To kids, Disney World is the end all, be all of fairy tales: Looking out Prince Charming in Cinderella's castle, going round and round in "It's a Small World," loving the feeling of that stomach drop towards the end of Tower of Terror.
To parents, its a temper tantrum waiting to happen, with the masses of crowds, sugar and Florida heat -- but many know it's an important family experience to check off that travel bucket list.
Plans for the theme park began in 1959 as an addition to California's Disneyland, with construction beginning in 1966, the same year Walt Disney passed away. The first installation opened in 1971 -- when admission tickets were just $3.50 for adults! Disney World now sees more than 20 million tourists a year -- and it's no wonder that visitors come back year after year to experience that Disney magic.
Scroll through above for some nostalgic pictures of Disney World, beginning with its grand opening. Can you believe just how much has changed?
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