In one week, Disney fans will converge on Walt Disney World to officially celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort opening! Given restrictions for the last year and a half, it will be a great opportunity to re-connect to your favorite parks and experiences, as well as celebrate this huge milestone! But, with celebrations come crowds, so here are some of our Disney tips to maximize your Disney vacation for the anniversary celebration!
Explore New Resorts
In preparation for the 50th Anniversary Celebration, Disney World has constructed completely new resorts and added new rooms to existing resorts to help accommodate the anticipated crowds. Guests should consider checking out one of these new Resorts, even if it is just for one night during their trip. The brand new Disney Resort, the Riviera Resort, is conveniently located between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT and its prime location on the new Skyliner service. Over at Coronado Springs, Guests can stay in the new Gran Destino Tower, which affords Guests wonderful views of the Disney World Resort.
Shop for Specialty Merchandise
No Disney vacation is complete without shopping for souvenirs, but this is even more true for special events and celebrations! Take some time to explore the gift shops in the parks, as well as the resorts, and even Disney Springs to find the perfect memento from your trip for this momentous occasion! Collectors are sure to find something to add to their collection, whether it be a holiday ornament, magnet, MagicBand, t-shirt, or pin!
The traditional special events run throughout the 50th Celebration, so Guests can explore and celebrate many things during their trip. EPCOT is still playing host to their rotating cadre of annual festivals — EPCOT International Festival of the Arts (January-February); EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival (March – July); EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival (July – November); and the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays (November – December). As the Resort continues to address concerns from the Covid-19 virus, the seasonal events at Magic Kingdom have been updated slightly — Guests can trick-or-treat at the Magic Kingdom during the After Hours Boo Bash and welcome Santa during the Very Merriest After Hours event! Both events combine the favorite ingredients of the seasonal parties of years past and the recently introduced After Hours events (smaller crowds, free snacks and beverages, and specialty entertainment)! And beginning in November, the runDisney series is back with their four running events – these events invite Guests to run through the parks, including the Magic Kingdom. Guests who plan properly can experience at least one of these other events during their visit!
Check Out New Dining
Along with the new resorts across property, Disney World has been making adjustments to restaurants on property and introducing new dining options to tickle everyone’s tastebuds! Two of the newest culinary additions at Disney can be found at Epcot — Space 220 takes guests on a thrilling elevator ride 220 miles into space for a truly out-of-this-world menu — depending on whether you visit for lunch or dinner, guests select their meal from a prix-fixe menu. Over in the new area of France that opened with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Guests can find La Creperie de Paris, which offers Guests a variety of crepes, small-plate entrees, as well as a selection of wine, beer, and other beverages. Other restaurants have received facelifts and menu changes in anticipation of the 50th, so checking the menus out on the My Disney Experience app is worthwhile!
Experience Classic Attractions
No matter the number of new resorts, attractions, and restaurants that come to Walt Disney World, one of our favorite pastimes when visiting is to re-connect with our favorite, classic attractions. No matter the number of times that we have plunged into the Briar Patch (a pastime that is quickly nearing an end) or dropped thirteen terrifying stories at the Tower of Terror, we will always want to experience it again! Soon Guests will be able to maximize their park going experience with the soon-to-be-released Disney Genie and Genie+ services (both of these services will replace the Disney FastPass system), so you can ensure you ride your favorite attraction or find a seat for your favorite show!
Consider an Annual Pass
Disney World re-started selling annual passes, as well as revamped the offerings for the annual passes. While Annual Passes can be expensive, it is also important to remember that they come with many added benefits that may make your trip to Disney World so much better! In addition to specialty merchandise and a passholder magnet, annual Passholders can also qualify for discounts on Disney resort stays, as well as a discount on merchandise and at restaurants. Passholders occasionally are invited to preview events for new attractions — in the lead-up to October 1, Passholders have been able to experience Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Plenty of fingers remain crossed as construction continues on TRON: Lightcycle Run at the Magic Kingdom, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
With so much focus being placed on the parks for the 50th anniversary, it is very easy to forget about the dining options offered at all of the Resorts at Disney. We love the variety of dining options, as well as the atmosphere of Resort restaurants. Guests will want to consider breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace at the Riviera Resort, or a burger and a beer at Geyser Point Bar & Grill at the Wilderness Lodge, or a hearty lobster roll from the Ale and Compass at the Yacht Club. Regardless of your appetite and palette, Guests are sure to find a restaurant that will tingle their tastebuds! With so many choices, Guests will want to make sure that they get a dining reservation for their favorites!
In addition to new resorts, attractions, and restaurants, Guests will also experience new entertainment options on their 50th Anniversary visit! At the Magic Kingdom, a new nighttime fireworks show will be introduced, Disney Enchantment. The show premieres on the 50th anniversary — October 1 and is guaranteed to stun Guests with a collection of fireworks, projections, music, and Disney magic! Over at EPCOT, Guests will also be introduced to a new on October 1 — Harmonious. This show will make use of the huge water fountains that have been installed in the World Showcase Lagoon over the last year. Guests are anxiously awaiting this show. Finally, over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, KiteTails will also premiere on October 1 in the Discovery River Theater located in the Asia area of the Park! Guests will want to make sure that they spend some of the nighttime hours in the Park on their next visit!
See related: Disney to Livestream New Shows
The 50th anniversary is going to be a wonderful event, and Guests will find a ton of new experiences to round out their Disney World vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth. Consider some of these tips to enhance your trip and maximize your fun! Have you already planned your 50th anniversary trip — what are you most excited about at the Walt Disney World Resort?