Could the Original Plans for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World be Changed?

It’s hard to believe how next year marks a major milestone for Walt Disney World Resort. The Florida-based vacation destination will celebrate its 50th anniversary on October 1st, 2021. The Magic Kingdom opened on that date marking the beginning of Disney magic in central Florida. Months ago, the Walt Disney Company announced their plans to begin a year-long celebration for all the theme parks at Walt Disney World. But these plans were announced before the pandemic initiated the temporary closure of Disney Parks. Today, we review a list of the previously announced celebration plans for Walt Disney World in 2021 and discuss how those anniversary plans could be possibly affected.


Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser- Star Wars fans get ready- there is a brand new Star Wars vacation experience coming! This will be a brand new and fully immersive experience. Guests will check-in for a two-night galactic adventure that will transport them out of this world! Onboard, guests will interact with characters, and actively participate in a custom storyline. This will truly be a one of a kind experience unlike anything else! The good news is that the construction of the Star Wars resort has continued during this pandemic, so it’s looking like the Galactic Cruiser will be arriving on schedule!

Cirque du Soleil- Disney Imagineering and Cirque du Soleil have teamed up to create the most magical show yet! This show will be a perfect combination of Disney magic and Cirque du Soleil’s signature breathtaking performance art. Unfortunately, the pandemic led to the temporary furlough of the entertainers. We don’t know when the show will return to make its grand debut to Disney Springs.

Disney Genie- Set to make its debut in late 2020,  Disney Genie will be a brand new digital tool offering that will enhance the planning and experience of a Walt Disney World vacation. Disney Genie will provide guests with customized itineraries based on their own unique needs and wants. Guests will be able to tell Disney Genie about what they would like to experience, and Disney Genie will present options to create their perfect vacation. However, the temporary health measures at Disney Parks might impact the debut of this app. So it might take a period of adjustment before we see all of the features available on this tool for the anniversary.

TRON Lightcycle Run- TRON Lightcycle Run is a thrilling new attraction coming to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Guests will board a train of two-wheeled “lightcycles” and experience the thrill and energy of TRON’s high tech world! The construction of this attraction was mostly complete prior to the pandemic, so it seems likely we’ll see the ride debut in 2021.

Reflections, A Disney Lakeside Lodge- Reflections, A Disney Lakeside Lodge, will be a brand new hotel and DVC resort inspired by nature. So far, it looks like the lodge is on schedule, but might have temporary health measures in place.

A Brand New Epcot- Last but certainly far from least, Epcot will be completely reimagined. Epcot will feature four unique neighborhoods that will come together in unison. The four neighborhoods will include Future World, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. Of course, World Showcase will also remain and include some new attractions and experiences.

At World Celebration in Epcot, Spaceship Earth will remain the park’s signature icon but will be updated and transformed with new scenes and narration. World celebration will also feature Dreamers Point, which will boast breathtaking views, lush gardens, a wishing tree, and an interactive fountain. World Celebration will have a brand new three-story pavilion that will provide a home base for Epcot’s signature festivals.

The new World Discovery neighborhood in Epcot will be the home to one of the most highly anticipated new attractions, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. This exciting new attraction combines a roller-coaster with an immersive story and will be the very first attraction of its kind.

The Mission: SPACE pavilion will also be home to a very unique new dining experience. Space 220 will be an out-of-this-world culinary extravaganza and will actually make guests feel as though they are dining from 220 miles above the Earth. The restaurant will feature breathtaking panoramic views of space. The grand opening of this restaurant was pushed back due to the pandemic.

World of Nature will include the first attraction inspired by Moana, named Journey of Water. This attraction will allow guests to interact with magical living water in a beautiful setting. It’s been confirmed that this attraction is still on schedule.

The World Showcase will also be welcoming multiple new experiences and attractions. The United Kingdom pavilion will be home to the first-ever attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. Guests will be able to walk down Cherry Tree Lane and experience a whole new neighborhood!

In the France pavilion, guests will be able to experience the brand new attraction, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, as well as a new restaurant, La Creperie de Paris. It was set to open later this summer, but chances are we might see a delay in the opening date of the Ratatouille attraction.

Epcot will also be welcoming a brand new nighttime spectacular, HarmonioUS, following the limited-time run of Epcot Forever. HarmonioUS will be the largest nighttime show ever created for a Disney park and will celebrate music and the inspiration music brings to people all over the world. Given the temporary measures at Walt Disney World, we might see a new opening date for the nighttime show during the anniversary year.

What we listed so far is a short list of upcoming features coming for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. Which experiences are you looking forward to seeing? Although we don’t officially know what will change as a result of the pandemic, we do hope to see most of these plans come to fruition in 2021!

Kevin Koszola