How Disney’s 50th Anniversary Year Is Likely To Be Different Considering The Viral Crisis

50th Anniversary

Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebrations are set to take place next year, and knowing the resort this will be an all-year-round event. But the big question currently facing 2021 is how the current viral crisis is affecting the preparations. The details might be unknown, but it’s fair to say that some production and development has been temporarily stalled.

The chances are that some aspects of 2021 will be delayed, or perhaps even cancelled altogether. After all, there’s no telling how the next few weeks or months will unfold now that Walt Disney World is open. For now, let’s remind ourselves what’s on the horizon, and how they might be affected by the current crisis.

7. Attraction Delays

Disney’s Art Rendering of Cherry Tree Lane

Attractions set to open next year include Tron: Lightcycle Run, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and an untitled Mary Poppins-themed attraction. We do know Disney has already announced they are putting the Mary Poppins themed attraction on HOLD for now, along with the Spaceship Earth re-imagining. Exact dates for the others haven’t been announced, so it’s difficult to even hazard a guess as to whether these will be affected by the crisis. One would hope that we’ll see the unveiling of these attractions regardless, even if it’s at the latter end of 2021.

6. New Measures All Round

Peter Pan’s Flight

New safety measures for Walt Disney World are in full swing with the parks open. Temperature checks, social distancing, restricted capacity and an overall ‘phased’ reopening are in place. And as it makes sense for all these implementations to continue into 2021, it means the epic celebrations won’t be quite as hustling and bustling as they were previously expected to be.

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5. Restrictions At Disney Resort Hotels

Galactic Starcruiser
Disney’s Art Rendering of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is also set to land in 2021 and dock nearby Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This two-night experience is, for all intents and purposes, a Disney Resort Hotel, and how things will change for all Disney accommodations is one of the biggest questions facing the resort. The resort hotels were set to sell out fast ahead of next year, but this may change when you consider all the new measures that will be introduced.

4. New App Safety Features

Disney Play App
Photo Credit: Disney

While safety measures are implemented throughout the entire resort, there’s one place they are most effective – one of Disney World’s popular mobile apps, My Disney Experience. The app features several useful functions, from a GPS-enabled interactive map to restaurant bookings and more. Now the app’s Mobile Ordering, virtual queues, and dining resort check-in, and special guidelines are invaluable.

3. Controlled Major Events

Castle fireworks

2021 is set to unleash some truly epic night-time celebrations and parades – it wouldn’t be a Disney World anniversary without them. And it’s fair to say such events will still take place, but as the world will be in the midst of getting back to normal and therefore understandably vigilant, you can probably expect these otherwise hugely-concentrated gatherings to be mitigated in some way, whether it’s through policed social distancing or capacity limitations, or both. Major events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Disney’s Food and Wine Marathon Weekend have already been cancelled for 2020. There is also a modified Taste of EPCOT’s Food and Wine International Festival that really just isn’t the same at the annual Festival we all know and love.

2. Guest Number Restrictions

Temperature Screening at the Park Entrance

If these were ordinary times, 2021 would have easily been the busiest on record for Disney World. A 50th birthday is a huge milestone, and some of the new offerings from new attractions to new night-time experiences would have brought in scores and scores of guests. This could still be the case, but it’s looking unlikely. Even if Disney starts to open their current limited capacity, there still may very well be a significant natural drop in guest attendance, due to the general fear of the viral crisis.

1. Shortened Celebrations

There are many reasons as to why the 50th anniversary celebrations could be reduced in size or shortened in length – or both. The first being that it would naturally lessen the chance of spreading infection. After all, the virus isn’t something that’s going away anytime soon. With that said, the world will have to return to some form of normality sooner or later. And secondly, and though we hope it’s not the case, with Disney’s delayed reopening celebrations in the future could be pushed further out.

There are so many unanswered questions about 2021, but let’s focus on getting through the rest of 2020 together first. These are pressing times, but there’s still plenty to look forward to where Disney World is concerned. The resort is different upon the reopen compared to what we’ve grown accustomed to, but as it’s all for our own safety which can only be a good thing.

About Daniel

Dan is a huge fan of Star Wars, Disney, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, TMNT and Harry Potter, and has written for numerous film-focused and Disney-related sites, including Epicstream, Theme Park Tourist and Homey Hawaii. He has also recently completed his first children's novel, which he hopes to get published within the next year.

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