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How It Started vs. How It’s Going at Walt Disney World® Resort

before and after of Cinderellas castle at Walt Disney World

Since opening in 1971, Walt Disney World® Resort has delighted generations of Guests. To celebrate the Walt Disney World® Resort 50th Anniversary, we’ve gathered flashback photos from the earliest days, along with photos from today that show how the enchantment has grown. Many of the iconic attractions from opening day are still going strong, like Country Bear Jamboree, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and the fan favorites shown below.

Visit these wonders in person and join The World’s Most Magical Celebration, an 18-month event kicked off on October 1, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World® Resort. Receive special vacation financing on select Disney vacation packages purchased with your Disney® Visa® Credit Card.1

Cinderella Castle

Cinderella Castle welcomed the first visitors to Magic Kingdom® Park and has become an instantly recognizable symbol for Walt Disney World® Resort ever since. For the 50th anniversary celebration, this icon has received a dazzling look featuring the all new prismatic treatment, EARidescence. Visit to see Cinderella Castle shimmering with vibrant hues and gold detailing by day and illuminating the park as one of the four Beacons of Magic by night.

Main Street, U.S.A.®

Since day one, Main Street, U.S.A.® has provided the perfect entrance to lead Guests into the excitement with its quaint American charm. Now, it’s home to dining destinations like the Crystal Palace, as well as extraordinary shopping destinations like the Emporium, the largest gift and souvenir shop in Magic Kingdom® Park, where Cardmembers can save 10% on select merchandise purchases of $50 or more when using the Disney Visa Card.23

Haunted Mansion

Disney fans of all ages count this wickedly fun attraction among their all-time favorites, singing along with “Grim Grinning Ghosts” and reciting the Ghost Host narration by heart. Though many of the effects and designs have remained the same over the past 50 years, you’ll notice some updates as you ride the Doom Buggy, such as the addition of a PhotoPass opportunity and a glamorous new look for the Hatbox Ghost.

Jungle Cruise

This comfortable boat ride past exotic views and animal encounters has been cruising through the decades, with many of the popular puns and Dad-worthy jokes being added over the years. The storyline has changed and expanded, and in 2015, a Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant opened. Be sure to check out Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen and remember to use your Disney Visa Card to save 10% on your meal there most days.24

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

A Disney vacation has always been even more memorable when you stay at a Disney hotel, including the tropical fun of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This popular destination provides an immersive, colorful atmosphere, including the beloved tiki bar, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and counter service at Pineapple Lanai, where you can redeem Disney Rewards Dollars toward trying the iconic DOLE Whip®.5

Mad Tea Party

When you’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World® Resort, you can celebrate your Unbirthday, too! The spinning teacups inspired by the classic animated feature Alice in Wonderland have offered Guests timeless twists and turns in Fantasyland from the very first day.

Come join the fun at The World’s Most Magical Celebration and walk in the footsteps of 50 years of Guests when you enjoy these classic attractions and more. And during your vacation, remember to treat yourself to some savings when using your Disney Visa Card at select dining locations where you can receive 10% off most days.24


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Disney® Premier Visa® Card

NEW CARDMEMBERS CAN

EARN A $300

STATEMENT CREDIT

after spending $1000 on purchases in the
first 3 months from account opening.6

NEW CARDMEMBERS CAN

EARN A $300

STATEMENT CREDIT

after spending $1000 on purchases
in the first 3 months from
account opening.6

NEW CARDMEMBERS CAN

EARN A $300

STATEMENT CREDIT

after spending $1000 on purchases
in the first 3 months from
account opening.6

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