Monday, July 4, 2022

Walt Disney World 50th Year Anniversary

What To Know About Walt Disney Worlds 50th Anniversary Celebration

FOX 35 Special | Disney: 50 Years of Magic

On October 1, Walt Disney World officially kicked off its 50th-anniversary celebration, an 18-month long event that marks five decades since the Magic Kingdom opened in October of 1971.

The celebration will see Disneys Orlando theme parks and resorts continue their evolution, with new attractions, additions to the guest experiences, and the smaller touches that Disney is known for, transforming the theme parks to both mark the 50th and keep the Disney experience alive for its regular guests.

Travel Market Report was on-hand in Orlando earlier this month for a preview of what guests and travel advisors can expect from the celebration.

New attractionsAt the same time Disney kicked off its 50th-anniversary celebration, it also launched its newest attraction at EpcotRemys Ratatouille Adventure. The attraction, a 4D ride experience located in a new, expanded section of France pavilion of the theme park, is a family-friendly ride that invites guests into the world of Remy, the main character from the 2007 Pixar animated movie Ratatouille.

But thats not all that Disney has planned for the next 18 months.

During last weeks guest preview of the 50th, Disney showcased its other big Epcot additionGuardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a hybrid roller coaster that is set to open sometime in 2022. The coaster was set to open prior to the 50th, but COVID delays postponed it.

Voyages begin on March 1, 2022, and general bookings open up later this month.

Magic Kingdom & Transportation And Ticket Center

The flowerbeds at the entrance to Magic Kingdom got a new look, while the clock on Main Street, U.S.A., got a makeover for the occasion.

A Mickey and Minnie topiary was also added to the entrance. They are standing next to a 50th anniversary cake.

Of course, Cinderella Castle takes center stage for the Anniversary. You can see its initial transformation in this time-lapse video.

Spaceship Earth Beacon Of Magic Epcot

As the sun goes down, the massive geodesic dome known as Spaceship Earth lights up with bright colors. Part of the Beacons of Magic program at each park, the spectacle takes place approximately every 15 minutes. After the exterior of Spaceship Earth changes colors and sparkles, it turns bright white at the end of the display.

Pro-tip: You can watch the display from just about anywhere in the park, but the best spot is right at the front near the EPCOT fountain.

Fun fact: EPCOTs Beacon of Magic uses a first-of-its-kind programmable LED lighting system that was invented by Walt Disney Imagineering just for this project.

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Hey Disney Adds Magic To Amazon Alexa And Echo In 2022

Disney is teaming up with Amazon to create its own voice assistant using Alexa technology for supported devices. Called Hey Disney!, this new offering will work alongside Alexa to respond to vocal prompts, bringing Disney characters and stories to life in magical new ways to make guest stays at Walt Disney World Resort more convenient, engaging and enjoyable.

Hey Disney! will begin rolling out in Disney Resort hotel guests rooms across Walt Disney World in 2022. Access will be offered as optional and complimentary. The voice assistant features the services Alexa users know well weather forecasts, timers, alarms and more made magical with Disney characters. It also features an all-new character, the Disney Magical Companion, who will help guests discover more than a thousand interactions. Disney Resort hotel guests will be able to learn helpful information about their vacation, order room amenities and more.

The voice assistant will also be available for purchase for supported Amazon Echo devices via the Amazon Alexa Skills store.

The Worlds Most Magical Celebration, honoring 50 years of Walt Disney World Resort, is happening now. To learn more, visit

Disney World 50th Anniversary What Were Hoping For

10 Reasons Why You Need To Experience Disney World

A new parade. While a new cavalcade has been announced, were still hopeful that 18 months is long enough for Disney to decide to bring in a new parade. Along with the two new coasters, this would be a good way to avoid people getting fatigued with a lengthy celebration.

More new nighttime entertainment. While we know Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom will be getting some night time touches, we think both could use full new nighttime shows. The Hollywood Studios hodgepodge of projection shows and Fantasmic is fine, but Fantasmic is an old enough show in a grand enough theater that a replacement could be in order.

Similarly, Animal Kingdom had the mix of Tree of Life Awakenings and Rivers of Light, but the latter is now permanently ended, so the park seriously needs a feature nighttime show.

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Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation

Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for a Disney Parks vacation! We have a team of writers working hard to keep you updated weekly on events in the parks and tips for navigating the magic. Subscribe to our free deals newsletter to receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:

Harmonious At Epcot A New Nighttime Spectacular

Harmonious is EPCOTs own brand new nighttime spectacular!


Harmonious is just one element joining several others that make up the historical transformation of the park. Disney has shared that Harmonious delivers one of the largest spectaculars ever created for a Disney park! Take a look at

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Th Anniversary Celebration Dcor At Orlando International Airport

The 50th celebration will extend to the Orlando International Airport with a wide-spanning art installation in the terminal train stations featuring favorite Disney characters, new magic engaging passengers as they walk through a glistening glow of projected EARidescent light patterns, and an immersive photo opportunity with a re-creation of a Disney ride vehicle.

