Disney World’s 50th Anniversary: 50 Important Things to Know

Disney World's 50th Anniversary things to know

In less than 50 days, Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration will kickoff. In honor of the Golden Anniversary, the parks will not only be filled with smiling faces, they’ll get icon updates, new shows, and EARidescent merchandise. From dates to times, merchandise to food and early entrance, here are 50 important things to know. 

Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration Mickey Minnie
Mickey and Minnie Mouse and their EARidescent costumes for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Table of Contents

When Will Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations Start?

Walt Disney World’s (WDW) 50th birthday is October 1, 2021. That day will officially kickoff the celebration. 


How Long Will the 50th Anniversary Celebration Last?

18 months


Disney World ‘s 50th Anniversary Celebration End Date

March 2023


Official Name for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary?

But, of course! It’s called “The World’s Most Magical Celebration”!



Golden Anniversary merchandise sneak peeks have been announced recently. We’ve seen everything from EARidescent spirit jerseys and Minnie ears to retro-themed plates and shirts.


Can We Buy 50th Anniversary Merchandise Early?

Doesn’t look like it. 


Will PhotoPass Be Available?

Yes! Although not officially announced, PhotoPass tends to have fun-themed photo overlays for celebratory occasions. When they’re announced, I’ll add theme here. 


Will the Monorails Be Open?

As long as there are no major issues, yes. At this time, there is no Monorail to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. 

Of course, the Monorails do go down quite frequently, so keep that in mind. 


Can I Use WDW Transportation Even if I’m Not Staying On Property?

Always. Once you’re on property, you’re a guest of WDW and are free to use all of its transportation free of charge. 


Is There an Official Anniversary Anthem?

You betcha! Titled “The Magic Is Calling”, it was written by Alana Da Fonesca and is meant to inspire us all to visit. 

Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration logo
Earidescent Cinderella Castle logo.


Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Tickets

Single and multi-day tickets can be purchased on the official website. You can opt for both single park and park hopper style.


Annual Pass Purchases

WDW recently announced that new Annual Passes will be available to purchase before the 50th Anniversary Celebration. Annual Pass renewals are still available as well. 


Park Hopping

Starting at 2pm, guest with Annual Passes or Park Hopper tickets may access available parks until park closing:

Magic Kingdom – 2pm to 9pm

Epcot – 2pm to 10pm

Hollywood Studios – 2pm to 9pm

Animal Kingdom – 2pm -7pm

Keep in mind that due to crowd caps, WDW may stop park hopping at any time. 


Rope Drop Times for October 1, 2021

Magic Kingdom – 9am to 9pm

Epcot – 10am to 10pm

Hollywood Studios – 9am to 9pm

Animal Kingdom – 8am to 7pm


Theme Park Reservations

At this time, theme park reservations are still needed to access the parks. Please check the Park Pass Availability Calendar for available parks. 


Do I Need to Leave the Park Immediately After the Nighttime Show Is Over?

While WDW does encourage its theme park guests to start heading toward their transportation of choice, it will never sweep you out the theme park door. You’re free to shop in the main stores. However, it does start closing off attraction areas to move guests toward the exit. 


When Is the Best Time to Leave the Parks at Night?

The answer is a two-parter. If you want to avoid transportation crowds, the best times to exit are before the nighttime show or after the crowd has thinned out when the park closes. 

guide to Disney World mask policy Cinderella wire ears

Mask Policy

The Walt Disney World mask policy can change at any moment, but right now masks are required indoors and on all attractions. Additionally, you’ll need to wear one while walking to your dining reservation table and while on WDW transportation. 


What About FastPasses?

At this time, Fastpass+ is not being used in the parks. 


What Do I Wear?

October is one of those Central Florida months can can go either way, weather-wise. I’ve visited when I felt like I was melting to days when I had to wear a full-on jacket. So my advise is to take a few layers. If it’s chilly in the morning it will probably warm up throughout the day. 

Additionally, check the weather forecast right before you leave – it can change in a matter of hours. If you get stuck without a coat, WDW generally pulls some out of storage for guests to purchase. 


Will I Need a MagicBand?

No, but they are convenient. You can use your park ticket for entry. 


Will Strollers Be Available for Rent?

In the theme parks, sure, but on a first come, first serve basis. If you’re planning on staying multiple days, consider renting a stroller from a reputable third party to save money and hassle. 

What About Scooter Rental?

Yes. Also, first come, first serve. You can rent a scooter from a reputable third party as well. 


Any Special Pixie Dust for Guests?

Oh, yeah. WDW announced that castmembers will be spreading that magical pixie dust in the form of surprises during the entirety of the 18-month long celebration. 


Will There Be Celebrations at the WDW Resorts?

Nothing has been announced yet. If it does, I’ll add it here. 


Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Resort Accommodations

The official kickoff date is going to be a special one, so WDW Resorts are booking rapidly. At the time this post was written, there is still on-property resort availability for some Moderate and Deluxe Resorts


Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Parking

It’s going to be a HUGE day on October 1st and parks will, undoubtedly be packed. If you’re staying on property, my advice is to take WDW transportation to avoid finding the rope drop vehicle backup at the turnstiles. 


