Celebrate Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary with new magic & attractions

by W. Andrew Powell
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary

This is the perfect year to visit Walt Disney World, as The Most Magical Place on Earth celebrates the resort’s 50th anniversary with new attractions, events, food, and merchandise.

Walt Disney World Resort opened on October 1, 1971, and now, 50 years later, the home of the Magic Kingdom has a lot to celebrate with 18 months of festivities.

Across the resort and at all four parks you’ll find special attractions, tasty treats, plus new entertainment, and major new attractions.

Debuting on May 27 at EPCOT, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the park’s first coaster, and it’s one of the longest fully enclosed coasters in the world. Featuring movie-inspired music, and an intergalactic chase through time and space, it’s going to take guests out of this world.

Featuring Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora, and Star-Lord, Cosmic Rewind is part of the new other-worldly pavilion dedicated to Xandarians with the Wonders of Xandar Pavilion.

Expanded France Pavilion at EPCOT
Expanded France Pavilion at EPCOT

Two other new arrivals at EPCOT are Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and France’s latest restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris.

Step into the world of Pixar’s Ratatouille as you join Chef Remy and scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant for a unique attraction that shrinks you down to Remy’s size.

And then grab a real taste of Paris with sweet and savoury crepes, and table or quick-service options, at La Crêperie de Paris.

While you’re at EPCOT, every night you can also take a seat around the World Showcase Lagoon for Harmonious, the largest nighttime spectacular ever at a Disney park.

The Magic Kingdom also launched their new nighttime spectacular, Disney Enchantment, featuring fireworks, music, light effects, and immersive projection that brings the magic of Cinderella Castle all the way down Main Street, U.S.A.

Some of the other celebrations across the parks include Beacons of Magic, an “EARidescent glow” at Cinderella Castle, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth.

New daytime entertainment includes Disney KiteTails at Animal Kingdom.

At Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser also launched with an immersive Star Wars experience for guests over a two-night adventure, where it’s like being transported right into that galaxy far, far away.

This year Walt Disney World will also debut the new MagicBand+, a customizable and colour-changing new generation of MagicBand that will let guests engage with the parks in new ways, like becoming a bounty hunter at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

WDW 50th Anniversary Food & Beverage
WDW 50th Anniversary Food & Beverage

And there’s a lot of special food, snacks, and treats across the resort, from an EARidescent Croissant Doughnut at EPCOT, and EARidescent Ice Dream Cone at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, to the Magical Beacon Cocktail at select table-service restaurants, lounges and pool bars at Walt Disney World.

That’s really just the highlights from a few of the parks, events, and activities across the Disney parks. Walt Disney World Resort stores have also launched a number of 50th anniversary merchandise, celebrating the history of the parks, and taking inspiration from the Magic Kingdom itself.

Look for the EARidescent Shimmer Collection, the Disney Vault Balloon Collection, a Celebration Collection with plush toys, purses, and wallets, and the Disney Vault Orange Bird Collection featuring the classic Orange Bird.

For all the details on Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, visit the Disney World website. Plus, stay tuned to The GATE’s Travel coverage for stories on the Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line this spring and summer.

Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Gallery:

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