1972 Walt Disney World Facts

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Features, Walt Disney World

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Published on September 09, 2013 at 12:00 am with 10 Comments

I’m always surprised when I run across articles from Disney publications that promote statistics or behind-the-scenes information. It was a lot more prevalent in the 1970s as Disney was still trying to figure out how to promote the Vacation Kingdom of the World. Walt Disney World was different from Disneyland in many aspects and due to the astounding promotion that Disney did for Disneyland (also due to it’s status as a cultural phenomenon), Disney found itself trying to differentiate the younger (and much larger) sister from the older sibling that grew up in the television spotlight.


So, the following facts were published in the February 1, 1972 Eyes and Ears of Walt Disney World cast publication.


  • Magic Kingdom theme park-Open daily 9 a.m.to 7 p.m. (Hours change during holidays.)
  • Construction – First ground clearing was May 30, 1967. It took 1,584 days and $400 million to Opening Day.
  • 10 million guests are expected during the first year. (Disneyland reached 100 million in its 16th year of operation.)
  • Area – 27,400 acres … 43 square miles … 2,500 acres in first phase “Vacation Kingdom” … 100 acre Magic Kingdom theme park … 12,000 car parking lot … 8-acre basement (biggest in Florida) below theme park … 4½ miles of white-sand beaches . .. 7,500 acres of permanent Conservation Area for Florida wildlife and vegetation. (Disneyland … 72.6 acres inside the Park and 107.3 acre parking lot.)



  • Ninth largest navy in the world.
  • World’s largest working wardrobe.
  • First pneumatic refuse removal system in the western hemisphere (AVAC, Automatic Vacuum Collection System) removes refuse at high speed from the Magic Kingdom theme park.
  • Resort-hotels have the first assembly line steelframe guest rooms.


  • Contemporary Resort-Hotel has one of the world’s largest murals “The Pueblo Village” – 18,000 square feet.
  • Walt Disney World and Disneyland are the two largest retail outlets in the world for post cards and camera film. (Laid end-to-end the post cards would stretch from California to New York and 1,000 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.)
  • Approximately 55,000 trees and shrubs of 800 varieties have been used in landscaping.
  • Cinderella Castle is 18 stories high (180 feet, the tallest structure here) … and has 276 tons of steel inside.
  • There are 200 tons of steel in the Swiss Family Tree House.
  • Walt Disney World is the world’s largest food operation … with capacity for 175,000 meals per day.
  • Cinderella’s Golden Carousel is one of the world’s largest (90 horses). Made in 1917 at Philadelphia Toboggan Company.
  • More than 8,000 construction workers were employed on site at Walt Disney World.



  • Walt Disney World Monorail . . . the five monorail trains are 171 feet long . . . carry 212 passengers each … move up to 7,700 persons per hour … travel at speeds up to 45 mph … ride up to 60 feet above the ground on a three-mile track … powered by non-polluting electricity … 4th generation trains designed by the Disney “Imagineers” at WED Enterprises, Inc.
  • Steam trains … were built from 1902 to 1928 in the United States and used on sugar plantations in Mexico until purchased by Walt Disney World in 1969 … restored in Florida … are narrow gauge rail … travel around a two-mile track … pull up to five passenger cars each … carrying 300 passengers each … fueled by highgrade clean-burning diesel fuel (converted from wood burners).

Check out the review from Jeff and I to see how you can get your own copy of this amazing map. http://micechat.com/22411-vacation-kingdom-of-the-world/

  • STOLport … is the first officially designated STOLport for exclusive use by Short Take-Off and Landing aircraft . . . a 2,000 foot paved and lighted strip … terminal connecting major Florida airports.




  • 14 stories high
  • 1,057 rooms in high rise and two annexes (394 rooms in high rise and 663 in bay wings)
  • 220 feet wide and 468 feet long at base
  • steel A-frame construction rooms manufactured in ”guest room” factory on site
  • each modular room weighs eight and one-half tons
  • only hotel in world with monorail train running inside
  • Grand Canyon Terrace and Pueblo Room restaurants on 4th floor
  • Top of the World Restaurant -15th floor
  • Price Range (Depending on Location): $22-$40 per night (accommodate 4 adults)



  • 492 guest rooms in seven separate Longhouses
  • Great Ceremonial House lobby
  • Guest rooms built by modular construction
  • Cor-Ten treated steel roof with natural rusting gives natural color
  • Hula lessons available
  • Papeete Bay Verandah French colonial restaurant
  • Tambu Lounge, Coral Isle Cafe, Captain Cook’s Hideaway Lounge and Barefoot Snack Bar
  • Price Range (Depending on Location): $22-$40 per night (accommodate 4 adults)

I’m pretty sure this photo is from the Polynesian Princess shop. Click on the photo to check out my article on the 1974 Souvenir Guide!

Many of these facts have been bandied about Disney online communities for years but a few of them were a little more obscure.

What do you think about these facts that Disney reported about Walt Disney World in 1972? Did any surprise you?


If your’e looking for other books on Walt Disney World history, check out my bibliography! It’s more Walt Disney World books than you can shake a churro at.

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ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor

About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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  • CaptainAction

    Old WDW leadership spent 1,584 days from begining to end creating infrastructure, Magic Kingdom, monorail with track, and new resorts.
    New and Current WDW leadership is 584 days away from matching this length of time in construction for ONE kiddie coaster in New Fantasyland. 1,000 days and counting guys. Come on, you can make it 1,584 if you don’t rush too fast!

  • Jim1013

    I was just in the MK yesterday, what they have done on the 7 Dwarves mine train looks nice but they should have had it done when the other attractions opened.

  • EasyRover

    $22-$40 for a night at The Contemporary? What does that equal now, two bottles of Disani in the park?

    • bhb007

      Actually, around $150 – $250 (used the inflation calculator). That’s around the value resort level of today. At the time, though, the amenities of staying at the Contemporary were about at the value resort level. Disney has always been pretty expensive (thought it certainly is worse now!).

      • DobbysCloset

        That was still the fact that popped out most to me, though when I think carefully and remember that Motel 6 once had $6 rooms… The photo of the “Nautilus” made me very happy, thanks.

  • jkh1978

    Would Walt Disney World still be considered “the world’s largest food operation” or can someone think of some place else?

  • Werner Weiss

    Ah, how technology has changed things…

    “Walt Disney World and Disneyland are the two largest retail outlets in the world for post cards and camera film. (Laid end-to-end the post cards would stretch from California to New York and 1,000 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.)”

    Sure, some people still mail postcards to friends and family, but postcards are primarily for postcard collectors these days. Emails, tweets, Facebook, and other instant electronic communications — using your own photos — have rendered postcards largely obsolete.

    Film is even more obsolete. I’m not sure you can even buy film in the Disney parks these days, except in the form of disposable cameras.

    • DisWedWay

      I find collectable postcards of Disney projects friends have worked on an mail them to them at Christmas with a note.

    • DobbysCloset

      Sigh…all the Disney Kodak Moments lost forever…and postcards were a must if one’s photography skills were less than adequate which, before digital, was a common affliction.

  • red014

    Amazing that it cost $400m to build the whole park and more than double that (rumored) to get Magic Bands in order to fix a system that wasn’t broken! Oh, how money has changed…