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Celebrating the Holidays at Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland Park

Magic Kingdom Park Marks 40 Years

posted on October 1st, 2011 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Magic Kingdom Park celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier today with a special celebration that featured a procession of Disney characters, a group singalong and more.

Magic Kingdom Park Marks 40 Years

The festivities began right at the park’s entrance, where today’s guests received commemorative 40th anniversary buttons and park maps. At 10 a.m., a line of more than 50 Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and the Seven Dwarfs, paraded down Main Street, U.S.A. to the tune of “it’s a small world (after all)”, and songs from previous park anniversary celebrations, including “Remember the Magic” from the park’s 25th anniversary.

Magic Kingdom Park Marks 40 Years

Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Park Operations and president of the Walt Disney World Resort, welcomed the crowd at Cinderella Castle, and reflected on the park’s milestone, explaining that for Walt Disney, guests were – and still are – a key element in making a Disney theme park a magical place to visit.

Magic Kingdom Park Marks 40 Years

“‘You can dream, create, plan and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality,” Meg quoted Walt as saying. “Many people hear that and assume Walt was talking about cast members, and he was, but he was also talking about our guests. For this place to be truly magical, it takes your smile and your laughter.”

Guests were then invited to accompany the Dapper Dans in singing “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

To see more of the festivities for yourself, be sure to check out the video below.

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14 Comments

1

Gary from NY on October 1st, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Great photos and video! Is there any chance you folks could have higher res photos that we could download and use as wallpaper?

2

chris on October 1st, 2011 at 8:19 pm

This was a missed opportunity to debut a full-sized Orange Bird costume character. The Original Enchanted Tiki Room is back – and the character who used to linger there in the 1970′s should have returned along with it. It’s clear from the popularity of the recent pins and Destination D Orange Bird merch that people of all ages love the little fella. His nostalgia appeals to WDW’s older fans and his mega-cuteness appeals to newer guests and younger ages alike.

While it’s great to see his reemergence on today’s park map – (well done by the way!) – he should have been on more “40th” items. At the very least, a remastered version of the 70′s Anita Bryant / Sherman Bros Orange Bird storybook album, as you did with The Haunted Mansion album a few years back on its anniversary.

Look at how that watch with Mickey and O.Bird sold today! Guests are hungry … give us more orange!

Thinking Orange Thoughts on your 40th,
~chris

3

Mike from ME on October 1st, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Just have to say Happy Birthday Magic Kingdom. 40 more to come. :)

4

Scott on October 2nd, 2011 at 12:04 am

Wow, it feels amazing that I was here today to see this magical place celebrate this magical milestone! Had a great time today and am looking forward to many more magical years in the future!

5

ryan from FL on October 2nd, 2011 at 1:29 am

I was there today! Both Magic Kingdom and Epcot we’re packed!
Somehow missed getting a button and map, went back later found out they were all gone.
Rather disappointing really after going to all the trouble.

6

Crystal from VA on October 2nd, 2011 at 7:50 am

Are there more videos of the morning? I’d love to see it all, since we were unable to make the trip now (going in December!). Thanks!!!

7

william on October 2nd, 2011 at 8:57 am

Will there be any signs of WDW’s 40th anniversary throughout the year, such as products to buy? Any Orange Bird or 70′s stuff? We are going in January and love the old style collectables.

8

Philip from FL on October 2nd, 2011 at 10:29 am

I agree Chris, Scott and Ryan! It was a GREAT day in the Magic Kingdom! I too was pleasantly surprised to see how busy the park was. It was a perfect fall day in Florida. I got to enjoy most of the original attractions and the re-dedication! I even ate at Cosmic Rays, which I hadn’t eaten at since I was a kid! Like you Ryan, as I unfortunately was a litle late arriving at the gates (I was there before 9:30), I missed out on the 40th anniversary button, only to find ou from Guest Relations that they were gone…It was still a great day! I’m looking forward to the Food and Wine Festival! Arriving on Saturday for a week!

9

Robert from FL on October 2nd, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Happy 40th Anniversary, Walt Disney World! I hope it is still being celebrated by the time we visit in December.

I have to admit I’m surprised the day went by without news of a new attraction or something like that. I also was hoping for a 40th anniversary exhibit like Epcot had for its 25th anniversary.

Anyway, I can’t wait for our trip!

10

Caroline on October 3rd, 2011 at 9:30 am

Happy 40th Anniversary Walt Disney World!! Can’t wait to see you again on the 28th!! I’m excited!

11

Barbara from Minas Gerais on October 3rd, 2011 at 9:48 am

Wish I could have been there!

12

Marielle on October 3rd, 2011 at 11:39 am

After reading an interview with Disney publicist Charles Ridgway on TampaBay.com this morning, in honor of WDW’s 40th anniversary, I would love for the Diseny Parks blog team to cover a story about Donald Duck’s 50th birthday celebration. The story behind Donald’s pack of live ducklings is amazing! Thanks.

13

Jason on October 3rd, 2011 at 8:27 pm

chris, i didn’t see a watch for sale. do you know where i might find it?

14

A on October 4th, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Congratulations to Magic Kingdom on 40 years! Of the four parks, Magic Kingdom will always be my favorite, simply because it truly is a magical experience. I appreciate how Disney has found a way to mix classic rides like Splash Mountain and The Haunted Mansion with newer, modern attractions such as the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Spin. These great photographs make me want to visit Magic Kingdom soon so I can join the celebration!

14 Comments