Do you know the significance of October 1st in Disney World history?
Walt Disney World opened on October 1st, 1971, which means that this year, the resort will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary. With new offerings around Magic Kingdom and the fact that it’s a milestone occasion, we’re expecting massive crowds for the 50th. However, an anniversary isn’t the only thing big in Disney World that day, so today we’re sharing the full list of what’s happening on October 1st, 2021!
First up, let’s check out what’s going on in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the OG park celebrating its 50th birthday! The park icon, Cinderella Castle, will be getting a stunning makeover in honor of the occasion.
Progress on this iridescent transformation is already well underway, with regal drapes and accents getting added to the walls of the castle. The 50th Anniversary sign has already been added to the front.
We can’t wait to see what it looks like on October 1st when it becomes a true beacon of light and “sparkle[s] like pixie dust.”
Magic Kingdom will also be getting a brand NEW nighttime spectacular called Disney Enchantment starting October 1st.
This new show will feature music, enhanced lighting, fireworks, and even immersive projections from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.
And if you’re hoping to congratulate Mickey and Minnie Mouse on this historic milestone, then you’ll catch them in their new (and very dapper) anniversary outfits!
Mickey & Minnie aren’t the only ones getting new looks though. Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto, Goofy, and Chip ‘n’ Dale will also be getting custom-made EARidescent looks, which they’ll all be sporting starting on October 1st.
If you want to see them in these new looks, you’ll want to head over to Magic Kingdom. There, you’ll find these characters wearing their new outfits during the NEW cavalcade — Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade!
Disney hasn’t explicitly said that Mickey and Minnie will NOT be donning this new apparel in other parks, but the promotional photos show them in Magic Kingdom and Disney has specifically said that “You’ll get a chance to see them [meaning the characters in their new looks] when they travel through Magic Kingdom Park several times daily in the new “Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade.” So Magic Kingdom is likely going to be the place you’ll want to go to see these new outfits. Though, it seems that some of the characters will be appearing in their new looks at some of the Disney World Resort hotels.
If you’re a big fan of the Magic Kingdom welcome show, you’ll probably be thrilled to know that the welcome show is now showing hours on the Disney website for October 1st!
We’ll keep an eye out for more updates.
Over at EPCOT, it’s also a big day — the park’s 39th Anniversary! On the 1st, Spaceship Earth will be debuting a new look, except this one will be sticking around permanently. New lights will shine across reflective panels, creating the illusion of stars in a night sky. It’ll all match perfectly with the new entrance area of the park.
We are looking forward to seeing what these lights look like up close and in person when it’s nighttime.
This new ride has been highly anticipated and was originally slated to open last year before the pandemic threw off the timeline. We’ve already gotten to ride this new attraction and experience all it has to offer. We’ve even gotten to check out some of the special new Ratatouille merchandise and we’ve seen a HIDDEN Mickey you won’t want to miss!
The ride will take guests on a trip through Gusteau’s kitchen, following the adventures of Remy from the hit Pixar film, Ratatouille.
The addition of this attraction is part of the expansion of the France Pavilion in the World Showcase.
We’ve gotten the chance to eat from the quick service and table service spots.
Meanwhile, some additional booths will open on October 1st as part of the 2021 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. Originally, several of these booths were not set to open until October 1st, but several of them opened early.
And there’s more! Harmonious, EPCOT’s new fireworks show, will debut on October 1st as well. The show will feature pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting, and media utilized in new ways.
Harmonious will “invite you to travel the globe through new interpretations of classic Disney songs as you’ve never heard them before, reimagined in more than a dozen languages by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world.”
We’ve already seen the Harmonious barges put in place in World Showcase Lagoon, and we’ve seen various pieces of the barges being tested over the past several weeks.
Speaking of fireworks, if you want to catch this new fireworks show in a special way, you can book your spot for one of the 2 NEW fireworks dinner packages, which are already available to book and will start being offered on October 1st.
It’s definitely going to be difficult to choose between visiting EPCOT and Magic Kingdom, and if you haven’t already made the decision, you may be out of luck. Disney Park Pass reservations for both parks are filling up rapidly on October 1st, but select Park Passes may still be open. Be sure to check what’s available for you.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there will also be a bit of a makeover coming to its park icon! The Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom will be glowing all over, as new lighting gives the illusion of enchanted fireflies.
But, you’ll also be able to see something NEW in this park during the day. A new show called “Disney KiteTails” will debut in Animal Kingdom’s Discovery River Amphitheater starting October 1st.
During the show, performers will fly windcatchers and kites of different shapes and sizes which depict Disney animal friends! And you’ll be able to watch these creations dance to the tune of some of your favorite Disney songs.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios will have colorful projections to match the EARidescence (Disney’s word, not ours) of the 50th Anniversary color scheme.
This reminds us a lot of the Christmas projections that we see here each year!
Disney has announced that some “exclusive content” from Muppets Haunted Mansion will be added to the show starting October 1st.
Across the Theme Parks
At all 4 theme parks, guests will get to see special golden character statues as part of the 50th Anniversary. Specifically, you’ll get to see statues of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, and Chip ‘n’ Dale, and more in Magic Kingdom.
Disney is calling this display the “Disney Fab 50” and has shared that there will actually be surprising ways you’ll be able to interact with these sculptures. We’ll definitely be on the lookout for more information about that.
In addition to all the changes inside the parks, Disney World has announced that they are bringing back Extra Magic Hours — sort of! Disney is offering a new perk called Early Theme Park Entry to guests at Disney-owned hotels and other select resorts.
Guests staying in one of these eligible hotels will be able to go into the any park 30 minutes earlier than the listed opening time on any day. This perk will begin on October 1st with all the other celebrations!
Additionally, Disney has announced an Extended Evening Hours perk for those staying at select resorts. Guests staying at Disney World Deluxe Resorts or Deluxe Villas will be able to stay late in select parks on select nights. But, this perk won’t begin until October 4th according to the information Disney has currently released.
Disney World Resort Hotels
At the resorts, there will be special ways to celebrate the 50th Anniversary too. At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, The Wave…of American Flavors is set to be replaced by the NEW Steakhouse 71 restaurant.
Electrical Water Pageant
Are you a fan of the Electrical Water Pageant? Well get ready for this Disney classic to get some new scenes.
Disney has announced that the Electrical Water Pageant will get some new 50th Anniversary-inspired touches soon! Disney has noted that this change will be made for the 50th Anniversary, so we anticipate these new scenes will appear starting on October 1st, but that date hasn’t officially been announced yet.
Celebrating the 50th at home? On October 1st, you’ll want to tune into ABC for a special called “The Most Magical Story on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World.” The 2-hour special will premiere at 8PM EST.
So, no matter where you’re headed in Disney World on October 1st, there’s going to be something new to experience! We’re anxiously awaiting more announcements and details ahead of the big day, and we’ll make sure to keep you up-to-date with the best information! This post will be added as even more exciting news is released regarding the BIG day!
Will you be visiting Disney World for the anniversary? Tell us in the comments!