The new colors on Cinderella's Castle.
The new colors on Cinderella's Castle.

What’s In/What’s Out For Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

The news updates out of Walt Disney World over the last few months have either been super exciting or, unfortunately, news of cancelations and delays.

With all the uncertainty around COVID-19, a big question is where does the Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration fit into the current environment of Walt Disney World and the Company as a whole?

Orlando Weekly recently helped to shed some light on where exactly we sit. It seems like it’s a bit of a grab bag of both negative and positive news.

The new colors on Cinderella's Castle.
The new colors on Cinderella’s Castle.

The Good News

  • “Project Nugget” permits were officially filed by the Buena Vista Construction Company. The permits allow Disney to continue work on the infrastructure that got delayed or canceled during the pandemic. The Orlando Weekly reported that, historically, only major projects are given secret code names like “Project Nugget”. The exact details of “Project Nugget” are not yet known, but some report that for now, it is simply a way to re-start the construction needed on some of the 50th celebration details.
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the Play Pavilion, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, all should be (re)opened well before October 1, 2021.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a Star Wars themed hotel, appears to be ready to go in time for Disney’s 50th!
  • Multiple sources online believe the chances of a new nighttime castle show + projections onto the Main Street USA buildings are highly plausible and expected for most of, if not all, of 2021.
  • The paint job on Cinderella’s Castle is complete. You can see a significant difference in color, with the Castle now utilizing a purple/pink/rose gold color-scheme in place of the typical gray and blue.

The Bad New

  • It was long rumored that Disney’s 50th celebration would begin at the start of 2021 and last at least a year (typically how major milestone celebrations are handled at Disney Parks). It’s now believed that the main celebration will start on October 1, 2021, the day Walt Disney World opened 50 years prior, and go for 12 – 15 months after that.
  • EPCOT is a construction zone, with construction walls, gutted buildings, and the relocation of shops.  Significant delays in the construction process are possible, drawing into question the state of EPCOT for the 50th.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Ride (EPCOT) may be delayed well into 2021 due to the cancelation of the actors’ allotted times to record the needed scenes for the attraction. Also in EPCOT, the new Mary Poppins area in the UK Pavilion and the Spaceship Earth overhaul all have been delayed, believed to be past 2021’s celebration.
  • The status of Disney World’s newest thrill ride, TRON in the Magic Kingdom, is also fluid. At this time, the attraction may not be ready until well into Fall 2021.
The Spaceship Earth overhaul has now been delayed.
The Spaceship Earth overhaul has now been delayed.

The 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World has long been the reason for many of the changes (non-COVID related) that Disney has planned and executed for years. To say that the 50th is a big deal to the company both monetarily and historically is an understatement. New shows, attraction overhauls, and the Castle paint job are just some of the major changes at WDW in preparation for the 50th. The year+ long celebration will surely be something to remember!

Do you plan on going to WDW during the 50th celebration?