Unfortunately he died a few years before the grand opening, and so the only theme park he ever went in as a completed project was Disneyland.
But Walt did, of course, start and create the vision for what was then known as the “Florida project,” and while many of these Walt Disney quotes about Disney World are actually about Disneyland, I like to think that he would have taken the same approach to both.
The History of Walt Disney and Disney World
For Disney goers like me who were born after Disney World was completed, it’s hard to imagine a world where it wasn’t a huge part of why people come to Orlando.
But, of course, there was a time when Disney World wasn’t even thought of and Orlando was just vast open space and citrus groves.
Walt Disney started dreaming up Disney World after the success of Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
I’ll give a brief history here, but if you’re interested in Disney history, this the best possible book on the subject and a great read.
Basically, Walt was frustrated with the lack of land he had to work with and started to realize that while 75% of US residents lived East of the Mississippi at that time, only 5% of the visitors to Disneyland were from there.
So the idea for an East Coast Disneyland was born, and he began looking for spaces to build it in 1959.
Over the years, Orlando was identified as a perfect place for Disney World due to its connection to highways and proximity to the airport.
The Walt Disney Company started buying up land in secret, using different business names so that local landowners wouldn’t catch on it was meant to be for a Disney park.
The dream for Disney World was originally meant to be a more experimental theme park than Disneyland.
From new rides and attractions to entirely new concepts like EPCOT (originally the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), this was going to be a place where Walt really stretched the innovation of his team.
When he died in 1966 during construction of the parks, the plans shifted back to a more copycat version of Disneyland with the first park being the Magic Kingdom.
Over the years, Disney World has had more land to work with and so has dreamed up new parks and lands not replicated in Disneyland, but his dream of this entirely new space was not fulfilled.
What was fulfilled, however, was his vision about creating a place where “children of all ages” could come and learn and play and spend time together.
Disney World is now the most visited tourist destination in the US, and it’s thanks to his original vision that the company and the parks have the foundations they do today.
So while some of these quotes are about Disneyland as well, I think it’s appropriate to take his thoughts on his original creation and expect that he probably felt the same about creativity, family fun, and happiness when he was creating Disney World.
Quotes about Disney World by Walt Disney
1. “If you can dream, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse.”
2. “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
3. “The important thing is the family. If you can keep the family together — and that’s the backbone of our whole business, catering to families — that’s what we hope to do.”
4. “Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Jones’ do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much, either.”
5. “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
6. “I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park (Disneyland). I want to feel they’re in another world.”
7. “Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”
8. “I could never convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible, because dreams offer too little collateral.”
9. “You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.”
10. “There’s enough land here to hold all the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine.”
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