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Chart: 30 Years of Wildfires in America

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Comparing Human Genetic Similarity to Other Life Forms

Of the three billion genetic building blocks that make us living things, only a handful are uniquely ours. In fact, despite our differences on the outside, humans are 99.9% genetically similar to one another.

But how alike are we to other, non-human life forms? Turns out, we’re a lot more similar than you might think.

Comparative Genomics 101

First, how do scientists compare the genetic makeup of various life forms?

Comparative genomics is a branch of biology that compares genome sequences across different species to identify their similarities and differences.

This field of research is important because it:

  • Helps us better understand evolution, and how living things have adapted over time.
  • Builds knowledge around genes and how they influence various systems in our bodies.
  • Has wider applications in agriculture, especially in conservation efforts among endangered species.

According to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), scientists have already sequenced the genomes of more than 250 animal species, as well as 50 bird species.

Human Genetic Makeup vs. Other Life Forms

Perhaps unsurprisingly, chimps are one of our closest genetic relatives in the animal kingdom.

Because of our similarities, chimpanzees have a similar immune system to humans, which means they’re susceptible to viruses such as AIDS and hepatitis.

Though chimps are one of our closest relatives, other species are strongly linked to humans as well—and not necessarily the ones you’d think.

Category Genetic Similarity
Humans and Humans 99.9%
Humans and Chimps 98.8%
Humans and Dogs 94%
Humans and Cats 90%
Humans and Cows 80%
Humans and Fruit Flies 60%
Humans and Bananas 60%

For instance, according to NHGRI, fruit flies are 60% genetically similar to humans.

This may sound confusing at first, since humans and insects couldn’t be more physically different. However, because we share many of the same essential needs to sustain life, such as the need for oxygen, these similarities are reflected in our genetics.

DNA vs Genes

It’s important to note that being genetically similar to something is different than sharing the same DNA. That’s because genes (the part of DNA responsible for making protein) only account for up to 2% of your DNA, while the rest of your genome is made up of what scientists call “non-coding DNA.”

So while a banana is 60% genetically similar to humans, only 1.2% of our DNA is shared.

» Like this? Then check out this article on Earth’s Biomass

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What’s New on VC+ in October?

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If you’re a regular visitor to Visual Capitalist, you know that we’re your home base for data-driven, visual storytelling that helps explain a complex world.

But did you know there’s a way to get even more out of Visual Capitalist, all while helping support the work we do?

New to VC+ in August 2021

VC+ is our members program that gives you exclusive access to extra visual content and insightful special features. It also gets you access to The Trendline, our new members-only graphic newsletter.

So, what is getting sent to VC+ members in the coming weeks?


“VC 360: A Critical Analysis on Languages”

SPECIAL DISPATCH: Examining Attempts to Visualize Our World of Languages

Language is a common thread that binds humanity together. While there are some dominant mother tongues that are spoken by millions, there are still thousands of languages spoken around the world. Visualizing who speaks what language around the globe is no easy feat, though many have tried.

This recurring VC+ Special Dispatch looks at noteworthy attempts to categorize all the world’s languages in one place, and how effectively they communicate the message.

Publishing date: August 5 (Get VC+ to access)


“The Best of… Patent Drop”

NEW SPECIAL DISPATCH: A Roundup From Our Favorite Content Libraries

In our research and writing processes, we often come across resources that make us wish we’d thought of doing that first.

In this new VC+ Special Dispatch, we curate the best of content libraries that caught our attention for your easy viewing. This first edition looks at Patent Drop—a newsletter by Neer Sharma that summarizes Big Tech’s latest patent announcements, giving us a peek into the future.

Publishing date: August 11 (Get VC+ to access)


“Ask Us Anything” With Our Creative & Art Directors

SPECIAL DISPATCH: The Design Team Answers Questions Submitted by VC+ Members

Do you have a burning question about Visual Capitalist’s artistic prowess?

In this exclusive interview with our Creative Director Melissa Haavisto and Art Directors Amy Kuo and Clayton Wadsworth, we pull back the curtain on the inner workings of our world-class design team. This is your chance to ask them anything!

