Orlando Florida city near which Walt Disney decided to build his East Coast version of Disneyland. After the success of his California park, Walt realized that an East Coast park would likely attract many visitors who would be unable to travel all the way to California. Thus, he searched for the ideal location, eventually deciding on the Orlando area of Central Florida. He was able to amass a huge amount of land southwest of the city, and there built the park that would be known as Walt Disney World. Its announcement, the construction, and the subsequent 1971 opening forever changed the face of Orlando, which quickly grew from a sleepy town to a major metropolis.