Why October 1st is Going to Be SUCH a Big Day in Disney World

This year is going to be a huge one for Walt Disney World as the World turns 50 in October! Now that operating procedures are beginning to return to normal and capacity is being raised, this fall is shaping up to be a big, potentially crowded party!

Cinderella Castle

But one  particular date this fall is going to be the biggest for the resort — October 1st. That’s when Magic Kingdom turns 50 years old, and Disney has HUGE plans for a lot of big events and activities that will begin on that date.

Here are all the ways October 1, 2021, may be one of the BIGGEST days ever at Disney World.

Magic Kingdom

As we previously mentioned, Magic Kingdom turns 50 years old on October 1st, and Disney World is planning a fanciful celebration. We don’t even know all the details yet of what Disney has planned, but from what we’ve seen so far, it’s going to be huge. There are already 50th anniversary decorations on Cinderella Castle — and she’s looking glam!

Decorations have already been added to Cinderella Castle!

The Castle will also “sparkle with pixie dust” — new lighting (seen below in concept art from Disney).

Cinderella Castle’s 50th anniversary makeover (Disney concept art)

Starting on October 1st, Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be sporting some brand new costumes! Their new look will be “Earidescent” (get it?) with tones of blues and purple, along with gold accents. And if meet and greets have returned by then, we’re sure a LOT of guests will want photos with this stylish pair!

Mickey and Minnie’s 50th anniversary celebration outfits! ©Disney

And a new nighttime spectacular will debut: Disney Enchantment! From the sound of it, all of Main Street, USA, will get in on the enchanting projections.


Starting on October 3rd, you’ll also be able to enjoy dessert parties for the new nighttime show at Magic Kingdom! Guests can enjoy three different dessert party options: Disney Enchantment Pre-Party, Disney Enchantment After-Party, and Disney Enchantment Treats & Seats.


Admission to the Pre-Party and After-Party options are $99 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $59 per child (ages 3 to 9) each. Admission to the Treats & Seats option is $114 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $69 per child (ages 3 to 9). Reservations for the dessert parties open on September 17th.


We’ve been missing the Magic Kingdom welcome show by the Cinderella Castle, which used to welcome guests each morning to the park. Now we know that it’ll be returning on October 1st!

Mickey welcomes guests to Magic Kingdom during the show!

Mickey, Minnie, and lots of other characters will be on the Castle stage for the Let the Magic Begin show to say hello before you head to the rides, restaurants, and attractions.

More characters

In front of the Magic Kingdom, on the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Electrical Water Pageant will feature new scenes to celebrate the 50th Anniversary.


The Water Pageant will play a version of “The Magic is Calling,” which is the 50th Anniversary Anthem that you’ll hear during Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom. The Electrical Water Pageant sails nightly around the Seven Seas Lagoon, with shows every 15 minutes between 9PM to 10:30PM.

PHOTOS: Another Change Has Made Its Way to Cinderella Castle in Disney World


Magic Kingdom isn’t the only park celebrating a birthday on October 1st, though. EPCOT turns 39 years old on that same day! And we’re already seeing some big changes happening at EPCOT; so much of the park has been under construction for over a year, and we’re finally seeing the finish line on some of the projects. That includes the new entrance fountain that’s already been completed.

New EPCOT Fountain

Spaceship Earth will also get some new celebratory lighting for the big day. We’ve already seen Imagineers begin to add the new external lighting to the big ball, and once it’s all done, this iconic piece of Disney World architecture will shine brighter than ever before (no giant wand in sight!).


October 1st also marks the opening of a brand new ride at the France Pavilion in World Showcase. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is set to take guests on a spin through an exciting journey all seen from the viewpoint of everyone’s favorite rat Remy! We can’t even imagine what the line for that will look like when it opens, but we’ll be there!

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Entrance

And after guests take a ride with Remy, they’ll get to eat at a brand new restaurant that will also have just opened. La Creperie de Paris will treat guests to meals created by celebrity chef Jerome Bocuse’s team.

La Crêperie de Paris

Also, the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival will be getting two new booths: Belgium and Brazil! These will be the final booths to be added to the festival, which runs through November 20th.

2021 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

On top of all of this, EPCOT is also getting a brand new fireworks show, Harmonious! This long-awaited show will integrate giant floating screens, drones, waterworks, special effects, and fireworks.

