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‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration’ Begins Oct. 1 in Honor of Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary

Jeremy Schoolfield

by , Walt Disney Imagineering Communications Manager

It’s an event five decades in the making!

Beginning Oct. 1, Walt Disney World Resort will throw “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in honor of our 50th anniversary, bringing new experiences to our four theme parks and beyond. This milestone is such a big deal, we’ve even coined a new word – “EARidescence” – to describe what you’ll see when you visit. Our Disney teams are creating all sorts of new decorations that will shimmer and sparkle all day and into the night.

As part of the celebration, Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park will add to its royal makeover from last year. As you can see in this new artist rendering, the castle will feature golden bunting and a 50th anniversary crest as part of its festive new look.

The castle will add even more magic at night, joined by icons at each of the other three theme parks as they transform into Beacons of Magic. In the video above, you can get a feel for what they’ll look like, with pixie dust on Cinderella Castle, magical fireflies inhabiting the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and special new touches coming to life on the Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  

And at EPCOT, new lights will shine across the reflective panels of Spaceship Earth, connecting to one another and resembling stars in a nighttime sky. This permanent new lighting will continue beyond “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” as a defining feature of the park.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, wearing sparkling new looks for "The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in honor of Walt Disney World Resort's 50th anniversary

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, who will have sparkling new looks for the celebration. As hosts of the event, they’ll be dressed for the occasion in custom-made fashions of EARidescent fabric with gold highlights.

In anticipation of this exciting time, we recently went out across Walt Disney World to talk with guests and Disney cast members about what a magical celebration would mean to them and why they love being here so much. This new video captures a lot of the emotions we’re feeling right now as we prepare for our 50th anniversary:

Speaking for my fellow Walt Disney World cast members, we’re looking forward to welcoming you during this special time in our history. We’ll have more to share about our plans for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in the future as we ramp up to the big day on Oct. 1, and then will be chronicling all the magic to be found during the 18-month-long event. So keep checking back here on the Disney Parks Blog for the latest updates on what promises to be something to remember for the next 50 years.


  • …first visit was in June 1971; had never seen a resort or theme park before; fell in love immediately with the architecture, the environment, and the experience; became a travel agent, a Disney cast member, and and part of the entertainment industry because of it; thank you, Uncle Walt.

  • We honeymooned in WDW back in 1977. We have been visiting every five years since with our kids. Now we are planning a second trip with our five grandkids. Best family vacations ever.

  • Honeymooned there in 1977 and been back every 5 years with kids. Now planning second trip with grandkids.
    Neve family

  • My parent were there on October 1, 1971. It was their honeymoon. They were also there for the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 25th, and 40th. We were there many other times, but these are the anniversary they remember. I grew up going to WDW. Now I am a DVC. We will be there for October 1, 2021. Looking forward to it

  • honeymoon there in 1979 visited 15 times with children now my children are bring there children see you in nov 2021 can not wait.

  • me and my wife maria had are honeymoon in disney back in 1979 when the magic kingdom was the only park there. since then i have brought my children back 15 times and they are now bringing there children there.For fifty years it has been the greatest place to come to.THANKS for the great times and memories.

  • My first visit was 25 years ago at the 25th birthday I was 8 about to be nine and I fell In love then now all these years later and about to be 12 trips I’m just as in love if not more to me it’s home in every sense of the word i so excited to celebrate with my home happy birthday disney world u r a part of me always and forever

  • My husband and I spent our honeymoon at WDW in 1987. It was the 15th year anniversary. We have been back every year since then except for last year because of the pandemic. We will definitely be there in October to celebrate the 50 years of Magic!

  • My first visit to the Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld was with my parents as a high school graduation trip in the fall of 1971.
    I’ve been back many times over the years and we’ll be returning in May almost 50 years later with our daughter and granddaughter.
    I still remember that first trip having lunch in the Crystal Palace, it was cafeteria style at the time and there was a passing thunderstorm outside.
    The busboy looked at me and said “Isn’t it amazing how they can actually make it look like there’s lightning and thunder out there?”
    For a split second I believed it, it seemed like anything was possible at Disneyworld.