Publishing date: August  18 (Get VC+ to access)


The News in Charts: August 2021

SPECIAL DISPATCH: Powerful Charts From News Stories of the Past Month

With the fast-paced news cycle, it can be quite difficult to keep track of all that’s going on.

In this recurring feature, we look back at some of the most newsworthy events of August 2021 across the economy, politics, and society—and provide key takeaways using succinct charts from various media outlets.

Publishing date: August 25 (Get VC+ to access)


The Trendline

PREMIUM NEWSLETTER: Our Weekly Newsletter for VC+ Members
The Trendline

Every week, VC+ members also get our premium graphic newsletter, The Trendline.

With The Trendline, we send you the best visual content, datasets, and insightful reports relating to business that our editors find each week.

Publishing Date: Every Sunday (Get VC+ to access)


More Visuals. More Insight. More Understanding.

Get access to these upcoming features by becoming a VC+ member.

For a limited time, get 25% off, which makes your VC+ membership the same price as a coffee each month:

Get 25% Off VC+ Today
 

P.S. – We look forward to sending you even more great visuals and data!

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Mapped: Where are the World’s Ongoing Conflicts Today?

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In theory, nuclear weapon stockpiles are closely held national secrets. The leading countries have rough estimates that aren’t regularly updated, newly nuclear countries keep their capabilities vague and unclear, and Israel has never officially confirmed a nuclear weapons program.

But thanks to limited disclosures, records, and leaks, we can visualize the full extent* of the world’s nuclear arsenal. This graphic uses estimated nuclear warhead inventories from the Federation of American Scientists as of August 2021.

Based on these estimates, there are just nine countries with nuclear weapons in the world.

Editor’s note: Exact numbers of nuclear warheads possessed by countries are closely guarded state secrets, with the FAS estimate being the closest, most-used, and most-trusted international approximation available.

Nuclear Weapons, by Country

The nuclear arms race has always centered around the U.S. and Russia.

After the end of World War II and well into the Cold War, the world’s two superpowers raced to build more nuclear weapons (and more capable nuclear weapons) than the other.

Even while international organizations lobbied for the end of nuclear proliferation, the world’s nuclear weapon stockpile grew to a peak of 70,300 total warheads in 1986.

As arms agreements and non-proliferation treaties started to gain greater momentum, the U.S. and Russia cut back on stockpiles while new countries with nuclear weapons started to pop up.

Country Total Warheads (2021) % of Total
🇷🇺 Russia 6,257 47.7%
🇺🇸 U.S. 5,550 42.3%
🇨🇳 China 350 2.67%
🇫🇷 France 290 2.21%
🇬🇧 UK 225 1.71%
🇵🇰 Pakistan 165 1.26%
🇮🇳 India 160 1.22%
🇮🇱 Israel 90 0.69%
🇰🇵 North Korea 45 0.34%

Despite reducing their stockpiles significantly since the end of the Cold War, Russia and the U.S. still own around 90% of all nuclear warheads in the world.

Far behind them are China and France, which started testing nuclear weapons in 1964 and 1960 respectively. The UK has the fifth-most nuclear weapons today, though it was the third country in the world to develop them after the U.S. and Russia in 1952.

The countries with fewer than 200 nuclear weapons are regional rivals India and Pakistan, which first tested nuclear weapons in the 1970s, and North Korea, which began to operate uranium fabrication plants and conduct explosive tests in the 1980s.

Israel is also estimated to have fewer than 200 nuclear weapons, and reports have its weapons program dating back to the 1960s. However, the country has never confirmed or announced its nuclear capabilities.

Countries With Nuclear Weapons, by Warhead Status

Though the world has 13,132 nuclear weapons, that doesn’t mean they’re all ready to fire.

