The 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World began back in October of 2021 and is set to run for nearly an entire year. It’s a massive anniversary event to be sure, and there’s a lot of new entertainment for guests to enjoy, but it has to be said that, for the most part, a lot of fans are largely disappointed by what the 50th has provided so far, or more specifically, what it has not. Some of the shows that began at Disney World last October are already coming to an end.
A recent Twitter thread asked Walt Disney World fans what would have made the 50th anniversary special for them. The statement itself implies what a lot of people are clearly feeling, that the event is not special, or at least not as special as many were hoping.
Question: what would have made the #WaltDisneyWorld 50th special for you?I’ll start: bringing back the Diamond Horseshoe show.May 18, 2022
There have been a lot of replies to both this tweet and a follow up talking about all the things that people wish they got as part of the 50th anniversary. If there’s a general opinion held by most of the responses, it’s the idea that Walt Disney World’s 50th doesn’t do enough to actually celebrate the history of the parks and the last 50 years of them.
Fireworks that actually celebrate Disney historyNew nighttime parade New day parade Update to CoP final scene Country Bear Jamboree holiday overlaysSomething...ANYTHING...more than we got on 10/1 at MK #StillDisappointedMay 18, 2022
Nostalgia is a big part of what Disney World trades on. And yet, perhaps surprisingly, there’s very little actual nostalgia for Disney World itself in Disney World’s 50th anniversary. Instead of the focus being on the parks, it’s on the brands and IP that make up the parks, which isn’t really the same thing.
Both Magic Kingdom and Epcot got new fireworks shows and while most seem to agree that they’re fine for what they are, they’re not blowing people away. A lot of people miss the Happily Ever After show at Magic Kingdom, and don’t think Enchantment is a worthy successor. Epcot’s Harmonious is fairing a bit better, but many Disney World fans are especially protective of that park and don’t like seeing Disney characters taking over a show that used to have a very different focus.
The fact that they seemed to use the 50th to only celebrate their franchises, and put more of them into the parks, for better or worse, and ignored the plethora of characters, songs and stories those parks have brought into the world is a bit of a bummer.May 18, 2022
There are always going to be disappointments with events like this. There will be some things people like and other things that just don’t do it for them. However, while there are plenty of complaints, there does seem to be one thing that Disney World fans are in agreement on, the addition of lights on Spaceship Earth, which transforms the front of Epcot at night, is something special.
Whoever decided on the Spaceship Earth lighting package wins the 50th, basically by default. Nobody else seems to have cared.May 18, 2022
To be fair, there were probably a lot of plans for Walt Disney World’s 50th that had to be put on hold due to the global pandemic. And with nearly a year left in the event, there’s still time for new things to happen that might make the end of the event much greater than its beginning. But the Epcot lights are expected to remain, so if the 50th anniversary leaves its legacy there, that’s something that people will probably always appreciate.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.