Anyone planning a dream vacation in Orlando next year will be wondering how Disney will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World epic. So far, they have kept things well under control under their hats (or ears). With the pandemic still affecting travel and the opening of some attractions delayed, it’s easy to see why. But the wait is over! Disney has finally revealed what they have planned for the event, and in true Disney style, it looks like it will be a fantastic celebration.

Walt Disney’s 50th anniversary: all we know so far

This is the news we’ve all been waiting for! The parks and resorts have just released their tickets for 2022, and the race is on to book your favorite hotel and theme park tickets so you can reserve your parking entrance as soon as possible and be ready to book Fastpass+ and Disney Dining. Fans worried they’ll miss out on all the fun next year needn’t worry – Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary has been confirmed as an 18-month event beginning October 1, 2021. Here you’ll find everything we know about the event, including tips and tricks on how to book the best trip to Orlando to join the celebration.

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two-week-itinerary-orlando (Photo: Simon Hayhurst)

The world’s first and most magical celebration begins on October 1
at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. This event marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World – 50 years ago the doors of the Walt Disney theme park opened and the palette was created in Orlando, Florida. Since then, Orlando has welcomed 70 million tourists each year (before the pandemic) and has become the world’s premier vacation destination. Now it’s a reason to celebrate!

2. The 18 months of Disney’s 50th anniversary will be marked by new experiences at the resort’s four theme parks – Magic Kingdom Park, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT (which also celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.) Get ready for an even bigger party). Rumor has it that the sky is magically lit up

3. At the center of the magic is Cinderella’s legendary castle with new gold decorations, sparkling gold ornaments and other novelties, including Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary coat of arms, welcoming vacation visitors. Fans already know that the famous castle was renovated last year with a bright new look that makes it even more self-sufficient.

disney world 50th anniversary The tree of life becomes a beacon of magic (Image: Disney).

4. Guests can enjoy the beacons of magic at Walt Disney World’s four theme parks. As part of the “World’s Most Magical Celebration,” the icons of each Walt Disney World theme park are transformed into beautiful beacons of magic at night and come alive with what Disney calls “Magic Glow.” With the incredible fireworks show over the castle temporarily suspended due to the Corona virus, guests will surely be thrilled to see Disney light up the sky in a post-pandemic world. We know they’re going to light the powder keg, as they say, and we can’t wait!

5. A new show of fireworks and lighting has not been confirmed due to existing social rules, but Cinderella’s castle will light up the Magic Kingdom with “a dazzling glow that sparkles with fairy dust.” A castle that sparkles? I couldn’t agree more!

6. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the Tree of Life will sparkle with the light of magical fireflies gathering to enjoy the magic of nature. Animal Kingdom is already one of our favorite parks at nightfall (especially the bright ground in Pandora: World of Avatar), so we look forward to seeing the beautiful Tree of Life in all its glory.

7. The Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney Studios in Hollywood will be in the spotlight during the Silver Screen Old School festivities, evoking the golden age of fantasy and adventure that Walt Disney dreamed of when he designed the park. If you haven’t seen the Disney Imagineer documentaries on Disney+ yet, we highly recommend them!

Next year, on the occasion of Epcot’s 40th anniversary (Epcot opened its doors a year after Magic Kingdom Park), it will take another big step forward. We explain many of these projects in our post 25 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Next Year. To celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, new lights will shine on the reflective panels of the spaceship Earth, working together to create a symbol of optimism reminiscent of the stars in the night sky. PLUS: Fans will be pleased to hear that the iconic attraction’s new permanent lights will remain a defining element of the park beyond Disney’s 50th anniversary “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” We can’t wait to see what they’ve done.

disney world 50th anniversary The spaceship Earth at the celebration of its 50th anniversary (Image: Disney).

9. A makeover for Mickey and Minnie: dressed for the occasion.

As guests of “The World’s Most Magical Party,” Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be dressed in sparkling new looks created especially for the occasion. Among the highlights of these festive outfits are beautifully embroidered impressions of Cinderella’s castle, enhanced by fireworks and brocade in a multicolored, EARidescent fabric – all dipped in shimmering gold.

Over the next five decades, the station has continued to grow with new stories, characters and adventures that will be remembered for a lifetime. And now, as this milestone approaches, guests can take part in the “World’s Most Magical Celebration” that will kick off on October 1, 2021 to celebrate the station’s 50th anniversary.

More information about the “most magical party in the world” will be announced at a later date. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram or visit

Frequently asked questions

How long will Disneyland’s 50th anniversary last?

We believe this is the longest birthday celebration Disney has ever hosted. We expect the 50th anniversary to last until the end of 2022. If it begins in October 2021 and ends in December 2022, that’s 15 full months or more.

When was the 50th anniversary of Disneyland?

Disneyland’s 50th anniversary took place on July 17, 2005, but the festivities began on May 5, 2005 in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Are the Disney parks closed until 2021?

Officials cite government restrictions as the reason the park has not yet reopened. Disneyland in California, which has been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic, is not expected to reopen before the end of the year.

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