Weapons (or “warheads”) are delivered by missile, and countries don’t keep all of their nuclear warheads primed for use. The estimation of nuclear stockpiles also clarifies whether warheads are considered deployed, reserved, or retired:

  • Deployed warheads are deployed on intercontinental missiles, at heavy bomber bases, and on bases with operational short-range delivery systems.
  • Reserve warheads are in storage and not deployed on launchers.
  • Retired warheads are still intact but in queue for dismantlement.
Country Deployed Warheads Reserve Warheads Retired Warheads
🇷🇺 Russia 1,600 2,897 1,760
🇺🇸 U.S. 1,800 2,000 1,750
🇨🇳 China 0 350 0
🇫🇷 France 280 10 0
🇬🇧 UK 120 105 0
🇵🇰 Pakistan 0 165 0
🇮🇳 India 0 160 0
🇮🇱 Israel 0 90 0
🇰🇵 North Korea 0 45 0

Only four countries have officially deployed warheads, while the majority of the world’s nuclear stockpile is in reserve. This is partially due to estimates ranging from relatively transparent in the case of the U.S. to opaque and uncertain for countries like China and North Korea.

But some countries are expected to further bolster their stockpiles. The UK government announced it would increase its stockpile to no more than 260 warheads, and U.S. intelligence expects China, India, and Pakistan to increase their stockpiles.

Though the world’s nuclear stockpile will likely continue dwindling on account of U.S. and Russia retirements, the 2021 landscape of countries with nuclear weapons shows that proliferation is still underway.

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A Visual Guide to Investing in Psychedelics

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From consumers to policy makers, many economic actors are backing sustainability—and creating a powerful portfolio opportunity for investors.

The use of environmental, social, and governance factors (altogether known as ESG) is increasingly informing investment decisions. But although ESG investing has grown in prominence in a few short years, there’s a disconnect:

  • 69% of retail investors are interested in ESG, yet…
  • Only 10% actually invest in products that incorporate ESG factors

To properly capitalize on this trend, it’s important to first fully understand it.

According to J.P. Morgan Asset Management, here are seven essentials that can help investors understand the growing importance of ESG investing.

1. ESG considerations are affecting consumer preferences and attitudes.

The public is paying attention to how companies position themselves, to ensure their purchases will be sustainable.

In a survey, respondents around the world were asked whether they agree with the question, “I buy from companies that are conscious of protecting the environment.”

Here are the trends that emerged:

Country Agree Disagree
🇨🇳 China 71% 3%
🇮🇩 Indonesia 61% 3%
🇸🇬 Singapore 52% 9%
🇺🇸 U.S. 51% 15%
🇰🇷 Korea 48% 17%
🇩🇪 Germany 47% 11%
🇦🇺 Australia 47% 15%
🇯🇵 Japan 33% 22%
🇭🇰 Hong Kong 31% 17%

Source: J.P. Morgan Asset Management; PwC June 2021 Global consumer insights pulse survey. Data as of June 30, 2021.

Across markets, consumers in China seem to be the most environmentally inclined, but all countries surveyed exhibited a positive shift towards companies that support environmental protection.

Why it matters: Consumers are making decisions based on ESG considerations, and they’re voting with their wallets. This change has ripple effects, and is shifting from individuals to impacting higher levels, such as governments.

2. Policymakers are setting environmental and social goals.

Governments of the world’s top greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters are working towards a net zero future, in which GHG emissions are reduced or offset.

What is the current trajectory of GHG emissions (measured in tonnes per year of CO₂ equivalents, tCO₂e) and what is the gap we need to bridge in the race to net zero?

Year 🇪🇺 EU (tCO₂e) 🇺🇸 U.S. (tCO₂e) 🇨🇳 China (tCO₂e)
1990 5.7B 6.4B 3.3B
2000 5.2B 7.3B 5.1B
2010 4.8B 7.0B 10.9B
2020 3.7B 5.9B 13.0B
2030P 3.3B 5.9B 13.8B
2040P 1.6B 3.0B 9.2B
2050P 0B 0B 4.6B
2060P 0B 0B 0B

Source: J.P. Morgan Asset Management; Climate Action Tracker. Data as of June 30, 2021.

Why it matters: Altogether, around 60 countries—representing over half of global GHG emissions—have set ambitious net zero emissions targets for the coming decades.

