On Saturday October 1st, 2016, the Walt Disney World Resort celebrated it’s 45th Anniversary! Thousands of excited Disney fans and vacationing tourists made their way via Monorail, Ferry Boat, and Buses to The Most Magical Place On Earth, The Magic Kingdom! The Park opened at 8am and immediately there were lines for collectable merchandise, specialty treats, and spots in the Hub for the special 9:30am celebration on the Forecourt stage.
I arrived at the MK parking lot just around 8:15am. I boarded the Tram to the TTC, then took the Ferry over. At the time the Monorail was not operational. I arrived at the MK entrance about 15 minutes later, went through bag check and minutes later was walking onto Main Street U.S.A. I made my way to the Hub where I met up with some friends to watch the presentation.
The Hub was packed with guests, eagerly awaiting 9:30am! We were greeted by the Disney Ambassadors, who introduced the President of the Walt Disney World Resort, George Kalogridis. He spoke for a few minutes and hinted at special announcements forthcoming for the 50th anniversary in 2021! A special medley of When You Wish Upon A Star was performed with 45 Disney characters onstage!
Afterwards, I was lucky enough to meet George and the Disney Ambassadors. The Disney fanatic in me was geeking out! They all thought I was a part of the Disney College Program, which I was very flattered by. I did mention that I would be moving to Florida in the summer of 2017 and one day hope to work with the Walt Disney Company. All had very encouraging words to me to follow my dreams and pursue living where I love and doing what makes me happy.
Guests entering The Magic Kingdom, as well as Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney Hollywood Studios were given a special pin to celebrate the 45th Anniversary! Guests staying at The Contemporary and The Polynesian Village Resort, were also given a special button to commerate the two Opening Day WDW Resorts!
I spent the afternoon wandering around the MK, just enjoying being there and meeting up with some friends through the day. For a Disney fanatic, just the ambiance of being in the MK was fulfilling. I loved being HOME! I loved the feeling of happiness and belonging I felt all day!
The Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971, to a crowd of 10,000 visitors. Attractions open that day were:
- Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Diamond Horseshoe Revue
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Frontierland Shooting Gallery
- The Hall of Presidents
- The Haunted Mansion
- It’s a Small World
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey Mouse Revue
- Mike Fink Keel Boats
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Snow White’s Adventures
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Tropical Serenade
- Grand Prix Raceway
- Walt Disney World Railroad
I attempted to do the remaining opening day attractions, and made it through not quite half of them. I made it onto: Jungle Cruise, Country Bear Jamboree, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, and it’s a small world. I would of accomplished more, but a large rainstorm moved through the area from around 6pm til after 11pm, causing me to leave MK around 8pm.
Before leaving, I took a moment to stop in City Hall and grab an extra 45th button and map, and also to say “Thank You” to a man who made this Anniversary possible. Roy Disney opened The Walt Disney World Resort in his brother’s name and memory. He had always supported Walt’s dreams and visions.
“Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney… and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney’s dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place … a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn — together.”Roy Oliver Disney, October 25th, 1971
To both Roy and Walt, I say THANK YOU! Thank you for dreaming. Thank you for creating. Thank you!
Thanks to the Disney Parks Blog for all the 45th Anniversary info!
Have a magical weekend my friends!
Follow Jamie on Twitter @jrobbins79
Be sure to join Jamie and Jennifer for their next WDW Fan Zone Monthly Sunday Night Blogcast on Sunday October 30th at 10pm CST/11pm EST.