When Disney is celebrating, there's no stopping the party - at least, not for 18 months. That's how long the Disney 50th Anniversary Celebration is intended to last, and it's a year and a half of fun, adventure, excitement, and some Disney has mastered: Magic. The celebration began in October 2021 and now in 2022, it's something that many people are booking their flights just to experience.
So, what's this grand celebration all about, exactly? The 50th Anniversary Celebration includes new attractions such as rides, 50th-anniversary memorabilia, collectibles, and, of course, events. Here's the full breakdown of what Disney park-goers can expect during their very special 50th Anniversary visit, and how the park is bringing that magic alive for Disney fans from all over the world.
New 50th Anniversary Attractions In Each Disney Park
The magic of Disney's 50th Anniversary will be felt through all four parks - EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Therefore, no matter which parks guests are attending, they'll be able to take part in the massive celebration that's taking place park-wide. Additionally, if one is lucky enough to visit every park during their trip, they'll be part of the celebration in more ways than one as each plays host to its own new features.
For Disney's 50th Anniversary, the park is featuring international revamps and new additions that will have visitors' jaws dropping. One of the newest attractions is Remy's Ratatouille Adventure which will delight fans of the original Pixar movie. On this adventure, guests will be 'shrunk down' to the size of Remy as they embark on a 4D journey through a day in the life of the 'tiny chef.'
- Any height
- All ages
- Entry hours are 8:30 AM to 8 PM
One of EPCOT's most prominent new features, however, is Harmonious. According to Disney Parks, this is 'one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created' for any of its theme parks. The show itself includes 240 artists who came from all over the world to produce an incredible melody of sounds, inspired by classic Disney songs. The show will include incredible features such as:
- Giant floating screens
- Moving fountains that are choreographed in time with one another
- Light displays
- 360-degree viewing
Visitors can expect to see beloved Disney movies such as Moana, Aladdin, Coco, Brave, The Lion King, Mulan, and The Princess and the Frog represented, as well.
- Show Length: 20 minutes
Another attraction that park guests can experience after the sun goes down is the new Beacons of Magic. At night, the most recognizable park icons will be lit up into 'Beacons of Magic' lighting the way for visitors to come and enjoy their beautiful light shows.
Another exciting addition Disney park-goers can look forward to is its new 50 Character Collection. These are gold sculptures of Disney's most iconic and lovable characters, brought to life in the form of artwork that can be found throughout the park. Some to look out for include:
- Mickey Mouse
- Minnie Mouse
- Donald Duck
- Daisy Duck
- Chip 'n Dale
Take it on as a scavenger hunt or use them for photo ops - the joy is endless when Disney characters are involved!
New Events Taking Place For Disney's 50th Anniversary Celebration
Along with new rides and attractions, visitors to the park can also look forward to new events. Along with EPCOT's Harmonious, those visiting Magic Kingdom can also anticipate new nightly events. Disney Enchantment will be bringing forth characters from popular movies such as Coco, Onward, Soul, and Raya and the Last Dragon, with some nods to classic, older Disney tales. Of course, fireworks will be part of this event with Cinderella's Castle set as the background - but guests will also be in awe of the projection effects that will run the length of Main Street, U.S.A. (for the first time ever!). Mickey's Celebration Cavalcade will also be making an appearance during the daytime, singing 'The Magic Is Calling,' a new Disney anthem created for its 50th anniversary.
At Animal Kingdom, guests can look forward to Disney Kite Tails - a new type of celebratory parade that features - you guessed it - Disney's most famed characters. With kites, windcatchers, and even floats in the nearby Discovery River, guests will be delighted to watch their favorite characters drift on by, grooving to classic Disney songs.
- Where: Discovery River Amphitheater
- When: Daily, several times throughout the day
In addition to Beacons of Magic, Cinderella's Castle gets a new pixie-dust makeover, while the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom gets a little lighting help from brightly-glimmering fireflies. At Hollywood Studios, park-goers can watch the wonder of Spaceship Earth, which gets a galactic makeover as the night sky appears to be reflected in its mirror-like panels.
New Rides Opening In Time For Disney's 50th Anniversary Celebration
That's right - the magic doesn't just end there. Both EPCOT and Magic Kingdom feature new rides, most of which are slated to open this year - just in time for the celebration. Over the course of 18 months, guests can keep their eyes peeled for these epic rides:
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT on May 27th, 2022
- PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT
- TRON Lightcycle Power Run at Magic Kingdom (Opening date still TBD)
New Restaurants Premiering For Disney's 50th Anniversary Celebration
Those visiting EPCOT and staying at Disney's Contemporary Resort will have the chance to experience these new restaurants just in time for the 50th Anniversary Celebration. While Disney will also be premiering plenty of new food throughout each park to honor its milestone, these restaurants will be opening their doors in 2022 for full-service meals.
- Space 220 restaurant at EPCOT: Located in the Mission: SPACE Pavilion, this restaurant opened its doors in September 2021 to kick off Disney's 50th anniversary. Along with a great menu, this restaurant is serving up incredible views - as in the kind one might actually see from a space station looking down on the planet.
- Le Crêperie de Paris at EPCOT: With a to-go window that's perfect for those eating on the run, these crepes are the perfect way to enjoy Remy's Ratatouille Adventure from a purely culinary point of view.
- Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser: This two-night adventure gives guests a full 48-hour chance to live out two days on a mock starship. With actors playing the roles of Star Wars characters and themed food to boot, it might be easy to forget that an entire world exists just outside the spaceship door.
- Steakhouse 71 at Disney's Contemporary Resort: This 1970s-inspired restaurant is throwing it back to truly retro times, with a themed Walt Disney menu and enough decor to convince guests that they've truly stepped back in time.
Disney's 50th Anniversary Celebration is one for the books, and it's a must for Disney fans. If there's any event that will be talked about for decades to come, it's this one - until Disney's century celebration, at least!