3. For some, the shift to sustainability may be a headwind.

Traditional energy needs to account for a much smaller proportion of the global energy mix, if we are to achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Here’s what each energy source needs to contribute in terms of their share (%) of the primary energy mix, compared to past trends:

Year Oil Coal Gas Renewables Nuclear
and Hydro
1970 46.9% 30.0% 16.9% 0.2% 6.1%
1980 45.8% 26.9% 18.3% 0.2% 8.7%
1990 39.7% 27.2% 20.5% 0.5% 12.2%
2000 39.2% 25.0% 21.9% 0.7% 13.3%
2010 34.2% 29.9% 22.5% 1.9% 11.5%
2030P 26.9% 17.0% 22.2% 20.9% 12.9%
2040P 15.4% 5.5% 15.9% 47.5% 15.7%
2050P 6.8% 1.9% 13.0% 59.2% 19.0%

Source: J.P. Morgan Asset Management; BP Energy Outlook 2020. Forecast is based on BP’s scenario for global net zero emissions by 2050. Data as of June 30, 2021.

Why it matters: The shift to renewable energy may pose a challenge for industries reliant on fossil fuels. Fortunately, it’s not too late for companies to transition.

4. ESG creates opportunities for those at the forefront of change.

Looking at the movement of global investment, billions of dollars are flowing into the energy transition.

Year Renewable energy Storage, electrification,
carbon capture, other
Total Amount
2004 $33B $0B $33B
2008 $157B $25B $182B
2012 $239B $24B $263B
2016 $277B $101B $378B
2020 $304B $197B $501B

Source: J.P. Morgan Asset Management; Bloomberg NEF, BP Statistical, Eurostat, Lazard, METI. Storage, electrification, other includes hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, energy storage, electrified transport and electrified heat. Data as of June 30, 2021.

Why it matters: With interest expanding quickly, this provides a unique opportunity to tap into the nascent ESG market.

5. ESG covers more than climate—Social and Governance is growing too.

As the name suggests, ESG is all-encompassing, with a scope that goes far beyond the environment.

MSCI analyzed the corporate mentions of diversity and inclusion in earnings calls (four-quarter moving average for MSCI ACWI companies)—and found that they have almost doubled in the past two years.

Why it matters: This signals rising interest in the varied criteria that make up ESG investing.

6. ESG is affecting the investment landscape.

The demand for sustainable fixed income strategies is also growing rapidly, with global sustainable bond issuance growing over 25x between 2016-2020:

Type of Bond Issuance 2012 2016 2020
Green $4B $84B $291B
Sustainable $1B $7B $176B
Social $1B $3B $237B

Source: J.P. Morgan Asset Management; Climate Bonds Initiative. Data as of 30 June 2021.

Why it matters: Growth and demand is high, and sustainable investing is not limited to equities—environmental and social projects have increasing access to financing.

7. ESG is changing the nature of investment flows.

Looking at the big picture, here’s what proportion of each country’s assets into sustainable strategies has evolved around the world:

Region/ Country 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
🇪🇺 EU 5% 8% 18% 27% 48%
🇺🇸 U.S. 1% 0% 1% 4% 22%
🌏 APAC -1% -1% 0% 2% 6%

J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Morningstar. Data as of 30 June 2021.

Why it matters: Although certain regions are leading the way, overall demand for sustainable funds is expected to continue on this upward trend.

As these seven ESG essentials make clear, sustainable investing is becoming a compelling vehicle for change worldwide. But incorporating ESG criteria into investing is as much about doing well financially, as it is about doing good.

