Walt Disney World Announces Festivities for Its 50th Anniversary Celebration – Including 2 New Nighttime Spectaculars

There will be even more magic in central Florida this fall as Walt Disney World commemorates its golden anniversary in the most spectacular of celebrations. Starting on its 50th birthday on Oct. 1, the park will kick off "The World's Most Magical Celebration" – an 18-month-long event with tons of new programming, including two new nighttime spectaculars, the park announced yesterday.

At Magic Kingdom, which opened on Oct. 1, 1971, the lights will fill up with Disney Enhancement, an after-dark show featuring the lighting, fireworks, and music that accompanies most Disney shows, as well as the premiere of immersive projection effects that will run all the way down Main Street, U.S.A. to Cinderella's Castle.

"This evening extravaganza will take you on a journey filled with adventure, wonder, and empowerment…inspiring everyone to believe in magic," Walt Disney World's Jeremy Schoolfield described in a post.

Also debuting that night over at Epcot will be one of the Disney parks' largest-ever nighttime shows, called Harmonious. Situated around the World Showcase Lagoon, the show will feature interpretations of favorite Disney tunes in more than 12 languages coming from 240 global artists. "It's a grand, powerful tribute to the stories and songs that unite us, embracing new technical magic that incorporates pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting, and media in new ways," Schoolfield noted.

Additionally, Disney's Animal Kingdom will launch Disney KiteTails, a live daytime show during with kites and wind catchers of all kinds, including some that stretch 30 feet long and feature familiar animals friends like Simba and Zazu from "The Lion King."

Back at Magic Kingdom, all the characters, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto, and Chip 'n' Dale, will be dressed to the nines to toast the anniversary. The park is calling the upgraded style "EARidescent fashion," which they'll don as they wander the grounds, as well as in Mickey's Celebration Cavalcade, also a new addition for the occasion. The same EARidescent looks will be in the decorations across all the parks, as well as in the name tags of cast members.

Throughout all four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom – look for 50 golden sculptures of characters known as Disney's Fab 50. They will be interactive in a yet-to-be-announced way. Then, at night, select parks will light up as part of Beacons of Magic.

Also on the agenda for the 50th anniversary is the pandemic-delayed debut of the first U.S. ride from the 2007 movie "Ratatouille," called Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, which will open at Epcot.

The momentous occasion at the Florida resort is just part of the major milestone celebrations that Disney has in the works. A traveling exhibit will also debut in 2023 in honor of The Walt Disney Company's 100th anniversary.

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