Have you met Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse? If you have, you’ve probably been to Disneyland or Disney World. These popular theme parks are based on Walt Disney cartoons and motion pictures. You can see Mickey, Minnie, and all the other cartoon residents of these fantasy kingdoms. You can enjoy rides and other attractions, too. WHAT IS DISNEYLAND LIKE?
Disneyland was the first Disney theme park. It opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955. Disneyland was created by cartoonist Walt Disney. He invented Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and many other cartoon characters. Walt Disney died in 1966. The company he founded runs the theme parks. Walt Disney wanted rides at Disneyland to be like stepping into a fantasy world. You can ride around and around in a giant teacup at the Mad Tea Party. It’s borrowed from the Mad Hatter’s party in Alice in Wonderland. You can fly through the air on the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride. You can glide in a boat and watch pirates fight in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. You can ride an old-time train around the park. You can stroll down Main Street, an old-time town display. You can also stay at Disneyland hotels. WHAT IS DISNEY WORLD LIKE?
Disney World opened near Orlando, Florida, in 1971. It has four different theme parks. The Magic Kingdom came first. It has many of the same rides and attractions as Disneyland. The spires of Cinderella’s castle soar above the Magic Kingdom. You and your family might enjoy Epcot, a Disney World theme park that features countries and cultures of the world. It also has some science exhibits. At Epcot, you can “visit” such countries as China, England, France, Morocco, Japan, and Mexico. You can eat the foods of these countries or buy gifts made there. The other two theme parks at Disney World are Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. At Disney-MGM Studios, you can enjoy rides and shows based on Hollywood movies. At Animal Kingdom, you can take a safari ride to see elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, and lions. There are also two Disney water parks: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Both parks have water slides and other water adventures. You can stay at one of almost 20 theme resorts owned by the Walt Disney Company near Orlando. The Grand Floridian is a very fancy resort. The Caribbean Beach resort looks like a tropical beach. You can even stay at a Disney campground. Boats, buses, and a monorail connect all the Disney World theme parks. DISNEY’S OTHER WORLDS
The Walt Disney Company opened Tokyo Disneyland in Tokyo, Japan, in 1983. It opened Euro Disney (later renamed Disneyland Paris) outside of Paris, France, in 1992. You can meet Mickey and Minnie at these parks, too!