Beginning October 1, 2021, an 18-month celebration will kick off at Walt Disney World commemorating the park’s 50th anniversary!
“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” will include new entertainment, attractions, decorations, and enhancements across all four parks and runs until April 2023!
The celebrations theme is “EARidescence”, and the Disney teams have created all kinds of new shimmering and sparkling decorations for all to enjoy day into night at the parks.
The main attraction is Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom park, which recently underwent a royal makeover. The Castle features a new paint job, golden swirls and bunting and is adorned with an absolutely stunning 50th anniversary crest as part of its festive new look. The castle is simply gorgeous in person, and is not to be missed.
With festivities happening across all four parks, there is plenty of see and do for the whole family!
Keep reading for everything you need to know, and start planning your magical trip today!
- What Are the Beacons of Magic – 50th Park Icon Projections?
- Magic Kingdom Park – What to Expect?
- EPCOT – What to Expect?
- Hollywood Studios – What to Expect?
- Animal Kingdom – What to Expect?
- EARidescence Character Costumes
- Where Can I Find the Disney Fab 50 Sculptures?
- Disney Transportation Gets in on the Fun
- When and Where Can I Find 50th Anniversary Merchandise?
- Brief Thoughts on the 50th Celebration
What Are the Beacons of Magic – 50th Park Icons Projections?
As noted, beginning October 1, 2021, an 18-month celebration will kick off at Walt Disney World commemorating the park’s 50th anniversary!
Disney announced that the primary focus will be each of the four icons in each respective park (Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, and The Tree of Life).
Each of these icons will be given special projections Disney is calling “Beacons of Magic”, with each coming to life with their own respective magical glow.
Enjoy “The Magic is Calling”, the new 50th Anniversary anthem, playing nightly as the icons transform and bedazzle Guests!
Magic Kingdom Park – What to Expect?
To commemorate this special event, Magic Kingdom park will receive an all-new fireworks show, Disney Enchantment, beginning October 1.
The new nighttime spectacular will replace the beloved and fan-adored “Happily Ever After”, the short-lived nightly fireworks spectacular (scheduled to end on Wednesday September 29, 2021).
Inspiring everyone to believe in magic, “Disney Enchantment” will feature music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.
Fans will see a lot of new favorites in this show, but in case you were wondering, Tinkerbell will still fly through the sky!
A new original song called “You Are the Magic”, from GRAMMY winner Philip Lawrence, will debut on October 1, as the theme song to Disney Enchantment.
Be sure to also catch the live stream of Disney Enchantment on Thursday, September 30 on the Disney Parks Blog beginning at 10:15 p.m. EST before the nighttime spectacular debuts on October 1.
In place of a parade, Disney announced “Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade” to kick off on October 1. It will run several times daily and feature Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale in all-new EARidescent costumes.
In lieu of a full-length 20-minute parade, enjoy multiple cavalcades throughout the day. The 2-3 minute pop-up parades are the best, and give Guests the ability to see their favorite characters without waiting 2+ hours for a parade!
Mickey’s Philharmagic is also getting a small makeover for the 50th with a brand-new scene based on Disney’s popular animated hit movie Coco, which will officially debut on November 12, 2021.
EPCOT – What to Expect?
Over at EPCOT, Harmonious, the long-awaited new fireworks show, will debut on October 1st to commemorate the 50th anniversary. This is said to be one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park.
This new show will bring the globe together at World Showcase Lagoon in a celebration of Disney music that inspires people worldwide.
Harmonious replaces the interim fireworks show, EPCOT Forever, which replaced the long-running Illuminations in 2019.
Be sure to catch the live stream of Harmonious on Wednesday, September 29 on the Disney Parks Blog beginning at 9 p.m. EST before the nighttime spectacular debuts on October 1.
Space 220 restaurant is a newly opened table service dining option location in the current Future World between Test Track and Mission Space. Feel like you’ve launched into space to dine. Enjoy the incredible views and an amazing meal. Grab your reservation today! If you have a difficult time making a reservation, keep checking and be persistent.
