COVID19 and Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary Rumor Update

Weekly Disney Rumor Update

Walt Disney World Where Dreams Come True Road Entrance

As the effects of the COVID19 pandemic continue to ravage the theme park and tourist industry, it is becoming increasingly clear how long the effects of the pandemic are going to last, and the long term economic impact this will have on all sectors.

Walt Disney World is set to have its 50th anniversary next year. This was set to be a massive celebration, akin to the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration and the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. But the coronavirus is potentially going to be ending the majority of things that were planned for the celebration.

This celebration was never officially announced but rumors suggest three major elements of the celebration.

The first was a new night parade, with rumors potentially pointing to it being a reimagined version of Spectromagic utilizing the technology of Paint the Night, featuring newer Disney films like Mary Poppins Returns.

The second was a rumored promotion involving fifty additions for the fiftieth, mostly involving additions to pre-existing Disney World attractions. Rumored additions for this include updates to Big Thunder to add the new finale, characters added into It's a Small World, and more.

Finally, there was to be a collection of new rides opening up in time for the 50th including Tron and Ratatouille.

Cinderella Castle At Night Magic Kingdom Disney World

The COVID19 pandemic is potentially putting all of these celebrations at risk for different reasons so let us look at what is happening with all of these.

Night Parade?

This is the most likely project to be completely canceled altogether. It hadn't begun production yet, so it is easy to cancel now Disney is looking to cut budgets to make up for an incredible dip in their income from the parks.

There may be a chance of Disney World borrowing a night parade from Disneyland.

Disneyland has two night parades and has never run both at the same time. Typically one runs every summer with them alternating between the Main Street Electrical Parade and Paint the Night. They could in theory temporarily give one to Disney World and still have one of their own.

Now the Magic Kingdom has run Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade before, so this would be nothing new.

Paint The Night, on the other hand, might be more complicated to bring to the resort. My general understanding is that the Magic Kingdom has a tighter turn on the parade route than either of the two Disneyland parks, which complicates a few of the longer Paint the Night floats running at the park.

Now this parade has been altered to run in a different park before. The Frozen float was replaced with an Incredibles float for the Disney California Adventure run of the parade because there was a wire the parade had to travel underneath on Buena Vista Street the float could not fit under. But length changes on multiple floats is a lot harder to fix than hight issues mainly limited to one float that could be easily exchanged.

I could also see the parade maybe appearing at another park with a more suitable parade route like Disney's Hollywood Studios but this is mainly speculation.

Honestly, if there is a night parade for the anniversary, it is almost definitely going to be the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Fifty Additions?

This is the one I see being in the middle. Some of these are going to happen and some are not.

The basic idea behind this rumored promotion was fifty smaller additions to the parks that were not splashy on their own, but together they could be a giant thing.

I think some of these will still happen, but the more expensive ones are likely off the table, at least for now.

It's A Small World At Night Fantasyland Disney World

The promotion is likely off altogether, but some of the additions may still happen. It's a Small World in the Magic Kingdom, for example, is the only version in the world without Disney characters. This change will probably still happen some point soon but maybe not for the 50th.

Also, if some of them were already in production they could still happen. I don't mean actual active progress on the ride but if work was going on behind the scenes. Just as an example, one of the rumored changes was the addition of the Hatbox Ghost to the Haunted Mansion. If the animatronic was already made, its a lot more likely to still happen than if work had not started on the animatronic behind the scenes.

We don't know what all of the additions were supposed to be, but some of them could still happen even if it isn't for the 50th.

New Rides

There were a lot of new rides set to be open in time for to 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, but not all of them are going to make it in time. Pretty much every Disney World construction project was delayed three to four months at a minimum due to the pandemic closure.

Some projects that were already further ahead are still likely to make it. Things like Tron or Ratatouille, which was not initially supposed to be for the 50th, but could now be considered a part of it due to the delay in construction.

Others are going to be late and may be incorporated into the celebration later on. The Disneyland 60th anniversary celebration lasted two years, so even a few months' delay might not matter that much.