  • I’m so excited and can’t wait till Oct. We had planned to go in October 2020 but had to put the trip off because of the pandemic but I’m glad we did now. We got our reservation from Oct 10 – Oct 16th 2021 so we will be there during the 50th celebration! Everything worked out great! Love the new costumes! See y’all in October😁

  • We are going to get there on September 28. Our anniversary is on September 29 and my birthday is on October 1 the same day as the anniversary of Magic Kingdom. My wife and I are going to meet friends and family and have a wonderful time. I can’t think of a better place in Walt Disney World to spend this time with family and friends.

  • I’m so excited! We are booked for Oct 20-27 for my 50th BIRTHDAY which is also WDW’s 50th BIRTHDAY month. We have been planning this since I accidentally found out the same birthday month/year when I visited WDW turning 40th. I swore I’d come back and now we are booked with my teen kids and husband. So. Incredibly. Excited!

  • We just celebrated our 50th anniversary on 2/20/21 (same celebratory year as Disney World) and have belonged to DVC since 1994. This year has been rough for everyone and after cancelling 3 planned Disney trips we are looking forward to celebrating Disney World’s 50th this fall. Our children grew up at Disneyworld and we have visited over 50 times since 1987. Looking forward to celebrating the magic again very soon.

  • We are missing Disney very much as California is still closed. 2022 my eldest turns 21 we plan to have a drink around the world at Epcot. I really hope we are able to make it out there.

  • My parents got married on 10/2/71 and were supposed to go to opening week at WDW for their honeymoon. Unfortunately, their travel agent convinced them to go elsewhere. They have always said they regret the decision. I’m hoping we can find a way to take them for their 50th anniversary sometime during the 18 month celebration.

  • Disneyworld was my husband and I first date over 36 years ago..we have taken our kids there, so many great memories..he passed away 16 years ago..I now go with my kids and see the same twinkle in their eyes..I even have my disney balloon tattoo in memory of it all..cant wait for the 50 year celebration..disney is my happy place

  • I love Mickey and Minnie’s outfits. I hope we get their plushies , and Spirit Jerseys in the same style, and color palate

  • I’ve made the reservations for October, I’m going to meet my half sister for the first time at Disney,we share the same father,and he worked building the Magic Kingdom,it will truly magical.

  • We brought our four children to the Disney World Campground in December of 1971. We came back every year, Christmas or spring break or both, for the next 20 years, and off and on for the next 30. Our kids loved Disney so much that our daughter got married at the Wedding Pavilion and one son had his honeymoon at Disney. We moved to Celebration to enjoy going to Disney. We knew our kids would always come visit us, as they are scattered all over the U.S. They always come at Christmas time to see us and spend time at Disney World. Three have DVC Memberships. Can’t wait until things get more normal so we can enjoy our family reunions again.

  • I was one going on two when mk first opened. I live 2 hours away and we have grown older together. I was there celebrating my 50th with you at the gf. Cant wait to be there celebrating your 50th

  • Lets see, I have been to the 25th at Disneyland, the 25th at Disney World, the 50th at Disneyland and now have sights for the 50th at Disney World. But, no tickets for the 1st of October.. darn. then I figure I will have enough time left for the 75th at Disney Land. At 68 there is not much time left to enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth 🙂

  • Cannot wait to be there! My disney pals were there for the 40,45 and soon the 50th. So much pixie dust!! Thank you Walt Disney World-we need this party! Mickey and Minnie-you look fabulous!! Happy day of birth, wdw!!!

  • We are planning a trip come December can’t wait to see all the decorations lights in the sparkles and celebrate Mickey and minnie and 50 years of Disney magic . The first time I went to Disney World was 50 years ago and ever since I have making memories with Walt Disney every other year

  • We are planning a trip come December can’t wait to see all the decorations lights in the sparkles and celebrate Mickey and minnie and 50 years of Disney magic

  • Happy 50th, Disney! My family and I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

  • Happy 50th, Disney! My family and I cannot wait to celebrate with you!

