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Flashback: Walt Disney World Announced In Florida

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

As we close in on the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World, look what we found in the archives to share with you. It’s video from 1965 of Walt Disney officially announcing the big plans during a conference in downtown Orlando.

I can’t imagine the excitement in the room. Walt Disney told the world in front of what former Gov. Haydon Burns called the largest gathering of press he’s ever seen in the state of Florida.

See what Walt had to say when asked if another Disneyland would be built in Florida.

For more Walt Disney World history, check out the posts below:


  • When speaking to my elementary school class about editing stories to make them their best, I mentioned how Walt Disney would throw out scenes from his movies that were completely done and redo them if they weren’t right. I was then asked who Walt Disney was? Now I can show them the man behind the parks and his vision. Thank you.

  • What a fantastic video! Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  • Fantastic video! And I loved hearing Walt describe his relationship with Roy so affectionately.

  • WOW! This video is amazing! I love to see videos of Uncle Walt.

  • P.S. I almost forgot…when we started coming to DisneyWorld back in 1973, we always got the package deal from Eastern Airlines, which included the Contemporary Hotel, tickets to the park and air-fare….we always stayed at the Contempory Hotel every year that we came down….we just loved it. We always ate upstairs at the restaurants….played games at the game room in the lobby….just wonderful memories. That’s how Disney leaves you…with a lot of treasured memories.

  • Oh how I love DisneyWorld….we started coming in 1973 from Pennsylvania….now we reside in Florida and we are passholders and go to the parks alot…..that is one of the reasons we moved to Florida…I love listening to Walt speak and how much he has done. I still have the E tickets and some of the sovenirs from the Magic Kingdom. That was the only park opened at the time, then came Epcot, then Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom…plus the water parks, Downtown Disney, etc. So much to enjoy. The Disney family has made millions of adults and children happy and let them be children once again. God Bless You Mr. Disney.

  • I recently bought the book “Project:Future” and it gives all the details about how the land was aquired etc. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet, but it is very interesting to read how all of this came to be.

  • Thank you for posting this video.
    I have been to Disneyland as a child and I take my children to Disney World. I am a big fan of Walt Disney and one thing that stciks out to me everytime I go to WDW is that the spirit of Walt is still very much alive:)

  • I thought it was interesting how at the very end he said he didin’t like to make sequels to his pictures, he likes to come up with NEW ideas. Makes me wonder what Walt would think of the way things have changed with Disney. They do sequels to almost everything now if not trilogies and there there are the constant re-releases. Just thought that was interesting.

  • A fantastic video to start off the weekend! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

    Discussion Kingdom/Retro Day WDW

  • Thank you for posting this video! It’s one of the surely thousands in the Archives that we always hear about but never get to see. That’s really quite a treat, thanks.

  • Kevin–
    Well, Walt initially had no interest in creating a Magic Kingdom park in Florida, his big idea for Florida was Epcot, but apparently the board of directors wanted to make sure that the project was a success, so he ended up including a Magic Kingdom park in the the plans, in addition to Epcot.

  • Thanks for sharing this with us. As a Disney freek, I enjoyed it very much.

  • Cool video!

    This is why I love Disneyland so much, it was Walt’s original, and he did NOT want to make another Disneyland in Florida. His big idea was initially Epcot.

    I’ve been to Walt Disney World and I enjoyed it, but I still have great respect and love Walt’s original park, Disneyland! 🙂

  • I have to be a bit of a geek here. 🙂 The hotel that conference was held at in downtown Orlando is on Lake Eola and has been converted to apartments. I lived there for a couple years and have to admit – it was pretty neat living somewhere where Walt Disney had not only walked, but chose to make this historical announcement. 🙂

  • Great video! Amazing that Florida’s population was only six and half million at that time. It’s nice to be reminded how excited Walt was about the new project in Florida.

  • Incredible. Though, as it turned out, Magic Kingdom didn’t exactly change the template much apart from the name.

  • Wow! I love actually getting to hear that man talk! Great video!

    • We do too! Thanks, Kelly.

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