Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction, nighttime spectaculars, entertainment, EARidescent décor and many more magical moments await guests during 18-month 50th anniversary event
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – On Oct. 1, 1971, Walt Disney World Resort officially opened to guests for the first time, the culmination of years spent imagining, planning and developing Walt Disney’s magical dream. In the five decades since, The Most Magical Place on Earth continued to expand with new stories and characters and memories to cherish for a lifetime. And now for its 50th anniversary, the resort welcomes guests to “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” With Disney cast members at the heart of this milestone celebration, the 18-month event beginning Oct. 1, 2021, ushers in a spectacular array of new attractions, nighttime spectaculars and so much more.
Shining at the center of it all is Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park, welcoming guests to the celebration with gleaming gold bunting, sparkling golden embellishments, a 50th anniversary crest and other enhancements inspired by the art of Disney Legend Mary Blair. Guests will discover new experiences across the resort, where shimmering EARidescence appears as if by magic everywhere from theme parks to Disney Resort hotels to transportation to merchandise and more.
Expanded EPCOT France Pavilion Serves Up New Attraction, Restaurant
The Oct. 1 grand opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure invites guests into the flavorful world of Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning film “Ratatouille.” In this family-friendly attraction, guests feel as if they shrink to the size of Chef Remy and scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant. They discover Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in World Showcase as part of a newly expanded France pavilion, where the real is made fantastic in a reimagining of Paris inspired by the film.
Also debuting Oct. 1 in this expanded section of the pavilion is a delicious new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options. The menu features sweet crepes, savory buckwheat galettes (naturally gluten friendly) and authentic French hard cider. The attraction, restaurant and pavilion expansion are all part of the historic transformation of EPCOT currently underway, bringing a breadth of new experiences to the park as a celebration of curiosity, discovery and the magic of possibility.
Nighttime Spectacular ‘Harmonious’ Reimagines Disney Music at EPCOT
“Harmonious,” one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park, debuts Oct. 1 at EPCOT. This new show brings the globe together at World Showcase Lagoon in a celebration of Disney music that inspires people worldwide. It is a grand, powerful tribute to the
unifying power of story and song, embracing new technical magic that incorporates pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting, massive LED panels and media in new ways. “Harmonious” features new interpretations of classic Disney songs in more than a dozen languages, performed by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world, including Luis Fonsi, Joy, Danny Gokey, and the Ndlovu Youth Choir.
‘Disney Enchantment’ Lights Up Nights at Magic Kingdom Park
Joining “Harmonious” with an Oct. 1 debut is another new nighttime spectacular, “Disney Enchantment,” at Magic Kingdom Park. Created to launch with “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” this evening extravaganza takes guests on a journey filled with adventure, wonder and empowerment. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic, “Disney Enchantment” features stunning fireworks, powerful music, enhanced lighting and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A. The show’s stirring soundtrack is anchored by an emotional original song, “You Are the Magic,” written and performed by multiple GRAMMY® winner Philip Lawrence, whose musical career began as a Disney cast member performing in Walt Disney World shows.
Beacons of Magic Shine at Walt Disney World Theme Parks
During the 50th anniversary celebration, icons at Walt Disney World theme parks transform at night into magnificent Beacons of Magic, coming to life with their own EARidescent glow.*
- Cinderella Castle illuminates Magic Kingdom Park with a dazzling radiance and pixie-dust sparkle.
- At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, a warm light emanates from the Tree of Life as fireflies gather to usher in the magic of nature.
- The Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is awash in a brilliance evoking the golden age of imagination and adventure.
- And at EPCOT, new lights shine across the reflective panels of Spaceship Earth, connecting to one another like stars in a nighttime sky and creating a mesmerizing symbol of optimism. The iconic structure’s permanent new lighting will continue beyond “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” as a defining feature of the park.
