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How should Disney World Celebrate 50 Years of Magic?

We are 8 years away from Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary. Disney likes to start planning these major anniversaries many years in advance. Plans for anything major, like multiple attractions, innovative parades, or theme park rebranding efforts would have to be in the early stages of conceptualization very soon, if not already. So this may be your last chance as a fan to influence what Disney should do for this major milestone.

Consider what Disney has offered to parks guests in previous major anniversary years or events like the millenium celebration and then give us your plan for how Walt Disney World should celebrate its first 50 years of providing world class entertainment at a destination unmatched around the globe.

We need your voice, or we could end up with this:


Just say no to the castle cake; share your plan in the comments below!

16 thoughts on “How should Disney World Celebrate 50 Years of Magic?”

  1. I really wish they’d put the specialty shops back in on Main street.
    One giant Emporium building with multiple facades isn’t really fun or interesting.
    It was really neat when the shops were unique. I recall when I was younger that it was like wandering through a little street misplaced in time. Instead, now, it’s just one big gift shop.
    They probably won’t do this. I’m sure that the open-concept they’re using now helps with crowd movement. But still.. “those were the days”

  2. Seriously, anything but the cake… that was the worst thing ever. Ever ever ever.

    I’m was a cast member in the late 70’s and early 80’s and remember the 10th anniversary well. There were special “tencenial” castle forecourt shows each day with dove releases and daytime fireworks (one of the best shows disney had has still ever done), a special parade every day, special decorations everywhere all year…. And the actual 10th anniversary day (Oct 1) was spectacular and was the first time they did fireworks that surrounded the magic kingdom. THAT is what the 50th should be like.

    I was so disappointed in the 40th anniversary ceremony. Nothing special really. A speech and a few characters and a little bit of pyrotechnics.

    The 50th needs to be larger than life showing how spectacular Disney can be. Just please please don’t change the castle into anything again…

  3. EPCOT- UK pavillion gets a new (but yet still classic version) of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Bringing back a beloved attraction.

  4. #1. DO NOT MESS WITH THE CASTLE!!! That cake castle was a disgrace, I refused to go to Disney world while it was up and I am a DVC member.
    #2. I agree with Jim Robinson, That kind of thing is what is needed for the 50th, but 5 times bigger.
    And I agree with Charles. I actually cried when Starbucks took the last remaining hint of Main Street when they wiped out the Main Street Bakery.

  5. I’ve never made it to Disney World for any of the milestone dates. Now that I know I have 8 years to plan…

    I just hope it’s a big celebration joining the past, present, and future.

  6. Sorry everyone but I liked the cake. It was the first time I or my family visited WDW. It was a magical time for my whole family. Knowing it was at a special time was icing on the cake (LOL). My children were 16, 12 and 10 years old. I think you would have to admit Disney did a great job with decorating the castle and to a child’s eye it WAS a huge cake. The grand scale that Disney does everything is one reason we always go back once or twice a year. The cleanliness of the whole WDW, the friendliness of the staff and the leaving all the worries of being an adult at home make this a great place to go.

    Now for the anniversary. I think the Castle is a logical place to start. it is the first thing you see when you enter the park. Turning the castle into a cake has been done so you do not have to worry about that again. Maybe something added to the side of the castle like what was done to spaceship earth a few year back. Rework the fireworks to use Walt Disney’s voice instead of Mickey. Rework the area around the statue of Walt and Mickey to draw more attention to it. Make the train a must ride attraction, set up dioramas around the park that can be only be seen by the train that show how the park looked when first opened. Use parts from the old rides that are not in use anymore as part of the dioramas. Just some quick thoughts while defending the “Cake”.

  7. I have to stick up for the cake too. I am a longtime Disney fan: My first visit to WDW Magic Kingdom was the first week it opened, when I was 1 year old. I now visit at least twice weekly. I loved, loved, loved the cake. Disney and cake! That can never be a bad combo. It was clearly not a permanent change to the castle, and it was fun to look at on my many visits. I get tired of hearing about how “awful” it was. So many beloved Disney attractions have been closed or permanently altered, it’s sad to hear people so vehemently bash a harmless temporary decoration, and a fun one, at that.

  8. …And that said, I hope the 50th celebration again involves cake in a big way. Disney, you can even turn my beloved Haunted Mansion into a spooky green and purple cupcake for a year, and I will love it. (*Ahem*… as long as it’s temporary.) :)

  9. For Disneyland’s 50th I wish they had created a virtual Disneyland ride that would let you choose an extinct ride to ride in. Something like a stationary omnimover that had its own 3-D screen and that would turn or tilt in conjunction with the video as if you were riding the original ride. Like that virtual Inner Space someone made, but in 3-D and with movement. One person could ride 20,000 Leagues, while someone else rode Horizons, while someone else rode Toad.

  10. When Disney World first opened there was a give away for one family, of four, from each of the Fifty States. It was sponsored by Delta Airlines and Sears Department Store. I was seven years old. We stayed at the Contemporary Hotel. There was a parade for Winnie the Pooh for President. I remember flying into the airport in Orlando and how small it was. I still have the original tickets along with a black vinyl bag that they gave away. How awesome would it be if they found the original families of that trip and have a Reunion. Each family could spend the weekend in the Castle and be a part of the Celebration. It would be interesting to see how that visit influenced us and how we have influenced our children by paying it forward! We could have a commercial leading up to the Fiftieth year and how far we have traveled over the years, how many parks/cruises we have been to and how many of us are now DVC Members. I can’t wait for the Celebration!!!!

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