Walt Disney World officially celebrated its 40th Anniversary last week with several special events held to mark the occasion. Among those events was a character cavalcade on Main Street U.S.A. leading up to the Castle Forecourt Stage, a special 40th anniversary presentation with characters and Disney executives and a special showing of “Wishes’ nighttime spectacular including special fireworks for the occasion.
Guests entering Magic Kingdom that morning were treated to special 40th Anniversary buttons and a unique Magic Kingdom map. The map opened to a standard present-day layout of the park, but an additional section offered a glimpse of the layout as it was 40 years ago.
The castle forecourt activities started at 10AM. In addition to the thousands of guests and many characters, also in attendance were the two Walt Disney World Ambassadors Norman Vossschulte and Jennifer Mason, Disney World President Meg Crofton and Magic Kingdom Vice President Phil Holmes. The event was probably extraordinarily special for Holmes who actually was an opening day castmember of the park forty years earlier when his job was to take tickets at the Haunted Mansion.
“You know, whether you were here forty years ago, or today as the first time you walked down Main Street U.S.A., we are so glad that you are here. We’re thrilled to have you with us as our guests on this, our 40th anniversary,” stated Meg Crofton, Disney World President at the 40th anniversary festivities of Walt Disney World.
Guests were also treated throughout the day to artist signings at several locations throughout the park. Artists included were Costa Alavezos, Brent Reese, Greg McCullough, Noah, Dave Avanzino, Jody Daily, Kevin Kidney, Jim Shore, Robert Olszewski and Gene Gonda.
Of course, no celebration at Disney World would be complete with special merchandise. This included limited edition ear-hats, pins, mugs, plush, etc. Birthday cupcakes could also be purchased at the Main Street Bakery.
The night was capped with a special “Wishes” nighttime spectacular marking the 40th anniversary.
Thanks to DisneyTampa who shot the video shown above!