Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Kicks Off!

Happy 50th Anniversary to Walt Disney World! Today kicks off the World’s Most Magical Celebration, the 18-month long event in honor of the milestone. We’re in Magic Kingdom today, Epcot tomorrow, and the other parks throughout the rest of the weekend, but wanted to bring you a quick photo update.

On a quick personal note, the World’s Most Magical Celebration has already been a success. We were a bit (ahem) apprehensive going into the 50th Anniversary, as a lot of the celebration has felt focused on things unrelated to the rich history of the Vacation Kingdom of the World. On top of that, there have been a range of other announcements in the last few months that haven’t exactly been the best precursor to a joyous occasion.

Those concerns still exist. Some will be addressed in our reviews of Disney Enchantment, Harmonious, and the World’s Most Magical Celebration as a whole. Others we’ll be dealing with for months to come, with the inevitable rollout of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, After Hours events, and gradual restoration of stage shows and entertainment. Setting that aside, today is a cause for celebration–50 years of Walt Disney World is a huge deal.

Walt Disney famously once said: “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” Today has been another great reminder of that for us. It has been incredible simply wandering around Main Street and Magic Kingdom, talking to people and feeding off the collective energy of the crowd. The park has a great vibe today and almost everyone is in a great mood.

The first major celebration Sarah and I attended together as adults was back on October 1, 2011–for Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary. We had started this blog a few months prior to that, and had been in the community on forums and social media for a few years before that. That anniversary event is when it really coalesced for us–we spent the entire day with fellow fans and formed a few friendships that are still going strong a decade later.

Walt Disney World has introduced us to a community of like-minded people, inspired us to see the world in a different way, sparked our curiosities and passions–changing the trajectory of our lives in the process. None of that is even a remote exaggeration. If anything, we’re downplaying how much Walt Disney World has meant to us–it’s impossible to fully articulate the indelible mark it has left on our lives.

Being in Magic Kingdom today, seeing some old friends for the first time since before last March, and meeting several of you has been a wonderful reminder of this all. For those who haven’t yet said hello but see us in the parks these weekend, please see hello. I’m running on about zero sleep, am fully fueled by caffeine at this point, and planned on taking today off to fully immerse myself in the experience of “being there,” but thought I should at least drop in with a quick note.

Whether you’re visiting this weekend for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary kickoff or sometime in the 18 months to come, we hope you enjoy the World’s Most Magical Celebration. The last 18 months or so leading up to those point have been rough on everyone, which is a colossal understatement for many of you. Taking a step back, I think it’s fair to say we could all use a big bash that offers homage to the past while looking forward to the future. While it’s not everything we imagined it would be back when the ambitious plans were unveiled at the last two D23 Expos, it’s nevertheless a breath of fresh air right now.

We’ll be back with more coherent thoughts later this weekend or on Monday. For now, here are some photos from the last few days:

That’s a wrap on Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary for now. Again, lots of exhaustive coverage, reviews, and planning post updates coming once the dust settles on this weekend.

Whether you’re in Florida for the milestone or far away, we hope that you take a moment to reflect on the memories you’ve made and what Walt Disney World means to you! Maybe take some time to go through old photos, family films–or even watch a classic Vacation Kingdom television special or two.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your Thoughts

Any thoughts of your own on Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary? Are you excited to experience the World’s Most Magical Celebration for yourself, or are you underwhelmed by its offerings? Does the substance of the celebration matter to you, or is it about the jovial atmosphere and guest energy? Do you agree or disagree with our perspective here? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

47 Responses to “Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Kicks Off!”
  1. Christie E Tomaszewski October 2, 2021
  2. Corene Dance October 2, 2021
  3. Kevin W October 2, 2021
  4. Kimberly October 1, 2021
  5. Maggie October 1, 2021
  6. Dave C October 1, 2021
  7. Patrick October 1, 2021
  8. Tammy Wadsworth October 1, 2021
  9. Dianna Wallquist October 1, 2021
  10. Mackey1928 October 1, 2021
  11. Pocahontas October 1, 2021
  12. Holly October 1, 2021
  13. MicheleI October 1, 2021
  14. Drew October 1, 2021
  15. Bonnie October 1, 2021
  16. MaxBuffMelvin October 1, 2021
  17. Mimi October 1, 2021
  18. Grizz October 1, 2021
  19. Nancy S October 1, 2021
  20. Jack October 1, 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *