5 Favorite Moments from Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary

The 50th Anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World Resort draws to a close soon. The World’s Most Magical Celebration began on October 1, 2022 and will be ending on March 31, 2023. This celebration brought new nighttime spectaculars, new attractions, merchandise, foods, and other entertaining experiences to Walt Disney World Resort as guests celebrated this milestone in Disney history. As it draws to a close, it seems like a fun idea to look back at some favorite moments from this celebration that perhaps weren’t the most obvious at first glance. Here are five(ish) moments from Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary that stand out to me a year and a half after the kickoff of the celebration.

5. Disney Fab 50 Character Collection

Throughout Walt Disney World Resort guests could find golden statues of different Disney characters. They could be found in all the parks and from many different stories that are told by The Walt Disney Company including those of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and also Lucasfilm in the form of Star Wars! The Disney Fab 50 Character Collection was a surprisingly fun addition to the 50th Anniversary as they weren’t just decorations. Finding the golden statues became a bit of a treasure hunt. Some parks were easier to find the characters in than others. Magic Kingdom was definitely had some of the most challenging statutes to find. This was a fun diversion for the Daps Magic team at the beginning of the celebration that led to some funny moments as we walked right by, under, and around some of the statues before later realizing how ridiculously close to them we had already been! There were plenty of memorable moments made as we made our way through all the parks looking for these golden statues.

4. The Magic is Calling

The theme song of Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary was The Magic is Calling. This song was performed in each park in different ways throughout the celebration and created several different memorable moments. One of my favorites was definitely the Main Street Philharmonic. It was a completely different approach to the song than the upbeat rock version that was heard elsewhere and was very enjoyable. The Main Street piano player also performed this song which was enjoyable. However, one of the other more memorable renditions of the song was when it was played in EPCOT nightly after Harmonious. Invariably people would begin dancing and singing along as they would make their way out of the park for the night. It is a song that definitely gets stuck in your head and was a lovely addition to the celebration.

3. Electrical Water Pageant with 50th Anniversary Addition

The Electrical Water Pageant is one of those gems that are easy to overlook at Walt Disney World Resort. For as easy as it is to see it, I feel like it is often just taken for granted as that thing that goes by the Main Gate of Magic Kingdom when heading back to one’s hotel at night. For the 50th the Daps Magic team stayed at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness and Campground. It was absolutely magical getting to take our golf cart down to the beach and watch the Electrical Water Pageant with its addition for the 50th anniversary at night. It was something I never realized how magical it could really be and how much of a bonus it is to staying at a Disney Resort that it passes by! This was a magical moment that was a fantastic way to end the day.

 2. Disney KiteTails

One of the unexpected hits of the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort was found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the form of Disney KiteTails. This show happened on the water in Discovery River Theater area of the park. It had two main versions, The Lion King and The Jungle Book. In each of these shows there were a wide variety of kites big and small that brought the area to life. They also brought a level of unpredictability as wind and waves created several unknowns. Watching the big character kites come crashing down was an instant hit with guests as it really was hard to tell if things were intentional or not. In an environment like Disney’s that is almost always completely in control, the unpredictability was incredible. This was a lot of fun that led to a lot of laughter and some wonderful memories! Disney KiteTails offered so many memorable moments that as I look back at the 50th Anniversary make me smile.

1. Spaceship Earth Beacon of Magic

Our favorite moment of magic was found on the outside of Spaceship Earth when it became a Beacon of Magic. This moment brought the whole entrance plaza of EPCOT to life with inspirational music and beautiful lighting effects. It has continued to be a favorite experience in subsequent trips as different variations of the nighttime shows on the outside of Spaceship Earth have been shown. There is something about this that connects at some many levels and in so many ways that makes it simply magical. It is something I look forward to seeing and experiencing every time I visit EPCOT now. I am so glad that Disney created these magical moments that are so incredibly powerful and beautiful.

There are so many other magical moments that could be experienced during Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary. Some of them are more obvious than others, like the nighttime spectaculars. There were also some incredible dining experiences, character moments, and merchandise that were found and had during the 50th Anniversary. As Disney now moves into celebrating a new milestone with its Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration, it is fun to look back at other magical moments during other celebrations. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to experience these different milestones in different places including Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, it’s 60th Anniversary, Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary, and recently EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary. Each have had special moments that have made magical memories that I treasure.

What are you some of your favorite magical moments from Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary? Share your memories in the comments below!