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  • On Jan 16, 2020
    Karen from NY Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    When will the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World begin ? I am planning a trip in 2021 and want to make sure the parks are in full celebration of the 50th anniversary? What special events and happenings will celebrate the anniversary?

    Hi Karen!

    Welcome BACK to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! How exciting that you're already looking ahead to 2021 and are planning to celebrate Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary! Do you by any chance need for a personal tour guide? I can't promise special perks but I will hold your bags, talk your ears off about Disney Parks facts and trivia, and even share the location of my favorite hidden restrooms.

    If there's one thing Mickey and his pals LOVE more than a good celebration it's surprises, so for now they've been pretty tight lipped about what to expect next yEAR. But, if we look at what's happened in the past, that should help you plan for the future. The most recent celebration to wrap up was honoring Mickey's 90th Birthday, the date of which was in November but all of Disney's theme parks worldwide celebrated the "World's Largest Mouse Party" for a good six months. There were special menus, souvenEARs, parades and new character outfits. Disneyland Resort even had a new nighttime fireworks show! Similar park anniversary milestones also extended for quite awhile, too. Disneyland Resort's 60th "Diamond Celebration" lasted almost a full year and a half. And Walt Disney World Resort's 25th anniversary saw Cinderella Castle turn to a bright pink 185-foot-tall birthday cake for 22 months. Both of those events kicked off on the actual start day of their anniversary, so I'd say aim for that date or even a few months after to ensure things will be in full swing.

    Walt's 'Florida Project' officially welcomed its first guests on October 1, 1971. While resort hotel + ticket packages are usually announced and offered three to nine months in advance of the end of their 'valid through' dates, "room only" Disney Resort Hotel reservations are allowed to be made up to 499 days in advance of your intended check-out date. (The booking calendar only extends this many days out, so you can only book the entirety of days of your vacation once they all fall within those 499 days.) This is great for a few reasons: You can go ahead a secure your Disney Resort Hotel room in advance of any celebration announcements, the deposit is minimal and refundable should your plans later change, and should any Special Offers, Deals or Discounts for the same time frame be released you'll be able to upgrade your room only reservation to one of the packages. If you decide to go this route, room only bookings for October 2021 will open in late May of this year.

    Definitely keep up with the Disney Parks Blog as they are the official source of info when it comes to anything and everything going on at Walt Disney World Resort. In fact I've "liked" and "followed" them on every social media channel I'm on so I'm sure not to miss a minute. Another in-the-know source that also tends to give a heads up is D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.

    I hope this helped a bit, Karen, and definitely keep checking back with us here at The Disney Parks Moms Panel as we near this special date! 

    ~Kristen
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Meet the Panelist: Kristen, Texas

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a preschool mom and military wife who loves keeping up with the latest Disney Parks news. Trips to Walt Disney World have always been fun, but now that I'm the parent AND the planner every moment is that much more treasured.  I am so honored and excited to be able to share tips I've picked up, pass on fun factoids I've learned, and help create magical moments for your vacation of a lifetime!  Learn More About Kristen

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