Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary party starts on October 1

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (AP) — Walt Disney World is planning an 18-month celebration in honour of its 50th anniversary. All four parks at the Lake Buena Vista, Florida, resort will take part in The World’s Most Magical Celebration, beginning October 1, Disney announced on Tuesday.

On October 1, 1971, the resort opened to guests, culminating years spent planning and developing Walt Disney’s “magical dream”, officials said in a statement announcing the celebration.

Since then, the vacation destination has expanded from Magic Kingdom, to include EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. The resort also includes multiple themed hotels, water parks and Disney Springs, a shopping and restaurant venue.

The celebration will include a new nighttime show called Disney Enchantment, at the
Magic Kingdom.

The show will have enhanced lighting, fireworks and immersive projection effects that extend from the Cinderella Castle down Main Street, USA.

Disney characters at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista. PHOTO: AP

EPCOT will feature Harmonious, a show at the World Showcase Lagoon which the statement said is “one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park”.

The show will feature new interpretations of classic Disney songs, reimagined in more than a dozen languages by a diverse group of 240 artistes from around the world.

At Animal Kingdom, Disney KiteTails will feature performers flying windcatchers and kites at the Discovery River to the beat of favourite Disney songs.

All the favourite Disney characters – including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale – will be part of a collection of special golden sculptures debuting at all four parks on October 1.

Guests will be able to interact in surprising ways with the 50 characters featured in the Disney Fab 50, the statement said.

Characters will also be dressed in sparkling custom-made costumes for this special occasion.