walt Disney.
This theme park brought many of the beloved Disneyland classics to the park but has also expanded its offerings to include new and exciting rides such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride--a new family friendly coaster in Magic Kingdom.
With multiple festivals such as EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival, marathons, parties, weddings and conventions, Disney World is really the center of the whole Disney universe.
A Choir Sings "When You Wish Upon A Star" at Disney World Grand Opening
Tokyo Disney Resort:Disney Goes To Asia
Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031, Japan
Opened: April 15, 1983
One of the most interesting pieces of Tokyo Disney is the glass canopy over Main Street.
When this park was built, the Japanese government requested a Japanese version of Magic Kingdom and this park has many of the classic rides.
The crowds at this park were very large for the first few years but have tapered off recently.
Disney opened a second theme park connected to Tokyo Disney called DisneySea. The launch of the park was September 4, 2001 and did not get much attention in the United States with the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Part of the reason Tokyo Disney was built in the first place was to help Disney with the enormous cost of building EPCOT. Technically the park is owned by the Oriental Land Company but Disney has a large share of the profits.
Grand Opening of Tokyo Disney
Disneyland Resort Paris: Bringing Pop Culture to an Ancient Place
Address: 77777 Marne-la-Vallée, France
Opened: April 12, 1992
In a country that prides itself on its ancient culture and history, the idea of a pop culture symbol such as Disney was met with some controversy and malice.
Originally called Euro Paris, the name of the park was eventually changed to Disneyland Resort Paris after, according to Will Joce of Venere Travel Blog, the name was discovered to have negative connotations for European residents.
The park now is one of the top European travel destinations.
Modeled a bit like Hollywood Studios Disney World, the park has recognizable rides such as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The stunt show that is now at Disney World came from the original, popular attraction at Disneyland Paris.
There are also unique attractions such as Crush's Coaster and Cars Land. (There are rumors that Disney World will get a Cars Land as well).
Grand Opening of Disney Paris
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort: Small and Controversial
Address: Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Opened: September 12, 2005
On an island off of the mainland of China, Hong Kong Disneyland had a troubled start. The park holds a mix of attractions including some found at Disney World's Hollywood Studios and those found at the Magic Kingdom.
It is a smaller park but in its earlier years struggled with attendance mostly due to the guest expectations and culture clash.
When Disney acquired the land three was some disruption of the wildlife, including fish populations, around the island.
The company also met with controversy over local customs such as shark fin soup. But environmental activists pushed back against what many in other nations see as a barbaric practice and the company agreed to not serve shark fin soup at all.
Disney would like to expand the park and there is land to do so if a purchase price can be agreed upon.
Hong Kong Disney Grand Opening
Shanghai Disney Resort: Bringing the Magic To Mainland China
Address: Pudong, Shanghai
Opening Date: TBD
Scheduled to be completed in 2015, Shanghai resort in Disney promises to be a blend of classic and innovative.
Like all Disney parks, the centerpiece will be a castle, called Storybook Castle. From there the park will expand into different themed lands.
One of the exciting editions to the themed lands is a Pirates of the Caribbean Land. According to a March 2014 press release, there will be an under the ocean ride that allows guests to see such beloved movie characters such as Davy Jones and Captain Jack Sparrow.
Construction Underway at Shanghai Disney Resort
Whether you love Disney, hate it or are indifferent, there is no denying its far reaching influence. Having made its theme park presence known on almost half of the world continents, people's love of Disney and demand for more seems to be never-ending.
They may not do everything right but there is no denying this company's popularity.
L C David (author) from Florida on May 15, 2014:
Yes. I won't be surprised if it expands to all continents one day.
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 15, 2014:
I had no idea Disney was in so many countries. Kinda like McDonald's!