More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Vintage Walt Disney World: A Dedication with Style at Magic Kingdom Park

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

Walt Disney World Resort opened its doors to guests on Oct. 1, 1971, however the official grand opening and dedication took place on Oct. 25, 1971. The dedication plaque was read aloud by Roy O. Disney with Mickey Mouse at his side.

Roy E. Disney and Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World Resort in 1971

“May Walt Disney World bring joy and inspiration and new knowledge to all who come to this happy place … a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together.”

Parade Was Led by Mickey Mouse, Playing the World’s Largest Bass Drum

The official dedication parade, called Walt Disney World on Parade, traveled through Magic Kingdom Park that day. It included 5,000 performers lead by Mickey Mouse playing the world’s largest bass drum at the time. The pinnacle of the parade was a performance by a 1,076 piece ceremonial marching band.

Walt Disney World on Parade

Although I wasn’t alive in 1971, this is one of those days in Disney history I would have loved to been in attendance. I just need to start working on my time machine.

Take a look back at more moments in history at Magic Kingdom Park:


  • Nate and John: I’ve daydreamed often about using a time travel machine to see Disney past, so also make sure to invite me!

  • Fantastic post! I love Disney Parks & Resorts history! Please share more in the future, especially old photos. ºoº

  • Hey Nate, I’ll make sure to call you when I get my time machine. Just make sure you bring a camera.

    • Just think of the looks I’ll get when I pull out my phone to snap a few shots to post to Facebook.

  • My husband was one of the 76 trombones in the parade. He has no pictures from the event. I have been looking for years for pictures of the band. Do you know where I might find them? Thanks

  • Love the vintage pictures and stories and remembering the values that made Walt and Roy a cultural icon. Please keep these types of celebrations of the heritage of Disney alive and well!

  • The Cup n’ Saucer?

    • Yep! It was a china shop from 1971-1986 on Main Street where Uptown Jewelers is now.

  • The picture with the largest Bass Drum was actually a pin at the recent “Florida Project” event. You gotta love the Disney Pin designers!!

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