PHOTOS: Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Officially Begins!

in Walt Disney World

disney train station 50th

Credit: ITM Kelly C.

On October 1, 1971, Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World opened to the public, and before we knew it, it became one of the most popular vacation destinations around the world. And here we are, exactly 50 years later!

Disney world 50th anniversary crowds magic kingdom
Credit: ITM Kelly C.

Today, Walt Disney World is officially kicking off “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” and Inside the Magic is inside the Parks to celebrate. The good news is that this celebration isn’t just going to last one day, a few months, or even one full year — it’s going to be going on for a total of 18 months, into 2023. So if you are unable to make it to Walt Disney World today, don’t worry — there is plenty of time to partake in the celebrations.

Disney is giving out commemorative theme park maps in honor of the 50th! Take a look at the map we got this morning:

WDW 50th park map
Credit: ITM Alessa D.
WDW 50th park map
Credit: ITM Alessa D.

And of course, today excited Guests headed straight to Magic Kingdom to catch the very first day of the 50th anniversary celebrations. Read more about this morning’s crowds here!

Disney world 50th anniversary crowds magic kingdom
Credit: ITM Kelly C.
Disney world 50th anniversary crowds magic kingdom
Credit: ITM Kelly C.

We spotted some of our favorite Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, who are sporting their new, custom-made looks, featuring “EARidescent” fabric.

Minnie Mouse at magic kingdom for disney world 50
Credit: Inside the Magic
Daisy Duck at magic kingdom for disney world 50
Credit: Inside the Magic

Here are some of the special experiences and decorations you can see when visiting Magic Kingdom during Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

50th banner magic kingdom
Credit: ITM Kelly C.

Additionally, Walt Disney World debuted the new “Fab 50” sculptures a few weeks ago, which showcase characters who have influenced us over the last 50 years. Some of the statues at Magic Kingdom include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Pluto, Goofy, and precocious chipmunks Chip and Dale.

mickey 50th statue
Credit: ITM Kelly C.
minnie 50th statue
Credit: ITM Kelly C.
dumbo 50th statue
Credit: ITM Kelly C.
chip and dale 50th statue
Credit: ITM Kelly C.
donald duck 50th statue
Credit: ITM Kelly C.

You can even grab an EARidescent balloon!

New EARidescent balloons at magic kingdom
Credit: Inside the Magic

There’s also an adorable cavalcade called Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade — read more and watch the video here!

But that’s not all because later this evening, Magic Kingdom will officially debut its new nighttime spectacular, Disney Enchantment.

disney enchantment
Credit: Inside the Magic
disney enchantment
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney Enchantment will take Guests on a journey filled with adventure, magic, and empowerment as it showcases recent Disney animated films including Onward, Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon, Zootopia, and more.

The official Walt Disney World website describes the upcoming nighttime show as:

Be swept up in a world of wonder filled with friendship, love and fun as you watch this nighttime spectacular unfold. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic, Disney Enchantment will feature captivating Disney music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and—for the first time—immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom park.

disney enchantment
Credit: Screenshot via Disney

Stay tuned to Inside the Magic all day for the latest updates regarding Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary! You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all of the latest Parks news and live-stream events.

If you want to visit Disney World during the 50th anniversary celebrations to experience everything the parks have to offer, but aren’t sure where to begin planning — Don’t hesitate to reach out to our friends over at Academy Travel.

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