The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Year is Here! Here’s What To Know

walt at magic kingdom
Credit: Disney

October 1st, 2021 will be Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary and we are super excited for all that will be coming in 2021 to bring in the celebration.  Although there is still a lot that is unknown, there are many restaurants, rides and entertainment that we can’t wait to experience in 2021.  We have what you need to know about the 50th right now.


1. Get Park Reservations

As of right now, guests wanting to celebrate the 50th need to have a park reservation.  Currently, Walt Disney World is using their park reservation system to help monitor crowds.  Once guests have an active ticket, they are able to make their park reservations through the My Disney Experience site.  This is super important as currently the parks are still at 35% capacity limiting how many park reservations are available.  We are hopeful that by October 2021 we might see the parks back to more normal; however, it is super important to have those reservations just in case.

Credit: Disney

2. Expect Crowds

No matter what the park capacity is by fall of 2021 you can expect crowds to be high.  So many fans are going to want to celebrate the magic which will guarantee larger than normal crowds.  Make sure to think about this when making plans.  Get those park reservations and dining reservations made when the time comes to ensure you get into the places that you want to experience.  Also, make sure to have an overall plan when heading into the parks.  This will allow you to be ahead of the crowd and have a magical experience.

3. Opening Up of Resorts

Walt Disney World is slowly opening their resorts up and we are excited that by the 50th anniversary most resorts will be back open and welcoming guests to the magic.  Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort will open March 22nd, Disney’s Beach Club Resort will be opened starting May 30th and Wilderness Lodge will be opening back up June 6th. Disney announced that Disney’s Polynesian would remain closed until summer 2021 as it undergoes refurbishment.  This resort will be getting updated rooms and a new look as they bring in Moana touches throughout the resort.  We are so excited to see this resort once it opens back up.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort (Photo: Disney)

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4. New Rides

With the anticipation of the 50th Anniversary, Disney has been preparing by creating and designing brand-new state-of-the-art rides.  Although we haven’t seen specific premier dates, we are hopeful some of these new rides will welcome guests in 2021 either before or during the anniversary celebration.

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure:  In EPCOT, many are excited for the new trackless ride featuring Remy.  This ride will shrink guests to the size of a rat as they travel through the kitchen of Gusto’s.  This ride was scheduled to open in summer of 2020; however, when the parks closed this got pushed back.  We are hopeful we will see this ride start to welcome guests soon.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Comic Rewind:  Also, in EPCOT, guests will find the new ride in Future World featuring Guardians of the Galaxy.  This ride will be the first to have a reverse launch and ride vehicles that move and rotate guests so they are constantly facing the action.  This is sure to bring fun and thrills to EPCOT.
  • TRON:  In Magic Kingdom, guests have been watching as TRON has been built over the last few years.  This amazing coaster is highly anticipated and we can’t wait to experience it here in the US hopefully during the anniversary celebrations.

Thrills and excitement is sure to come with these rides and we are hopeful that we will be able to enjoy them for the 50th anniversary.

Credit: Disney

5. Opening of New Restaurants

One of the best parts of a Disney vacation is the outstanding meals.  We are thrilled to have new options coming in 2021 hopefully in time for the 50th anniversary.  In EPCOT we are hopeful that both Space 220 as well as the new creperie will be opened.  These two dining experiences are sure to offer great dining options as well as unique dining experiences.  Space 220 will take guests high above the Earth for views that are truly out of this world.  In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we are looking forward to the opening of Woody’s Roundup Rodeo.  Located in Toy Story Land, this restaurant shrinks guests to the size of a toy and allows them to enjoy dining in a “family style” environment.  Although we don’t know a lot about the menus for these dining restaurants, we are excited to see what they bring in time for the 50th celebrations.

Disney’s Art Rendering of Space 220

6. Magic Treats

You know that along with the 50th anniversary will come amazingly themed treats throughout the parks.  Disney has become known for the amazing treats that are a work of art and we can only imagine what is being created for the 50th.  A new cupcake is a must, but we wait in anticipation for the announcement of the other treats that we know will be showing up to celebrate this magical event.

7. More Merchandise

What would be a celebration without new merchandise to purchase in honor of the anniversary?  Ears, pins, spirit jersey and so much more we anticipate will be released featuring ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary.  We saw this in Disneyland for the 60th and it was beyond magical.  We can’t wait to see what creative and amazing designs are released.  Make sure to start saving now.

8. Evening Show

Already we are starting to see progress when it comes to EPCOT’s new nighttime show HarmonioUS.  This new nighttime spectacle will most likely be out in 2021 once shows are safe for guests and cast members.  We can’t wait to see the fireworks, projections, laser and more that will bring this new evening show to life in 2021.

Credit: Disney


Something we are looking forward to in 2021 and for the 50th anniversary is the new reimagined EPCOT.  If you have been to EPCOT over the past few months, you are well aware of the crazy construction that is taking place throughout Future World.  We are super excited to see the new reimagined neighborhoods will bring.  We have started to see more art work and visions as the newest reveal showed us the statue of Walt himself that will be placed in the World Celebration neighborhood as part of the Dreamers Point.  This is just one feature that we are excited to see premier during 2021 and for the 50th.

Disney’s Art Rendering

Even though we don’t know the specifics yet around Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, we are sure excited to celebrate with new rides, restaurants, merchandise and more.  Make sure to stay tuned for more on this historic celebration as we get closer to October.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.