ORLANDO, Fla. (WLS) -- On October 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 vacation destination continued to expand with new stories and characters and adventures to cherish for a lifetime. And now with a major milestone approaching, guests can share in The World's Most Magical Celebration beginning October 1, 2021, in honor of the resort's 50th anniversary.
This 18-month celebratory event will feature new experiences at the resort's four Theme Parks and beyond, where shimmering EARidescent décor will appear as if by magic. Shining at the center of it all will be Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom® Park, which will add to its royal makeover from 2020 with new gold bunting, sparkling golden embellishments and other new enhancements, including a 50th anniversary crest warmly welcoming guests to the join the festivities.
"Walt Disney World Resort holds a special place in my heart and is a favorite vacation destination for so many of our guests," said Heather Straight, Co-President & CEO of Key to the World Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. "I visited for the first time when I was only five-years-old, and have returned countless times since. I'm looking forward to sharing the 50th celebration with my family this fall."
A new nighttime spectacular, Disney Enchantment, will help kick off the 50th anniversary festivities when it debuts October 1 at Magic Kingdom Park. Created to launch with The World's Most Magical Celebration, this evening extravaganza will take guests on a journey filled with adventure, wonder, and empowerment. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic, Disney Enchantment will feature music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.®
Joining Disney Enchantment on October 1 will be Harmonious at EPCOT®, one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park. This new show will bring the globe together at World Showcase Lagoon in a celebration of Disney music that inspires people worldwide. It's a grand, powerful tribute to the unifying power of story and song, embracing new technical magic that incorporates pyrotechnics, fountains, lighting and media in new ways. Harmonious will feature new interpretations of classic Disney songs, reimagined in more than a dozen languages by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world.
"We're very excited to share with our guests the incredible things Walt Disney World Resort has planned for the anniversary," added Straight. "I'm especially excited for the opening of Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT on October 1. Ratatouille is my favorite movie, and I can't wait to rendezvous with Remy and experience this attraction. It's going to be an amazing addition to the park's France Pavilion."
Also debuting October 1 in a newly expanded area of the park's France pavilion will be a delicious new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options. The menu will feature 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.
When you're ready to plan your family's trip to The World's Most Magical Celebration, visit keytotheworldtravel.com to request a quote. Key to the World Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and its travel advisors specialize in Disney Destinations and provide concierge-level travel planning services for you and your family.
"Now more than ever, it's so important to work with a travel advisor," said Straight. "We'll guide you every step of the way, making sure you know all of the latest health and safety information so you and your family can relax and enjoy every minute of your stay at the Walt Disney World Resort."
Experience The World's Most Magical Celebration. It's a place and time to celebrate the small stuff, the big stuff, and even the in-between stuff. Share the magical memories you helped create over the last 50 years. And kick off the next era where the best is yet to come.
It's the Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary. And the only thing missing is you.