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Walt Disney World Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebrations

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Disney World Magic Kingdom Castle on 7/9/2020

Photo: Allison Varney

The 50th anniversary celebrations for Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom kick off tomorrow. The company is marking 50 years since the park opened with an 18-month long calendar of events. 

Theme park writer Seth Kubersky says the nighttime spectaculars are getting a reboot: the Magic Kingdom’s new show is called ‘Disney Enchantment’, while Epcot is debuting ‘Harmonious’. Kubersky says fans closely identify the fireworks displays with the Disney experience. 

“Bit by bit, they’ve been bringing back those kind of nighttime entertainments,” says Kubersky.

“By launching these two new shows, it’s definitely a way of Disney to say, you know, big outdoor entertainment is back.” 

Kubersky says Disney will roll out new rides and attractions over the next year-and-a-half, including the Tron roller coaster based on the 1982 sci-fi movie, and a new Star Wars hotel. 

“Nostalgia is Disney’s ultimate brand, creating that emotional connection with a ride, so that you want to come back to it decades later with your children or your grandchildren, is key to the way they’re able to charge the prices that they do.”

Kubersky says one big change coming to the Magic Kingdom this fall is the replacement of the free FASTPASS, which allowed guests to skip the lines, with a paid app called Disney Genie. 

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »