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Everything You Need to Know About Walt Disney World® Resort’s 50th Anniversary

The World’s Most Magical Celebration continues! Walt Disney World is still celebrating its 50th Anniversary with fantastic events, unique bites, and many more magical experiences and additions. The celebration is set to end by March 2023, so make sure to head over to this beloved world-famous resort to start creating unforgettable memories. Before you plan your trip, here is everything you need to know about this cheerful celebration!

Disney characters in front of castle

Enchanting Merchandise for Everyone!

The World’s Most Magical Celebration wouldn’t be complete without fantastic merchandise. The EARidescent Shimmer Collection is a glowing and shimmery collection inspired by Cinderella Castle latest color story: blue and gold. This collection is perfect for the ultimate-Disney aficionado looking to wrap themselves with unique and stylish clothes and accessories. Other items part of this shimmery collection include Crocs, a music box, and our favorites Minnie and Mickey decked out in shiny celebratory outfits. Vault Balloon and Orange Bird Collection have also made their way to Disney Springs. Inspired by The Walt Disney Archives, this retro and colorful collection has classic pieces of merchandise for those who want to rep colors and classic favorites from Walt Disney World Resort’s opening. You can find this collection at the Marketplace. Many more beautiful collections will make their way to the parks and resorts this year, including the Luxe Logo Collection, a Pandora collection celebrating Avatar 2, and all new Star Wars Collections such as the Limited Edition Ahsoka Tano Legacy Lightsaber Hilt Set, Star Wars Founder’s Day collection, and the May the 4th Star Wars Collection.

back of woman showing Disney mini backpack in front of Disney store
back of head of black woman wearing a Disney hat

From France to Another Galaxy!

EPCOT is a theme park that is constantly evolving. It has expanded its France Pavilion during this special celebration and added The Wonders of Xandar Pavilion.

The recently expanded France Pavilion is filled with whimsical and Parisian vibes with multiple shopping and dining, and of course, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure! The new family-friendly immersive attraction invites guests into the world of “Ratatouille.” 

One of the many things we all love about Ratatouille is the exquisite food Remy and Gusteau’s kitchen prepare. EPCOT once again made sure to give its guests an extra memorable and delicious culinary experience. La Crêperie de Paris is a classic creperie with a menu pre-fix created by the talended chef Jérôme Bocuse! If you prefer a more quick-service experience, walk up to Crêpes À Emporter by La Crêperie de Paris for savory galettes and sweet crêpes, soft-serve ice cream, ciders, and wine.

inside France scene
mom and daughter at counter ordering food

Get ready for the ultimate cosmic experience when entering The Wonders of Xandar Pavilion, the newest addition to EPCOT inspired by the blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” films. Did you know that Star-Lord visited EPCOT as a kid? After being wholly captivated, he suggested Disney Parks would be the ideal place for Terrans and Xandarians to connect. The Imagineers listened and brought his vision to life along with Disney Parks and Experiences.

The highlight of this incredible addition is truly the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction.  Join the intergalactic outlaws – Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora, and Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill) - as they save the galaxy from an unexpected circumstance… we won’t spoil you with this one-of-a-kind attraction storyline. Still, here are some super impressive facts:

  • It is the first coaster in EPCOT and the first reverse launch for a Disney omnicoaster.
  • The queue sets the tone for this exhilarating ride and Pavillion. You first stumble open The Galaxarium, a planetarium-style space that shows all the intergalactic phenomenons that connect Terra and Xandar. Shortly after, you will enter the Xandar Gallery, where you will learn about Xandarian culture, history, and people, and even check out a “Good Morning Xandar” show segment. End the tour by teleporting from EPCOT to a Nova Corps Starcharter cruiser, where you will learn everything about the Cosmic Generator and begin your intergalactic adventure.  
  • This coaster will have you laughing, screaming from thrills, singing, and dancing! The Imagineers added hit tracks from the ’70s and ‘80s that best matched the movement, spirit, and energy of the coaster: “September,” “Disco Inferno,” “Conga,” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “I Ran” and “One Way or Another.” Terrans won’t know which song they will be flying to until they jump into space with the Guardians on Starjumper shuttles.
ride outside wonders of xander pavilion
mom and daughter enjoying ride in wonders of xander pavilion

We definitely suggest adding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to your #WDWBucketList. Keep in mind that once the ride opens on May 27, only virtual queues will be available! Guests can also get all of their favorite Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise at the Treasures of Xandar shop located at the Wonders of Xandar pavilion.

Groot and inside the shop at wonders of xander pavilion

Make sure to use the Disney PhotoPass for your visit so Disney Cast Members can capture high-quality images for these special memories. Photos will show up in your MyDisneyExperience app a few hours after they are taken, and some might have a little bit of magic added. At The Wonders of Xandar, Groot will definitely make a cameo.

woman posing in front of ride
woman posing in front of ride with Groot

Disney Fab 50 Quest and MagicBand+ !

In 2013, Walt Disney World introduced the MagicBand to make guests’ experience more magical and convenient, including park and guest room entry, retail and dining tap-style payment, Disney PhotoPass service, and more. Now, with some pixie dust added, MagicBand+ will be available for guests this summer! This new version will unlock even more exciting and immersive interactive experiences such as the “Disney Fab 50 Quest”, a fun-filled scavenger hunt throughout all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks that allows you to interact with the beloved golden character sculptures. Guests with MagicBand+ that will also experience the 50th Anniversary's nighttime spectaculars will have their bands light up as the magical fireworks light up the sky.

family watching fireworks at Disney
golden statues of mickey and mini at Disney

Drawn to Life Presented by Cirque du Soleil® & Disney

Located in Disney Springs, this immersive and grandiose show opened at the beginning of the 50th Celebration, it is one of the celebration favorites that will still be open to the public even after it’s over. Cirque Du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Imagineering achieved a magical collaboration with Drawn to Life. The two-hour and a half show pay tribute to Disney Animation and its classic and beloved films. With extraordinary performances, innovative displays of animations, and beloved Disney music, you will feel like you are daydreaming. The story begins with Julie, a driven and intelligent girl who goes on a creative quest to finish an incomplete story left by her Disney Animator’s recently departed father. As she embarks on a lively and emotional journey, the show references the 12 principles of animation stated in the book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life by iconic Disney animators and Disney Legends Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas.

group of Disney cast members on story stage set

“Every step of this journey has been emotional, from researching and viewing original Disney Animation to writing this beautiful story, meeting our cast, and becoming a family supporting each other through our unexpected ‘intermission’ together. I’m overwhelmed at the magic we have the opportunity to create for families.” – Michel Laprise, Writer-Director Cirque du Soleil. 

After 50 years Walt Disney World continues to go infinity and beyond to make its guests’ experience the most magical and memorable. Whether you enjoy attractions, savory and sweet treats, nighttime spectaculars, or you just adore walking around the theme parks and resorts, this is the time to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth! For more information check our Know Before You Go: Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary blog or The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration website.

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