‘Disney KiteTails’ Takes Flight at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
New daytime entertainment is stirring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, as “Disney KiteTails” comes alive several times daily beginning Oct. 1 at the Discovery River Theater. Performers fly windcatchers and kites of all shapes and sizes, while out on the water elaborate three-dimensional kites – some stretching to 30 feet long – depict Disney animal friends, including Simba, Zazu, Baloo and King Louie. These colorful creations dance through the sky to the beat of favorite Disney songs in an uplifting, vibrant experience for the whole family.
Golden ‘Disney Fab 50 Character Collection’ Sculptures Appear Across Theme Parks
New “Disney Fab 50 Character Collection” golden sculptures are spread across the four Walt Disney World theme parks in honor of the 50th anniversary. Fifty characters are featured in total, including Miguel and Dante from Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” at EPCOT; BB-8 and R2-D2 from Star Wars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Simba, Timon and Pumba from “The Lion King” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park; and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse – dedicated to Walt Disney World cast members – at Magic Kingdom Park.
Celebratory Food and Drinks Look to the Past for New Inspiration
During its 50th anniversary celebration, Walt Disney World once again demonstrates how food and drinks can be key ingredients for a fun day at The Most Magical Place on Earth. New menu items for the celebration offer nods to the resort’s past while pushing culinary adventures to exciting new places. These include theme park classics and some of Walt Disney’s favorite items, along with novel dishes and sips full of color, whimsy and a touch of EARidescent shimmer. Of the 150-plus new items available, examples include:
- Cheese Fries with Walt’s Chili at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- Glimmer and Shimmer Pineapple Mousse at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Mission to Mars burger at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Magic Kingdom Park
- EARidescent Croissant Doughnut at EPCOT
- EARidescent Ice Dream Cone at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
- Chicken Dinner Cupcake Trio at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Magical Beacon Cocktail, found at many table-service restaurants, lounges and pool bars at Walt Disney World
Novelty items developed for the celebration, including popcorn buckets, mugs and sippers, are available beginning Oct. 1, 2021, and continue to roll out across Walt Disney World throughout “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
Take the Magic Home with 50th Anniversary Merchandise Collections
Guests will discover new merchandise collections launching in October and November 2021 as part of the celebration. These new items include apparel, accessories, plush, homeware, keepsakes, collectibles and much more, in several different collections:
- The Celebration Collection includes a wide-ranging assortment of commemorative merchandise for the whole family.
- Drawing inspiration from Cinderella Castle, the Disney Castle Collection features everything from collectibles – such as ornaments and charms – to castle-inspired attire and a light-up, 50th anniversary-edition Minnie Mouse ear headband.
- Disney fans and those who love all things vintage will be eager to unlock the Vault Collection that pays tribute to 50 years of Walt Disney World magic with an assortment of retro-themed designs right out of the Walt Disney Archives.
- In line with new décor seen across Walt Disney World during the 50th anniversary celebration, the EARidescent Collectionfeatures a shimmering array of themed fashions and accessories.
- As the name implies, the Luxe Logo Collection offers a range of upscale pieces for the Disney collector.
Drawn to Life, Presented by Cirque du Soleil and Disney, Premieres Nov. 18, 2021
Drawn to Life, the new family-friendly show coming to Disney Springs, is an original creative collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering. Premiering Nov. 18, 2021, during “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” Drawn to Life is a live acrobatic journey telling the story of Julie, a determined girl who discovers an unexpected gift left by her Disney animator father: an unfinished animation. As she dives into the inner world of animation guided by a surprising pencil, Julie embarks on an inspiring quest filled with her childhood Disney memories, brought to life through Cirque du Soleil’s innovative design and dazzling performances. Tickets are available at cirquedusoleil.com/drawntolife.
Space 220 Restaurant at EPCOT: The ‘Height of Dining’
In an expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion at EPCOT, the new Space 220 Restaurant is a culinary experience offering the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles above the planet’s surface. Guests board a space elevator for a simulated journey to the Centauri Space Station, where they experience the “height of dining.” Once they arrive, guests enjoy meals and drinks while taking in views that are truly out of this world.
