Walt Disney World is gearing up for its 50th anniversary celebration, which starts on October 1. As part of the preparations the Orlando, Florida resort is beginning to resume more normal operations of attractions and dining, and bringing back fan-favorite experiences like dessert parties and EPCOT’s celebrity-led holiday offering, Candlelight Processional.
During the months after the reopening of Walt Disney World in July 2020, the resort was slow to pick up speed as the coronavirus pandemic continued to wage war on the travel and tourism industry. As consumer confidence grew around the industry again, so did the crowds at each of the Walt Disney World parks and resorts.
Now as the big anniversary date draws near Walt Disney World has begun to bring back more fan-favorite, and separate ticket events like dessert parties at both EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. Both parks are set to debut new nightly fireworks shows as part of the 50th anniversary, and guests can book three different parties at Magic Kingdom for Disney Enchantment and two “dinner and a show” tickets at EPCOT for Harmonious.
The return of dessert parties and dining packages like these is a good sign that Disney is heading in the right direction in terms of guest and travel confidence. The party tickets are an additional cost on top of the entry tickets to the parks so the return also increases Disney’s bottom line exponentially as they were a big hit before the onset of the pandemic.
Disney fans have been clamoring to find out if the holiday showings of the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT would be returning this year, and Disney has announced that it will, in fact, take place at the America Gardens Theatre this holiday season. The traditional show brings together a choir of Disney cast members and a celebrity narrator to tell the traditional Christmas story of Jesus being born. In the past Disney has offered priority seating with dining packages at an additional cost, which will be returning this year.
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These things along with the rest of the previously closed Disney resort hotels reopening, resuming sales of annual passes, the return of runDisney events, and a slew of new restaurants opening across Walt Disney World will help to ring in the 50th anniversary. Guests are excited to see what the 18-month long celebration has in store past the opening of the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction and Space 220 restaurant at EPCOT. All of this will lead to an increase in Disney’s bottom line as the company continues to make up for the money it lost during the park closures and limited capacity opening months.
As the 50th anniversary goes into the busy holiday travel season it can be assumed that Disney will continue to see an increase in guest spending on everything from large purchases like annual passes to smaller items like seasonal merchandise. Looking farther ahead, 2022 is already looking bright for the Parks, Experiences and Products segment of The Walt Disney Company, thanks in part to the 50th anniversary, resuming more normal operations, and the sales of annual passes.