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Disney World 40th Anniversary Celebration At The Magic Kingdom

On Saturday October 1, 2011 the Magic Kingdom was buzzing with excitement on what would have normally been a relatively slow day.  Instead Disney World fans made their way to the Magic Kingdom to be part of history.  This Saturday marked the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Walt Disney World Resort.

You could sense the excitement of the guests as they packed the entrance to the Magic Kingdom to make sure that they were there for the park opening.  The opening was not much out of the ordinary, but they did reference the fact that it was the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World and there was a small banner declaring: "Celebrating 40 Magical Years Magic Kingdom Park."

The day was as much or more about the fans than it was a day of Disney celebration.  Everywhere you turned you saw custom made T-shirts to mark the day.  Many creative people came up with cool designs to mark the day.  There were also people dressed in 70's attire to pay homage to the original 1971 opening of the park.

The fans were definitely there to help Disney celebrate, as opposed to being there because Disney was holding a big party or giving things away.

Each visitor that was there at opening received a special 40th Anniversary Button and there was also a special Park Guide created just for this day.  Both are pictured above.

The highlight of the day for a special ceremony at 10:00 am to formally celebrate the marking of the 40th Anniversary on the stage in front of Cinderella Castle.  It was kicked off by a mini-parade down Main Street U.S.A. that paid tribute to the previous Anniversary Celebrations of Disney World.

The parade was filled was all of our favorite Disney Characters from Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse to Woody and Jessie.  All of the Disney Princesses were escorted by their princes.  The parade also included signs marking the previous milestone anniversaries that were previously celebrated at The Walt Disney World Resort.

Meg Crofton, Walt Disney World President, was the keynote speaker and she delivered a nice speech that paid tribute to the one who's imagination led to it all, but never had the chance to see Disney World become a reality: Walt Disney.

Magic Kingdom Vice President Phil Holmes, who was a Cast Member that worked at the Haunted Mansion on opening day related a touching story about that first day and paid tribute to the Disney Cast Members and the work they do to make a visit to Disney World special for all guests.

The ceremony closed with the Dapper Dans leading the crowd in singing "When You Wish Upon A Star."

This was certainly a day to celebrate, as one of the moved loved places in the United States, if not the world, celebrated it's 40th Birthday!

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