Find out more at J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s dedicated sustainable investing hub.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
For the purposes of MiFID II, the JPM Market Insights and Portfolio Insights programs are marketing communications and are not in scope for any MiFID II / MiFIR requirements specifically related to investment research. Furthermore, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Market Insights and Portfolio Insights programs, as non-independent research, have not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, nor are they subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research. This document is a general communication being provided for informational purposes only. It is educational in nature and not designed to be taken as advice or a recommendation for any specific investment product, strategy, plan feature or other purpose in any jurisdiction, nor is it a commitment from J.P. Morgan Asset Management or any of its subsidiaries to participate in any of the transactions mentioned herein. Any examples used are generic, hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. This material does not contain sufficient information to support an investment decision and it should not be relied upon by you in evaluating the merits of investing in any securities or products. In addition, users should make an independent assessment of the legal, regulatory, tax, credit, and accounting implications and determine, together with their own financial professional, if any investment mentioned herein is believed to be appropriate to their personal goals. Investors should ensure that they obtain all available relevant information before making any investment. Any forecasts, figures, opinions or investment techniques and strategies set out are for information purposes only, based on certain assumptions and current market conditions and are subject to change without prior notice. All information presented herein is considered to be accurate at the time of production, but no warranty of accuracy is given and no liability in respect of any error or omission is accepted. It should be noted that investment involves risks, the value of investments and the income from them may fluctuate in accordance with market conditions and taxation agreements and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Both past performance and yields are not reliable indicators of current and future results. J.P. Morgan Asset Management is the brand for the asset management business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its affiliates worldwide. To the extent permitted by applicable law, we may record telephone calls and monitor electronic communications to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations and internal policies. Personal data will be collected, stored and processed by J.P. Morgan Asset Management in accordance with our privacy policies at https://am.jpmorgan.com/global/privacy. This communication is issued by the following entities: In the United States, by J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc. or J.P. Morgan Alternative Asset Management, Inc., both regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission; in Latin America, for intended recipients’ use only, by local J.P. Morgan entities, as the case may be.; in Canada, for institutional clients’ use only, by JPMorgan Asset Management (Canada) Inc., which is a registered Portfolio Manager and Exempt Market Dealer in all Canadian provinces and territories except the Yukon and is also registered as an Investment Fund Manager in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. In the United Kingdom, by JPMorgan Asset Management (UK) Limited, which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority; in other European jurisdictions, by JPMorgan Asset Management (Europe) S.à r.l. In Asia Pacific (“APAC”), by the following issuing entities and in the respective jurisdictions in which they are primarily regulated: JPMorgan Asset Management (Asia Pacific) Limited, or JPMorgan Funds (Asia) Limited, or JPMorgan Asset Management Real Assets (Asia) Limited, each of which is regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong; JPMorgan Asset Management (Singapore) Limited (Co. Reg. No. 197601586K), which this advertisement or publication has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore; JPMorgan Asset Management (Taiwan) Limited; JPMorgan Asset Management (Japan) Limited, which is a member of the Investment Trusts Association, Japan, the Japan Investment Advisers Association, Type II Financial Instruments Firms Association and the Japan Securities Dealers Association and is regulated by the Financial Services Agency (registration number “Kanto Local Finance Bureau (Financial Instruments Firm) No. 330”); in Australia, to wholesale clients only as defined in section 761A and 761G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth), by JPMorgan Asset Management (Australia) Limited (ABN 55143832080) (AFSL 376919). For all other markets in APAC, to intended recipients only.
Our manager seeks to integrate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors in the investment processes. ESG integration is the systematic integration of material ESG factors in company/issuer selection through research and risk management. It involves proprietary research on financial materiality of the ESG factors in relation to the relevant company/issuer and discretion to invest regardless of whether the company/issuer may be positively or negatively impacted by the ESG factors. Integration of ESG factors in investment processes does not imply the funds or strategies incorporate ESG factors as a key investment focus.
For U.S. only: If you are a person with a disability and need additional support in viewing the material, please call us at 1-800-343-1113 for assistance. Copyright 2021 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.

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Mapped: The 50-Year Evolution of Walt Disney World

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In the early 1960s, Walt Disney was riding high on the success of Disneyland in California.

Disneyland had a problem though. Only a small fraction of its guests were from the East Coast of the U.S., which meant Disney was missing out on a huge potential audience for his theme park. To expand the company’s reach and scope, he began looking for a location that would match his grand ambitions, and Florida, with its abundance of cheap land and warm climate was a natural choice.

On November 22, 1963—coincidentally the day JFK was assassinated—Walt flew over to the Orlando to do some location scouting. At the time, most of the area was swampland, though there was one area adjacent to an under-construction highway that caught his attention.

