Disney World Turns 50

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Since Disney World opened on October 1, 1971, it has become the most visited vacation resort in the world, with nearly 60 million annual visitors. The Onion looks back at key moments in the theme park’s 50-year history.

1965: Orlando selected as site of Disney World due to ample space and naturally occurring pirates of the Caribbean.


1971: Faint stench of dirty diapers settles in permanently across park minutes after grand opening.

1972: Disney executives a bit frightened by overwhelming adult interest in park.

1982: EPCOT’s opening definitively proves it impossible to make learning fun.

1986: Company begins paying employees in legal currency.

1989: Executives suddenly realize they forgot to open any gift shops.

1991: Dissolution of the Soviet Union a real pain in the ass for EPCOT.

1995: Disney’s Wedding Pavilion opens to offer a wide array of options for weddings that really inconvenience their guests.


2017: Pandora – The World of Avatar opens, fulfilling the dreams of James Camerons across the globe.

2021: Park under investigation for blatant copyright infringement of the Walt Disney Company.