Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary runs from October 2021- March 2023 and with it comes new rides, restaurants, shows, resorts, services, and more! We’ve been covering the extensive list of Park Updates at Walt Disney World for the 50th Anniversary. But what about the Anniversary Celebration itself? If you’re visiting Walt Disney World during the 50th Anniversary get ready for extra magic across every park. Here’s everything you need to know about The World’s Most Magical Celebration at Walt Disney World.
- 1 Beacons of Magic Shows at Walt Disney World
- 2 Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Theme
- 3 Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Plans
- 4 Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary at Magic Kingdom
- 5 Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary at EPCOT
- 6 Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary at Hollywood Studios
- 7 Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary at Animal Kingdom
- 8 Disney Resort Plans for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary
- 9 Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Snacks
- 10 Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Plans
- 11 What is Happening for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary?
- 12 What is Happening for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary?
Beacons of Magic Shows at Walt Disney World
The World’s Most Magical Celebration runs for 18 months (October 2021 through March 2023). For the World’s Most Magical Celebration, each of Disney’s four theme parks gets a little more sparkle, lights, and glitter. With each Park Icon becoming a Beacon of Magic. As a result the park monuments we know and love light up with new projection lighting each evening. Beason’s of Magic typically begins a little earlier than nightfall, around 6:30 pm, and runs on a loop throughout the evening.
- Magic Kingdom: Cinderella’s Castle glows in the evenings with iridescent purple, pink, blue, and gold shimmer, that washes the castle with color and light.
- Animal Kingdom: The Tree of Life comes alive with fluttering lights indicative of fireflies, weaving in between the branches of the tree.
- EPCOT: Spaceship Earth is covered in Points of Light that sparkle and dance across the surface of the ball. Covered in a variety of colors, you can see pink and orange projections, blue and green projections, or catch the silver projections featuring bright stars.
- Hollywood Tower Hotel: Awash in iridescent and gold colors, the Hollywood Tower Hotel glows and glimmers with light that outlines the hotel’s shape and covers the facade in color.
Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Theme
Worlds of Magic
“Throughout this incredible, 18-month event discovers classic favorites and exciting adventures across The Most Magical Place on Earth.”
The first focus of Disney’s Most Magical Celebration is Worlds of Magic. Creating whole new worlds across the parks to immerse guests into the Disney stories we know and love. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, Pandora, Moana’s Journey of Water, and Marvel ( in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind rollercoaster) are all part of the new spaces created for the 50th Anniversary.
“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. Including the new Creations Shop in EPCOT and the Disney Vault in the Main Street Cinema Building in Magic Kingdom.
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 park. We’ve already begun to see special moments created by staff throughout the parks! So get ready for the extra magic!
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Plans
Disney’s Fab 50 Character Statues at Walt Disney World Parks
Now in all four parks at Walt Disney World check out Disney’s 50th Anniversary Golden Statues. These golden statues honor Disney Characters and will soon interact with the modified MagicBands coming soon. These golden statues are coined the Disney Fab 50 and will be scattered throughout all 4 parks at Walt Disney World.
The Fab 8 Disney Characters in Costume
As part of the celebration, eight classic Disney characters will get brand new anniversary costumes. Minnie, Mickey, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale will be seen across the parks throughout the celebration.
50th Anniversary Disney Park Maps
New Disney Park Maps for the 50th Anniversary have arrived at Walt Disney World and include all the colors of the 50th Anniversary, new icons, and even the new EPCOT neighborhoods are represented. Truly little works of art, these are collectible maps, and if visiting, be sure to pick them up. Check out the new maps for each park.
Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade for the 50th Anniversary
As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration, Mickey and friends, dressed in their anniversary best are aboard a 50th-anniversary float decorated to the nines! You can see the Fab 8 Characters that will be seen across the parks, which include Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, Chip, and Dale. Check out all the new ways to see Disney Characters at Walt Disney World.
Will Walt Disney World do anything special for the 50th Anniversary?
Yes! ALL FOUR THEME PARKS are getting updates! We share everything that’s on the way in each Disney Park as part of the 50 magical enhancements by the 50th below. Disney will also release special edition buttons, pins, merchandise, snacks, and more. Check out all the Changes Coming to EPCOT!
Will Cinderella’s Castle Change for the Disney World 50th Anniversary?
YES! You can now see Cinderella’s Castle in all its Rose Gold glory! Complete with buntings, a 50th medallion, sparkles, and golden accents honoring the “Golden Anniversary” of 50 years.
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary at Magic Kingdom
“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.
- Disney Enchantment Fireworks Show. This new Fireworks show features the song “the Magic is Calling”, and Angela Basset as narrator. A stunning combination of pyrotechnics, lighting, fireworks, and enhanced projection lighting stretches down Main Street USA each evening. This show replaced Happily Ever After Oct 1, 2021.
- Tron Lightcycle Power Run Opening April 4, 2023
- Jungle Cruise has gotten an update with new scenes and an improved storyline.
- Splash Mountain is being re-themed to a Princess and the Frog Ride that picks up with Tiana and Ray on their way to their first Mardi Gras Celebration.
- New Projection Lighting on Cinderella’s Castle for Beacons of Magic
- A new scene from Pixar’s Coco is coming to Mickey’s PhilharMagic! This Un Poco Loco segment features a fun Latin beat and gets Donald into even more trouble along the way!
- Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade for the 50th Anniversary
- As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration, Mickey and friends, dressed in their anniversary best are aboard a 50th-anniversary float decorated to the nines! You can see the Fab 8 Characters that will be seen across the parks, which include Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy, Chip, and Dale.
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary at EPCOT
“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! Now separated into 4 new neighborhoods reflected on the 50th Anniversary Map, EPCOT consists of World Celebration, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Showcase.
Other improvements to EPCOT Park for the 50th Anniversary include the following.
- Space 220 Restaurant near Mission Space has opened. This signature dining experience brings guests into space, complete with views of the galaxy.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Rollercoaster opens May 27th, 2022, inside the Wonders of Xander Building, featuring a pre-show experience that highlights the technology and wonders of the universe.
- Moana’s Journey of Water is a natural space that brings together water features in a lush island landscape.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is new to the France pavilion and offers a family-friendly dark, trackless ride, as Remy tries to make his escape from a busy kitchen.
- La Creperie de Paris offers a Prix Fixe menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that features sweet and savory crepes. Found in the classic streets of Paris area near Remy’s fountain, this dining experience is a must-do. Check out the La Creperie de Paris Menu.
- Harmonious Nighttime Spectacular has debuted at EPCOT and takes the stage on the water, complete with a variety of memorable Disney songs celebrating our shared journey across all cultures.
- New Projection Lighting on Spaceship Earth for Beacons of Magic
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary at 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 is set to debut in Hollywood Studios’ Toy Story Land in 2022. This rodeo-themed table service restaurant hails from Andy’s Rodeo playset and features an American bbq cuisine. Both Woody and Jessie are set to be part of this experience.
- Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser is Disney’s Immersion Resort featuring a 2-night, 3-day experience for Star Wars fans. Complete with missions, meetings, and more to help guests stay ahead of the First Order. This is an all-inclusive experience package that includes a resort stay, a ticket to Hollywood Studios, select meals, and more. Boarding begins March 1, 2022.
- New Projection Lighting on Hollywood Hotel Tower of Terror for Beacons of Magic
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary at Animal Kingdom
“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.
- Disney KiteTales: This daytime show features 3-D kites flying through the air. At 30 feet long, some are shaped like our favorite Disney Characters including Simba, Zazu, Baloo, and King Louie.
- New Projection Lighting on the Tree of Life for Beacons of Magic
Disney Resort Plans for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary
Celebration at the Top- California Grill 50th Anniversary Flavors and Fireworks
In addition to being able to see the Magic Kingdom Fireworks show from the balcony of Disney’s Contemporary Resort California Grill Restaurant, you can also book a special evening of flavors and fun! Check out the 50th anniversary California Grill Menu. Available for a limited time, this special experience offers a throwback to the original 1971 menu when the resort and restaurant opened. This experience costs $89 per adult and $39 per child and reservations are required. Check out all the details for California Grill’s 50th Anniversary Dining Experience.
Steakhouse 71 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Replacing The Wave, this restaurant is inspired by the ’70s with streamlined modern contemporary decor, and hints of Florida, Orange Bird, and fine lines. Serving up steakhouse specialties with kids and plant-based options too. Check out everything you need to know about Disney’s Steakhouse 71.
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Snacks
Walt Disney World is releasing 150 NEW SNACKS for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. With 18 months of celebrations, there are sure to be tons of savory and sweet treats on the way! Be sure to check out all the fun flavors and glittery treats! You can find them at all four parks, resorts, water parks, and Disney Springs. Check out the list of Disney 50th Anniversary Snacks.
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Plans
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 Happening for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary?
New Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Logo Reveal
Walt Disney World has 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. All clearly represented in the new mood board for the 50th Anniversary Celebration.
What is The World’s Most Magical Celebration at Disney World?
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 18 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.
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?
So 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 2023
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Rodeo Roundup BBQ Restaurant
- Harmonious Nighttime Show
- Disney Enchantment Fireworks Show
- Regal Eagle Smokehouse Crafts, Drafts and BBQ
- Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Rollercoaster Opening May 27, 2022
- Play! Pavilion
- Star Wars Galactic Cruiser Hotel
- Club 33 at Walt Disney World
- The Disney Skyliner System
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
Will the Disney Park Pass Reservations still be Required for the 50th Anniversary?
Yes. Disney Park Pass reservations have been rumored to be a new component of Disney Vacation Planning through 2023.
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.
- Exclusive Merchandise including new Disney Pins, MagicBands, Jerseys, Mickey Ears, and Annual Passholder Merchandise.
- Special Disney Snacks across all 4 Disney Parks. Check out the list of 150 New Snacks and Menu Items for the 50th Anniversary.
- A Television Special
- A D23 event to commemorate the event
- Disney Legends appearances
- Special events
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 your best bet is to Plan a 2022 Disney Vacation after the initial crowds have lessened sometime in 2022. If you’re looking for the Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World during the 50th Anniversary celebrations here are our recommendations.
- January- February
- The first week of March
- The third week of September
- Mid-October through the week before Thanksgiving
Any of these times in 2022 would probably be the best times to visit.
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.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.