So you know how everyone has a bucket list? There are those things that they want to accomplish like speak a foreign language fluently or learn how to make wine. There are things people want to do like swim with dolphins or skydive. Then there are places they want to go at least once in their lives like visit the place in the country their family originated from, see every MLB stadium or, in my case, visit every Disney Park.
So if you are a regular reader of this blog, I will assume that you know that there are multiple Disney Parks. Believe it or not, there are people out there who don’t know it. I have had conversations with people who actually think that there is Disneyland and only Disneyland. There is some confusion about the location of said park as they are not sure if it is in California or Florida. So here is a quick run down.
First there is a difference between Parks & Resorts. All Parks have resorts, but not all resorts have parks. With the rise of the Disney Vacation Club there are Disney resorts in multiple locations around the world. As fun as it might be to stay at Aulani in Hawaii. I’m not including any of those places in my goal. Also officially Disney sites have more than one ‘Park’. Parks are officially considered each self-contained, themed amusement ride area that charges its own admission. Therefore, Walt Disney World is not a park. It is a resort that is home to four Disney Parks.
All that being said, here are the Disney Parks as of today.
The original park, Disneyland, opened in 1955 in Anaheim, California. In 2001, they opened a second park at The Disney Resort, Disney California Adventure. (2)
In 1971, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida opened its first park: The Magic Kingdom. The park was modeled after Disneyland and featured many of the same attractions. The Magic Kingdom was followed by Epcot (1982), Disney Studios (1989), and Animal Kingdom (1998). (4)
Disneyland Tokyo opened in 1983. The Tokyo Disney Resort added a second theme park Disney Sea in 2001. (2)
Disneyland Paris (originally called EuroDisney) opened 1992. A second Disney Studios theme park opened in 2002. (2)
Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005. It remains a single park. (1)
Shanghai Disneyland opened in 2016 and is also a single park. (1)
So there are 12 Disney parks and a third of them are in Asia. One of my life goals is to get to all of them. This past spring I got a little closer to that goal when The Princess & I visited Disneyland Paris. It was very exciting, very different, and periodically, very stressful. Over the next few blogs, I will be sharing my experiences of Disney abroad and my thoughts about how we experienced Disney in a different, but similar culture.
8 down, 4 to go! Look out world.