This is a Patina Group restaurant, not owned and operated by Disney. You can check out their website here, inclusive of menus and pricing.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opens on October 1! Shrink down to the size of Chef Remy and scurry through Gusteau’s restaurant in this all-new 4D adventure. Remy’s Adventure is scheduled to use the virtual queue system when it opens to the public on Oct 1, there will be no standby line available.
La Creperie de Paris, one of EPCOT’s newest restaurants opens on October 1st. Le Creperie offers Guests table service and quick service options in the France Pavilion. You will not need a reservation for table service, it will be first come, first served.
Hollywood Studios – What to Expect?
At Hollywood Studios new touches are coming to life on the Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Catch the Beacons of Magic nightly!
Aside from the Beacons of Magic, there isn’t anything additional happening for the 50th Anniversary that has been announced.
Animal Kingdom – What to Expect?
See the all-new daytime show Disney Kite Tails come alive several times daily at the Discovery River Amphitheater beginning October 1 at Animal Kingdom.
Stop by and watch performers fly wind catchers and kites of all shapes and sizes. Out on the water find elaborate three-dimensional kites, some stretching to 30 feet long, depicting Disney animal friends, including Simba, Zazu, Baloo and King Louie.
EARidescence Character Costumes
What is a celebration without Mickey and Minnie, the biggest icons of all?! They will each adorn all-new outfits for the celebration with “EARidescence” colors and gold accents.
Cast Members will even get in on the action with their own new outfits and special name tags marking the celebration.
Where Can I Find the Disney Fab 50 Sculptures?
The “Disney Fab 50” features 50 unique gold character sculptures found scattered throughout all four parks. Make sure to visit each park to find them all.
- Mickey Mouse
- Minnie Mouse
- Donald Duck
- Daisy Duck
- Chip ‘n’ Dale
- Lumiere & Cogsworth
- Orange Bird
- Mad Hatter
- Cheshire Cat
- Dumbo & Timothy Mouse
- Pooh & Piglet
- Jaq & Gus
- Lady and the Tramp
- Tinker Bell
- Dante & Miguel
- Rocket Raccoon & Baby Groot
- Pua & Hei Hei
- Olaf & Bruni
- Joe Gardner
- Edna Mode
- Woody & Bo Peep
- Flounder & Sebastian
- Timon & Pumbaa
- Bambi & Thumper
- Nemo & Dory
Disney Transportation Gets in on the Fun
There are new 50th-themed wraps on buses, the Monorail, and the Disney Skyliner. They are so pretty!!
When and Where Can I Find 50th Anniversary Merchandise?
Disney is pulling out all the stops when it comes to the 50th Anniversary merchandise. Here is what you can expect:
- Celebration Collection – Available October 1
- Disney Castle Collection – Available October 1
- Vault Collection – Available October 1
- EARidescent Collection – Available Late October
- Luxe Logo Collection – Available November
Discover 50th anniversary merchandise collections at several locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort, including:
- World of Disney at Disney Springs
- Emporium at Magic Kingdom Park
- Creations Shop at Epcot
- Keystone Clothiers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Island Mercantile at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park
- Bayview Gifts at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The following locations will be transformed into pop-up shops carrying 50th anniversary merchandise:
- Main Street Cinema at Magic Kingdom park
- The Vault Collection Experience at Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs
Brief Thoughts on the 50th Celebration
With just days away from the kick-off of the most magical celebration, I could not be looking more forward to this party to get started!
What Walt Disney World is offering in celebration of this huge milestone is epic, and will dazzle Guests who visit. Prepare for crowds! With the world slowly getting back to travel, people are eager to visit the parks. With the 50th celebration kicking off and overlapping Epcot festivals and Halloween and Christmas parties, it will for sure be a busy time the next several months.
I will be there on October 1st, front and center standing in full view of Cinderella Castle! I am excited and look forward to reporting back first-hand information to help you prepare for your trip to WDW!
Be sure to check back frequently. This guide will be updated as more 50th anniversary details are announced.