This October 1st marks 50 years of Walt Disney World, which opened back in 1971. On February 19th, Disney released some details on the celebration, with more to come. You can read all about it here. So far, it looks beautiful, but I'm still worried. With the COVID-19 virus and budget cuts, we've sadly seen a vast number of removals and delays throughout Walt Disney World. It's upsetting to think about, so I want to focus on something fun. I'm going to imagine what I think would be nice to see for the anniversary. In an ideal world with the best budget and no COVID-19, what would you envision for Disney World's 50th anniversary?
1. Nighttime Parade at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom was the first park to open, so it deserves the most treatment for the 50th. It needs a nighttime parade back. It's a shame there hasn't been one since the long-standing Main Street Electrical Parade in 2016. Before that was another favorite, SpectroMagic, which unfortunately ended in 2010. A nighttime parade is long overdue, and the 50th anniversary would be an excellent time to bring it back. Perhaps it could be a mix of SpectroMagic, Disneyland's Paint the Night, and the Electrical Parade. A perfect way to end the day filled with beloved classic characters from the park and movies.
2. New Daytime Parades for the Four Parks
Back with the 100 Years of Magic in 2001, parades were seen in all four parks: Share A Dream Come True at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT's Tapestry of Dreams, Disney Stars and Motor Cars at Hollywood Studios (MGM Studios then), and Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom. They were uniquely themed to fit the park. It would be wonderful to have one in all four parks again. This time, each one could be themed to celebrate the history and magic of the park. Magic Kingdom should have a special one like their 25th anniversary's Remember the Magic parade. Bring in attractions like Haunted Mansion, Country Bear Jamboree, Jungle Cruise, and more. I think plenty of people would love to see a parade back in the other three parks, too.
3. Displays of History throughout Walt Disney World
As a Disney fan, it would be incredible to see little exhibits throughout Walt Disney World displaying history and memorabilia. This could be in places like the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. For instance, Magic Kingdom can have a small area on Main Street, U.S.A., to present its history similar to Walt Disney Presents-Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. Walt Disney Presents at Hollywood Studios gives guests a chance to learn more about Walt Disney's life and journey. Places like the Contemporary and Polynesian resorts that are celebrating their 50th should tell their stories. Guests would love to see and learn about the resort's past during their stay. A display for EPCOT would be fascinating since Walt Disney himself first conceived his dream for EPCOT before passing away. These exhibits can be permanent for future generations to see as well.
4. Special Magic Kingdom Fireworks and Castle Projection Shows
Happily Ever After fireworks are lovely, but I think Magic Kingdom should do a unique, limited-time firework show to commemorate the 50 years. The fireworks, alongside projections on the castle, could showcase some of Disney World's history. The music could feature some of the attractions from the park. They could have short projection shows, much like what we saw during the 2020 holiday season. It could present different castle looks throughout the years, including the 25th anniversary cake castle. Also, it could display picture and video segments of Magic Kingdom since its opening.
5. Opening Delayed Attractions and Cleaning Up the Parks
It would be great to see some delayed projects open up for the 50th, like Space 220 and TRON Lightcycle. TRON would be an excellent addition to Magic Kingdom's 50th. Also, I really hope that EPCOT's construction clears up a bit in time for the celebration. It is, unfortunately, an eyesore in the front of the park. EPCOT is the second oldest park at Disney World, with its 40th birthday coming up next year. It deserves to look its best for the anniversary.
These are some ideas I would love to see for the 50th. It's a bit far-fetched and most likely not possible, but I just hope no matter what, it'll be spectacular! Stay tuned to this website for more upcoming information on this 18-month celebration. What are your thoughts on what you would like to see for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary?