An Eventful Weekend at Walt Disney World
We may never witness a more eventful weekend at Walt Disney World in our lifetimes.
Magic Kingdom received a new nighttime show that stretched all the way to Main Street U.S.A.
Top Disney executives hosted a ceremony in celebration of the park’s 50th anniversary. And a kite got stuck in a tree.
Let’s talk about a day that many will still talk about in another 50 years.
Fifty Statues and Even More Snacks
I want to provide some perspective on the scale of this event. Disney officials pulled out all the stops.
To wit, the Fab 50 golden statues across the parks may seem excessive, but fans disagree. Social media is awash with these pictures already.
The Disney site at Fandom has collated a list of Fab 50 statues if you’re interested.
Disney also released more than 150 pieces of 50th-anniversary merchandise plus 100+ plus snacks at various restaurants and shops.
In other words, guests had more than 300 new items to investigate, from a golden statue of Minnie Mouse to a piece of cheesecake that looks like, well, a piece of rat-trap cheese.
Folks, if Disney could stick the number 50 on something, you’ll find it somewhere at Walt Disney World. Yes, that includes Cinderella Castle.
Speaking of which, current Disney CEO Bob Chapek and his former boss, Bob Iger, looked chummy as they discussed the anniversary. Here’s a clip:
Immediately after the current and former CEOs spoke, Magic Kingdom presented Disney Enchantment for the first time.
Crowds lined up several hours in advance, which helped some with the wait times at various attractions later in the afternoon.
Still, Disney stopped allowing Park Hopping into Magic Kingdom for a while on October 1st.
The park reached maximum occupancy, as people wanted to walk down Main Street, U.S.A., and pay tribute to Magic Kingdom’s legacy.
As for the show, opinions are mostly positive. However, as I mentioned with Harmonious, social media criticism comes with the job these days.
An online petition has already popped up against the show. It asks Disney to bring back Happily Ever After instead. If you’re going to do that, at least ask for Wishes!
Seriously, though. The complaints focus on the prioritization of recent Disney movies rather than classics.
Personally, I love the new visuals and am happy that Disney finally added the building projections like we’ve seen at Disneyland Resort.
You can watch the show and decide for yourself:
Here’s one that shows more of Main Street, U.S.A.:
Park officials have indicated Disney Enchantment will last throughout the 50th-anniversary celebration. So, it’s probably got a short shelf of 18 months.
At that point, Happily Ever After is unlikely to return, barring a massive surge in the popularity of the petition I just linked.
We may be looking at something else new in April of 2023, but we won’t know for a while.
Obviously, the past three days were pretty crazy across the parks. However, my favorite anecdote comes from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
On day two of Disney’s KiteTails, management canceled all shows. What was the problem? Well, watch this TikTok:
Yes, that’s Baloo, one of the stars of the kite show, doing its best Charlie Brown impersonation. Yes, that kite has gotten stuck in a tree. Who knew that could happen?
Between this and a flipped jet ski, the new KiteTails show is off to a rough start.
Conversely, the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Attraction has gone quite well. Yes, Boarding Groups have sold out almost immediately each day.
Still, roughly 180 Boarding Parties have experienced the attraction each day. That’s the three-day weekend average. So, plenty of people have entered Gusteau’s Kitchen already.
In case you’re wondering, overall attraction wait times didn’t surge dramatically during the weekend celebration.
On most attractions, Saturday waits were longer than Friday. This unexpected phenomenon came down to guest behavior.
People weren’t there to ride the attractions; they just wanted to be at Walt Disney World. New restaurants like Space 220 and Steakhouse 71 were madhouses, though.
Most importantly, the only real hiccups the entire weekend involved the KiteTails snafus.
Virtually everything else ran smoothly, a remarkable feat in and of itself.
Of course, the best part for DVC points users is that we’ll have the body of 18 more months to experience all of it!
Book your trips, everyone. Walt Disney World is the place to be through the first quarter of 2023.
To experience the magic of Epcot and all the magic of the 50th Anniversary head over to the DVC Rental Store Confirmed Reservations page and view available reservations that can save you up to 65% off regular Disney room rates!