Disney World Celebrates 50th Anniversary!

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Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney Resort festooned in gold in celebration of the resort’s Golden Anniversary. Photo Credit: Walt Disney Co.

United States:

Walt Disney World Resort will kick off an 18-month Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration on 1 October 2021 to commemorate the destination resort’s Golden Anniversary. And the World’s Most Magical Celebration will take place at each of Disney World’s four theme parks. 

Walt Disney World Resort – History

Walt Disney World Resort officially opened on 1 October 2071 with one theme park and two hotels. And a campground followed the following month.

In the five decades since, the popular destination resort has continued to expand.

And half a century later, the popular destination resort is one of the world’s top tourist attractions.

In fact, Disney World now consists of four theme parks, two water parks, several hotels, multiple golf courses, a campground, and other entertainment venues.

While the destination resort occupies nearly 25,000 acres, only half of the property has been developed so far. And this raises an interesting question. What does the future hold for the Walt Disney World Resort?

Walt Disney World is located at Lake Buena near Orlando, Florida.

Key Dates

A brief chronology of the resort’s key openings follows …

Magic Kingdom – modeled after the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California, the theme park comprises Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Tomorrowland. And it opened in 1971.

Epcot – the second theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, the 305-acre park is twice the size of the Magic Kingdom. In fact, it celebrates technological innovation and international culture. And it opened in  1982.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios –  the third theme park at Walt Disney World, the 135-acre park draws inspiration from the Golden Age of Hollywood, celebrating cinema, television, music, and theatre. And it opened in May 1989.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – the 56-acre water park is the Disney Resort’s first water park. With the largest wave pool in North America,  it opened in June 1989.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park – a 66-acre water park, it is built around the tale of a ski resort that melted into a warm water lagoon. It features one of the world’s fastest free-fall water slides. And it opened in 1995.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – the fourth theme park at Disney World, the 580-acre zoological theme park is the destination resort’s largest theme park. Dedicated to animal conversation and the natural environment, it opened in 1998.

World’s Most Magical Celebration

Running 18 months,  the World’s Most Magical Celebration will begin on 1 October 2021 and continue until 30 April 2023.

But don’t even think about booking tickets for October First. In fact, they sold out long ago!

Cinderella Castle

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CInderella Castle 50th anniversary makeover. Photo Credit: Mickey Central.
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CInderella Castle 50th anniversary makeover. Photo Credit: Mickey Central.

Most importantly, Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom will receive a royal makeover with gold bunting, sparkling golden embellishments, and other new enhancements.

For example, a golden 50th-anniversary crest will be mounted over the castle’s front door!!

Furthermore, after dark, the castle will sparkle with golden pixie dust. And the decorations will adorn extend to other theme parks at Walt Disney World.

“The entire castle will shimmer with pearls and jewels, and the turrets and towers will be wrapped in iridescent gold and royal blue ribbons,” says George Adams with Walt Disney World Imagineering.

“Above the castle gate, a 50th-anniversary crest will warmly welcome guests to join the festivities.”

Other Highlights

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Artist’s rendering of Spaceship Earth at Epcot with new reflective panels. Photo Credit: Walt Disney Co. 
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Artist’s rendering of fireflies twinkling at the Tree of Life. Photo Credit: Walt Disney Co. 
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Artist’s rendering of the Hollywood Tower Hotel becoming a Beacon of Magic. Photo Credit; Walt Disney Co.

But the celebrations will extend to all four of the destination resort’s theme parks. And don’t be surprised if some of the hotels also get in on the act.

“At night, our four park icons … are going to come to life with a magical iridescent glow, covered in pixie dust, that we call the beacons of magic,” says Dana Carlson, associate broadcast producer with Disney Live Entertainment.

For example, new lights will shine across the reflective panels of Spaceship Earth at Epcot, Magical fireflies will twinkle at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the Hollywood Tower Hotel will be “awash in a brilliance” reflecting Hollywood’s golden age. 

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse

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Mickey and Minnie sporting their 50th-anniversary finery. Photo Credit: Matt Stroshane. Courtesy: Disney World.

Moreover, you can expect Disney hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse to rise to the occasion, sporting smart new costumes that have been custom-made for Disney World’s Golden Anniversary!

For More Information …

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