Walt Disney World has even partnered with Southwest Airlines to offer guests the chance to fly on an airplane filled with Walt Disney World 50th anniversary touches!

When Is The Best Time To Visit Disney World

Disney World celebrates 50th anniversary with fireworks show

Our Disney Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.

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Tree Of Life Beacon Of Magic Disneys Animal Kingdom Theme Park

The Tree of Life is the center of everything at Disneys Animal Kingdom Theme Park. The icon has massive, intricately carved animals around the trunk and branches. Each night, as the sun sets on the park, the Tree of Life comes to life with warm hues and flickering fireflies that represent the magic of nature.

Pro-tip: Instead of watching the display from Discovery Island, head over to Africa or Asia to get a different view of the Tree of Life and the Beacon of Magic.

Fun fact: There are over 300 different animals carved into the Tree of Life.

New Fireworks And Kite Shows

“Harmonious,” the new fireworks show replacing EPCOT Forever, will take over World Showcase Lagoon each night at EPCOT. New floating barges have custom-built LED panels that display iconic scenes from Disney movies like Hercules, Brave, Aladdin, and Mulan, with arrangements of classic Disney songs performed in a number of languages. In fact, the soundtrack for Harmonious was produced remotely through more than 100 separate recording sessions in nine countries and five states. During the show Disney fans will hear songs like How Far Ill Go from Moana, Dig a Little Deeper from The Princess and the Frog, and a rousing Lion King medley sung by the Ndlovu Youth Choir from Johannesburg.

At Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After will be replaced with a new show called Disney Enchantment. The show will combine the popular Cinderella Castle projections with new images running the length of Main Street U.S.A., for an experience that doesnt require guests to gather tightly to view it. Disney Enchantment will feature songs and characters from Disney movies like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, Onward,Luca, and some new original music. But dont worry, Tinker Bell will still be spreading her pixie dust as she flies across the sky during the show.

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New 50th Anniversary Park Maps And Tickets

Each of the Walt Disney World theme park maps have been updated with a new look and logo for the 50th anniversary. Grabbing a paper map to share with your kids can be a fun activity. Share with them how to find their way using a map. Using a map to navigate may seem antiquated in our digital age, but it is still a good skill to have.

Speaking of the digital age, Disney is encouraging guests to use the MyDisneyExperience app and Magic Mobile function instead of using physical tickets. And yet, guests who are utilizing regular plastic tickets are now receiving special 50th anniversary ones. This also goes for Annual Passholders.

Disney Fab 50 Character Collection

This Is How Walt Disney World is Celebrating Its 50th ...

Magic is all around you at Walt Disney World® Resort during The Worlds Most Magical Celebration. Fifty characters cast in gold will be displayed across all four theme parks waiting to be discovered by you! Stay tuned for the full cast of Disney Fab 50 Characters to be revealed and to learn more about how theyll inspire surprising new ways you can interact with the 50th Anniversary Celebration.

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Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Decorations

You can expect to see all the theme parks decked out in decorations celebrating the 50th anniversary! The four icons of the Disney World theme parks have become transformed into Beacons of Magic which means that Cinderella’s Castle, Spaceship Earth, The Tree of Life, and the Tower of Terror all received a celebration overlay.

Epcot’s Spaceship Earth Receives a Permanent Sparkling Touch

New lighting on the panels of Spaceship Earth resemble a twinkling night sky. In the case of Spaceship Earth at Epcot, this overlay will be permanent as part of Epcot’s reimagining just in time for the 50th anniversary.

Hollywood Tower Hotel Receives a Golden Light at Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Hotel, home to the infamous Tower of Terror attraction, receives a golden inspired light display for the celebration.

The Tree of Life Lights Up with Sparkling Fireflies at Animal Kingdom

The Tree of Life, the centerpiece at Animal Kingdom, receives a sparkling display in the evenings meant to resemble sparkling fireflies circling around.

Cinderella’s Castle Receives the 50th Anniversary Royal Treatment

Walt Disney World’s most iconic centerpiece, Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom, was given an overlay that’s present day and night.

Our beloved castle has now received new gold bunting, sparkling golden embellishments and other new enhancements, including a 50th anniversary crest.

Expanded Epcot France Pavilion Serves Up A New Attraction And Restaurant

Epcots newest attraction, Remys Ratatouille Adventure, invites guests into the flavorful world of Disney and Pixars Academy Award-winning film Ratatouille. On the family-friendly attraction, guests will shrink to the size of a rat and scurry through Gusteaus famous restaurant.

Also new to the France pavilion is La Crêperie de Paris, a restaurant which offers both table- and quick-service options. The menu features sweet crepes and savory buckwheat galettes alongside authentic French hard cider.

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Should I Visit Disney World During The 50th Anniversary Celebration

Definitely. The 50th Anniversary is a great time to plan a visit. As far as exactly when in that 18-month window, thats a bit more complicated.

In our two-year Disney World outlook post, we discuss in more detail the question of when you should visit Disney World during the celebration. Our take is that holidays 2022 and early 2023 are going to be the best times since were hopeful anything new thats coming during the celebration will debut by late 2022.

