Walt Disney World celebrates 50 years

Although the official anniversary only lasts one day, the celebrations will go on for 18 months.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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The long anticipated Walt Disney World 50th anniversary celebration is finally here. 

Fifty years ago today, on Oct. 1, 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort officially opened, including Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

Although the official anniversary only lasts one day, the celebrations will go on for 18 months.

All four Disney theme parks will be involved in the celebration with unique additions including Disney's Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom theme park, the Hollywood Studios park and Epcot. 

On top of the new rides, attractions, entertainment, and food offerings, the celebration will also extend beyond the theme parks at the Disney Resort Hotels and Disney Springs.

One part of the celebration includes the opening of new attractions such as "Remy's Ratatouille Adventure," a new 4D immersive ride at Epcot. 

In honor of the 50th anniversary, new firework shows will also be available. 

The new "Disney Enchantment" show will include music, enhanced lighting, fireworks, and more, plus immersive effects that will project from the Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom park. Epcot will also be showcasing a new firework performance, "Harmonious," with classic Disney music and visuals reinterpreted by a culturally diverse group of 240 artists from all around the world. 

Golden sculptures will also be hidden throughout the four parks with favorites including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto and more. 

Other pieces of the celebration that the parks will encompass are the Disney's Animal Kingdom "KiteTails" show, new menus and fresh bites at popular park restaurants, magical merchandise and more. 

For a complete list of the celebrations and more information on Disney's 50th anniversary celebration, click here





Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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