The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary happens in 2021 and with it comes new rides, restaurants, shows, resorts, services and more! We’ve been covering the extensive list of Changes at Walt Disney World for the 50th Anniversary but what about the Celebration itself? Here’s everything you need to know about The World’s Most Magical Celebration.
Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Plans
Walt Disney World has officially announced a start date for the 50th Anniversary! The World’s Most Magical Celebration Begins October 1, 2021, and runs for 18 months until March 2023. Here are all the plans park-wide, and broken down by park so far! We’ll be adding to this post regularly as news is announced.
These three focus areas for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration come as no surprise! There’s a focus on new rides, restaurants, and refurbishment of the areas of all parks. Each of Disney’s four theme parks will get a little more sparkle, lights, and glitter than before.
Worlds of Magic
“Throughout this incredible, 18-month event discovers classic favorites and exciting adventures across The Most Magical Place on Earth.”
“Step into a celebratory scene with dazzling decorations, new looks for Mickey and Minnie and magical touches at all four Theme Parks and beyond.”
In line with the iridescent unicorn colors of purple, blue, pink, silver, and gold Mickey and Minnie are decked to the nines! You can be sure to see merchandise and snacks with this color scheme across the parks and shopDisney.com as the October 1, 2021 start date for the World’s Most Magical Celebration begins.
Heart of the Celebration
“Our Cast will be making boundless magic across Walt Disney World Resort, ready to create unforgettable memories that last a lifetime.”
A much-deserved nod to the cast members who have gotten caught up in the crazy of the pandemic, and no doubt have to deal with last-minute changes, crazy guests, and safety issues, this focus on honoring the cast is fantastic! A little more creativity and magical moments are going to be back in full force at the parks by fall.
In this artist rendering, Cinderella Castle becomes a Beacon of Magic in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. As part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” honoring Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary beginning Oct. 1, 2021, the castle and other icons at each Walt Disney World theme park will come to life at night with their own EARidescent glow. (Disney)
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Park Plans
“Cinderella Castle illuminates the park with a dazzling glow that sparkles with pixie dust.”
Magic Kingdom is getting an upgrade! With Cinderella’s Castle already standing tall in all her rose gold glory, we’re also being promised sparkle digital projections on the castle, complete with pixie dust! Add this magic to the other improvements happening in Magic Kingdom and it will feel like a whole new world.
Other improvements to Magic Kingdom Park for the 50th Anniversary include the following.
- Tron Lightcycle Run opening in 2022
- Jungle Cruise gets refreshed with New Scenes and Refurbishment
- Splash Mountain Re-Theme to Princess and the Frog
- Cinderella’s Castle 50th Anniversary Overlay with ribbons and buntings
Plus more changes at Magic Kingdom are on the way.
“Lights shine from within Spaceship Earth’s reflective panels as stardust emerges to symbolize beacons of possibility and optimism.”
EPCOT has been under construction forever! On the fast track to becoming even more grand and miraculous by its own anniversary in 2022, EPCOT recently got updated with a new Epcot Leave a Legacy Wall and new glass pylons at the front entrance. The 50th Anniversary at EPCOT promises to be celebrated with even more light, sparkles, and magic!
Other improvements to EPCOT Park for the 50th Anniversary include the following.
- Play! Pavilion opening in the Wonders of Life building in 2021
- Space 220 Restaurant opening in 2021
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opening October 1, 2021
- HarmonioUS Nighttime Spectacular
Plus more changes at EPCOT are on the way.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
“The iconic Hollywood Tower Hotel glitters with EARidescence, evoking the glimmer and shimmer of the golden age of imagination and adventure.”
Promising amazing digital shows on the Tower of Terror, complete with sparkles and more magic, we can’t wait to see how this show transforms from day to night. Hollywood Studios may be covered in all things Star Wars but Toy Story Land still has some things in the works.
Other improvements to Hollywood Studios Park for the 50th Anniversary include the following.
- Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant coming in 2021
- Star Wars Immersion Resort 2-night, 3-day experience on the Galactic Starcruiser
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
“A warm and glorious light emanates from the Tree of Life, as enchanted fireflies gather to call forth the magic of nature.”
The Tree of Life will be on full display in all of its warm glow glory, complete with firefly lights. From little doses of magic like this to other spectacular scenes through the park, Animal Kingdom will be showing us some natural magic courtesy of all things in nature.
Other improvements to Animal Kingdom Park for the 50th Anniversary include the following.
- Return of Festival of the Lion King in a modified layout
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary FAQ
When Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971, it was no small task. If you’ve ever watched the Pre-Opening Report from Disneyland Documentary on Disney Plus you know just the amount of work needed to create a theme park. But imagine Walt Disney World, which is 51 times ( at 43 square miles of land) the size of Disneyland ( at only 500 acres), lasting and thriving for 50 years. How exciting that somehow The Most Magical Place on Earth has withstood the test of time and is still here for us to enjoy! And the park is still growing, learning, and changing. Walt Disney would be so proud.
What is The World’s Most Magical Celebration at Disney World in 2021?
Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary is known as The World’s Most Magical Celebration. The official birthday of the park is October 1, 1971, but this birthday party typically lasts about 15 months. The World’s Most Magical Celebration pulls together new experiences, new rides, new shows, new resorts, new merchandise, and a slew of offerings specific to the anniversary.
