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Disney Anniversary: Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World opened 39 years ago.

01 October 2010 by Debra Peterson - Disney Travel Examiner

On Oct. 1, 1971, Walt Disney World Resort became the second of Disney’s theme park destinations with the opening of Magic Kingdom Park.

Observations of the “birthday” of the Magic Kingdom have traditionally been low-key. (The much-talked about and still controversial decoration of Cinderella Castle as a pink birthday cake for its 25th anniversary being an exception.) Thus, the 39th anniversary of the Orlando resort is being observed without much official fanfare.

The 2010 date of Magic Kingdom Park’s opening, however, does fall in the midst of Disney’s Halloween season, with one of the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party events taking place in the Magic Kingdom tonight. It also overlaps with the beginning of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

In its recent media announcement of the 2011 “Let the Memories Begin,” Disney Parks did not mention the campaign’s possible relationship to the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort’s opening or a tie-in to celebrating that achievement.

Disney fans and Mouse stalkers, including me, were a bit surprised by this too-obvious-to-be-missed connection. I suspect the campaign’s tie-in to a 40th anniversary celebration will be forthcoming.

But in the meantime, why wait? To mark Walt Disney World’s turning the big 4-0  (which is the new 30 for theme parks), I’m starting a new Friday series called “Memories of the Magic Kingdom.” This series will look back at Disney attractions and Magic Kingdom history as it looks forward to the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.

I’ll be at Magic Kingdom that day, ready to celebrate with Mickey Mouse himself, and hope to see you there. It’s only a year away – See You Real Soon!



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