Walt Disney World Resort has been making dreams come true since 1971. Today, Central Florida’s world-famous destination for imagination and adventure is home to four extraordinary parks and countless beloved characters.
Starting Oct. 1, you can join the celebration of Magic Kingdom’s 50th anniversary on your next vacation. With 18 months of dazzling new shows, decorations, and attractions across the Walt Disney World Resort, there’s plenty of pixie dust for everyone, both young and young at heart.
So, whether it’s your first or one-hundred-and-first visit, here are 50 things to do at Walt Disney World in honor of its 50th anniversary.
10 New & Revamped Attractions
- Witness the luminous transformation of all four Disney park icons at Beacons of Magic.
- Celebrate Disney World’s golden anniversary by completing a golden sculpture scavenger hunt across all four parks.
- Experience the debut of Disney Enchantment, Magic Kingdom’s brand-new fireworks spectacular.
- Watch Epcot light up the night at Harmonious, Disney’s grandest nighttime extravaganza.
- Feel the beat of the drums as dazzling kites dance in the air at Disney KiteTails in Animal Kingdom.
- Embark on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a magnifique 4D ride, premiering Oct. 1 at Epcot.
- Go loco with a fantastical locomotive ride on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, now boarding in Hollywood Studios.
- Discover The World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora, where otherworldly wonders and adventures await.
- Travel to a galaxy far, far away and join the resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios.
- Embrace your inner child with a whimsical spin on refurbished classics like Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, and Jungle Cruise.
10 Iconic & Underrated Treats
- Enjoy a Mickey-shaped snack, like pretzels, ice cream bars, and caramel apples, all featuring Disney’s beloved mascot.
- Taste the fruity and creamy flavors of Dole Whip, a favorite Disney park staple since 1984.
- Say oui to a macaron ice cream sandwich at L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion.
- Keep an eye out for Epcot’s kakigōri cart or stop by Kabuki Cafe in the Japan Pavilion for decadent shaved ice topped with condensed milk.
- Wake up with breakfast at Sleepy Hollow and indulge in Magic Kingdom’s famous fruit and Nutella waffle sandwich.
- Follow the smell of freshly cooked caramel to Karamell-Küche in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion and order a liquor-infused Werther’s caramel flight.
- Hit a homerun for lunch with a foot-long all-beef or plant-based hot dog and all the fixings at Casey’s Corner in Magic Kingdom.
- Try the Grey Stuff at Magic Kingdom, available in the Beast’s Castle or Gaston’s Tavern; it’s delicious.
- Send your taste buds on a journey out of this world with a bite of Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse, a Pandora-inspired dessert at Animal Kingdom’s Satu’li Canteen.
- Score a reservation at Epcot’s coveted Le Cellier and savor a bowl of Canadian cheddar cheese soup.
10 Enchanting Souvenirs
- Pick up a free Celebration Button from guest services, select gift shops, or just ask a Disney cast member.
- Show your Disney spirit with a pair of Mickey Ears, from character-themed styles to signature colors.
- Trade and wear exclusive Disney pins at pin trading stations throughout each park.
- Pose for photos against popular Disney backdrops.
- Collect all the characters and seasonal designs of Disney’s refillable popcorn buckets.
- Take home a tropical Tiki Sipper when you order a Dole Whip Float from Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom.
- Swing by Epcot’s 11 Kidcot Fun Stops for international activities and one-of-a-kind mementos.
- Order the signature LeFou’s Brew from Gaston’s Tavern, a frozen apple juice and marshmallow-passion fruit delight served in a souvenir stein.
- Document your Disney adventures with Memory Maker.
- Choose a holiday ornament from Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe to commemorate your trip each year.
10 Lesser-Known Gems
- Journey through 100 years of Walt Disney’s legacy at Walt Disney Presents located in Hollywood Studios.
- Sample Coca Cola flavors from around the world at Epcot’s Club Cool.
- Complete nature-themed challenges and earn adventure badges with Wilderness Explorers in Animal Kingdom.
- Search for Donald Duck as you cruise down the Rio Grande on Epcot’s Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, a colorful boat ride tucked away in the Mexican Pavilion’s pyramid.
- Spot rare Disney characters at pop-up meet and greets, like the Fairy Godmother behind Cinderella Castle and Mary Poppins in Epcot’s UK Pavilion.
- Traverse lush trails and mystical temple ruins on Animal Kingdom’s Maharajah Jungle Trek for Asian tigers and other wildlife sightings.
- Solve the Dread Family Mystery and other Haunted Mansion secrets like the missing engagement ring.
- Explore winding caves, creaking bridges, and a frontier fort on Tom Sawyer Island, where surprises are around every corner.
- Relax, while learning behind the scene facts on the PeopleMover, a short elevated tram ride through Tomorrowland.
- Snap a selfie with DiVine, Animal Kingdom’s most elusive character.
10 Bucket List Experiences
- Visit all four Disney World parks in one day.
- Discover Animal Kingdom after dark during special after-hours events.
- Find Hidden Mickeys on rides and around the parks, like the Tower of Terror’s hidden Mickey plush.
- Dine around the world at Epcot, sampling unique food or drinks from every country.
- Participate in a bright and early Disney World Rope Drop.
- View Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show from the Seven Seas Lagoon on a Ferrytale Fireworks Dessert Cruise.
- Ride your favorite attractions in the front row.
- Catch The Kiss Goodnight closing announcement, a charming Magic Kingdom tradition.
- Earn your Galactic Hero status by scoring 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
- Book a Disney Private VIP Tour and enjoy a customized experience, behind-the-scenes access, and the expert insight of a personal guide.