How big is Walt Disney World?

Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” hosts the new “Disney’s Not So
Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” hosts the new “Disney’s Not So /

When you call something Walt Disney World, you naturally expect a lot of size to it. Yet, it's still amazing to see just how vast the entire WDW area is and the realization there's still plenty of space to be used for it. Just how big is Walt Disney World, and what takes up the space? 

The origins of Walt Disney World lie in how Walt Disney was always annoyed to see how hotels, restaurants, shops, and other tourist trap attractions quickly surrounded Disneyland in California. He wanted space to grow and soon settled on an area outside of Orlando, Florida, to build on. 

Via an intricate web of dummy corporations, Walt began buying up land -- far more land than even he expected. His brother Roy, who controlled the company's finances, agreed with Walt's desire to add more land whenever a good deal presented itself. They kept it secret as long as they could to get good prices, but word finally broke in 1965. 

Thankfully, by that time, Walt had more than enough land than he needed for his plans. He actually intended to build a fully working model city, but his death in 1966 changed those plans to a replica of the Magic Kingdom, then EPCOT Center, and so on. 

So just how big is WDW now, and what does it take up?

The size of Walt Disney World and the breakdowns of space

Originally, the layout for Walt Disney World was a total of 27,520 acres or 43 square miles. As Walt himself put it in perspective, that's twice the size of the island of Manhattan. Over the years, Disney has managed to secure a couple more land deals, so right now, they sit on 47 square miles.

The breakdown of the four main parks is this:

  • Magic Kingdom – 107 acres
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios – 135 acres
  • Epcot - 305 acres
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom – 580 acres

On top of that, there are the additional attractions for WDW:

  • Typhoon Lagoon – 56 acres
  • Blizzard Beach - 66 acres
  • Disney Springs - 120 acres
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports - 230 acres

That's not including the various resort hotels spread around that can range in their space. There's also fun trivia, such as how the Magic Kingdom's parking lot is 125 acres, bigger than the park itself. Throw in the numerous roads and highways, and in its own way, WDW really is a city to the point it has its own fire department. 

Here's the kicker: Add all that up, and it's still only half the total space of the entire property. Disney has more than enough room to expand each park or, if they wanted, even open an entirely new one, along with a few resorts. 

So, it's no lie that Walt Disney World is the achievement of Walt's dream that Disney would "never be finished" as there's still plenty of space there for it to grow larger.