The World’s Most Magical Celebration begins October 1, 2021. We are just over a week away!!
I was 10 years old when Disney celebrated their 25th anniversary with a pepto-bismol pink cake castle and fabulous parade. While I thought the cake was so fun (remember I was 10) I did not recognize the significance of the celebration. Walt Disney World is such a magical place for so many families, holding so many memories… and to think it almost didn’t happen!
Prior to Disneyland’s opening in 1955 there was nothing like what we know as a theme park today. There were amusement parks and carnivals but nothing where adults and children could come and enjoy it together. In the mid-1960’s, Walt Disney wanted to build another park in Florida, based on the concept started in Disneyland where he was not restricted to a small plot of land. He also wanted to engineer an experimental prototype community where all the homes and facilities would feature the latest technology.
In 1964, Walt Disney began secretly buying millions of dollars worth of Central Florida farmland. The first public announcement came Nov. 16, 1965, in an Orlando press conference with Walt and brother Roy O. Disney, Florida Gov. Hayden Burns and other dignitaries. Walt described his dreams of building first a unique entertainment and vacation center and eventually a way of life found nowhere else in the world. Walt developed these ideas, directed planning of unique environmental concepts and laid basic philosophies and plans for the new complex, until his unexpected death in 1966.
Walt’s brother Roy struggled with whether or not they should continue the project. But in April 1969- construction finally began. And on October 1, 1971 Mickey Mouse walked the first guest into the Magic Kingdom. Roy dedicated the property to the memory of his brother which is why the Anaheim park is called Disneyland and Florida is Walt Disney World.
The first celebration held on the property was later that month. The grand opening began with a gala concert by the 60-nation World Symphony Orchestra, a spectacular luau at Polynesian Village Resort, dedication of the Contemporary Resort by Bob Hope, and an opening parade with a 1,076-piece marching band directed by “Music Man” Meredith Willson. Taking part in the televised opening festivities were Julie Andrews, Glen Campbell, Buddy Hackett, Jonathan Winters and a guest list of the “who’s who” of American entertainment, business, government and industry.
Which brings us to the festivities starting next week. The 50th Anniversary celebration will have guests immersed in shimmering EARidescence and experiencing special touches during this incredible 18-month celebration. From embellishments on Cinderella Castle, to décor throughout the theme parks and beyond, this anniversary is going to be like nothing Disney has ever done before. And at the heart of everything, cast members will be making boundless magic, ready to create unforgettable memories that last a lifetime.
Earidescent Excitement: To celebrate the whole park is getting new dazzling decorations, new looks for Mickey, Minnie and Friends and magical touches at all 4 theme parks.
Disney Fab50 Character Collection: Across all 4 theme parks, 50 golden characters wait to be discovered during The World’s Most Magical Celebration!
Beacons of Magic: The World’s Most Magical Celebration will light up with wonder as the theme park icons are transformed into Beacons of Magic, beckoning all to come and celebrate.
Merchandise: Discover new merchandise collections created for The World’s Most Magical Celebration—a once-in-a-lifetime 18-month event honoring the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.
Cupcakes: Disney has not announced anything specific about special treats but they always have specialty cupcakes available for all celebrations so I would be shocked if they didn’t have anything planned.
Harmonious: This highly anticipated new nighttime spectacular will finally debut on October 1, 2021. It is said to be an exhilarating extravaganza that showcases the Disney songs and stories that unite people everywhere. Harmonious will send your spirit soaring with fireworks, fountains, magnificent lighting, visual effects and multimedia magic and be the biggest nighttime spectacular ever done at a Disney theme park.
Enchantment: This was a Per Walt Disney World, Enchantment is an evening extravaganza that “will take you on a journey filled with adventure, wonder and empowerment. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic, Disney Enchantment will feature music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.”
Disney is also opening new features in attractions to complement the celebrations. It is certainly a wonderful time to visit the parks, reconnect with family and celebrate magic that has been missing from our lives for the past 18 months.
If you are thinking about a Walt Disney World vacation in 2022 check out this post.
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