Disney is one of the largest corporations in the world, and it also owns more resort and park land than any other entertainment company.
Disney owns tens of thousands of acres of land across multiple countries, including the world’s largest theme park resort in Florida which spans over 30,000 acres. Disney owns dozens of hotels, a 494-acre resort in Japan, and the 160-acre Disneyland Park in California.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the major locations where Disney owns land, along with the size of its biggest attractions. Additionally, we’ll explore Disney’s land usage, studio size, and largest hotel complexes.
We sourced much of the information in this article from public land acquisition records and from information made available by Disney parks and resorts.
Table of Contents
Why does Disney Own Land?
Disney is a film and production company whose primary product is entertainment. As a result, it needs tons of land for producing movies, entertaining guests, housing supplies, and studio and editing facilities.
Disney also operates theme parks, which are some of the largest and most complex in the world.
Disney owns lots of studio space for filming. This space is both indoors and outdoors, and much of it is located in California. The company also requires many acres of warehouses for prop storage and set production.
Studio space is also used for animation, as Disney has tens of thousands of square feet of office space dedicated to the production, editing, and animation of films.
Not to mention corporate offices—as one of the most profitable entertainment companies in the world, Disney keeps an enormous staff to manage everything from streaming services to programming and payroll.
Land Owned by Disney-Affiliated Companies
Disney is a massive corporation that owns numerous other large companies. And thus, it also owns all the land that these other companies own. Disney wins ESPN, ABC, Lifetime, History, A&E, FX, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and others.
These companies own their own studio and office spaces, and they work with other large Hollywood production companies to design sets, build props, and store all the materials and equipment needed to film movies and TV shows.
How Big are Disney’s Studios?
The Walt Disney Studio in Burbank, California, spans around 51 acres of land. This studio, which is located at 500 South Buena Vista Street, is a prime location for much of Disney’s moviemaking, sound recording, and set production activities.
Walt Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida, which occupies 135 acres, is a popular attraction with a functioning production studio and facilities for producing music, film, television, and theatre.
Disney Park Land
Disney owns several well-known theme parks, which are some of the largest in the world. The primary two parks, Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, are two of the company’s most profitable land-based attractions.
Disney World and Disneyland are the two largest theme parks in the world by area, and Disney owns four of the top five largest theme parks in the world.
The third-largest theme park is Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, and the fifth is the Tokyo DisneySea park, which is part of the larger Tokyo park and resort complex.
Disneyland Park Area and Usage
Disneyland was Walt Disney’s first theme park and one of his most prized projects. The park, which opened on July 17, 1955, was one of the largest parks ever built at the time.
It was designed and built because Walt Disney’s 55-acre attraction in Burbank proved to be too small to accommodate the number of visitors who were drawn into the area to participate in activities.
Currently, the Disneyland park covers around 160 acres in Anaheim, California. The park has been modernized and expanded several times and hosts the largest amount of cumulative visitors in the world. Since its opening, the park has been visited over 726 million times.
Disneyland is a large park with themed attractions and a ‘downtown’ area designed to look like a quaint 1900s town. This main park area is surrounded by a live steam scaled railroad and numerous shops and restaurants. This area is known as “Main Street, U.S.A.”
Next, we’ll cover the largest subsections and expansions of Disneyland Park, along with what they feature.
Across the park are rides and recreation areas, including restaurants. One of the most interesting and notable parts of the park is Adventureland, and it is also one of the largest.
Adventureland is designed to simulate a tropical environment and hosts attractions like the Indiana Jones Adventure and the Jungle Cruise.
New Orleans Square
New Orleans Square is another notable part of the park, designed to resemble the southern Louisiana city as it was around the turn of the century. This historic-themed section is home to the Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbean rides, along with the private Disney Club 33.
Splash Mountain, the park’s most famous water ride, is located in Critter Country. This area is home to many themed attractions, including Winnie the Pooh. The site was originally named “Bear Country” in the 1970s and 1980s.
Frontierland is one of the largest and most visited areas of the park. The area’s theme is based on a dramatized image of the American Frontier in the 19th century. The area features attractions based around Native Americans, mining, and old western movies.
The most popular attractions in Frontierland are Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The Golden Horseshoe Saloon is also in the area. There’s a functioning steam-powered riverboat that operates on the water in Frontierland, which is also a popular attraction.
Fantasyland is a children’s attraction located on Disneyland park grounds. The area is designed to look like a classic Bavarian village, and it features Peter Pan and other popular classic movie attractions. The area is one of the oldest in the park and has undergone renovations and design changes over the years.
Tomorrowland is Disney’s futuristic theme park and features famous rides like Space Mountain and Star Wars Launch Bay. The space-themed area of the park is one of the most popular, and lines to ride Space Mountain are often the longest in the park.
Mickey’s Toontown is a homage to the original works of Walt Disney Studios and some of its most beloved animated films. It features attractions based on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Micky Mouse, and Donald Duck.
Disney World Land Area and Use
Disney World, based around Orlando, Florida, is Disney’s largest and newest primary theme park. Disney World, which is a theme park and luxury resort, is a popular destination for youth and families and a major contributor to the local economy in Orlando.
The park is so large that it’s categorized into different locations. The total area of the park is a whopping 25,000 acres or around 39 square miles. The total area in the region owned by Disney is 30,500 acres or 48 square miles. Much of this land was acquired using other corporations connected to Disney.
This area includes an 8,500-acre wetland nature conservatory area adjacent to the park and the massive EPCOT center. EPCOT, based on 1960s plans for a futuristic utopian community, is located at Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida.
The massive Florida-based Disney World compound includes four major theme parks, which occupy a large portion of its land holdings. These major parks include EPCOT, the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest single theme park in the world. This giant interactive zoo spans across 580 acres of Disney’s enormous Disney World and features numerous attractions and animals.
The park, which opened in 1998, hosted an astounding 13.89 million guests in 2019. At the center of the park is Discovery Island, which is home to a massive replica baobab tree and numerous rare and tropical wildlife.
The Africa park is another popular destination and one of the largest subsections of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The safari adventure features live storks, rhinoceroses, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, antelopes, elephants, and more.
In 1999, Disney added a large expansion to its Animal Kingdom modeled after Asia. The park includes rare animals such as Sumatran tigers, orangutans, flying foxes, and more than 50 species of regional birds.
Disney World Water Parks
Part of Disney’s Florida resort complex is its water parks, which include Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach. These parks host about two million annual visitors each.
Disney Resort Hotel Areas
Disney World is also home to a large resort complex with hotels, restaurants, bars, and spas. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the largest, with 1,300 rooms. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa has 867 rooms, and the next-largest Wilderness Lodge has 729.
There are five other large hotels on the property, which host between 492 rooms and 655 rooms, for a total of 5,625 rooms across all the main park hotel locations.
Disney Resorts Across the World
Disney owns numerous resorts in other locations across the world. This includes the massive Tokyo park complex, which spans across 494 acres. This resort features four hotels and two major theme parks, which are some of the largest single-attraction parks in the world.
Disney operates several ‘moderate’ resorts of varying sizes, mostly in tropical locations. Disney’s Port Orleans resort is the largest, featuring a capacity of 2,048 rooms. Disney also operates resorts in New Orleans, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands. Total, these additional three moderate resorts have 4,459 rooms.
About THE AUTHOR
We loved family’s outdoor adventures so much we started a land business just to help others buy their own land. We’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans five western states. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling