Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom opened nearly 50 years ago, which makes 2021 a huge year for the most popular theme park resort on the planet. However, under the current circumstances, there were a lot of questions as to what Walt Disney World would even be able to accomplish for a 50th anniversary. Today, we got the first set of answers to that question, as the 50th Anniversary was officially set to begin on October 1, 2021, 50 years to the day of the original opening of Magic Kingdom, and all four theme parks will be undergoing a beautiful transformation for the event.
Walt Disney World is calling the new look the parks will receive EARidescence, and all four parks will be decorated in the new color scheme to celebrate the event. And each night a major landmark in each of the parks will change colors. At Magic Kingdom it will of course be Cinderella's Castle, at Epcot the same change will take place for Spaceship Earth. At Disney's Hollywood Studios it will be the Tower of Terror. And at Disney's Animal Kingdom it will be the Tree of Life. Above you can see a rendering of how these changes will appear. The castle at Magic Kingdom will also get some new decorations during the day, which you can check out below.
These changes are simple enough, but most importantly, these are changes that can be implemented under current conditions. Even if Walt Disney World is still forced to only allow in a fraction of the maximum possible guests, these new items can still move forward. If you're hoping to go check out these changes on day one, you can't do it at Magic Kingdom as the park has already blown through its allotment of reservations for October 1. Although if capacity increases by then, which seems likely, more space will open up.
The good news is that there will plenty more time to experience this, and whatever else gets announced for the 50th anniversary. It's been confirmed that the plan is for the anniversary to last well into the parks' 51st anniversary, as the party will go on for a full 18 months. Based on comments from Disney CEO Bob Chapek, the expectation is that the parks will be back to "normal" by early 2022, so there will still be more than a year of 50th anniversary fun to be had from that point. Get ready, fans. Mickey and Minnie certainly are, as they will have their own special new costumes to go along with the color scheme of the event.
Walt Disney World promises that this is only the start of the announcements for the 50th anniversary. Normally we'd expect to see things like new parades or fireworks shows, and while those things are very likely on the agenda, they'll need to be held until the resort has a better idea exactly when they'll be able to commence. This is a great start and I can't wait to see what else is on the way for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary.