ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Walt Disney World is planning an 18-month celebration in honor of its 50th anniversary.
All four parks at the Lake Buena Vista, Florida, resort will take part in “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” beginning Oct. 1, Disney announced Tuesday.
On Oct. 1, 1971, the resort opened to guests, culminating years spent planning and developing Walt Disney’s “magical dream,” officials said in a statement announcing the celebration. Since then, the vacation destination has expanded from Magic Kingdom, to include EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. The resort also includes multiple themed hotels, water parks and Disney Springs, a shopping and restaurant venue.
The celebration will include a new nighttime show called “Disney Enchantment,” at the Magic Kingdom. The show will have enhanced lighting, fireworks and immersive projection effects that extend from the Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.
EPCOT will feature “Harmonious,” a show at the World Showcase Lagoon which the statement said is “one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park.” The show will feature new interpretations of classic Disney songs, reimagined in more than a dozen languages by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world.
At Animal Kingdom, “Disney KiteTails” will feature performers flying windcatchers and kites at the Discovery River to the beat of favorite Disney songs.
All the favorite Disney characters — including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale — will be part of a collection of special golden sculptures debuting at all four parks Oct. 1. Guests will be able to interact in surprising ways with the 50 characters featured in the “Disney Fab 50,” the statement said.
Characters will also be dressed in sparkling custom-made costumes for this special occasion.
Another special feature on Oct. 1 is the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT. This ride will take guests into the flavorful world of Disney and Pixar’s “Ratatouille.” A new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris also debuts Oct. 1 at EPCOT.
The celebration will also feature “Beacons of Magic” each night at all four parks. Cinderella’s castle will illuminate Magic Kingdom with pixie dust. A warm light will emanate from the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom as magical fireflies gather to “usher in the magic of nature.” At Hollywood Studios, the Hollywood Tower Hotel “will be awash in a brilliance evoking the golden age of imagination and adventure.” And EPCOT will feature new lights that will shine across the reflective panels of Spaceship Earth, “connecting to one another in a symbol of optimism resembling stars in a nighttime sky.”