Will visiting during the 50th be more expensive than visiting just before the 50th? Yes. More expensive than just after? Maybe, but not by much if at all. Prices at Disney World only go one direction.

Will crowds be worse during the 50th Anniversary celebration? Maybe. But crowds have been unpredictable for years now. February 2019 was hugely busy, a sharp departure from Februaries of the past.

Itll be a whileat least into 2023before you can plan for low crowds again. And even by the time that rolls around, Im pretty confident our crowd advice will be what it always isplan for the worst, hope for the best. Theres just no good reason to let crowds take you away from a once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

Disneys Polynesian Village Resort

Disney World fans gear up for 50th Anniversary

The guest rooms at Disneys Polynesian Village Resort were recently redone to bring touches of the Disney film Moana into the picture. Each room features characters from the movie along with vibrant colors that give tropical island vibes to the space.

Pro-tip: Book a room that faces Magic Kingdom so you can watch the nightly fireworks from your balcony. Be sure to specify when you check-in that you want a top-floor room, otherwise your view may be obstructed by the Bora Bora Bungalows.

Fun fact: Disneys Polynesian Village Resort is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year as it was an official resort when Walt Disney World first opened.

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Disney Park Passes Selling Out During 50th Anniversary Celebration

The problem is not only hotel availability, but also park reservations are hard to get.

Disney Park Pass reservations came online not too long ago for Disney Worlds 50th Anniversary, but you better book yours soon as celebration day availability is already filling up.

While the 50th celebration will be an event lasting many months, if you planned on going to the Magic Kingdom or other parks during the holiday season, you might not be able to get in depending on what type of ticket-holder you are.

Right now park passes for all guests are hard to come by with many ticket types sold out. Thats not to say that Disney wont make more available in the future. They have already added more park pass inventory multiple times and they could also increase park capacity in the coming months.

If you are planning to go during the 50th Anniversary, we suggest you start booking your hotel today as we are expecting hotel capacity to increase by then and most likely sell-out.

If you want to go to during the busier times of the year, you will have to be patient and wait for more availability to possibly open up. We suggest to keep checking for availability at the parks and see what happens.

Pluto And Goofy Go Earidescent

Characters at the resorts are one of our new favorite things, and we now know that we can expect the characters to continue popping up at the resort hotels for the foreseeable future.

If you are staying at on onsite Disney hotel, look for Pluto and Goofy to make surprise appearances in their new EARidescent costumes during the 50th.

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When Will It End

Especially since the Disney World 50th Anniversary got off to a later start than originally planned, Disney is making it last longer on the backend to make up the difference.

From our calculations, the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary will end in March 2023.

Our original guess was that the 50th celebration would last until the end of 2022, but 18 months from October brings us to March 2023, which should include the entire month.

Disney is spending millions on the preparations for this party, and you can be sure they will use those costumes and keep the decorations up as long as they reasonably can. At 18 months, this is going to be the longest anniversary celebration Disney has ever put on.

If you were waiting to hear the dates before booking your trip, you no longer have to do so. I would start making plans immediately since the hotel rooms are going to fill up very quickly.

Other Ways To Celebrate Walt Disney Worlds 50th Anniversary

Disney Unveils New Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary ...
  • Youll find lots of 50th anniversary merchandise at each theme park, resort hotel, and Disney Springs. Plan your budget and review your familys shopping guidelines with your kids.
  • Keep an eye out for Disney transportation including Monorail Gold, a few buses, and a few Disney Skyliner gondolas dressed up in 50th anniversary regalia
  • There are special EAR-idescent Mickey Mouse balloons for sale at Magic Kingdom, so decide and discuss with your kids if balloons are okay to purchase, or not.
  • From shopping bags to popcorn buckets, keep an eye out for 50th Anniversary packaging. Sometimes little kids are just as excited over a themed popcorn box as they would be over something that costs a lot more.
  • Check out the new EAR-idescent nametags the Cast Members sure are proud of this celebration.
  • Tags

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New Fireworks Show And Entertainment

A new nighttime spectacular called Disney Enchantment debuted at Magic Kingdom and will run during the duration of the 50th anniversary.

This new fireworks show was created to launch with the 50th Walt Disney World Anniversary and will feature music, lighting, fireworks, and projection effects that will extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.

Over at Epcot, the new nighttime spectacular Harmonious will also run during the duration of the 50th celebration!

The show celebrates how the music of Disney inspires people all over the world and carries the crowd harmoniously’ on a stream of Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of musical artists. The show will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers. This show is one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for Walt Disney World!

Animal Kingdom has also received a new daytime show called Disney KiteTails.

This show comes alive several times a day at the Discovery River Amphitheater with performers catching windcatchers and kites of all shapes and sizes. Out on the water of the river, three-dimensional kites- some stretching to 30 feet long show Disney animal friends like Simba, Zazu, Baloo and King Louie. The kite show is set to the music of favorite Disney songs.

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