Walt Disney World plans 50th-anniversary party that begins Oct. 1

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” is planning a big party for its 50th anniversary.

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Walt Disney World announced an 18-month celebration beginning Oct. 1 to celebrate its half-century in Central Florida.

All four parks at the Lake Buena Vista, Florida, resort will participate in the “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” Disney announced in a news release on Tuesday.

The park, which opened with the Magic Kingdom, expanded with Epcot in 1982, Hollywood Studios in 1989 and Animal Kingdom in 1998. In addition, the resort has several themed hotels, water parks and Disney Springs, a shopping and restaurant district that originally opened in 1975.

The celebration will include a new nighttime show called “Disney Enchantment,” which will be held at the Magic Kingdom, Disney said in its release. The show will have enhanced lighting, fireworks and immersive projection effects that will extend from the Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.

Epcot’s special features will include “Harmonious,” which will be held at the World Showcase Lagoon, Disney said. The company said the show will be “one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park.” The show will showcase new versions of classic Disney songs that will be sung in more than a dozen languages by a group of 240 artists.

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Another feature at Epcot will be the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventures ride, along with the opening of a new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris.

At Animal Kingdom, “Disney KiteTails” will feature performers flying windcatchers and kites at the Discovery River several times a day, the news release said.

“Beacons of Magic” will be held nightly at all four parks. Lights will shine with “pixie dust” at Cinderella’s castle in the Magic Kingdom. At Animal Kingdom, “warm light” will stream from the Tree of Life as fireflies gather to “usher in the magic of nature.” At Hollywood Studios, the Hollywood Tower Hotel will be “awash in a brilliance evoking the golden age of imagination and adventure.” Epcot will feature new lights that will shine across the reflective panels of Spaceship Earth, “connecting to one another in a symbol of optimism resembling stars in a nighttime sky.”

For the 50th birthday celebration, Disney characters will be dressed in sparkling custom-made costumes, the company said in its news release.