Happy Birthday Magic Kingdom and EPCOT

October 1st is a very important day in the history of Walt Disney World.  It is a birthday for two of the four parks: Walt Disney World (opened October 1, 1971) and EPCOT (opened October 1, 1982).  These parks helped make Walt Disney World into what it is today.  A couple of years ago, my family lucked into having our vacation coincide with the 40th birthday of the Magic Kingdom.  I wanted to take some time, today, to share some our experiences on that day.


We stayed at Boardwalk for this vacation so we needed to take a bus to Magic Kingdom.  The buses ran on an increased schedule and we made sure to plan for extra time getting to the parks.  There was a large backup getting into the bus stations because of all the extra buses but we still made it in time for rope drop.

A very crowded rope drop
A very crowded rope drop

Rope drop was a typical rope drop with very few 40th birthday touches.  Once we made our inside, we were lucky enough to get our photo taken with The Mayor.

Photo with the Mayor

After our photo, we wanted to watch the morning show for the 40th birthday.  We grabbed a less crowded place back by Crystal Palace since we had a camera with an excellent zoom lens.  We didn’t need a spot close to the action.

40th birthday banner
40th birthday banner

No celebration at the Magic Kingdom is complete without the Fairy Godmother.

Morning show #2

After watching the show, which started at 10 am I believe, we headed into the Magic Kingdom for some attraction time.  We stayed until around lunch time.  The park, by then, had gotten really crowded so we escaped back to our room at Boardwalk for some rest and to take some pictures of our swag.

40th birthday ears
40th birthday ears
40th birthday pins
40th birthday pins
Opening day map of the Magic Kingdom
Opening day map of the Magic Kingdom

After a brief stop in EPCOT, we made our back to the Magic Kingdom for the nighttime festivities.  The park, now, was extremely crowded.  The most crowded that my wife and I had ever seen.  It was nearly impossible to move.  We stopped for a couple of minutes to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade but we knew we had to keep moving down Main Street if we wanted any sort of view for Wishes.

We found a spot by Crystal Palace again.  This time, we were not alone.  There were swarms people all along the walkways just trying to move or find a piece of real estate to watch the show.  The cast members did their best to keep traffic moving.  Because of the crowds, we rented a stroller for our daughter so she didn’t get crushed by the crowds.  We got some excellent shots of Wishes but I wanted to share just one to show how large the crowd was.

Wishes 40th anniversary


After the show, it was a good 30 to 45 minutes before we could move to make our way back to Main Street and exit the park.  If you ask me, it was this event that prompted some of the changes to the traffic flow around the Hub.  There was just no where for people to go.  We were right up against the walkway and there was still 10 to 12 rows of people behind us.

Does Disney have anything in store for the 45th birthday?  I doubt it.  I believe they will putting all their efforts into the 50th birthday in 2021.  I would guess that the 50th birthday will be a year-long celebration with some extra special touches on October 1, 2021.

Were you there on the 40th birthday?  Were you there on a different birthday celebration?  What was your experience like?  Drop us a comment here, or on the Facebook group, or on twitter. 

Thanks for reading!

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