October 1, 2016
It only seemed fitting that my first official blog post be on October 1, 2016, the 45th Anniversary of the opening of Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park.
Disney World was created after a realization Walt had just before the closing of Disneyland one day. A family was leaving early, which never happened, as guests of Disneyland were typically there until closing. The family had explained to Walt that it was to avoid some of the traffic they had seen when on the skyride; Walt found this unacceptable. As a result, Walt decided that he would create a bigger park, a world, instead of just a land. By creating a world, Walt believed that once you enter Disney World you wouldn’t have to worry about traffic, because you would have no ties to the outside world.
Unfortunately, Walt was never able to see his dream come to life; but, because of his courage to pursue it in the first place, his dream did come true. On this day in 1971, Disney World dropped the rope for the first time and 10,000 guests were able to experience the magic of the park.
Twenty-five days later on October 25, 1971, Roy O. Disney officially dedicated Walt Disney World as a tribute to the philosophy and life of his brother, Walt Disney:
“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.”
As no world would be complete without a place for its guests to sleep, October 1, 1971, was also the official opening of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
Fast forward forty-five years to the celebration that occurred at Magic Kingdom Park. Characters from Mickey and Minnie to Cinderella, her Prince, and her Fairy Godmother to Officer Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde from Zootopia were in attendance for the occasion as George Kalogridis, the President of the Walt Disney World Resort and former busboy at the Contemporary Resort forty-five years ago, gave his commemorative address.
Though the dress rehearsal stage has been surpassed at this point, the joy and memories that guests experience and create each and every day at the Walt Disney World Resort are still what bring them to this happy place. New and inspiring things are consistently happening because there is still imagination left in the world, from the opening of Avatar Land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017 as well as the development of Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to a mysterious jar of pixie dust that Kalogridis isn’t ready to open just yet. I guess we will just have to wait until the 50th Anniversary in 2021.
Any ideas on what the jar of pixie dust may be hiding?