PHOTO REPORT: The Magic Kingdom 10/4/16 (45th Anniversary, Stitch Closes, Space Mountain, Electrical Parade, ETC.)

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Our latest photo report brings us to the Magic Kingdom on its 45th anniversary weekend, but changes in the park certainly didn’t stop for the festivities. Rapid progress on the look of Tomorrowland continues, Stitch’s Great Escape has closed, and OK, we have some duck pictures.

Magic Kingdom 45th Anniversary

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A special commemorative map was given out to mark the day.

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The opening day resorts and the park also had complimentary buttons for guests.

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The day began with a special welcome show at the Train Station:


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Plenty of specialty merchandise was available (the line lasted over an hour at some points though).

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The line wrapped around the Emporium and went down most of the street.

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The main event of the day was a special anniversary ceremony at Cinderella Castle:


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A special “Celebration Dog” was being served at Casey’s Corner:

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Big Top Treats had some special candy apples.

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Gaston’s Tavern and the Main Street Bakery were serving the infamous anniversary cupcake.

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This time, guests could choose chocolate or vanilla cake.

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The only piece of the open edition merchandise that came out on the 1st was this lanyard and pin set. That being said, most of the open edition items are currently sold out.

Tomorrowland Goes Rogue One

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The Stitch related Tomorrowland murals in Merchant of Venus were covered up with giant Rogue One art when the merchandise was released (I’m sure it helps that Stitch’s Great Escape is now closed and only operates seasonally).

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There’s a Tomorrowland mural under there, and no, it’s not by Mary Blair.

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This and That

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The Carousel of Progress finally got its new marquee sing, but you probably already saw that post

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The often congested Fantasyland bottleneck is now equipped with permanent signage for cast members to use. This only took 45 years.

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Only 8 days before it happens, Disney releases a “Glowing Away Soon” shirt for the Main Street Electrical Parade. This shirt will be outdated in less than week. Why not put the final day on it? Oh, in case it gets rained out this weekend…

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There is a fantastic photo-op at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe right now featuring Sonny Eclipse, “the biggest little star in the universe”.

New Space Mountain Lighting

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After years of waiting, LED lighting was finally installed on the exterior of Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom and it looks fantastic!

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MagicBand Interactivity Returns

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Right after we reported that they were off, many interactive elements returned to the Magic Kingdom. The goodbye at “it’s a small world” was turned on, but has still been breaking a lot.

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Stitch’s Great Escape is Closed!

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Starting Sunday, Stitch’s Great Escape now operates seasonally. The attraction will return for two short stretches at the end of 2016, but after that it should close to make way for a Wreck-It Ralph ride.

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Tomorrowland Rocks

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Work on the Tomorrowland rocks is wrapping up.

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The new grass is still rough, but we probably need to give it some time to grow in.

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The ducks decided it was ready for them.

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The Magic Kingdom wildlife was being particularly photogenic.

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Some extensive work is being done to the Express Monorail load platform at the Magic Kingdom, but the service remains open through the work.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

16 Comments

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  • Great photos! But the Disney parks in Florida are a TOTAL disappointment of construction and closures, some of which are obviously to save paying minimum wage to some employees at the expense of the guest experience. Embarrassing. :/

    • OMG!! For someone who is supposedly an “insider”, you have nothing but negative things to say. I challenge you to say one positive things about the parks. If you can’t, maybe it’s time to look for another place with which to associate yourself. I’m guessing Universal could use another individual to bash them.

      • Maybe you should listen instead of bashing the critics. Disney looks like a third world mall under construction.

        The departure from Disney’s policy of maintaining the illusion for the customer inside the park is completely gone. What’s going on in HS and the Dr. Strange meet & greet is the most graphic representation of the lack of care of what Disney stood for.

      • Curt, she’s contributed more to the forum than you have. I happen to agree with her post here. This is ridiculous to close so many areas, and in the photos, the park looks half baked, minus the ducks. More cast members who give a damn need to be involved. The Disney Florida parks are broken. I get it. There’s dozens of folks here who work for Disney who challenge anything truthful or not flattering and post comments such as yours, and there’s some suckers of a sheep who just don’t know better and with their weight higher than their IQ. Whichever you are, go away Curt.

        • David,
          Longevity on a website will always equal a greater number of posts. I don’t disagree that the construction issues are a huge debacle, but when was the last time you saw something positive about Disney come from her “contributions”? I was simply pointing out that I have never seen anything positive being said by her about Disney. Personally, if I hate a place as much as she appears to, I can see no reason to stay. As for everyone who claims I must work for them, nothing is farther from the truth. I would love to one day work there, but sadly, I’m too far away to do so.

          Telling me to go away because you don’t agree with me is just childish. It would appear that you are the one who is deluded and chooses to read into what I said. If you look back, the only thing I did was challenge a very negative person to say something positive or leave an unpleasant situation. I would think that more people would appreciate positivity in this world. Obviously you are not one of those people, so maye you should go away.

        • Curt and Sam must share bunk beds over in Lake Bryan (where the Disney CP interns live who are hired to monitor the boards). Nothing negative in my post. Reality boys. Have some love for Disney for crying out loud! It’s truly embarrassing how we’ve cut to the bone. My just ‘statused’ manager was awarded for having a DVC family trespassed for not ‘complying and move over an inch fast enough to get in more guests fast enough and gave back talk’. There’s something positive for ya if follow the Disney mantra! Just not positive in my book. We can do better. It’s not all about efficiency and cutting back. These are people paying to come visit the parks for an experience.

          • Lisa…nothing constructive to say except to pan other posters. What a tool. I’m becoming convinced Disney has some real low life employees posting online toward anyone posting anything less than shining.

  • The rocks and sod where ducks are looks so trashy. And for a 45th anniversary, aside from a bite of cupcake, Disney really low keyed this one, seems they couldn’t care much less any more. We’ll skip the Disney parks and will just go enjoy the beaches this Florida vacation and watch their new Pirates movie. Is only place Disney putting any money and creativity now a days is movies. :)

  • Making such a big deal over a “45th” anniversary is laughable. I don’t blame Disney for it, because why shouldn’t they take advantage?
    But why on Earth would people line up for an hour in celebration of “45” years?
    This stuff is meaningless almost immediately after purchase.
    Who cares if you were there for such an insignificant date?

    I understand the importance of the 50th.
    But “45th???
    Cmon.

    • I believe it means that it isn’t a limited edition and that it will be available until it’s discontinued.

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