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To all who come to this happy place, welcome.

Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts which have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

Walter Elias Disney

This is how Walter Elias Disney, the film producer, and animator who created Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and hundreds of other cartoon characters, defined Disneyland.

He had the idea for founding the world’s most extensive entertainment park, one Father’s Day when he took his children to the playground. As he sat and watched them play, he decided to design a garden where the whole family could enjoy themselves together for hours. He first saw the site in Orlando from his aircraft and immediately gave orders for the purchase of several thousand hectares of what was then swampland.

This region was chosen because of the sunny climate, with only a minimal number of rainy days throughout the year. This has been the main factor in attracting not only Disney but other leading entertainment companies to establish fun parks here.

Orlando, in the southern state of Florida, is today the most famous entertainment center on earth. Every year millions of people come here to enjoy the world of imagination and fairytale. The moment you pass through the gate of this complex of fifteen or so large parks, Disneyland comprises four, you find yourself in another world.

Traveling to Orlando independently rather than with a tour is no problem at all. The tourism industry in the United States is so well developed that your every need is anticipated. When you arrive at the airport, you will find the car that you hired via the Internet-ready waiting for you.

Renting a car is essential if you are not traveling with a tour, and the prices are incredibly reasonable. One of the best areas to stay in Orlando in Kissimmee is close to Disneyland and the other entertainment parks and offers hotels to suit every pocket along Highway 192. This area is also a paradise where eating out is concerned. If it is Italian food you are looking for, do not miss Giordanos and Bruno’s. If you fancy lobster, then Angels and Boston Lobster Feast restaurants are for you. Try the great American style morning and evening open buffets at restaurants like Shoney’s and Sizzler. And of course, you should taste American steaks while you are there, at Ponderosa, Black Angus, or Cattlemen.

Disneyland and the other entertainment parks in Orlando sweep you up into a world of the imagination the moment you enter, leaving real life behind you on the other side of the gate. In the Disneyland Magic Word park, you can experience adventure and excitement as well as cartoon characters.

Some rides plunge a steep drop into water or pass through re-enactments of pirate battles. In Tomorrowland, you can watch three-dimensional films enhanced with special effects showing the vehicles of the future.

The parade of Disney characters by day and illuminated shows by night are well worth seeing. The unique program of new displays put on for the Millenium makes it inevitable that Disneyland will be an excellent place to go this December and to celebrate the new year.

Another Disney park is Epcot, which is full of fascinating displays out of the future. In Spaceship Earth, right by the entrance, you can see a spectacular account of the formation and evolution of our planet. There are also special sections devoted to 17 countries around the world.

At the MGM Studios, spread over a site of hundreds of acres, you can discover the world of film production behind the scenes, including the tricks used in filming and how cartoon films are made.

This is also the right place to see famous Disney characters and captivating sound, light, and water displays.

If you are interested in the world of animals, then the Animal Kingdom is just for you, carrying you away to the savannahs of Africa. You can go rafting on rivers in Africa or Asia, or travel back in time to the age of the dinosaurs with three-dimensional films and laser effects.

Universal Studios in Orlando is another world of its own where you can ride in a boat through the most exciting scene in the film Jaws and encounter Terminator. Soon you begin to wonder what a film is and what reality is. In the set built for the film Earthquake, you find yourself on a subway train at the moment of an earthquake, and amidst flames in a fire. At Sea World, you will see the most remarkable demonstrations of animal behavior:

how a 3.5-ton killer whale becomes quiet and tame in the hands of its keepers and swings its tail to spray water onto the audience, giving them a welcome shower in the blazing heat. In the undersea aquarium, you can see scores of different species of fish and watch sharks swimming above your head.

Orlando is truly an enchanted world, where you can enjoy the rare combination of fun, new experiences, and good food altogether. It is epitomized by Disneyland, where Walt Disney aimed to make the American Dream come true.

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