Are Pets allowed at Walt Disney World Parks for the Celebration?

In the WDW theme parks, water parks, and at Disney Springs, service animals are always welcomed. 


Are Pets Allowed in Disney World Resorts during the Celebration?

Right now, 4 out of the 26 WDW Resorts allow pets. And by pets, I mean dogs. The following resorts offer pet-friendly areas:

  • Art of Animation Resort. Designated pet-friendly areas include Cars suites, Finding Nemo suites,  The Little Mermaid building.
  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness. Its loops are pet-friendly, but only specific Cabins are pet-friendly.
  • The Campsites at Fort Wilderness. Pet-friendly loops can be requested and no pets in pop-up trailers or tents.
  • Port Orleans Resort — Riverside. Designated sections are pet friendly.
  • Yacht Club Resort. Designated sections and floors ware pet friendly.

At each of these resorts, there are designated pet walking areas and “relief stations”. 


Is There a Disney Halloween Party?

I can’t help but think of Halloween at Walt Disney World coinciding with the 50th anniversary bash. This year, Disney After Hours Boo Bash will be from 9pm to midnight on select nights in August through October. But, it takes a break from September 25 – October 4, 2021. 

Prices range from $129 to $199 per guest depending on the date. The closer to Halloween or on a weekend? The higher the price. 

From parking to rope drop to extra time in the parks and merchandise, here are 50 important things to know about Disney World's 50th Anniversary on October 1st, 2021! #WDW #Disneyworld #Anniversary #familyTravel #Orlando #themeparks

Resort Guest Early Entrance

WDW dropped the one hour-early entrance at one theme park for resort guests and instead will be offering 30 minutes of early entry in all four theme parks for on-property guests


Mini Golden Statues

Almost daily, WDW is announcing mini Golden Statues for the Golden Anniversary that will be showcased in all four theme parks. So, instead of the Fab Five we get the Fab 50!

Here’s the Golden Statue list so far. 


Epcot Celebration Decorations

For the Golden Anniversary, Spaceship Earth will be a Beacon of Magic and is getting a glitzy makeover with twinkling stardust.


Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Magic Kingdom Celebration Decorations

Recently completed, the Cinderella Castle makeover featuring EARidescent banners, sparkling pixie dust, and a giant medallion will definitely be be the focal point of the day and night. 


Disney’s Hollywood Studios Celebration Decorations

Hollywood Tower of Terror will be a Beacon of Magic and will twinkle with EARidescence.


Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Animal Kingdom Celebration Decorations

The Tree of Life will will be a Beacon of Magic and sparkle with enchanted fireflies.


What’s Animal Kingdom KiteTails?

Starting October 1, 2021, at the Discovery River Amphitheater, KiteTails will feature 3_D kites of famous Disney characters. Simba, Zazu, and Baloo are just a few of the kites announced to grace the sky. 


New Rides

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is set to debut on October 1st. Last week, Disney Annual Passholders were given the opportunity to book a preview time slot starting in September. 


Fireworks at Magic Kingdom

Starting October 1, 2021, a brand new show, Disney Enchantment, will debut at 9m. It will feature both castle and Main Street U.S.A projections and fireworks. 


New Nighttime Epcot Show

Harmonious will debut at Epcot on October 1, 2021. It will feature water projections and a brand new soundtrack. 

free at Disney Springs in 2021

Disney Springs

For now, Disney Springs will be selling 50th Anniversary merchandise. As soon as new details are released, I’ll add theme here. 


Special Characters?

No elusive characters have been announced yet. If they are, they’ll be added here.


Mickey and Minnie Mouse Meet and Greets?

None have been announced as the parks are still in recovery mode. 


Will Mickey and Minnie Have Special Costumes?

Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration Mickey Minnie
Mickey and Minnie Mouse and their EARidescent costumes for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Yes, and they’re beautiful! They are made with gorgeous EARidescent material and are trimmed in gold for the Golden Anniversary. 

Disney World Free Celebration Button

Make sure to pick up a free “I’m Celebrating” button at Guest Services and add in 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World!

There are plenty of freebies at Disney World if you know where to look. Here’s a list of our favorites. 


Food & Snacks

Yes! As in special occasions past, we can expect 50th anniversary snacks and special drinks. 



Sit down restaurants are still accepting reservations for the 50th anniversary. Keep in mind that reservations are bound to fill up fast. 


Anniversary Celebration Parades

No parades have been announced yet. If  WDW decides not to have one at Magic Kingdom, we can be assured that Cavalcades will take place throughout the day. 

Blizzard Beach for Adults: ride the chairlift
Even the chairlift has a cool blizzard meets beach theme!

Will the Water Parks Be Open?

Right now, Blizzard Beach is the only water park open for guests. It’s open daily from 11am-6pm unless there’s a drastic cold weather snap. 


Last Minute 50th Anniversary Changes?

Please keep an eye on this post for changes and updates. Additionally, you can head to the official Walt Disney World website, too. 

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