Disney World to Give Cinderella Castle and Other Park Landmarks a Makeover for 50th Anniversary
"The World's Most Magical Celebration" kicks off Oct. 1, on Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary, and runs for 18 months
Walt Disney World's iconic landmarks are getting a "royal makeover" in honor of the upcoming "World's Most Magical Celebration," kicking off Oct. 1 to mark the Florida resort's 50th anniversary.
On Friday, Disney Parks unveiled artists' renderings of the four Florida parks' centerpieces: Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, the Hollywood Tower Hotel at Hollywood Studios, Spaceship Earth at EPCOT and the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom.
"As part of the celebration, Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park will add to its royal makeover from last year," a post on the official Disney Parks blog explains. "As you can see in this new artist rendering, the castle will feature golden bunting and a 50th-anniversary crest as part of its festive new look."
When night falls, the castle and the landmarks of the other three parks will transform into "Beacons of Magic," adding a shimmering optical element to each, like "pixie dust on Cinderella Castle" and "magical fireflies inhabiting the Tree of Life."
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EPCOT's Spaceship Earth will get new lights on the reflective panels over the iconic sphere's surface "resembling stars in a nighttime sky." That addition will be permanent, lasting beyond the event's 18-month timeframe.
Also on the lineup for sparkling new looks? Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who will sport new coordinating fashions featuring "EARidescent fabric with gold highlights."
Disney Parks went on to share a video featuring guests and cast members at the resort, opening up about their love for Walt Disney World and their anticipation for "The World's Most Magical Celebration."
"[In the] 50 years since Walt Disney World opened, we're still going with the ideal that Walt [Disney] wanted people to be with family and to celebrate each other," one said while another mused, "To me, celebration literally is Walt Disney World."
RELATED VIDEO: Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary Announcement Video
Disney Parks' unveiling of their landmarks' new looks comes seven months after Magic Kingdom Park saw another update to Cinderella Castle, ahead of the park's reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The update was first announced earlier in 2020 as a way to honor the 70th anniversary of the release of the animated movie Cinderella.
On top of a fresh coat of blush-pink paint to its upper exterior walls, the royal blue rooftops and turrets also looked much bolder courtesy of added gold ornamentation decorating the spires, ramparts and entrance archway of the castle's façade.
"We are excited to share that her story has inspired a bold, shimmering and royal makeover of her namesake castle at the heart of Walt Disney World Resort," Jason Kirk, then-vice president of Magic Kingdom Park, wrote in a blog post last February. "When you visit, be sure to share your excitement with our cast members — they can't wait to see the shimmering towers shining down on the kingdom each and every morning."
After closing down amid the escalating Covid-19 pandemic in mid-March, Walt Disney World gradually reopened in July with new health and safety regulations including mandatory face coverings, social distancing, limited capacity and enhanced sanitation throughout the resort.
Disneyland Resort in California remains closed except for the shopping and dining destination Downtown Disney. Disney briefly reopened shops and restaurants on Buena Vista Street, the main drag of California Adventure, but had to shut portions down just a few weeks later due to new restrictions on dining based on spiking COVID-19 cases in the state.