The Walt Disney World Resort, informally known as Walt Disney World or simply Disney World or shortly WDW, is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake, Florida (mailing address is Lake Buena Vista, Florida), near Kissimmee, Florida and is the flagship of Disney’s worldwide theme park empire. The resort opened on October 1, 1971 and is the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an attendance of over 52 million annually.
Disney World is owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a division of The Walt Disney Company. The property covers 27,258 acres (11,031 ha; 43 sq mi), in which it houses 27 themed resort hotels, 9 non–Disney hotels, four theme parks, two water parks, four golf courses, one nine-hole walking golf course for young golfers (no electric carts allowed), two themed miniature golf courses, one camping resort, one downtown like shopping area, and other entertainment venues. Magic Kingdom was the first and original theme park to open in the complex followed by Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which opened later throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 2014 Disney World’s 4 theme parks all ranked in the top 8 on the list of the 25 most visited theme parks in the world; (1st) Magic Kingdom – 19,332,000 visitors, (6th) Epcot – 11,454,000 visitors, (7th) Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 10,402,000 visitors, and (8th) Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 10,312,000 visitors.