The 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World is October 1, 2021 and a major celebration is anticipated.
Disney has confirmed that as part of the 18 month celebration, the four park icons will become “Beacons of Magic” with unique lighting packages at: Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Tree of Life. Mickey and Minnie will also receive sparkling new looks.
Additional rumors included updates to existing attractions, these plans may have been reduced due to COVID-19.
February 19, 2021: Disney announced that as part of the 18 month celebration, the four park icons will become “Beacons of Magic” with unique lighting packages at: Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Tree of Life. Mickey and Minnie will also receive sparkling new looks.
November 16, 2020: At the 2020 Virtual IAAPA Expo, head of Parks, Resorts and Consumer Products, Josh D’Amaro stated that Disney’s 50th Anniversary celebration will happen next year.
August 19, 2020: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that he was aware of 11 different “refreshes” planned for the 50th Anniversary but he is unsure of the status of any of them following the COVID-19 shut down.
May 5, 2020: On Disney’s Quarter 2 Fiscal Year 2020 earnings call, Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy stated the company’s plans to reduce capital expenditures during the Covid-19 pandemic. McCarthy stated that capital expenditures for the parks and resorts would be reduced by $900 million by way of pausing refurbishment and construction projects.
Details of specific projects that may be subject to delay or cancellation were not stated, but construction on all ongoing Walt Disney World projects was suspended shortly after the park closure in March.
It is unknown at this time what effect the capital expenditure reduction will have on the plans for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.
February 17, 2020: Jason Kirk (Vice President of the Magic Kingdom) announced on the Disney Parks Blog that Cinderella Castle will receive a royal makeover and new enhancements.
The concept art indicates additional gold accents and a rose gold paint scheme for the upper spires.
September 21, 2019: The MickeyViews YouTube channel is reporting that Disney will paint Cinderella Castle to a Rose Gold color for the 50th Anniversary.
August 25, 2019: While details were minimal, Bob Chapek stated at the D23 Expo Parks and Resorts presentation that every park will receive updates for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World.
August 22, 2019: WDWNT.com is reporting that the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World will bring with it the following:
- The Magic Kingdom will receive a new fireworks show for the 50th Anniversary. Details are minimal and it is unknown if Happily Ever After will return after the 50th Anniversary.
- Epcot will receive a daytime lagoon show
- A new version of Rivers of Light featuring similar kite displays as Epcot Forever
August 21, 2019: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 reported that additional attractions are also expected to receive updates prior to the 50th Anniversary:
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- Astro Orbiter
- “it’s a small world”
- Swiss Family Treehouse
August 21, 2019: WDWNT.com is reporting that Carousel of Progress will receive updates for the 50th Anniversary.
August 20, 2019: WDWNT.com is reporting that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Jungle Cruise are expected to undergo refurbishments
March 21, 2017: WDWMagic.com user MagicFeather is reporting that the expected likelihood of projects taking place in Epcot is as follows:
- Mission: SPACE update/refurbishment
- Ratatouille attraction in the France Pavilion
- Guardians of the Galaxy attraction replacing Ellen’s Energy Adventure
- Small attraction addition to the United Kingdom Pavilion
- First new country in World Showcase (Likely Brazil)
- Living with the Land/The Land Pavilion refurbishment
- Second new country in World Showcase (Likely Spain)
March 18, 2017: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, Disney is looking to add 50 “Magical Enhancements” for the 50th Anniversary. The 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World is October 1, 2021 and enhancements could include the following:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Finale explosion that was recently added to Disneyland and Disneyland Paris
- Walt Disney World Railroad – Small scenes added to the track.
- Carousel of Progress – New finale scene and general freshening of the attraction
- “it’s a small world” – Addition of the Disney characters, similar to what was done in Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland.
- Tower of Terror – New effects in the drop shafts.
Other attractions that may see attention include Peter Pan’s Flight, The Haunted MAnsion, Spaceship Earth, The American Adventure, The Seas with Nemo and Friends and more. A follow up post, also mentions Expedition Everest as a possibility.
It is unknown if all projects will be completed during the anniversary year or leading up to the anniversary year.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
‘it’s a small world’
Swiss Family Treehouse