Guests Rip Disney’s 50th Anniversary Apart, “It’s a Slap In The Face”

in Walt Disney World

father and daughter wearing masks in front of cinderella castle at disney world

Credit: Disney

Disney recently received a lot of criticism for its anniversary celebrations.

magic kingdom monorail with cinderella castle and space mountain
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Adds Security Guard to Line After Possible Incidents

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. Now, after over 50 years of fun, the Resort has been celebrating this incredible achievement.

Known as “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” Disney World began its anniversary festivities on October 1, 2021 to commemorate exactly 50 years since Magic Kingdom first opened its gates in 1971.

Disney Parks Blog shared some exciting details regarding the upcoming 50th anniversary at Walt Disney World, writing:

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.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

During this very special celebration, Guests have been able to enjoy a lot of limited-time experiences as well as som every unique merchandise. Guests have also been able to watch Disney Enchantment, the Magic Kingdom nighttime show. 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 fireworks
Credit: Disney

Related: Disneyland Confirms Reopening Date of Pirates of the Caribbean

Despite these special offerings, the overall reception to the anniversary celebration has been lukewarm so far,m with many thinking the anniversary party paled in comparison to ones held by Disneyland Paris or the Disneyland Resort in Southern California.

Recently, the official Walt Disney World Twitter account (@WaltDisneyWorld) shared a poll on which users could vote. The poll asked users which events they were excited about. See it below:

Which 50th Anniversary celebration highlight are you MOST excited about? #DisneyWorld50

While this tweet is a fun and lighthearted attempt to further engage fans in the anniversary celebrations, the overall response to the tweet was quite negative. frank1991 (@franky_1991_) said:

Go check out what Disneyland Paris did for their anniversary. It puts you guys to shame.

Traveling Salesman (@OpenMothersMale) said:

Maybe next time realize you have extremely deep pockets and shouldn’t use a pandemic as an excuse to skimp on a huge celebration event?

Game Warden Matt (@JPAdventurer) said:

None of these. Y’all didn’t give us the celebration we wanted. Your so called “50th anniversary” doesn’t celebrate the parks

Michael (@OhMichaelG) brought up Disneyland Paris again, saying:

Absolutely nothing. People should go visit Disneyland Paris for their superior 30th Anniversary instead! I don’t understand how you can even call the 50th a “celebration” after doing less than the bare minimum. The 50th is so sad, it’s funny!

Scott Kumka (@ScottKimka) sadly brought up how there was not even a 50th button:

There wasn’t even a button on October 1 like there had been most years on the anniversary.

Users also brought up the controversial Disney Genie system as well as Lightning Lane, a system that many say is inferior to Disney’s FastPass+. Fans also brought upon Disney CEO Bob Chapek, discussing all of the things he has done that they disapprove of. While only serving as CEO for around two years, Chapek has gained quite the reputation within the Disney community, with many completely baffled by his decisions.

In general, a lot of fans were simply confused and disappointed by the Resort’s 50th-anniversary celebration s, with many not thinking it was enough to celebrate such a big achievement for The Walt Disney World Resort. After all, the Resort prides itself on being “The Most Magical Place on Earth”.

BotvonNoob71 (@topolino1901) discussed the reservation system, saying:

Dropping of the ridiculous 2pm park hopping restriction. We pay big money for APs and day tickets with hopper option , it is a slap in the face to your customers and a bigger slap to long term loyal fans.

We have reported on multiple Guests facing issues regarding the Disney Park Pass reservation system. One of the newer additions to the Walt Disney World Resort, after Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopened have been that Disney Park Passes are now needed to enter a Park. Gone are the days of purchasing a Disney Park ticket and strolling into the Park of your choice, now, reservations must be made on your My Disney Experience.

While the Parks are definitely crowded, they are still surprisingly operating under a reduced capacity, if you can believe it. At the moment, Disney will not release what the number is, but it is likely in the higher range as shoulder-to-shoulder crowds are back. Guests must still collect and obtain a Disney Park Pass to enter a theme park, and as we noted, those do not seem to be going anywhere soon as you can currently make Park Passes through to 2024.

At the end of the day, it seems like Disney may have missed the mark when it came to celebrating its biggest anniversary yet, at least for some Guests.

What did you think of the 50th Anniversary at Walt Disney World?

At Magic Kingdom there is so much to see and do! Cinderella Castle is decked out for the 50th anniversary and soon Festival of Fantasy and Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will return. You can ride the three big mountains: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain, or calm things down on Peter Pan’s Flight. Rope drop the Park to get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and then enjoy a mid-day snack with some Dole Whip. Be sure to meet Mickey Mouse and enjoy the firework show, Disney Enchantment! 

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