Walt Disney World recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and every Disney milestone deserves a Disney quiz! Test your Walt Disney World knowledge with this 15 question quiz based on the attractions of Disney World’s four major theme parks: The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom.
The four theme parks of Walt Disney World, photographs by Valerie Champagne
This quiz is challenging! How well do you know your Walt Disney World history?
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In 2009, I visited the New Orleans Museum of Art during a wonderful special exhibit: Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studio. The exhibit was timed to coincide with the theatrical release of Disney’s 49th animated feature, The Princess and the Frog (2009), which is set in 1920s New Orleans.
New Orleans Museum of Art: Disney's Fairy Tales Exhibit, photograph by Valerie Champagne
The exhibit featured concept art, designs, and animation cels from Disney’s The Three Little Pigs (1933), Snow White and the Seventh Dwarfs (1937), The Ugly Duckling (1939), Fun and Fancy Free (1947), Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and The Princess and the Frog (2009). I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit, and I credit it as my first introduction to the wonderfully talented art director, color stylist, and designer Mary Blair.
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2011 is a big year for the Disney Parks! On October 1st, Walt Disney World celebrates its 40th anniversary, and earlier this year on May 28th, it’s a small world at Disneyland celebrated its 45th anniversary. Originally conceived as an attraction at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York and based on concept art by color stylist and designer Mary Blair, the ride was later taken apart and reassembled at the Disneyland Resort with a brand new Rube Goldberg-style façade. Five years later, it’s a small world was one of the first attractions at the Magic Kingdom theme park on its opening day in 1971.
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Disney animated sequels are generally considered to be inferior to the originals (some substantially so), and most go straight to home video instead of receiving theatrical releases. In the past fifteen years, Disney has produced sequels to Pocahontas (1995), The Lion King (1994), Fantasia (1940), The Little Mermaid (1989), Lady and the Tramp (1955), Cinderella (1950), 101 Dalmatians (1961), Peter Pan (1953), The Jungle Book (1967), Mulan (1998), The Fox and the Hound (1981), Bambi (1942), and even a planned sequel to Dumbo (1941) that was later scraped.
Screenshot from Bambi II, image copyright Disney
Bambi II was first released on home video in the United States in February, 2006, 64 years after the original Bambi (1942) premiered in theaters. The film is actually a midquel, meaning that the events of the story take place within the timeline of the original film, in this case when the young, newly motherless Bambi is getting to know his father, the Great Prince of the Forest.
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When I was twelve years old, my family visited Walt Disney World during its 25th anniversary celebration. That year, Cinderella’s Castle was dramatically transformed into a giant pink candy cake topped by candles and gummie lifesavers. I rode Space Mountain for the first time (and almost lost my glasses on a sudden track drop), and I rode Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for the last time before it closed two years later to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Walt Disney World Entrance, photograph by Valerie Champagne
Now, fifteen years later on October 1st, 2011, the Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating another milestone: its 40th Anniversary!
When the Magic Kingdom Park first opened in 1971, there were 23 total attractions in six themed lands: Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrow Land. Over the years, attractions have come and gone, and many have been renovated to keep up with technological advancements and the sophistication and diversity of park visitors.
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