Often, you see articles comparing the size of new proposed or existing theme parks around the world. These articles will say, “this theme park is about the same size as the Magic Kingdom or roughly twice as big as Disneyland.”
What does it mean when people are talking about how big the Magic Kingdom is in acres or even square miles for that matter?
Let’s clarify a basic question you may be wondering, how big is the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World?
The Size of the Magic Kingdom
I will clarify and provide information to many of the questions about the size of the Magic Kingdom, such as how big Walt Disney World is in acres and square miles, how big an acre is, and much more.
How Big is One Acre?
In the United States we measure the size of a piece of property in acres, and alternatively if the tract of land is large in square miles. To put this into understandable numbers 1 acre = 43,560 square feet of space. One acre is approximately a piece of property that is 208.7′ Long x 208.7′ Wide.
In 2021, the average American home was 2,273 square feet in size. Using those numbers, one acre is about the same square footage as 19 average American homes.
How Big is One Square Mile?
Using the previous acreage numbers, one square mile equals 640 acres. Currently, Walt Disney World is approximately 25,000 acres in size making it roughly 39 square miles in area. As a point of comparison, the island of Manhattan, in New York City, is approximately 22.8 square miles in size. That makes all of Walt Disney World almost two-times the size of Manhattan.
Magic Kingdom Size vs. Walt Disney World
As with many theme parks, the Magic Kingdom has been expanded in size since opening on October 1, 1971. Located in Central Florida – it technically resides in the town of Bay Lake, Florida – near Orlando. The Magic Kingdom was the first of the current four theme parks comprising Walt Disney World (in addition to the water parks, hotels, retail venues, etc.).
At the time of its construction, starting in the late 1960’s, the Magic Kingdom, and Walt Disney World for that matter, was one of the largest construction projects and site development project in the country.
The Magic Kingdom theme park (in the berm), when constructed was approximately 100 acres in size and is sited at the northernmost area of the entire Walt Disney World property which itself comprises over 25,000 acres. From Interstate 4, bisecting through Central Florida, the Magic Kingdom is approximately a 7.28-mile drive from I-4.
At the time of construction that equates to the Magic Kingdom being only 0.004% of the total land area comprising Walt Disney World.
Current Size of the Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom theme park has expanded several times during its 51 year history. One of the first expansions, since day one, was the opening and addition to Frontierland with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster in November 1980. Big Thunder Mountain added an additional 2 acres of ‘thrill’ space to the theme park.
The Magic Kingdom would see its next big (in berm) expansion when Mickey’s Birthdayland opened in June 1988. Mickey’s Birthdayland was a 3 acre small land-within-a-land expansion directly adjacent to and connected to Fantasyland wedged between the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction and the Tomorrowland Speedway.
Fast-forward to 2012, the largest expansion to the Magic Kingdom in its history opened, the 11 acre Fantasyland Expansion. This expansion increased the Fantasyland’s area from roughly 10 acres to 21 acres.
The most current expansion to the world’s most popular theme park is the Tron Lightcycle Run. Located just outside the original berm of the Magic Kingdom next to its counterpart Tomorrowland roller coaster, Space Mountain, the Tron Lightcylcle Run added an additional 7 acres of area to the Magic Kingdom’s footprint.
Today, the Magic Kingdom theme park is currently 140 acres in size or 0.22 square miles in area. With the Magic Kingdom’s current size, that makes it 0.0056% of the total land area comprising Walt Disney World.
How Big is the Magic Kingdom’s Parking Lot
The current size of the Magic Kingdom is 140 acres. Since the Magic Kingdom is currently, and has been for years, the most popular theme park in the world hosting around 20 million Guests each year, one might ask how big is the parking lot?
As with the Magic Kingdom, its respective parking lot – located approximately one mile away across the manmade Seven Seas Lagoon, has grown and changed its configuration over the years.
Currently, the Magic Kingdom parking lot is 146 acres or 0.23 square miles in area. This equates to the Magic Kingdom’s parking lot being 0.00584% of the total land area of Walt Disney World.
How Big is the Magic Kingdom Compared to Epcot
Currently, the Magic Kingdom theme park is roughly one-half the size of Walt Disney World’s second theme park, Epcot. Epcot opened in October 1982 and at the time was Disney’s largest theme park in the world. In 1982, Epcot cost an estimated $1.1 billion to design and construct – that’s over $3 billion in 2023 dollars when accounting and adjusting for inflation.
✅ Click Here to read more about Epcot’s use of ‘Discovery’ as a theme.
Epcot – named EPCOT Center when it first opened – ushered in a new type of Disney theme park. Epcot harkens back to a World’s Fair approach to storytelling in a theme park setting. Epcot’s overarching theme is ‘Discovery’ making it a ‘permanent world’s fair’ showcasing new technology, discovery of different cultures with its various country pavilions in World Showcase, and discovery of both the past and future in Future World.