What can we expect for Walt Disney World’s 50th?

Disney so far has remained tight-lipped on its plans for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, but all indicators suggest it’s going to be a huge year for the Central Florida destination.

(photo provided by Jordi Gomara)

Word coming from high-ranking Disney officials would suggest that following the overhaul at DCA on the West Coast and the Fantasyland expansion new additions to the United States Disney Parks are going to be few and far between of the course of the decade.

Whilst this may leave park enthusiasts disappointed at the thought of little to no additions for around six years it does make good business sense for the company in what will be vital and unpredictable years for the tourism industry.

With so little action coming over the next decade at theme Disney Parks & Resorts it can be expected that – so long as the industry is stable – the Walt Disney Company will be looking to add more in 2020 and beyond, just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

If the many rumours circulating the Disney fan community are to be believed then there’s hundreds upon hundreds of new attractions set to be added to Walt Disney World ready for its half-century celebrations, though obviously this isn’t going to be the case.

What Disney need to do, and what Disney Park officials are certain to realise, is that plans for the 50th anniversary shouldn’t add to the resort simply for the sake of adding but should rather add in order to improve what is currently on offer.

Walk with the animals…

The Animal Kingdom must be looked at as a starting point for Disney’s plans, with the park failing to live up to what is on offer at the rest of the resort. Whilst Expedition Everest greatly improved the park it simply wasn’t enough, with lines now becoming unmanageable during peak times at the parks E-Ticket attractions.

Disney now needs to look at what needs to be spent at Animal Kingdom in order to make it into a ‘full-day park’ which can be enjoyed by the whole family. This will undoubtedly have to come in the form of at least three attractions, though not all will have to be E-Tickets it’s important to ensure the quality is consistent throughout.

This could come in the form of a new land, perhaps a rehashed version of the originally planned Beastly Kingdom? Personally I’d like to see a complete overhaul of Dinoland USA, with Dinosaur being the only remaining attraction of the current line-up.

Other parks will no doubt benefit from some much-needed attention, though it’s hard to predict what Disney has in mind for the three other theme park offerings in Central Florida.

Meet me down on Main Street…

It’s unlikely the Magic Kingdom will see any sort of major change, after all the Fantasyland Expansion will still be a major crowd-bringer for Walt Disney World’s first park and the need to add anything else to the already sprawling park will be minimal.

Many would argue that Tomorrowland could benefit from some attention. It’s been a number of years since the land had a major refurbishment and whilst the Space Mountain update was a fantastic move by Disney the external facade’s of the land still look dated and in need of some love.

It’s quite ironic that the Magic Kingdom is the least likely park to have something new to boast as a result of the 50th anniversary celebrations but fans can take comfort in the fact that the paint on the new Fantasyland expansion will still be fresh and the new section of the iconic land is set to be incredible.

New horizons…

It’s hard to say what we can expect from EPCOT in the build-up to the 50th anniversary, though some reports have suggest Imagineers have been playing with the idea of adding more nations to the World Showcase.

How reliable these reports are is questionable, but it would be far from a bad option to add more countries to the World Showcase and potentially some all-new attractions to go with them. Egypt, Australia or Spain anyone?

What about Future World? What should be added in this fast expanse of innovation? It’s fair to say that the Imagination Pavilion is most in need of something new to draw crowds. Journey to the Imagination is far from a fan favourite, could we see a replacement?

Captain EO is also only set for a temporary run before the return of Honey I shrunk the audience, could we see a replacement for the now dated show ready for the 50th anniversary?

Pixar is the place to be…

Whilst Disney’s Hollywood Studios is set to get an all-new version of Star Tours next year there’s surely going to be some additions in time for the 50th anniversary.

The expansion of Pixar Place seems to be the most likely option for the movie-themed park with the animation studio continuing to release hit movie after hit movie.

With the release of Monsters Inc 2 on the cards maybe we may finally see the ‘door-themed’ coaster which has been the centre of speculation for DHS for a number of years?

Outside of Pixar Place something could be done with the Backlot Tour, which has been seen as outdated and a tad boring by Disney fans for a number of years.

Disney could look to do a total overhaul of the attraction but even then there’s no guarantee that guests will take to it. The whole concept of a studio tour in a non-functioning studio seems to lack the appeal to attract the masses like it used to.

The land currently occupied by the tour could be considered for a new attraction. Some have suggested a clone of DCA’s new Cars attraction but I’d personally prefer the attraction to stay unique to the West Coast and I have an inkling Disney officials would agree with me.

The attraction does take up a lot of space and there’s no doubt a lot could be done with the land but Disney will have to thing long and hard before making any major changes. The park could do with a new E-Ticket attraction simply to draw crowds away from Midway Mania on a morning bit as always it’s incredibly hard to predict what Disney have planned.

All of this, of course, is mere speculation. It’s hard to tell what Disney will do and I certainly wouldn’t like to go down on record saying I believe something will happen when I simply don’t know.

We all know how much Disneyland benefited from their 50th celebrations; let’s hope Disney pull out all the stops and make WDW’s half century just as fantastic.


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