Walt Disney World
is the pacesetter among theme parks: it goes way beyond Disneyland, which opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955 - delivering escapism at its most technologically advanced and psychologically brilliant across an area twice the size of Manhattan. Its four main theme parks are quite separate entities and, ideally, you should allow a full day for each. The
is the Disney park of popular imagination, where Mickey mingles with the crowds - very much the park for kids, though at its high-tech best capable of thrilling even the most jaded of adults. Known for its giant, golfball-like geosphere,
is Disney's celebration of science and technology; this sprawling area involves a lot of walking, and may bore young children.
suits almost everyone: its special effects are enjoyable even if you've never seen the movies they're based on. The newest of the four, Disney's
Animal Kingdom, brings all manner of African and Asian wildlife to the theme park setting, perhaps the lone entry that can be explored fairly quickly.