Magic Abounds as Walt Disney World®Resort Begins 50th Anniversary Celebration

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. Five decades later to the day, guests experienced that dream anew when they visited The Most Magical Place on Earth to be part of its 50th anniversary.

Lisa Federico, owner of Academy Travel, a Diamond Producer Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agency, has a deep emotional connection with Walt Disney World Resort. "To me, it's not just an amusement park. It's a place that connects friends and families together, enables all ages to feel like a child again and makes magic for all who visit. I remember meeting Mickey Mouse with my grandfather when I was only three years old and the first time my two sons met him. Each trip with my family and everything we experienced together created lasting memories. It's the emotions of those memories that I'll always cherish, and I cannot wait to create even more memories while enjoying the 50th Celebration with my family!"

October 1, 2021, marked the beginning of "The World's Most Magical Celebration," an 18-month event bringing new attractions, nighttime spectaculars and other magical experiences at the resort's four Theme Parks, including dazzling lighting effects that transform several park icons into what Disney has dubbed "Beacons of Magic."

At the Magic Kingdom Park®, Disney lights up the evening with a new nighttime spectacular, "Disney Enchantment," featuring stunning fireworks, powerful music, enhanced lighting and immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.®

The historic transformation of EPCOT® continues at Walt Disney World Resort! The park is now unified with four neighborhoods that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery. These neighborhoods are filled with new experiences rooted in authenticity and innovation that take guests to new destinations, where the real is made fantastic in a celebration of curiosity, discovery and the magic of possibility.

The grand opening of Remy's Ratatouille Adventure emerged on October 1 as well, inviting guests into the flavorful world of Disney and Pixar's Academy Award®-winning film "Ratatouille." In this family-friendly attraction, guests feel as if they shrink to the size of Chef Remy and scurry through Gusteau's famous restaurant. They discover Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in World Showcase as part of a newly expanded France pavilion, where the real is made fantastic in a reimagining of Paris inspired by the film.

Also in the expanded pavilion is a delicious new restaurant, La Crperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options. The menu features sweet crepes, savory buckwheat galettes (naturally gluten friendly) and authentic French hard cider.

Evening entertainment at EPCOT features one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park. "Harmonious," which debuted October 1, is a grand tribute to the unifying power of story and song, embracing new technical magic that incorporates pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting, massive LED panels and media in new ways.

New daytime entertainment is stirring at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, as "Disney KiteTails" comes alive several times daily at the Discovery River Theater. Performers fly windcatchers and kites of all shapes and sizes, while out on the water elaborate three-dimensional kites - some stretching to 30 feet long - depict Disney animal friends, including Simba, Zazu, Baloo and King Louie. These colorful creations dance through the sky to the beat of favorite Disney songs in an uplifting, vibrant experience for the whole family.

One of the most highly anticipated new experiences at Walt Disney World Resort will debut in 2022 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration. On March 1, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will immerse its first official guests in a galaxy far, far away by going beyond anything Disney has created before. Guests will become the heroes of their own stories during a two-night adventure where they see, feel and live Star Wars.

When you're ready to plan your family's trip to the "The World's Most Magical Celebration," visit academytravel.com to request a quote. Academy Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, and its travel advisors specialize in selling Disney Destinations for over 25 years and provide concierge-level travel planning services for you and your family. We'll make sure you have all the guidance and help you and your family need to have a safe and enjoyable vacation! Whether it is a family, group, wedding, golf or special occasion trip, we have all the experience to help and at no extra cost.

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.
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