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Disney Finally Seems Aware of Its 50th Anniversary Failings

Since its debut on October 1, 2021, Walt Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration has certainly been met with mixed reviews from new and returning Guests.

Across Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks, Disney introduced new decor and experiences for the celebration, including the dazzling Beacons of Light at the Park icons, the Fab 50 golden statues, food and beverage options, and merchandise collections.

Now, Disney seems to have revealed its own shortcomings regarding the Florida Resort’s 50th celebration.

magic-kingdom-castle-statue

Credit: Disney Tips

Once Guests leave Walt Disney World, Disney sends a survey via email to collate feedback on the Park experience, dining reservations, Resort stays, and transportation.

In recent Guest surveys, Disney has been asking for feedback on Walt Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration and offers Park Guests an array of reasons as to why the celebration may not have met expectations.

The reasons offered by Disney show some insight into not only what other Guests’ responses have been to the surveys but also Disney’s awareness of its own failings during the major Lake Buena Vista celebration.

disney-world-survey

Credit: Disney via screenshot

From prices and availability to nostalgia and decor, the survey addresses many of the issues that Disney Park Guests have debated since the October 1 debut of the 50th-anniversary celebrations at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration show, Disney Enchantment, has been a focal point of lukewarm reviews, with fans begging Disney to bring back its fireworks classics Wishes and Happily Ever After. The survey addresses these reviews with the response option: “The fireworks shows/nighttime spectaculars didn’t celebrate the 50th anniversary.”

The all-new firework show projects onto Main Street, U.S.A., but Disney fan reactions to Disney Enchantment have been mixed, with some Guests enjoying the change and others suggesting that it does not live up to its predecessor. Here at Disney Tips, we admit we enjoy the characters the show features, but it does not feel like a 50th celebration fireworks spectacular. We were expecting a celebration of Disney Park music and history, like the iconic attractions Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spectromagic, and Illuminations.

Magic Kingdom Fireworks

Credit: Disney

The survey also provides Guests options regarding the limitations of the 50th celebration, including decor, merchandise, and food and beverage.

Many Guests have commented how the 50th decor in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been minimal, while merchandise was affected by supply chain issues that meant many collections did not appear in stores.

It is interesting to see Disney filling in its own blanks regarding opinion on the 50th-anniversary celebration, and certainly shows some self-awareness of its own shortcomings. The full list of the Walt Disney World survey’s responses is as follows:

  • Commemorative entertainment for the celebration was limited (stage shows, parades, etc.)
  • The 50th-anniversary merchandise I wanted was unavailable
  • There were long lines to purchase the merchandise
  • The merchandise selection/variety was limited
  • The prices for 50th-anniversary merchandise were high
  • The celebration didn’t celebrate “classic Disney” and lacked nostalgia
  • The fireworks shows/nighttime spectaculars were not as good as previous shows
  • Crowds made it difficult to enjoy the celebration
  • The décor was limited
  • There were long lines to purchase the special food and beverage offerings
  • It was difficult to find the special food and beverage offerings
  • The special food and beverage offerings were limited
  • It was not as good as other Disney celebrations
  • It seemed like just another day in the Park
  • It was not special enough for a 50th-anniversary celebration
  • The fireworks shows/nighttime spectaculars didn’t celebrate the 50th anniversary

It will be interesting to see if Disney Parks addresses any of these comments, particularly with negativity surrounding the new Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane service that has plagued the FastPass replacement since its launch.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book