On October 1, 1971, a theme park in Orlando opened its doors to the public. That theme park was, of course, Walt Disney World. And it changed family travel as we know it today.
In Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando, Richard E. Foglesong writes about the history of Florida’s most famous attraction, from its inception to its growth:
Back in 1969, before Disney World opened, a mere 3.5 million tourists visited central Florida. But that soon changed. In 1971, the Magic Kingdom’s first year, the tourist count zoomed to 10 million. By the unveiling of Epcot in 1982, Orlando had become the most popular tourist destination in the world.Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando
You can also read more about Walt Disney World’s first 50 years from how it has been covered in its local paper, The Orlando Sentinel.