Walt Disney World opened on this day in 1971

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue inside of the Magic Kingdom theme park . The Cinderella castle can be seen in the background. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Walt Disney World opened for the public on October 1st, 1971.

With the success of Disneyland in California, which opened on July 17th, 1955, the Walt Disney Company decided to build a second park. The east-coast park opened with just one park, Magic Kingdom, and two resort hotels. Those were the Contemporary Resort Hotel and Polynesian Village.

48 years later and Walt Disney World has grown exponentially. They now operate four parks, two water parks, over 25 resort hotels, and the Disney Springs complex. The latest additions to the parks include 'Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge' at Disney's Hollywood Studios and 'Pandora -- The World of Avatar' at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Walt Disney World continues to expand, with plans to open new attractions and resort hotels on the horizon. For example, Epcot will undergo a multi-year transformation, bringing several new attractions, restaurants, and experiences to the park. This includes the new 'Guardian's of the Galaxy' coaster and a 'Mary Poppins' attraction.

Other expansions include:

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser: An immersive hotel that will take guests into space. This will be a 'cruise-like,' multi-day experience where passengers can interact with the crew and Star Wars characters.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway: This ride will replace the 'Great Movie Ride' inside the Chinese Theater at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: Walt Disney World describes the upcoming attraction as a "harrowing adventure" that will take place riders in the middle of a battle between the 'Resistance' and the 'First Order.'

Moana: Journey of Water: This attraction is part of Epcot's transformation and will allow guests to interact with "magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting," Walt Disney World says.

This story was written in Orlando, Florida.