2021 also marks Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary, which is why we’re seeing soooo much emphasis on the completion of TRON and the upgrades across the park in anticipation of the event. Also celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2021 is The Contemporary Resort, Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds, and The Polynesian Village Resort.
When is Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary?
The “Official” 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World is October 1, 2021.
Walt Disney World has shared on their website that the 50th Anniversary at Walt Disney World will last 18 months; October 1, 2021- March 2023.
How Long will the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Last?
18 months. Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary runs from October 1, 2021 to March 2023.
What Changes Have Been Made at Walt Disney World for the 50th Anniversary?
Soooo many changes have happened at Walt Disney World over the last few years. Thankfully we have been keeping track of all the Changes at Walt Disney World for the 50th Anniversary.
Here are some of the BIGGER projects across the parks that have been completed and are being completed in anticipation of Disney Worlds Most Magical Celebration.
- Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
- Toy Story Land
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- TRON Lightcycle Run completing 2022
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Rodeo Roundup BBQ Restaurant
- HarmoniUS Nighttime Show
- Regal Eagle Crafts, Drafts and BBQ
- Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Rollercoaster completing 2022
- Play! Pavilion
- Star Wars Galactic Cruiser Hotel
- Club 33 at Walt Disney World
- The Disney Skyliner System
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
How Can I Attend Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary?
Disney tickets and packages for are available NOW! As long as your departure date is before September 26, 2021. Incidentally, that date is aligned with other important changes at Walt Disney World. The current Disney Parks Pass Reservation system is set to be in place until September 26, 2021 as well. Check out current Disney ticket prices on the website. And be sure to read our post about Walt Disney World in 2021 and everything you should know before you go.
What Disney World 50th Anniversary Plans Changed due to the Pandemic?
If you’re planning to visit Walt Disney World in 2021 there are many things that have changed. From a shorter dining reservation window to the temporary suspension of fastpasses, and the required Disney Park Pass Reservations be sure to check out all the ways Planning for a Disney Vacation in 2021 is Different.
Will the Disney Park Pass Reservations still be Required for the 50th Anniversary?
Originally slated to run through September 26, 2021, Disney Park Pass Reservations have been extended into 2023. That said, this could just be precautionary! As CEO, Bob Chapek has stated that Disney World Park Capacity, at 35%, will remain through 2021, Park Reservations may be the only way to monitor that. So Park Pass Reservations are here to stay for a while.
Will Face Masks Still be Required for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration?
Disney announced that face masks will be required through 2021 and well into 2022, though face mask rules may change throughout. So the short answer to this is YES! Plan on wearing masks throughout the celebration, until told otherwise.
What is Happening for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary?
Along with all the changes in entertainment, rides, restaurants, and services, we also get a new Logo and an Event Name. “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” will be complete with 50th Anniversary Disney Snacks, Merchandise, and temporary events across the parks. We’d expect special events available for a limited time throughout the anniversary year.
New Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Logo
The Disney World 50th anniversary even gets a NEW Logo filled with sparkles alongside strong purple, blue and pink hues no doubt honoring some of the more recent color trends at Disney. Imagination pink, Purple Potion, and Unicorn colors have been merchandise darlings this past year and are clearly represented in the new mood board for the 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Walt Disney World Park Updates
ALL FOUR THEME PARKS have gotten updates! As part of the 50 magical enhancements by the 50th Anniversary, every park and resort has seen changes over the last few years. Check out our post on all the Changes Coming for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World.
Cinderella’s Castle 50th Anniversary Changes
The Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom has received a Rose Gold color update and is in the process of getting buntings, gold details, and a 50th Anniversary medallion for the front of the castle.
Disney Resorts 50th Anniversary Celebrations
Since The Contemporary Resort, Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds and The Polynesian Village Resort are all celebrating their 50th Birthdays on Oct 1 2021 too, we can expect to see some extra fun at these resorts. The Polynesian is currently closed in preparation for the Moana-inspired facelift that should be completed by Summer 2021. And we will surely see new merchandise, special snacks and more at these resorts.
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Activities
One of the MOST searched things on this blog is about what plans Walt Disney World has in store for the 50th Anniversary at Walt Disney World. We’ve included what’s happening in each park, and the new restaurants and rides already in this post, but you can also check out our Walt Disney World 2021 Calendar of Events to use as a reference! So, here’s just some basic New Things you can expect for the 50th Anniversary at Walt Disney World in 2021.
- Exclusive Merchandise including new Disney Pins, MagicBands, Jerseys, Mickey Ears, and Annual Passholder Merchandise.
- Specialty Disney Snacks across all 4 Disney Parks
- A Television Special, most likely on ABC, the Disney Channel, and Disney Plus
- A New Parade and/ or Show at Magic Kingdom
- A D23 event to commemorate the event
- Disney Legends appearances
- Special events
Check out Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary page to keep up on all the details!
When’s the Best Time to go to Walt Disney World for the 50th Anniversary?
Following the historical crowd levels for Walt Disney World anniversaries we’d say planning a 2022 vacation after the initial crowds have lessened, is best. If you’re looking for the Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World during the 50th Anniversary celebrations we’d recommend January- February, the first week of March, the third week of September and mid-October to the week before Thanksgiving. Any of these times in 2022 would probably be the best times to visit. Packages for 2022 won’t even release until Summer 2021, so you have plenty of time to think it over. And in 2023 we’d say January and February are the best times to visit Walt Disney World. If you’re looking to visit Disney World on a budget be sure to check out the Cheapest and Most Expensive Times to visit Walt Disney World.