PHOTOS: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Turns 49!

in Walt Disney World

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Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro

Happy Birthday, Walt Disney World!

On this day in 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort officially opened with the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom! Disney’s second-oldest theme park is 49 years old and Inside the Magic is visiting to celebrate the day with Guests and Cast Members alike.

Here are some pictures from inside Magic Kingdom for its 49th Birthday!

The Train Station

magic kingdom
Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro

Mickey and Friends Waving to Guests

magic kingdom
Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro

Main Street U.S.A.

magic kingdom
Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro
cinderella castle
Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro
cinderella castle
Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro
magic kingdom
Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro

The Crowds

magic kingdom
Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro
magic kingdom
Credit: ITM TJ Muscaro

As you can see, it mostly appears like any other day in the park as focus remains on getting the park prepared for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

EPCOT is also celebrating its birthday today as well, opening on this day in 1982. However, due to current restrictions (no park hopping), we had to choose one park so we decided on the park that started it all. But I can still feel an extra dose of magic standing in this park on this particular day.

Here, 49 years ago, Guests experienced the Magic Kingdom for the first time, and 24 days later, Roy O. Disney gave the dedication speech with Mickey Mouse by his side.

Roy O. Disney with Mickey Mouse, WDW Opening
Credit: Disney

“Walt Disney World is a tribute to the life and philosophy of Walter Elias Disney,” he said, “and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney’s dream come true. 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.”

Walt Disney World Resort opened with one theme park, three hotels, and one campground. Over the past half-century, it has grown to include four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping and dining center, 33 resort hotels — not including the Four Seasons, Bonnet Creek, or Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels — four golf courses, a horse ranch, award-winning spa and health clubs, and countless world-class restaurants. And it is all spread across a piece of land equivalent to the size of San Francisco.

Related: TripAdvisor Names Magic Kingdom World’s Best Park

We can see Walt’s Dream is still here and still growing. We cannot wait to see how this place continues to transform in the coming year as we get closer and closer to that 50th Anniversary Celebration.

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