Things to do at Disney World: 50th birthday, vacation, fireworks
According to popular legend, every day is magic at Walt Disney World.
But some days are more magical than others. There is so much to do, it can be overwhelming when you get there.
Here are ten great things (plus one as a bonus) to add to your to-do list for your next visit.
Although some attractions are currently unavailable due to COVID-19, they are expected to return.
– Tom Szaroleta, Lifestyle editor and reporter for the Florida Times-Union
Disney’s 50th Anniversary Celebration
Walt Disney World will officially mark its 50th anniversary with the world’s most magical celebration, which begins October 1 and lasts 18 months.
Disney characters will wear special costumes and there will be new nightly shows at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, a new kite show at Animal Kingdom, new golden character statues in all four parks and a new amusement ride, Remy’s Ratatouille. Adventure, at Epcot’s redesigned France pavilion.
The iconic centerpieces of each of the parks – Cinderella’s Castle, Tree of Life, Hollywood Tower Hotel and Spaceship Earth – will be lit with a “EARidescent Glow” each night.
Epcot has long been home to the annual Walt Disney World Festivals, which bring special experiences to an already special place.
There is a Taste of Epcot International Arts Festival in January and February, with special “edible art” menus and over 100 artists making Disney and non-Disney art live in the park.
Then there’s an International Flower and Garden Festival, which begins in March and continues through early July, with special topiaries, outdoor kitchens, and flowers everywhere you turn.
New at Epcot: Remy’s Ratatouille adventure: grab your tuque and join this charming rat race
Nearby at Disney Springs: Discover our tour of 5 restaurants created by award-winning chefs James Beard
This is followed by an international food and wine festival, which runs from July 15 to November 15. 20, with 30 “global markets” featuring food, beer and wine from around the world.
The year ends with the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, featuring a holiday cookie walk, characters dressed for the holidays, and a gingerbread town in the World Showcase.
Celebrate the holidays
Unsurprisingly, Walt Disney World is pulling out all the stops for the holiday season.
In the Magic Kingdom, Main Street gets a makeover and the park reopens at night for the Very Merriest After Hours celebration, a separate ticket event with characters in holiday costumes and holiday-themed fireworks.
Santa shows up for a motorcade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where screenings transform the Hollywood Tower Hotel into the Hollywood Holiday Tower. T
The Tree of Life at the Animal Kingdom takes on a vacation feel and it “snows” in the Disney Springs shopping area.
Or is something scary more your thing? Visit during Halloween for the Disney After Hours Boo Bash. Yes, there is even a trick or a treatment.
Following: Disney After Hours Boo Bash To Replace Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
And: Disney World’s ‘Happiest’ Christmas Party To Be One Of The Most Expensive Yet
Walt Disney World has a whole special division, Disney Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons, to help you get married there.
They offer wedding dresses inspired by Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, Pocahontas or Tiana, mouse ears of the bride and groom and wedding rings on the theme of Disney.
Did you know? Disney Celebrates 30 Years of Forever Happiness with Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons
There are more than 30 vows, including some in parks, and just as many reception venues.
Want to make it really special? You can organize an evening wedding with up to 300 guests at the Magic Kingdom and it will only cost you $ 30,000.
Have a makeover
Looking a little shaggy? You can get your hair cut at the Magic Kingdom, at the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street.
It’s a popular spot for kids’ first haircuts, and they have a special My First Haircut package that includes commemorative Mickey Ears and a keepsake lock of hair.
There is also a Bibbidi Bobbidi Shop in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, where “Fairy Godmothers-in-Training” will transform children ages 3 to 12 into Disney Princesses or Shining Knights in under an hour.
To concern: Cinderella’s Castle gets a magical makeover for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary
Magic Kingdom’s launches ‘Enchantment’ fireworks display for Disney World’s 50th anniversary
Suzy Fleming Leonard of USA Today Network of Florida chats with Bettina Buckley, vice president of Disney Parks Live Entertainment, about upcoming fireworks changes
Rob Landers and Suzy Fleming Leonard, Florida Today
After a long day in one of the parks, it’s tempting to head to a pool or better yet a bed.
But these tricky Imagineers make that difficult with a pair of new shows starting October 1.
At Magic Kingdom, the new Disney Enchantment Nighttime Spectacular features new music, fireworks, and immersive screenings that transform Cinderella’s Castle and Main Street.
Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon receives a new Harmonious nighttime show with new fireworks, fountains and lighting, as well as reinterpretations of classic Disney songs in more than a dozen languages.
Cross a lake
I bet you’ve never ridden in an Amphicar, but you can do it at Walt Disney World.
The Amphicar is a German-made vehicle that can drive on land or float like a boat on water, and they have a fleet of that at Disney Springs.
You can take a 25-minute guided tour (a captain drives the vehicle) from the Disney Springs Boathouse. It will be able to accommodate three or four passengers.
The wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon can offer real beauties, so it would be a shame not to surf them.
They offer private and group surf lessons for beginner and intermediate surfers, where students can ride 100 waves, in groups of 25.
Classes take place in the morning before the water park opens to the public and last from 2:30 to 3:00 and cost $ 199.
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Lace them up
Pick a distance – Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K, 10K – and they’ve got a run for you at Walt Disney World.
The races are grouped over four weekends, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in early January, the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend in April and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.
Runners earn Disney-inspired medals for their efforts.
They also offer virtual races, where you can run around your neighborhood or on your own treadmill to win medals, T-shirts and other prizes.
High, high and far
Aerophile is a tethered balloon ride that carries up to 29 passengers 400 feet above Disney Springs where, on a good day, you can see the four Walt Disney World parks.
The French-built craft – the world’s largest hand-painted helium balloon – flies for about eight minutes and is open to all ages.
First glimpse: the highly anticipated “Drawn to Life” by Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil’s “Drawn to Life” will debut at Disney Springs on November 18th. Ticket sales will begin on Friday August 20.
Provided; Cirque du Soleil
Coming soon: Cirque du Soleil
We’ve promised ten fun things to do, but there will be an eleventh when the pandemic is over.
“Drawn to Life” is a new Cirque du Soleil show that was due to open in 2020 at Disney Springs but delayed by the pandemic.
More on this: Cirque du Soleil’s “Drawn to Life” finally arrives at Disney
Its opening is now scheduled for November 18.
The show will combine Cirque du Soleil acrobats with Disney music to bring classic Disney animation to life.