Using shell companies to preserve his anonymity (and to keep the price down), Disney began acquiring the sprawling properties that would become today’s Walt Disney World (WDW).

Walt Disney World: The First Iteration

When Walt Disney World finally opened in 1971, it included the main Magic Kingdom site, as well as two golf courses and two hotels—Contemporary Resort and the Polynesian Village Resort. These areas were all connected by a monorail system.

disney world map 1971

As these maps depict, there was a plan to develop three unique themed zones around the Seven Seas Lagoon: Persian, Asian, and Venetian.

However, these projects were scrapped after the 1973 oil crisis as tourism declined.

seven seas lagoon disney world 1971 plan map

The original master plan for Walt Disney World did not include plans for the Seven Seas Lagoon, and it was likely added so that the displaced earth could be used to fortify swampy sections of the property to make them suitable for building.

Epcot Expansion

The first major Disney World expansion was Epcot Center, which opened in 1982. The site, which was twice as big as the Magic Kingdom, is best described as a permanent world’s fair.

The park was anchored by Future World and “Spaceship Earth”, the iconic geodesic sphere structure that sat at the entrance of the park.

disney world epcot map 1982

Surrounding the nearby lake were pavilions themed after various locations in the world.

Though the scope of Epcot was impressive at the time, it was still vastly scaled down from Walt Disney’s original vision for a fully functioning “city of the future”. Ultimately, the company was uncertain about the feasibility of operating a functional city, so the idea was scrapped in favor of the current iteration.

Hollywood Comes to Florida

Disney-MGM Studios opened in 1989, in a location just south of Epcot. The park featured “imagined worlds from film, television, music, and theater, drawing inspiration from the Golden Age of Hollywood”.

To make this happen, Disney entered into a licensing agreement with MGM to help increase the variety of film representation within the park.

walt disney world hollywood studios map 1990

Approximately 11 million visitors pass through Hollywood Studios every year.

Animal Kingdom and Rapid Expansion

In 1998, WDW added a fourth theme park called Animal Kingdom. It’s the largest theme park in the world, covering 580 acres, and combines elements of both a zoo and theme park.

A central feature of Animal Kingdom is the massive Tree of Life. The 145 foot tall work of art contains 325 unique animal carvings and over 100,000 artificial leaves. The park itself features about 2,000 animals representing 300 species.

Around 13 million people visit the theme park each year.

Walt Disney World Today

So, how big is Walt Disney World today? 43 square miles, which is about the same area as San Francisco and and twice the size of Manhattan.

The scale of today’s WDW has fully eclipsed the original version of the site. The resort, which featured two hotels in 1971, now has more than 20, with 30,000 hotel rooms. WDW is also the largest single site employer in the United States.

Looking at the map above, one might wonder whether this sprawling entertainment empire is bursting at the seams. Will WDW eventually build over its entire property? The answer is somewhat complicated.

What’s Missing from Walt Disney World Maps?

While the stylized maps above do a great job of highlighting WDW’s many attractions, they generally downplay an important fact. Much of the land owned by Disney is still undeveloped, and there is a lot of space between the various parks. Much of this space is earmarked as conservation areas, and only some of the remaining land is actually suitable for development. Despite the sheer size of the property occupied by WDW, space for expansion grows increasingly scarce with each new development.

The stylized maps also downplay the size of WDW’s parking lots, which are extensive. The Magic Kingdom parking lot, for example, is actually larger than the theme park itself.

The giant map below is an accurate representation of the park’s layout, and includes facts on some of the attributes of the park.

This enormous land parcel is also unique in that it’s a kind of self-governing municipality, with its own fire department and emergency services. The district—officially known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District—is governed by a five-person Board of Supervisors elected by the landowners in the district. As a result, high-level Disney employees essentially run the entire region encompassing WDW.

In the 50 years since the Magic Kingdom first opened its turnstiles, Disney’s own kingdom in Central Florida has transformed dramatically. With Disney’s continued financial success and the freedom to make large-scale moves within their property, the next 50 years will no doubt bring more dramatic changes to the world’s biggest theme park.

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