Photos: Walt Disney World at 40

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  1. 40 and fabulous

    Fireworks explode above Cinderella Castle as dancers and Disney characters perform while taping a segment of "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" at the Magic Kingdom on Dec. 3, 2010, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 40th anniversary of the opening of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort will be celebrated in 2011. (Mark Ashman / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Star power

    Musical artist Yanni, right, plays the piano as the "Yanni Voices" perform an arrangement of "O Holy Night" at the Magic Kingdom on Dec. 3, 2009, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Yanni was taping a segment for the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" holiday TV special. (Mark Ashman / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 'I'm going to Disney World!'

    Tom Brady, quarterback of the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots, signs autographs at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on Feb. 2, 2004, one day after leading the Patriots to a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers. (Gene Duncan / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. The first 25 years

    First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to a crowd as Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner applauds Oct. 1, 1996, during the rededication of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on the 25th anniversary its opening. (Tony Ranze / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Royal fun

    Prince William, right, grimaces after he and friends of the royal family finish their ride on Splash Mountain Aug. 26, 1993, at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Harry Soames, left front, was the prince's companion on the three-day vacation. Other passengers are unidentified. (Bob Pearson / AFP-Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Celebrating two decades

    The 20th anniversary rededication ceremony of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in 1991 brought legions of Disney cast members onto Main Street, U.S.A. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A world-class welcome

    Roy O. Disney, brother of Walt Disney, is joined by the beloved Disney character that started it all, Mickey Mouse, in welcoming the first guests to the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Oct. 1, 1971. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Cinderella's future home

    In 1971, a blue-spired castle -- destined to become one of the world's most-photographed buildings -- rose in central Florida as the iconic centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom, which opened on Oct. 1, 1971. In the 40 years since guests first strolled down Main Street, U.S.A., Walt Disney World Resort has blazed brave new entertainment trails based on its founder's fertile imagination and vision that the resort would forever continue to evolve. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 2/20/2009 10:46:40 AM ET 2009-02-20T15:46:40

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on a Southwest Airlines carrier to Orlando, seven nights' accommodations at a Walt Disney World Resort including three free nights, a seven-day Magic Your Way ticket including three free days, Extra Magic Hours, round-trip airport-hotel transportation on Disney's Magical Express, no fuel surcharges, no luggage-check fees for up to two bags, a frequent-flier credit on Southwest Airlines and hotel taxes, from $476 per person — plus estimated airport taxes of $35.

When: April 20–May 14, 2009, for the starting rate; through Aug. 14 for the three free hotel nights/three free days on your Magic Your Way ticket special, but the cost may vary; through March 29 to receive a $200 Disney gift card; exact dates may vary depending on the resort.

Gateways: Fort Myers; add $21 for New Orleans; $42 for D.C.; $77 for Manchester, Providence; $119 for Chicago; $154 for Hartford; $168 for L.A., St. Louis; $182 for San Antonio; additional gateways are available.

The fine print: The starting rate reflects three free hotel nights and three free days on your Magic Your Way ticket. The cost is the same, $476, for five-night stays, which includes one free night and one free day on your Magic Your Way Tickets, or six-night stays, which includes two free nights/two free days on your Magic Your Way tickets. Based on quadruple occupancy for two adults and two children; add $91 per person for triple occupancy; add $161 per person for a double; add $434 for single occupancy. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: March 29, 2009.

Contact: Southwest Vacations, 800/243-8372, southwestvacations.com.

Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest round-trip airfare between Fort Myers and Orlando starts at $286, including taxes, for travel in late April (multiple carriers). In comparison, the Southwest Vacations package covers airfare as well as seven nights' accommodations, a seven-night Magic Your Way pass, airport-hotel transfers and all taxes and fees for an additional $225. In terms of Magic Your Way tickets, if purchased directly from Walt Disney World's Web site, they cost about $75 per person for a one-day pass or $228 for a seven-day pass for adults and kids ages 10 and older; $63 for a one-day pass and $193 for a seven-day pass for kids ages 3 to 9.

More: You can add a Disney Dining Plan for $39 per person per day, which covers: one table-service meal including an entrée, dessert, and nonalcoholic beverage; one quick-service meal (entrée and nonalcoholic beverage) or full-combo meal (entrée, side dish, and nonalcoholic beverage); and one snack, such as snack-cart ice cream, popcorn or a nonalcoholic beverage.

Before you go: For additional information about the area, visit the official Web sites of the state of Florida and the Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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