Walt Dated World
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25 Year Anniversary
Walt Disney World pulled out all the stops for its 25th Anniversary. The thing that was certainly the biggest indication that something special was going on at the Magic Kingdom was that the castle was transformed via pink paint and inflatable extensions into a giant candy castle. While certainly tasty-looking and entertaining for returning guests to see, some first-time guests expressed disappointment that the castle was altered so radically during their stay.
25th Anniversary Welcome Center
A welcome center was set up in the old Disneyana Store/Walt Disney Story location. In the midst of park memorabilia, visitors could register as guests of honor and receive special cardboard adhesive badges designating them as "Guests of Honor" with the year of their first visit added on with a sticker. There was also a special badge for first time visitors.
Guests would also receive a special lithograph when they registered. The poster featured a child and Mickey walking toward the castle (without the cake overlay) in the moonlight and was bordered by a wood frame design featuring Disney characters. The bottom of the poster simply said "Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary".
(Thanks to Matt Hughes for sharing this image of the poster.)
Guests could then watch a film called Mickey's Magic Workshop starring Sorcerer Mickey and Ms. Crystal Ball. The movie offered a sneak preview of future Disney projects, such as the Disney Cruise Line. The exit area of the film contained a scale model of Animal Kingdom. There was also "teaser" merchandise for Animal Kingdom and the Disney Cruise Line for sale in this area.
Other Special Activities
Guests were reminded at every turn that they were visiting during an exciting time. Mickey Mouse recorded a special 25th Anniversary wake up message for the Resort phones:
Hiya pal. Time to wake up. Aw gosh, there's so many swell things going on all around our world today. We're celebrating our 25th Anniversary you know. So ah, you get ready, and we'll see you soon, ok? (Laughs) So long!
Other things included:
Special window decals on the monorail and 25th Anniversary Monorail pilot licenses.
The Contemporary Resort spelling out "25" in red lights on the side of the main tower at night.
A new edition of Illuminations at Epcot called "Illuminations 25".
A special stage show at the Magic Kingdom that saluted returning guests.
The Magic Kingdom had a new parade called Remember the Magic.
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See ya real soon!