Harmonious ©Disney

And of course, EPCOT has two new dining packages to coincide with the new show! The Rose & Crown dining package features one appetizer, entrée, dessert platter, and unlimited beverages; the package is $89 per adult and $39 per child. The Spice Road Table dining features two small plates, a dessert platter, and one beverage; the package is $72 per adult and $31 per child. Reservations open on September 23rd!

PHOTOS! Check Out EPCOT’s France Pavilion Expansion Lit Up at Night!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The big celebrations aren’t just limited to the two parks with birthdays, though. Disney World’s 50th celebration will be seen throughout the resort, including at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will get a nighttime makeover that will make it “come alive” once the sun sets.


The Tower will be done up in hues of pinks, blues, and golds. We’re not sure if it’s going to be using projections, new lighting, or a combination of both, but it’s going to look spectacular.

Muppet*Vision 3D is getting some changes to their pre-show on October 1st, with new content from the Muppets Haunted Mansion Halloween special.


In the new special, Gonzo is dared to spend the night at the Haunted Mansion. You can watch the show starting October 8th, but we’ll get a sneak peek at some content in the Muppet*Vision 3D pre-show a little earlier.

NEWS: Plexiglass Removed From Tower of Terror in Disney World

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The main iconic feature of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life, will also get a new nighttime look. It will illuminate the night with hundreds of little firefly-like lights.


Animal Kingdom will also have a new daytime show called KiteTails! You’ll be able to find the new show in the former home of Rivers of Light, the Discovery River Theater. KiteTails’ massive kites will fly as 30 feet with a soundtrack of worldbeat music!


We can’t wait to see the new show!

Stop Skipping the Best Part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Throughout The Resorts

At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, a new restaurant will be opening! Steakhouse 71, which is the replacement for Contemporary’s The Wave, will feature classic steakhouse fare with a Disney flair! Steakhouse 71 will also feature a lounge with small bites and cocktails.

Some of Steakhouse 71’s offerings ©Disney

Starting October 2nd, California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will also have a new dining experience for Magic Kingdom’s Disney Enchantment nighttime show! Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors & Fireworks will feature small bites and sushi based on California Grill’s menu. The party is $129 per person and will have a dress code.


Even the Cast Members are getting in on the celebrations. On or around October 1st, they’ll start sporting their brand new “EARidescent” name tags that will match the pinks, purples, and golds seen throughout the parks and resorts.


These new name tags will also have the anniversary logo at the top.

See More Photos of the New Name Tags

Guests will also be able to enjoy early mornings and late nights in the parks! While Disney’s Extra Magic Hours aren’t returning, they will be replaced with Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours starting on October 1st. Hotel guests will be able to visit all four parks 30 minutes early with a valid ticket and a Park Pass reservationThe eligible Disney Resort stays include:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Stormalong Bay
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Shades of Green
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Some of the Disney Partner Resorts will also offer this service:

  • Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
  • Waldorf Astoria Orlando
  • B Resort & Spa Lake Buena Vista
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando
  • Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Holiday Inn Orlando
  • Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
  • Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando
Shades of Green

At this time, the Swan and Dolphin isn’t included in this list. But, a Cast Member let us know that the hotels expect to be included in Early Theme Park Entry. We’ll have to keep you updated when Disney announces the details!

Find out all the details of Early Theme Park Entry here!

Guests staying at “Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort hotels” will also be able to enjoy Extended Evening Hours on select nights in select theme parks. The guests included in these stays are those staying in a Disney Deluxe Resort:

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

And, guests staying in a Disney Deluxe Villa Resort also are eligible for Extended Evening Hours:

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Guest will need a valid ticket and Park Pass reservation that they either have accessed earlier in the day. Park Hopping into the park later in the evening is welcomed, as well. They will also need to make sure they bring their MagicBands, MagicMobile pass, or Key to the World card which is linked to their stay, or another form of Resort ID in order to enjoy this perk. The Extended Evening Hours will feature select attractions, merchandise, and food and beverage locations open for guests to enjoy!

Here’s what you need to know about Extended Evening Hours!

We’ll let you know as soon as we get more details about the celebration, so keep checking back with us for all the latest information.

Will you be visiting Disney World on October 1st? Let us know in the comments!

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