Original Walt Disney World Resort Hotels Add New Pixie Dust
As Walt Disney World celebrates its 50th anniversary, Walt Disney Imagineering is continuing to enhance the storytelling at the vacation destination’s two original Disney Resort hotels, part of the Disney Resorts Collection. All guest rooms in the iconic A-frame tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are being completely refurbished, blending a sleek Monorail motif evoking Tomorrowland with some favorite characters from Pixar Animation Studios’ Incredibles films. In the lobby, guests see a collection of modern art pieces as well as historical, behind-the-scenes photographs of Disney’s Contemporary Resort in development and under construction. The resort’s lobby restaurant is aptly renamed Steakhouse 71, offering a reimagined dining experience just in time for the 50th anniversary celebration.
Guest rooms were recently reimagined at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with a color palette inspired by the Pacific Ocean and its necklace of islands. Their fresh new look draws on the details, textures and patterns found in Disney’s “Moana,” with characters and references to the film’s rich storytelling. The resort also boasts a dramatic new porte cochere to enhance the arrival experience as guests pull up to its Great Ceremonial House.
‘The Magic Is Calling’ During 50th Anniversary Celebration
“The Magic Is Calling,” an inspiring new song written especially for the 50th anniversary, can be heard in a variety of ways during the 18-month celebration. Platinum-selling songwriter and music producer Alana Da Fonseca and Nashville-based songwriter and producer Bobby Studley created the original song, collaborating with award-winning composer Emily Bear and singing phenom Journi. Da Fonseca and Studley’s pop-music style, Bear’s soaring orchestrations and Journi’s magical vocal performance come together to create a song that is at once nostalgic, inspirational and contemporary.
The new song calls all guests to join in the celebration, including at night when icons at each theme park transform into Beacons of Magic.* “The Magic Is Calling” is also included in special live entertainment moments across Walt Disney World, such as during “Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade” at Magic Kingdom Park, or performances by the Dapper Dans (Magic Kingdom Park), Discovery Island Drummers (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park) and Voices of Liberty (EPCOT). “The Magic Is Calling” is available on the Walt Disney World playlist through Disney Music Group beginning Oct. 1, 2021.
Walt Disney World Transportation Features New Magic
Many of the fun and convenient forms of complimentary Walt Disney World transportation receive special 50thanniversary décor during the celebration. Guests may ride in sparkling style with new artwork added to select Disney Skyliner cabins, Disney Transportation buses and a golden Monorail train.
Electrical Water Pageant Adds 50th Anniversary Shimmer
A 50-year tradition, the Electrical Water Pageant sails nightly across Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, delighting guests at nearby Disney Resort hotels with music and lights in a floating parade. For the 50th anniversary celebration, the show will add new whimsy with a towering castle, swirling pixie dust and a version of the celebration anthem “The Magic Is Calling, recorded in the pageant’s iconic electro-synth-magnetic sound.
Mickey, Minnie and Friends Dress for the Occasion
Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale – otherwise known as the “EARidescent 8” – dress 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. Disney characters will also make appearances at Disney Resort hotels, dressed in their EARidescent best.
Mickey and Minnie are the hosts of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” joined by Walt Disney World cast members at the heart of this event. Wearing new EARidescent nametags designed for the 50th anniversary, cast members will demonstrate yet again why they are renowned for their commitment to service, consistently exceeding guests’ expectations and going above and beyond to make visits to The Most Magical Place on Earth special.
For more information about Walt Disney World Resort and “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” visit WDWNews.com. Guests should visit DisneyWorld.com/50 and DisneyParksBlog.com, plus follow #DisneyWorld50 on social media platforms.
*Beacons of Magic available nightly at select theme parks. See DisneyWorld.com/50 for details.