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Celebrating Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary

I hope you have already marked your calendars to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort on Oct. 1. To help you navigate around all of the happenings on Oct. 1, here’s a quick snapshot of the Disney inspired artists and special signing opportunities taking place throughout the day at Magic Kingdom Park.

Art from California Artist, Noah, for Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary

Start your morning off with a little ‘kook’iness at Diamond Horseshoe from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. as we welcome Kooky Pen Creator, Brent Reese and Disney Design Group Artist, Costa Alavezos signing the newest Kooky limited edition pen set created especially for the anniversary. Next, double your fun, with not one, but two opportunities to meet California artist, Noah, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., as we celebrate the release of his limited edition 40th Anniversary hand-painted Vinylmation figures and commemorative artwork featuring Cinderella Castle and Tinker Bell as she flies through the night sky.

Artwork from Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney’s Collection for Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary

From today’s styles to nostalgic pieces reminiscent of yesteryear, comes the 40th Anniversary collection from artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily, along with Dave Avanzino, who will join in the Oct. 1 festivities at Diamond Horseshoe with signings from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Allow Kevin and Jody to take you on a trip down memory lane with their Grand Canyon Concourse inspired vase, vintage tin attraction sign set and a ceramic drinking cup reminiscent of those from opening day. What’s Dave Avanzino have in store? How about meticulously handcrafted limited- edition 3-D sculptures featuring the Haunted Mansion and a second piece celebrating attractions from the Magic Kingdom Park. Special note: The Haunted Mansion-inspired artwork features UV paint that will reveal hidden details when placed under black light.

Haunted Mansion Ballroom Organist By Jim Shore for Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary

While we’re on the topic of hauntingly good merchandise, if it’s something a little more chilling and ghoulishly thrilling that you seek, then ‘hurry back’ to Uptown Jewelers throughout the day, where an array of Disney artists, including Disney Traditions artisan Jim Shore and Miniaturist Robert Olszewski will be materializing. Jim Shore will ‘appear’ from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. to sign his newest spellbinding creation, the Haunted Mansion Ballroom Organist. In another realm, from 12 Noon to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Miniaturist, Robert Olszewski will be ‘dying to meet you’ with the release of his iconic Haunted Mansion attraction sculpture and other pieces in the Main Street, U.S.A. collection.

Before you lose all track of time… meet Watch Artist Gene Gonda from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., who’s limited release watch depicting Mickey Mouse with Orange Bird in hand in front of Cinderella Castle will premier at Uptown Jewelers.

Limited Release Commemorative 40th Anniversary T-Shirts

If you’re not able to join us at Magic Kingdom on October 1 to celebrate the momentous 40th Anniversary celebration, not to worry, we’re offering a special treat online! This weekend only (September 30 – October 2) we’re making the limited release commemorative 40th Anniversary T-Shirts available online at These special t-shirts are only available for a short time, once the clock strikes midnight on Sunday, October 2, the 40th Anniversary commemorative t-shirts will be history!


  • You know I was born just a week before the 25th anniversary of WDW. And I know from that point on I started to imagine a relationship between me and WDW. From Oswald The Lucky Rabbit to Mickey and from Opening Day 1955 to the famous opening day of 1971, I am now spreading the messasge to everyone about the great history of Disney and the 40th Anniversary of WDW. So for my birthday present on 9/23, I would want to give Walt Disney World a happy 40th anniversary, and for that I want to tell them, thank you for letting me expierencing the magic after 15 years of my life. God Bless You! ;D

  • Our group got to meet both Jim Shore and Robert Olszewski, and they signed pieces and talked with fans much longer than their appointed times — they could not have been more gracious and enthusiastic! Thank you to Disney for coordinating an opportunity to meet the artists who create such unique work.

  • Ashley, I was there last night and there was plenty of merchandise left in the big store on Main Street. The cast member in this store said that only a few of the 40th Birthday limited edition items had sold out (pins, and a watch). I was also at the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney and they had the ceramic mug, puzzles, tote bag and several other items. Enjoy the day.

  • If there was any leftover merchandise, and if so will they be selling any of it tomorrow (10/2)? I really wanted to go unfortunately, I was called into work. I will be going to the park tomorrow if there’s any chance I can purchase any of the anniversary products, most specifically the the ceramic cup! Thank you for all your time and aid in this matter.

  • We will be in Disney in November. Will they keep any celebrations going for the 4oth anniversary and have the 40th anniversary souvenirs available to purchase?

  • I understand that certain merchandise will be available only during the celebration. What about the Kidney and Daily collection? I saw it in Art of Disney during our 8/2011 trip and am hoping that there is some place online where we can purchase this collection. If so, can you provide the link? TIA.

  • Will Magic Kingdom open at 9 AM as usual? Also, do you suggest arriving extra early in case the products I want run out? Thank you so much..I’m so excited about all of the merchandise 🙂

  • Are the shirts already gone? How disappointing!! I hope that they’ll make more available since TOMORROW is the official big day!

