Today is a special day for the Walt Disney World Resort; it is the day that changed destination travel forever. In 1971 a new kind of resort opened, Walt Disney World and later expanded with the opening of EPCOT Center in 1982.

The opening of Walt Disney World, later renaming the actual park the Magic Kingdom as EPCOT Center was being readied, was a seminal event in the tourism industry. It represented a change in the way the world saw Florida, but more importantly it changed the face of destination travel.

The all encompassing mega-resort may have existed before Walt Disney World opened, but The Walt Disney Co. used all of their entertainment experience and learnings from Disneyland to create a destination like no other before. From the out of this world construction of the Contemporary Resort to the transportation systems used to move their guests, Disney spared little expense in creating a magical destination.

I remember coming to the park as a little boy and being fascinated by, well everything. From the smells of the food, the sounds of the performers and the thrill of all of the attractions it was a magical experience that forever changed me. So much so, that I have had the great fortune to have spent some of my professional career as an artist working at the company on web development, television shows and live event productions.

Over the years I have been to the parks more times than I can count, but my fascination with them has never waned. It is a wonderful place to visit and living in Central Florida it provides my family and me with activities all year long. Happy Birthday to the Magic Kingdom, Happy Birthday to Epcot and congratulation to all of the castmembers who work so hard to create the magic every day!