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https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2019/08/12/next-weeks-d23-expo-will-reveal-big-plans-for-walt-disney-worlds-50th-anniversary

Next week's D23 Expo will reveal big plans for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary

Posted By Ken Storey on Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 7:13 pm

 
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One of the most anticipated announcements at next week’s D23 Expo will be the upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration for Walt Disney World. 

The yet-to-be-announced, resort-wide event is expected to be one of the biggest events the history of Walt Disney World. Industry insider Jim Hill says the company is expecting to sell out every single hotel room throughout the entire resort for the entirety of 2021. 

According to various insiders, most notably user WDW1974 on the WDWMagic forums, Disney is planning to honor the 50th Anniversary by marketing a list of 50 enhancements across the resort. Some of those will be brand new offerings, like the Skyliner and the two new Epcot attractions, but many of the other ‘enhancements’ will be smaller things added to existing attractions. 

Hollywood Studios is rumored to be seeing new effects in the Tower of Terror drop shaft, updated dining experiences, and, of course, the new Mickey Mouse dark ride. Epcot will see some of its offerings included in the golden anniversary marketing, but many of its biggest projects aren’t designed to be a part of the anniversary celebration and instead will open in the mid-2020s. It’s rumored that Spaceship Earth may be closed for a significant rehab throughout all of 2021. 


Animal Kingdom will likely see a new nighttime show, but no significant additions are expected within the next 18 months to two years leading up to the anniversary. 

Much of the focus of the celebration will be the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon resorts that opened in 1971. 
 
IMAGE VIA DISNEY
  • Image via Disney
The TRON coaster now under construction will likely be heavily used in marketing for the anniversary. TRON, Epcot’s two new attractions, and DHS’s three new attractions are by far the largest ‘enhancements’ ahead of the 50th, but many smaller improvements are expected as well. At the Magic Kingdom, nearly every single iconic attraction will see some type of enhancement. 

Big Thunder Mountain is believed to receive the projection mapping in the tunnel scene that Disneyland’s version received a few years ago along with a few other small improvements. 

Over in Fantasyland, ‘it’s a small world’ will see the addition of the Mary Blair style Disney character dolls that both the Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland versions received in recent years. These characters are added to the existing scenes with the overall attraction seeing no significant change. 

Across the pathway, Peter Pan’s Flight will also see small enhancements similar to those that the Disneyland version saw ahead of that park’s 60th Anniversary. The Disneyland updates included adding stereophonic sound, an improved nursery scene, a new London scene, Tinker Bell pixie dust projection mapping, and Neverland overview enhancements. 
Concept art for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway - IMAGE VIA DISNEY
  • Image via Disney
  • Concept art for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
The Walt Disney World Railroad may see some new scenes. The addition of the TRON building will also drastically alter the ambiance of the train ride through the Tomorrowland area. 

Tomorrowland will see the most significant improvements with the new TRON coaster, a rumored TRON update to the Tomorrowland Speedway, enhanced scenes possibly added to the PeopleMover, and perhaps a new attraction in the space formerly used for Stich’s Great Escape. The Carousel of Progress will likely see a new final scene, new more lifelike animatronics, and a new queue video. 

A nighttime parade, a new fireworks show, and new floats added to the daytime parade are also all expected, though in recent months the chances of a nighttime parade seem to be less likely as the once retired Main Street Electrical Parade was pulled into service at Disneyland to help draw the locals back to the park. With it now being out of retirement, Disney may opt to use it in Orlando instead of investing in a brand new nighttime parade. 

The Electrical Water Pageant, which hasn’t been touched since the mid-1970s, is thought to be receiving an overhaul that will be timed with the new pathway currently being built between the Grand Floridian and the Magic Kingdom. This pathway will temporarily block access to the Electrical Water Pageant’s storage facility with Disney using this inconvenience as an opportunity to overhaul the parade adding new floats themed to Moana and The Little Mermaid. 

Like all anniversary events at Disney, the WDW 50th is expected to last longer than just 12 months. It’s thought that it will begin in early 2021 and continue until the end of September 2022. Of course, a massive celebration is expected to take place on the actual anniversary on October 1, 2021. 
After the expected confirmation of the anniversary celebration at next weekend’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, Disney will be begin rolling out the updates over the next 18 months. 

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I'm all for enhancements and looking forward to the official D23 announcements (call me cynical, but I take all info that comes from Jim Hill with a HUGE grain of salt)

I'd rather see them bring Paint the Night as a nighttime parade, but honestly I'd be A-OK with bringing back Main St. Electrical.

