We hope you’re ready for October because Disney World is changing BIG TIME.
There are nine big changes happening at Disney World this month, so if you have a trip planned, here’s what you need to know.
From everything happening for Disney World’s 50th anniversary to the reopening of Disney World Resort hotels, October is jam-packed with new events and entertainment!
1. Disney Park Hours Extended
Disney Park hours were extended for the first few days of Disney World’s 50th anniversary. On October 1st, Magic Kingdom was open from 8AM-10PM. On October 2nd through the 4th, the hours are 9AM-10PM.
Over at EPCOT, the park hours for October 1st through the 9th have been extended to 9AM-10PM, which means it will open 2 hours early to guests.
And Disney’s Animal Kingdom will close a bit later with new hours of 8AM-8:30PM from October 1st through the 9th.
These park hours allow guests to have a lot more time to enjoy the debut of the 50th anniversary!
2. Everything Happening on October 1st
Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration
Starting on October 1st, Disney’s 50th anniversary celebration began, and a LOT has changed.
Cinderella Castle is decked out in new 50th anniversary decor, with some decor that was already up in September.
There is also a new fireworks show in Magic Kingdom called Disney Enchantment, which features not only fireworks but also projections from Cinderella Castle and down Main Street, U.S.A..
And along with new decorations and entertainment, the 50th anniversary also brought us over 150 NEW food items!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Although there have already been Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure previews for Annual Passholders, D23 members, and Disney Vacation Club members in EPCOT, the ride officially opened to the public on October 1st.
La Creperie de Paris
La Crêperie has both table service and a to-go window, called Crêpes À Emporter, where you can get crepes to eat on the go!
EPCOT New Neighborhoods
As of October 1st, Future World in EPCOT has been united into 4 new neighborhoods! The new neighborhoods are called World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery, and they join the existing World Showcase.
The three new neighborhoods officially replace Future World, though not all the attractions and entertainment in these neighborhoods are available yet.
More EPCOT Entertainment
Three live performing acts in EPCOT returned on October 1st, including the Japan Pavilion drummers, Matsuriza Taiko, Master Juggler Sergio in the Italy Pavilion, and the folk band Alberta Bound now performing in Canada on the Mill Stage.
After Disney World reopened in July 2020, performers in EPCOT were put on hiatus. We’re excited to see them return!
Electrical Water Pageant
The Electrical Water Pageant received a new update for the 50th anniversary, featuring scenes of the 50th castle logo and the official 50th anthem, “The Magic is Calling.”
This nightly light pageant takes place on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, and guests can view it from Disney World Resort hotels such as Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness.
Casey’s Corner Piano Player Returns
You can once again catch some ragtime piano playing outside Casey’s Corner throughout the day.
The new spooky special Muppets Haunted Mansion will begin streaming on Disney+ this October 8th, and on October 1st Disney has added “exclusive content” from the special to the Muppet*Vision 3D preshow in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Park Icon Lighting
As part of the 50th anniversary festivities, all four Disney Park icons are now lit up with special EARidescent lighting and projections as part of “Beacons of Magic!” These icons, including Tower of Terror, Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, and Tree of Life, will light up nightly.
The new 50th anniversary anthem, “The Magic is Calling,” will play each night as the icons illuminate. The Spaceship Earth lighting will actually be a permanent change!
More EPCOT Food and Wine Booths opened
Until October 1st, there were still a few 2021 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival booths that had not yet opened! These booths included the Belgium Booth, where you can get Belgian waffles, and the Brazil Booth, home of Crispy Pork Belly, and you can visit both of them now.
There were a few other Food and Wine Booths originally scheduled to open on October 1st, but they ended up opening early.
Steakhouse 71 Opening
The new family-friendly steak restaurant, Steakhouse 71, opened in Disney’s Contemporary Resort on October 1st. We’ve been able to try breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we’re not exaggerating when we say dinner is now one of our favorite meals in Disney World!
This new restaurant is inspired by the year Disney World opened (1971) and features a menu with surprisingly affordable prices.
3. Magic Kingdom Welcome Show
The morning stage show, “Let the Magic Begin,” has returned. Before Disney World closed in 2020, this show used to welcome guests to Magic Kingdom every morning with characters on the stage in front of Cinderella Castle.
You can catch this welcome show on most mornings, and guests will be welcomed into Magic Kingdom by the boss himself, Mickey Mouse! Be sure to check the times because they will vary depending on when the parks open.
4. Fireworks Parties Begin
There are several new fireworks parties to choose from!
EPCOT Dining Fireworks Packages
In EPCOT, you can reserve a spot on either the Rose & Crown patio or the Spice Road Table outdoor dining room. These packages guarantee you an optimal viewing location for the new fireworks show, Harmonious.
At Spice Road Table, you’ll be served a multi-course meal during the fireworks show, and at Rose & Crown, you’ll enjoy a prix fixe meal featuring an appetizer, entree, dessert platter, and unlimited drinks.
Celebration at the Top
At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can make reservations for the Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors & Fireworks, where you’ll be treated to sushi, small plates, and specialty drinks in the private Sonoma and Napa Rooms at California Grill.
This event takes guests to the 15th floor observation deck after cocktail hour, for a perfect view of Disney Enchantment. Even the music from the show will be piped in!
Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties
These parties debuted on October 3rd, and there are three different fireworks dessert parties to choose from, so make sure to take a look at the prices and timing of each package!
5. New Contemporary Dinner
California Grill, located on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is hosting a special 50th anniversary dining experience beginning on October 3rd. There will be a limited time three course menu, including an appetizer, entree, and dessert.
The menu is inspired by some of the items on the Top of the World menu, which is the original name for what is now the California Grill.
6. Extended Evening Hours
Guests staying at qualifying hotels will be able to visit either EPCOT or Magic Kingdom for extra time on select dates, so if you qualify make sure you check the calendar!
There are two Disney World Resort hotels reopening in October!
Port Orleans — French Quarter and Port Orleans — Riverside Resorts
Port Orleans — Riverside will reopen on October 14th, while Port Orleans — French Quarter will reopen on October 28th. At Riverside, fan-favorite performer Yehaa Bob Jackson will be returning to the River Roost Lounge.
You can make reservations at either resort now, and if you want to catch a Yehaa Bob Jackson performance, you can generally find him on Wednesdays through Saturdays from 8:30PM to midnight.
8. Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic
On October 29th and 30th, the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will be held at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort hotels, where there will be over 20 food stations to try, and food and drinks are unlimited with the purchase of a ticket to the event!
We’ve got a look at the menu for this outdoor event and it’s a unique way to attend a Disney World festival without entering a Disney Park!
9. Swan Reserve
The new 14-story Marriott hotel, the Swan Reserve, is currently scheduled to open in October. This hotel will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and is within walking distance of both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
This hotel’s opening has been delayed several times, but once it opens it will have some of the best views of EPCOT and Hollywood Studios fireworks in Disney World!
Phew, October in Disney World is going to be EXCITING! Are you making a list of everything you hope to experience? Keep reading DFB for ALL your 50th-anniversary coverage in Disney World!
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Are you excited about October in Disney World? Tell us in the comments!