On October 2, 2021 the Magic Kingdom celebrated 50 years of operation. Walt Disney World Resorts are incorporating special offerings, events and attractions as part of the celebration. Some seem to be regular updates that just coincided with the anniversary, and others seem anniversary specific. In any event, these special offerings will be available on a rolling basis throughout the celebration slated to last 18 months. I will update this post on new offerings and related developments.
50th Anniversary Glow Ups
The iconic symbols of each park – the castle in the Magic Kingdom, the ball in EPCOT, the Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios, and the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom – all are getting a 50th Anniversary overlay including light projections Disney is calling Beacons of Magic. In some instances, the transformation was more dramatic like with the castle which got a new color paint, and ribbons added to the spires. The ball in EPCOT is especially beautiful with an enhanced LED light display. I call it a win.
There is also a smattering of decoration here and there throughout the parks like retro posters in the tunnels at Magic Kingdom.
The Magic Kingdom and EPCOT both launched brand new end of day shows with music, pyrotechnics and light projections. Magic Kingdom’s is entitled Enchantment and features original music. The castle serves as the centerpiece for projections. In EPCOT it’s HarmoniUS which uses a barge system to display LEDs and fountains. Images portray an international vibe with signature Disney branding and original music.
Animal Kingdom launched KiteTails, a new daytime offering in the lagoon. However, this show at writing has been plagued with errors to an almost comical proportions and may be short lived.
Outside the parks in Disney Springs, Cirque Du Soleil’s new show, Drawn to Life, will make it’s debut in November 2021. I saw the last show there, and am looking forward to seeing this new one.
The much anticipated Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT’s France Pavilion opened as part of the 50th celebration on October 2, 2021. Because it is an in demand experience, Disney World is currently operating it with a virtual queue. In it riders occupy a vehicle that looks like a mouse and experience the world from a mouse’s point of view.
The 50th Anniversary has a signature theme song which is featured prominently throughout the parks including in shows and cavalcades.
There are 50 golden character statues that have been placed among all four parks. These statues are rumored to have an interactive, augmented reality sort of element to them that work with premium MagicBands and apps. This interactive component has not launched yet.
Of course there’s a food element. Throughout Magic Kingdom some classic dishes from 1971 have been brought back for an encore. There also are some signature cocktails honoring rides past. Mostly, however, the 50th Anniversary theming has been added to desserts in decoration. There are more than 150 different new food offerings in all.
There has been a ton of new merchandise launched for the 50th Anniversary including pins, ornaments, apparel, toys and sippers. At the moment, these items are the hottest ticket in town. However, I anticipate after a few months go by these items will be readily available.
Mickey and Minnie and the gang of course have special outfits on for the occasion. You can meet Mickey in his new digs at Hollywood Studios.