Overhauling EWP isn't a terrible idea - it's been updated over the years although not in a long time. Certainly better than getting rid of it.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, BradyBzLyn...Mo said:

I'm all for enhancements and looking forward to the official D23 announcements (call me cynical, but I take all info that comes from Jim Hill with a HUGE grain of salt)

I'd rather see them bring Paint the Night as a nighttime parade, but honestly I'd be A-OK with bringing back Main St. Electrical.

Overhauling EWP isn't a terrible idea - it's been updated over the years although not in a long time. Certainly better than getting rid of it.

 

 

The only update for EWP that I remember is the dinosaur song?

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Wikipedia says there were 3 major updates:

Quote

The original lineup of floats for the Electrical Water Pageant were:

  • Sea Serpent (three floats)
  • Whale (one float)
  • Two Sea Lions Playing With a Ball (one float)
  • Clamshell Opening and Closing revealing a mermaid (one float)
  • Three Goldfishes swimming in bubbles (one float)
  • Three Jumping Dolphins (three floats)
  • Three Red-Haired Mermaids (one float)
  • Octopus (one float)
  • Three Flying Fish (one float)
  • Four Seahorses (one float)
  • Neptune (one float)

The 1972 to 1976 lineup of floats for the Electrical Water Pageant were:

  • Sea Serpent (three floats)
  • Two Sea Lions Playing With a Ball (one float)
  • Whale (one float)
  • Turtle (one float)
  • Shrimp (one float)
  • Three Jumping Dolphins (three floats)
  • Three Flying Fish (one float)
  • Octopus (one float) (updated version of the 1971 Octopus)
  • Four Seahorses (one float)
  • Neptune (one float)

The 1977 to 1995 lineup of floats for the Electrical Water Pageant were:

  • Overture- "Hornpipe"
  • Sea Serpent (four floats) "That Certain Serpent"- J. Christensen
  • Whale (one float) "Whale Of A Tale" N. Gimbel/A Hoffman
  • Turtle (one float) (An updated version of the 1972 Turtle) "I'm A Turtle" D. Dorsey
  • Octopus (one float) "Up In Arms" D. Dorsey
  • Three Jumping Dolphins (three floats) "Waltz Almost" - J. Christensen
  • Brachiosaurus (one float) "Up In Arms" Reprise - D. Dorsey
  • Electric Eel (one float) (Later became a Crocodile) Bay-Sea Monster -J. Christensen
  • Four Seahorses (one float) (An updated version of the 1971 Four Seahorses)
  • Neptune (one float) (An updated version of the 1971 Neptune) "Hornpipe" (Reprise) mixed w/ all other themes
  • Stars & Stripes Patriotic Medley
  • Traveling Music: "The Bouree" - G.F. Handel

From October 1, 1981 – October 1, 1982, in honor of Walt Disney World's 10th anniversary, the Patriotic Finale music was replaced w/ the Tencennial theme song.

 

The 1996 to present day lineup of floats and music are:

Opening: "Fanfare" from The Little Mermaid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_Water_Pageant

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I'm with Mo, but a lot of this is unlikely. 

All of the new rides are great, but I don't see money getting spent on updates to Carousel of Progress or the EWP. 

There probably will be 50 new things, but I'll bet 25 of them will be cupcakes or some other ridiculous thing that guests can buy.

TCD

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Agree with TCD there will likely be a whole lot of cupcakes (and merchandise) on that "50 things" list.

1 hour ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

All of the new rides are great, but I don't see money getting spent on updates to Carousel of Progress or the EWP. 

Yeah a major CoP update would be a (pleasant) surprise, but maybe there's a higher up suffering from serious nostalgia who wants to keep at least *something* from Walt's original idea book in the mix.  Or.... someone in the merchandising department has put a bug in someone's ear about the potential for a whole line of CoP stuff. The shirts they launched a while back seemed to sell really well.  Imagine CoP stuffed dogs, sarsaparilla soda, Niagara Falls fans, ornaments of Uncle Orville in the bathtub, and creepy ceramic pumpkin salt and pepper shakers (like the one that seems to keep moving around the Halloween scene).

Speaking of merchandise, my bet is that they're about to kick things into high gear for the 50th.  I've a couple of job postings for graphic designers for their "consumer products" division.

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On a side note, I saw a post and of course can't find it now, that Rise of the Resistance was heavily damaged by water flooding into the building because roof drain either weren't in place or improperly installed. The post said a lot of electronics was damaged/destroyed and also some mechanical equipment.

Not sure how true it is.  Had an overhead picture of the roof, then a diagram of what caused the flooding.

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