2021 should have been a year of celebration at Walt Disney World. The resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and had announced a host of new attractions for the next few years. Unfortunately, some of these new attractions have been delayed, and some have even been canceled altogether. Due to the resort closure and gradual reopening, there were delayed announcements on what we can expect for Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday celebrations. However, that has now changed as the resort has started to announce the plans for the festival.
The festivities will start on October 1st and will run for 18 months. Disney is calling the 50th birthday celebrations “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” We updated this article on Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday celebrations on 26 June 2021, with all the latest information including 2 new nighttime shows.
A new nighttime spectacular at the Magic Kingdom is always something to celebrate, but there has been no announcement over a new nighttime parade. This new spectacular will launch on October 1st featuring music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks, and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A. Disney is promising guests will be taken “on a journey filled with adventure, wonder, and empowerment. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic.”
Sounds exciting, but this isn’t the only new nighttime show starting this day.
The long-awaited Harmonious should have debuted at Epcot in 2020. However, now it will be part of Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday celebrations. The show on World Showcase lagoon features pyrotechnics, fountains, lighting, and media in new ways. It is the largest nighttime show produced for Walt Disney World. “Harmonious” 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.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is another attraction that should have opened in 2020. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure already exists at Walt Disney Studios Paris and is a guest favorite. We have ridden the attraction in Paris a couple of times, and it is great fun. The attraction is in 3D and uses a trackless ride system. During the ride, you shrink to the size of a rat and cause mayhem in Gustav’s kitchen.
We have created a guide which contains more information on this new attraction including information on the new La Crêperie de Paris.
Walt Disney World requires some new daytime entertainment, and there has been an announcement of a welcome new show at the Animal Kingdom called Disney KiteTails.
New daytime entertainment is stirring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, as “Disney KiteTails” will come alive several times daily beginning Oct. 1 inside the Discovery River Amphitheater. Performers will fly windcatchers and kites of all shapes and sizes, while out on the water elaborate three-dimensional kites – some stretching to 30 feet long – will depict Disney animal friends, including Simba, Zazu, Baloo and King Louie. These colorful creations will dance through the sky to the beat of favorite Disney songs in an uplifting, vibrant experience for the whole family.WDW News
I’m not sure Disney KiteTails would make me want to visit Animal Kingdom. However, while shows are still either closed or operating at limited capacity, any new daytime show is very welcome. Presumably, the outside setting should allow for easy social distancing.
Beacons of Magic
The original announcements surrounding Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday celebrations were rather uninspiring but did include details on Beacons of Magic.
As part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” icons at each Walt Disney World theme park will transform into magnificent Beacons of Magic at night, coming to life with their own EARidescent glow:
Cinderella Castle will illuminate Magic Kingdom with a dazzling radiance that sparkles with pixie dust.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, a warm light will emanate from the Tree of Life as magical fireflies gather to usher in the magic of nature.
The Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be awash in a brilliance evoking the golden age of imagination and adventure
And at EPCOT, new lights will shine across the reflective panels of Spaceship Earth, connecting to one another in a symbol of optimism resembling stars in a nighttime sky. The iconic structure’s permanent new lighting will continue beyond “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” as a defining feature of the park.WDWNews
Golden ‘Disney Fab 50’ Sculptures
I’m intrigued by this new addition to the parks. There will be a unique collection of 50 golden character sculptures debuting October 1 across the four Walt Disney World theme parks. Charters featured will include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Goofy. The part which intrigues me is this “guests will be able to interact with the “Disney Fab 50” in surprising ways.” What will those interactions be?
Mickey, Minnie, and Friends Will Be Dressed for the Occasion
Disney originally teased that only Mickey and Minnie would have special outfits for the celebrations. However, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale will also have special outfits. But, will guests be able to meet them?
Disney previously gave us the following information on Mickey and Minnie’s new outfits.
As hosts of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be dressed in sparkling new looks, custom-made for this special occasion. Highlights of these celebratory designs include beautifully embroidered impressions of Cinderella Castle backed by fireworks, as well as a brocade in multi-toned, EARidescent fabric – all punctuated with pops of gold.WDWNews
BTW is it just me or does Mickey’s head look different on the group photo?
We are getting much closer to normality at Walt Disney World, but the resort is still not fully operating. Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday celebration is an 18-month festival, and we expect there will be further announcements. Disney will want the 50th birthday celebration to be a massive party, especially after the last two years.
Visit our Beginners Guide to Walt Disney World to learn more. Our guide includes all the latest information on the reopening of Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.