  • This is so exciting and I definitely cannot wait to see what is in store during this 18-month celebration! I am hoping for word on when the Walt Disney World Railroad will reopen. The icons are strikingly amazing and I cannot wait to see it in person someday!

  • We are going to WDW from 11/27-12/1 to enjoy the holiday decorations (never experienced that yet) and to celebrate the WDW 50 anniversary! Always feels like I’m at my home away from home in this magical place!

  • My 50th is October 1st! Praying they will open up more availability as the Magic Kingdom is already full!

  • We will celebrate with WDW twice! First for your 50th Anniversary then for our 50th Wedding Anniversary about a month later. We were fortunate enough to celebrate the 50th and 60th at the one and only Disneyland and the 25th at WDW so we know your upcoming celebration will be spectacular and can’t wait. Our undeniable gratitude to Walt Disney for his creation of this wonderful living, breathing sculpted work of art! And Thanks to his successors for only improving on what he left behind. Carry on and continue to dream for all of us.

  • Can’t wait. We will be there for husband’s 50th birthday celebrating WDW 50th anniversary. I’m way more excited than he is. October cannot get here quick enough.

  • I went to the park with my mom and cousins when it opened in 1971 and have enjoyed it ever since. I got a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal that day and still have it. Went to Epcot when it opened with my dad. Then Hollywood Studios (MGM) with my family and friends when it opened. Took my young son to Animal Kingdom when it opened. We continue to enjoy all that Disney World has to offer. Disney has been a big part of our lives.

  • We were married October 26, 1971 and spent our honeymoon at Walt Disney World…looking forward to celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary back at WDW!!!

  • Will the railroad be running at the Magic Kingdom by time of the 50th anniversary.

  • My husband has made reservations to stay on property to celebrate the 46th anniversary of our 1st date! So happy he remembers that special date.

  • So exciting! My first trip to Magic Kingdom was Grad Night 1973! My husband and I have made many visits since then. We raised our kids in the Disney tradition and now enjoy frequent trips with our grandkids! Just hope things are back to normal by the kickoff!

  • Turning 50 in October this year and celebrating at Walt Disney World would be a dream come true.

  • My 47th birthday is October 1st and I was really hoping to celebrate it at Magic Kingdom but unfortunately that day is already sold out☹️

  • Can’t wait! Glad to hear the start date is now official, as we have our park passes for Magic Kingdom on October 1 for the start of the celebration.

  • The family will vacation in March and again at Thanksgiving week to celebrate my wife’s remission of cancer. We are excited!

  • First visit was the 25th anniversary have had 12 visits since and my next will be during the 50th anniversary. Looking forward to the celebration .

  • First visit was 25th hoping my thirteenth will be during 50th and hope things are back to a more normal experience.

  • I really hope I have the chance to be there to celebrate the magic. This will be amazing!

  • I am very excited for this. I haven’t missed a milestone year at WDW and hope I’m still around for the 75th.

  • Oh my goodness! I absolutely can’t wait to celebrate this momentous occasion! It’s going to look like a Thomas Kinkade painting come to life! I can only imagine how proud Mr. Disney would be to see the amazing community of dreamers and doers his vision helped create. Thank you to the entire Disney team for making Walt Disney world such a magical and beautiful place to visit for our family and so many others!

  • I’ll be going in January 2022 for my annual birthday trip to WDW! 50 years for WDW, and 70 years for me! I can’t wait to see the decorations and be part of the celebration then!!

  • I cannot wait!!!

  • Can’t wait to celebrate with you! It will be my husband’s 50th birthday also, and our 25th wedding anniversary. See you on 12/24!

  • I’m celebrating my 50th with Walt Disney World this year. I am so excited to be there for the big party. Looks amazing.

  • Love the new outfits hope meet and greets will be back for photos.

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