  • Can you please make more of the special 40th Anniversary Shirts available? I really want to be able to get my hands on one. It shouldn’t be much of a problem considering that it looks like the shirts are being made to order.

  • Where is the link to buy this tee shirt (or what site do I go to?) I don’t see it anywhere!

  • This blog mentions special additional t-shirts are going to be available online starting today. I’m on the site and I don’t see these. Please help…we are very interested in purchasing one. Thank you!

  • Logged on to early this morning to order the shirts only to find they were sold out already!
    I appreciate you offering the shirts to those of us who could not attend this special celebration in person, but am very disappointed the shirts were sold out.

    • Hi Stacy – I have GREAT news for you! The 40th Anniversary T-Shrits are not sold out! The t-shirts are back online and available to purchase:

  • I am THRILLED to have a chance to buy the 40th anniversary tee online! I won’t be able to join the celebration until the Oct 7 because my daughter is in school and will be off that weekend so we are flying down from NJ to celebrate and join the party! I’m sure there will be park exclusive merchandise, but I’m thrilled to be able to get this gorgeous shirt! Thanks for making it available! See you next week at WDW!!!

  • Hi Shannon…the watch was my very first thought.

  • Ditto on wanting to know if these items will be available online or at the parks and Downtown Disney later. I will not be able to attend this weekend, but will be there at Thanksgiving. I really want one of the watches; any way I can get one after the 1st? PLEEEEEEASE!!!

    • Hi Shannon – I’m sorry to hear that you won’t be able to join us for the 40th Anniversary Celebration! Unfortunately, the watch is exclusive to Magic Kingdom and will not be available at Downtown Disney.

  • I am absolutely so excited to go! It will be my fourth trip this year, but you would think I have never been before, because I am that excited! I was there 40 years ago, so it makes me very sentimental. Being from Florida, I literally grew up at WDW. I have posted some vintage photos on my blog of the castle and a vintage Mickey photo.

  • I will be there on the first!!!!!! But I have to agree with Andy that I’m very disappointed that the “special” shirts will be available online……they should be “park only” merchandise. I’m hoping there will be some “park only” merchandise, but I plan on taking my camera to get my own special memories!!!!!

  • Can you PLEASE post photos or a link to photos of the Noah 40th Anniversary Vinylmations? I would really like to see those. Thanks.

    Also, I am curious too if there will be any other merchandise from the event sold online besides just the t-shirts?

    • We’ll be posting a sneak peek of Noah’s 40th Anniversary Vinylmation on later this afternoon.

  • Yes, I too, would love to know if the other merchandise will be available if we are not able to make it to the park on the 1st. Thanks!

  • When I realized October 1 fell on a Saturday, I just had to book a weekend getaway to be a part of history! And while I’m at it, I decided I might as well stop by Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on Friday night (my flight arrives just in time!). I may have to go back to work here in New York on Monday, but I could not be more excited for this weekend!

    And I can’t wait to get one of those shirts 🙂

  • I too would love to know if the signs/other merchandise will be available in the online store or if there is a way to purchase them if I will not be in attendance on October 1.

    • Hi Lucy – Unfortunately, the only 40th Anniversary items that will be available online are the commemorative t-shirts. You can find them online at:

  • Will those signs be available as posters? That would be sweet.

  • Noah will be where at those times? And that picture of the castle- that’s available to buy? How much does it cost?

    • Noah will be signing at Diamond Horseshoe from 11:30am – 1:30pm and 4pm – 5pm. The 40 Years of Magic artwork created by Noah will be available to purchase at Diamond Horseshoe and throughout Magic Kingdom Park. The Noah’s artwork will be available in a variety of prints beginning at $35.00.

  • Are those postcards of the classic posters?? I always wanted them as postcards.

    • The classic posters are actually an awesome Tin Sign Set! As of now, there are no plans to develop the signs into a postcard set. If that changes, I’ll keep you posted!

  • I’m really disappointed that you are offering the shirts for sale online. I was really excited about the exclusivity of attending on Saturday and snatching one up. Now I don’t think I’ll buy one. And is that the back of the shirt? (mens)

    Will there be anything just exclusive to ppl in the park that day?

    • In addition to the 40th Anniversary tees, we will be releasing limited edition Pins, including an “I Was There” pin, plus we will be debuting limited edition 40th Anniversary Vinylmation from Noah, and a limited release 40th Anniversary Artist Watch!

  • Please tell me there’s some way to get a poster of that Monorail System sign.

    • As of now, the Monorail System sign is only available in the Tin Sign Set created by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily.

  • Will those shirts be available in the Magic Kingdom on Saturday? Or will there be different “parks only” shirts?

    • Yes, the shirts will be available at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The shirts will only be available on Saturday, October 1.

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