Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary {The World’s Most Magical Celebration}

Happy 50th Anniversary, Walt Disney World!! On this day in 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort welcomed its first guests. 50 years later, and its still The Most Magical Place on Earth! I was so excited to be in attendance for the entire week prior on our fall break. I spent the week as a guest and a lifelong fan of Disney, not as a travel advisor, blogger or for any reason beyond pure enjoyment. :-)

The entire resort is festooned with celebration finery. I love the “EARidescent” color scheme. The first thing you see approaching Magic Kingdom are Minnie and Minnie topiaries with the 50th cake. So much better than the 25th “castle cake”, if you recall those days!

At the entrance plaza and train station, there are golden 50s in the flower bed, themed flowers and a 50th banner.

On October 1, they were handing out special dated commemorative guidemaps. I saw some going for $100 a piece on ebay. Crazy! I should have had my boys hold on to theirs. :-)

The crowds were pretty crazy in the park, but only for the shops and merchandise. There were virtually no lines for rides! We didn’t step foot in a shop and had the BEST time. The morning felt kind of strange with all the shop lines and no real opening festivities, but as the day progressed we saw so many Disney friends, enjoyed alllll the snacks, kept our eyes out for new character outfits and enjoyed a festive dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Sister took this snap of us!

My prince charming <3

Everything in the park was so perfectly polished for today. It took me a while to get used to it, but I adore the bright castle colors and think they really pop for the 50th.

We spent our week on a mission to find ALL 50 golden statues throughout the four theme parks. We only ended up with about 30, so there is work to do.

There are loads of new snacks, treats, drinks and food offerings across the entire resort. We were in the park for about 12 hours and enjoyed a few. :-) Mobile ordering is KEY for many locations so I always tell my clients to check there before waiting in a line. These balloon popcorn buckets were all the rage. I just snapped a pic and didn’t buy one.

I mobile ordered the cupcake to share with CeeCee. It tasted like a delicious birthday cake! She made my bracelets for this very occasion! Disney’s rice krispie treats are my fave snack, and this one for the 50th did not disappoint. You can find both at the Confectionary.

A few hours into the day the bunches of EARidescent balloons came out! I loved the white one and learned it lights up at night.

Banners glitter throughout every inch of the parks and resorts!

I was delighted to find some fun 50th magic shots in my photo account! I always recommend the Memory Maker and love what they’ve added for the celebration.

I mentioned the lines for shops and am still a little baffled by people that will wait in line for 2, 4 or 6 hours to buy something. I don’t need anything that bad! (Although I will sit on hold for 6 hours to get a Boo Bash ticket, lol.) The merchandise is cute and will be replenished throughout the 18 month celebration! I got tons of questions about our shirts – I purchased those in Epcot in August and haven’t seen them since. I think they were some sort of a pre-celebration offering. They have new shirts in a variety of designs in the parks and resorts.

The castle stage got a huge makeover and I was really expecting something fabulous. In reality, they do a SUPER brief opening show that lasts about 2 minutes. It is not worth staking a spot to see. Maybe something amazing is yet to come???

In addition to hanging with family, I LOVED seeing so many Disney friends in the park on 10/1. There were more I didn’t even get pics with. :-)

I adore the cavalcades and hope they never go away for another parade again. Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade rolled on 10/1 and we watched it 3 times during our long day. It’s just so cute and happy! We loved seeing the characters in their EARidescent gear.

The characters also greet on top of the train station on Main Street. In November, you’ll be able to have 1:1 time again with Mickey and princesses so I’m excited for that to return.

We seriously lucked out with a table for 8 at Cinderella’s Royal Table. They launched a new menu on 10/1 but it still had our favorites. They also gave out wishing stars, wands and swords for the first time since early 2020. As a mom of boys, even at 12 and 15, I did NOT miss the swords. HA!

The celebration sippers were really cute and can be found at many table serve restaurants. The character bomb drops in and flavors the lemonade AND makes it sparkle. So cute! They were delicious.

Sister and I enjoyed the 50th Celebration Champagne Flight. It was also lovely!

We didn’t want to fight the crowds already staking out spots for Enchantment at 8AM (12 hours early!) so we headed back to the Grand Floridian after dinner. The boys crashed in our room in front of the TV and the adults and adult-wanna-be capped off our wonderful day at Enchanted Rose.

You will so SO many fun things for the 50th outside of Magic Kingdom too. When Whit and I hopped off the plane at MCO we got excited to see they were celebrating too!

A few monorails have been wrapped for the 50th. They all now have under-lighting specific to their color. They look so neat whizzing overhead at night!

Door mats are everywhere.

And even the flowers at the Grand Floridian had new gold accents and roses in the EARidescent colors.

The new nighttime show in Epcot, Harmonious, is EXCELLENT!

The celebration continues for 18 months and there is plenty of time to book your magical vacation. This is a special time to visit!

Let’s Travel & My Services

As a Premier Level Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, I am recognized for providing the highest level of customer service, experience, and knowledge in the industry.  I use my personal connections and firsthand expertise to craft bespoke Disney trips for the most discerning clients.  On top of that, Disney vacations are expensive and I know how to get the best value for your time and money.  I’ve had a surge of Disney trip bookings since they lifted their outdoor mask mandate. If you’re looking to travel to Disney in the next 12 months, now is the time to plan!

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I personally visit the Walt Disney World theme parks at least once per month and continue to be blown away by the thoughtful, practical and comprehensive precautions Disney has in place to safely welcome guests and cast members. I don’t have all of the words to convey how special it feels to be back. We laughed, we played, we ate too much, and we felt a level of happiness we hadn’t had in too long. I can assure you, magic is there!

Most aspects of planning a Disney vacation look different and now, more than ever, it is crucial to have the most current, up to date information based on personal experience to plan your vacation!  I know these parks inside and out and am a small, one woman show.  When you’re ready to travel, I’m ready to get you there!

As Premier Level Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise LineDisneyland® Resort, Disney Aulani Hawaii, Universal, Sea World and to 35 countries on 6 continents through Adventures by Disney®.

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5 thoughts on “Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary {The World’s Most Magical Celebration}

  1. I am so blown away by your pictures and all the special 50th anniversary touches and celebrations going on at WDW parks. It really takes me back down memory lane as I first visited WDW in July 1973 (I am 62 now) and I remember my favorite souvenir was a Mickey Mouse tank top. I was the first kid in my neighborhood who went to Disney so I was feeling pretty special….lol!

    Btw…your rose/gold/copper skirt and t-shirt are so cute. I have a feeling your Mom might have made the skirt and CeCe’s outfit was darling on her. I think Disney needs to nominate you as their “Head Cheerleader”!

    1. Awwww I love hearing your story! My skirt is from amazon and my sis bought the dress. For once, my mom was off the hook! :-)

      1. Also, my first souvenirs I remember were a red clear plastic light up sun visor and a Mickey Mouse watch!

  2. So I noticed all your dis ey photographer pics were maskless, so are we allowed to take them off for pics? Do we still keep masks while walking around? I’ll be going in Dec and I know this stuff changes week by week but was curious.

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