Everybody get your ears on because it’s a good, good time to visit Walt Disney World since it’s currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary! Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration officially kicked off on October 1, 2021, that will end in March 2023. While most anniversary celebrations last between 14-16 months, Disney’s 50th celebration will last a full 18 months. During this 18-month celebration, guests will have plenty of time to take advantage of new entertainment and shows, the return of the Festival of Fantasy parade, new firework shows, and much more. Here are all the Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration dates you need to know for your upcoming trip:
Read more: Celebrate Disney World’s 50th Anniversary!
The Debut of Two New Firework Shows
Disney debuted two new firework shows at both Magic Kingdom and Epcot called Enchantment and Harmonious on October 1, 2021. Disney’s Enchantment replaces the beloved, “Happily Ever After” show and features a brand new song called “You Are Magic” performed by Kayla Alvarez and Philip Lawrence, as well as new narration performed by the mega-talented Angela Bassett.
Disney’s Enchantment is designed to inspire guests to follow the dreams inside their hearts and make them come true. The show features new fireworks, as well as projections that extend onto Main Street, U.S.A. Beloved characters including Moana, Elsa, and new favorites such as Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon and Joe Gardener from Soul make their Magic Kingdom debut during this show, as well. Guests can watch Enchantment every night at 8:00 pm.
Read more: Disney Enchantment Firework Show
Harmonious, the new nighttime spectacular at Epcot is unlike any show that Disney has ever created. This incredible performance features a giant floating screen, pyrotechnics, a moving fountain, and a beautiful Disney medley featuring 240 artists from around the world who perform hit songs sung in their native language. Featured films include The Lion King, Brave, Mulan, Coco, Princess, and the Frog, Aladdin, Moana, and countless other classics. This show is available each night at 9:00 pm in the World Showcase.
New “KiteTales” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Debuting alongside Harmonious and Enchantment is the new “Disney KiteTales” at Animal Kingdom, which features kites up to 30-feet long that soar the air above the Discovery River Amphitheater. These kites feature larger-than-life characters from hit movies such as The Lion King and Jungle Book.
Guests will be able to enjoy two themed shows to the characters mentioned above, however, some performers bring out characters from Finding Nemo in large puppet forms. The show lasts approximately 10 minutes.
The Return of the Festival of Fantasy Parade
When Disney World re-opened in July 2020, one thing that was noticeably missing was the Festival of Fantasy parade. While the parks did feature princess-themed cavalcades, Magic Kingdom was missing one of its most popular attractions. Although, that fire-breathing Maleficent Dragon did make her return during 2021’s Boo Bash celebration.
However, in 2022, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is FINALLY making its way back to Main Street, U.S.A. The parade will most likely feature the same characters and songs featuring Ariel, Anna, and Elsa, Rapunzel, and others, however, Disney has been pretty tight-lipped on what we can expect from the parade’s return, including what month it’s expected to debut. All we know is that it will be coming back sometime in 2022 during the park’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
The Return of Fantasmic!
It’s not just Magic Kingdom that’s getting an extra dose of magic this year; Hollywood Studios will be getting a fan-favorite show back: Fantasmic! This show famously featured a slew of different Disney characters, including villains as they try and invade Mickey Mouse’s dreams. The new show, however, will feature new characters, special effects, and more, however, like the Festival of Fantasy parade, Disney has been hush-hush on what all of this will include and when it will officially be back. All Disney has said is that it will come back sometime in 2022.
One thing’s for sure, though, it’ll contain the same magic as before and I’m so happy to see my favorite show at Hollywood Studios make its return sometime in 2022.
Say Hello to Indiana Jones!
And speaking of shows coming back to Hollywood Studios, let’s welcome back the “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.” This stunt show officially made its return to the studio on December 19, 2021. Guests can expect the same show they always loved. Showtimes are 12:00pm, 1:15pm, 3:15pm, 4:45pm, and 6:00pm daily.
New Dazzling Character Costumes
During Disney’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale, and Pluto are debuting new, dazzling outfits. The characters are rockin’ a color referred to as “EARidescent” and is a combination of blue, teal, gold, and purple. Guests can see these new costumes in the new stage show at Magic Kingdom called “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire,” as well as in character sightings around the parks.
As mentioned above, one of the new shows at Magic Kingdom – “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” takes place on the stage at Cinderella Castle and features scenes inspired by beloved characters from classic films such as Frozen, Princess and the Frog, and Tangled.
Furthermore, the stage show “Finding Nemo: The Musical” at Animal Kingdom is being reimagined and will now be called “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond,” which will take place during the Finding Dory timeline. This show will feature new characters and most likely new songs to sing along to. Like many other new shows, Disney has not announced an official opening date for this reimagined show, but it’s expected to open sometime during 2022.
Back on October 1, 2021, Magic Kingdom debuted a brand new character cavalcade featuring Mickey and his pals in their “EARidescent” outfits called Mickey’s Celebration. This cavalcade runs daily through Magic Kingdom.
In early 2022, Disney will be introducing a new character cavalcade, including one called the Disney Adventure Cavalcade that features Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl from the Incredibles, Moana, King Louie, and Baloo from the Jungle Book, Nick and Judy from Zootopia, Mulan, Miguel from Coco, Stitch, Merida from Brave, and Jose Carioca and Panchito from the Three Caballeros.
Golden 50th Anniversary Statues
To celebrate the parks’ 50th Anniversary, 50 golden statues of many favorite characters have been spotted around all four theme parks. These characters include Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Chip and Dale, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, Edna Mode, Tinkerbell, Pinocchio, Simba, Woody, and Bo Peep, BB-8, Olaf, and countless others.
New Lights to Commemorate the Occasion
Last but not least, all four icons of each Disney World park will be debuting a new special projection lighting called Beacons of Magic to commemorate the 50th Anniversary Celebration. These lighting projections can be seen at night and they beautifully transform each of these famous icons.
There’s So Much to Celebrate at Walt Disney World in 2022
With so much returning to the parks in 2022, this year is the closest it’ll be to how the parks operated pre-pandemic. We’re excited to see what other announcements are made this year. With this being Disney’s 50th year in operation, there’s no better time to visit the parks and experience Walt’s vision brought to life. Like Walt said, if you can dream it, you can do it – and the parks celebrating their 50th Anniversary Celebration are proof.
Are you visiting Disney World during the 50th celebration? If so, let us know in the comments what you’re most excited about – and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for all the latest Disney tips and tricks.
As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.