Disney World Celebrates 50th Anniversary With New Attractions, Shows, And More
STATEN ISLAND, NY – Much Imagination has been going on at Walt Disney World since October 1, 1971, when guests first walked through its doors.
And on Friday, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the resort kicks off an 18-month event featuring new attractions, products, promotions, music, dining options and the start of its spectacular “Disney Enchantment” fireworks display.
Even Mickey and Minnie have been spruced up with sparkling new outfits, accented by “EARidescence,” a shimmering glow you’ll find everywhere in Disney World, from parks to resorts and transportation.
Gold trim abounds too, most notably at Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom Park, which now features a new sparkling golden garland, 50th anniversary crest and other enhancements inspired by the art of the Disney legend. Mary Blair. The cast even received new badges for the occasion, adorned with a glittering golden castle.
At EPCOT, the inauguration of Remy’s Ratatouille adventure invites guests into the tasty world of Disney and Pixar’s Oscar-winning film, “Ratatouille”. Guests will “feel as if they are shrinking to Chef Remy’s waist and rushing into Gusteau’s famous restaurant,” the promoters said. Remy’s Ratatouille adventure is set in World Showcase as part of a newly expanded France pavilion, a reimagining of Paris inspired by the film.
There, a new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris, offers both table and quick-service options, like sweet crepes, savory buckwheat pancakes (naturally gluten-free) and authentic French cider.
“Harmonious,” one of the biggest nightlife shows ever created for a Disney park, debuts Friday at EPCOT. This new show brings the world together at the World Showcase Lagoon in a celebration of Disney music that inspires people around the world. It is described by Disney as “a grand and powerful tribute to the unifying power of story and song, embracing new technical magic that incorporates pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting, massive LED panels and media from new ways “.
The show features new interpretations of classic Disney songs in over a dozen languages, performed by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world.
In Magic Kingdom Park, “Disney Enchantment” features “breathtaking fireworks, powerful music, enhanced lighting and, for the first time ever, immersive projection effects that stretch from Cinderella’s Castle to Main Street, United States “.
Disney promoters said the show’s soundtrack was anchored in a touching original song, “You Are the Magic,” written and performed by several Grammy-winner Philip Lawrence, whose musical career began as as a member of the Disney cast in Walt Disney World shows.
Let’s not forget the aforementioned “EARidescent Glow,” which is designed to “turn nightfall into magical beacons,” according to the promoters, who promise that:
- Cinderella’s Castle lights up Magic Kingdom Park with a dazzling glow and a burst of pixie dust.
- At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, a warm light emanates from the Tree of Life as fireflies gather to usher in nature’s magic.
- The Hollywood Tower hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is bathed in a sparkle evoking the golden age of imagination and adventure.
- At EPCOT, new lights shine on the reflective panels of spacecraft Earth, connecting to each other like stars in a night sky and creating a fascinating symbol of optimism.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, “Disney KiteTails” comes to life several times a day at the Discovery River Theater. Artists fly wind catchers and kites of all shapes and sizes, while on the water, elaborate three-dimensional kites – some extending up to 30 feet in length – represent friends. Disney animals including Simba, Zazu, Baloo, and King Louie.
50 GOLDEN CHARACTERS
In the four theme parks, 50 sculptures of gold figures celebrate the anniversary. They understand Miguel and Dante from Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” at EPCOT; BB-8 and R2-D2 from “Star Wars”, at Disney’s Hollywood studios; Simba, Timon and Pumba from “The Lion King” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park; Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse – dedicated to the actors of Walt Disney World – at Magic Kingdom park.
There are also new menu items in honor of the celebration, including:
- Cheese Fries with Walt’s Chili at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- Glimmer and Shimmer pineapple mousse at Disney’s Hollywood studios
- Mission to Mars Burger at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Magic Kingdom Park
- EARidescent Croissant Donut at EPCOT
- EARidescent Ice Dream Cone at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
- Cupcake Trio Chicken Dinner at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Magical Beacon Cocktail, found in many restaurants and lounges with table service
And it wouldn’t be a family trip to Walt Disney World without discovering some new merchandise.
In line with the new decor seen across Walt Disney World in the 50th anniversary celebration, the EARidescent collection features a shimmering range of themed clothing and accessories. And the Disney Castle Collection includes everything from collectibles – such as ornaments and charms – to castle-inspired clothing and a glowing Minnie Mouse ear headband, 50th Anniversary Edition.
A new castle-inspired item allows Foam Hand Soap to form a Mickey Mouse shape in your hand!
In an extension of the Mission: SPACE Pavilion at EPCOT, the new Space 220 Restaurant offers a “celestial panorama from a space station, including day and night views of the Earth 220 miles above the surface of the planet”.
Guests board a space elevator for a simulated journey to the Centauri space station, where they experience the “height of the restoration”. Upon arrival, guests enjoy meals and drinks while enjoying truly ‘out of this world’ views.
All rooms in the iconic A-frame tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are in the process of being completely renovated, blending an elegant Monorail motif evoking Tomorrowland with some favorite characters from Pixar Animation Studios’ “Incredibles” films.
In the lobby is a collection of modern artwork as well as historical and behind-the-scenes photographs of Disney’s Contemporary Resort under development and under construction.
The rooms were also recently “reinvented” at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, with a color palette inspired by the Pacific Ocean. Their new look is inspired by details found in Disney’s “Moana”, with characters and references to the movie.
“The Magic Is Calling,” an inspiring new song written especially for the anniversary, can be heard in a variety of ways over the 18-month celebration. Songwriter and music producer Alana Da Fonseca and Nashville-based songwriter and producer Bobby Studley created the original song, working with award-winning songwriter Emily Bear and song phenomenon Journi.
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale – now known as “EARidescent 8” – will dress up in sparkling new looks for the anniversary, tailor-made for the occasion . Highlights include embroidered prints of Cinderella’s Castle supported by fireworks, as well as multi-tone EARidescent fabric brocade, all punctuated with touches of gold. Disney characters will also be making appearances at Disney Resort hotels, dressed in their best EARidescent.