25th Anniversary

Walt Disney World Resort Guests Can Expect 'E-Ticket' Year With 25th Anniversary Kickoff Oct. 1

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Twenty-five years ago, an E-ticket was a coveted coupon promising high-energy thrills for Walt Disney World Resort guests. This fall, as the world's Vacation Kingdom launches its gala 25th Anniversary celebration, the coupons may be gone but the thrills are just beginning for a 15-month-long "E-ticket" celebration like none other in Disney history.

When Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971, an exciting new era in tourism was launched.

Beginning this Oct. 1 and continuing through Dec. 31, 1997, millions of Disney guests past and present will experience the magic that began with a mouse and became the world's most popular resort destination. Past guests will be honored and Disney newcomers will be on hand to enjoy the festivities that include:

Cinderella Castle Cake. It's pink and white and glowing all over with 25 candles representing each year of magic. The famed Magic Kingdom icon, at 185 feet tall, is transformed into the world's largest anniversary confection. And that's just icing on the cake.

"Remember the Magic" Parade. Every day in the Magic Kingdom, hundreds of Disney guests will go from spectators to participants in this brand-new interactive parade featuring colorful floats inspired by "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast," "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin" and "Snow White."

25th Anniversary Welcome Center. So you say you've been to Walt Disney World once, twice, 200 times before? The Magic Kingdom will welcome past guests, including world leaders and celebrities, in this new Main Street, U.S.A. location. Here, past guests will be recognized. Memorabilia and a film about the past and future of the Walt Disney World Resort will create an entertaining new attraction. A planned multi-city U.S. tour this fall will kick off a campaign to seek out all former visitors.

"IllumiNations 25". With pyrotechnic perfection, Disney launches a special anniversary edition of its most popular nighttime spectacle. Set to the festive music of many nations, "IllumiNations 25" combines soaring sound, lasers and fireworks that fill the sky over World Showcase lagoon in Epcot with colorful images of festivals worldwide. The finale is a grand "Circle of Life" sky show of pyrotechnic pictures choreographed to the Oscar-winning song from "The Lion King."

Mickey's Toontown Fair. Goofy's barnstorming roller coaster takes the young (and young-at-heart) on a thrilling adventure that doesn't end when the ride stops. Designed as the place to meet popular Disney characters, Toontown Fair in the Magic Kingdom features Minnie Mouse's interactive bungalow and Mickey's new house, as well. Donald Duck's boat is a fountain of fun and a cool way to beat the mid-day heat. Big-top tents feature favorite Disney characters in a whimsical country fair setting.

"Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame: A Musical Adventure". This heart-warming stage hit based on Disney's latest animated film tells the story of bell-ringer Quasimodo and the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda in 15th-century Paris. A cast of Medieval puppets and 21 actors perform to the powerful soundtrack by award-winning composer Alan Menken and Broadway lyricist Stephen Schwartz that was recorded for the show by 75 members of the London Symphony Orchestra.

ESPN StoreESPN Disney's BoardWalk. The sights, sounds and flavor of the Mid-Atlantic coast circa 1930 are revived in this waterfront village eaturing Disney's BoardWalk Inn and BoardWalk Villas (910 rooms and suites), ESPN Club, the old-style dance hall Atlantic Dance, dueling-pianos club Jellyrolls, a brew pub, first-rate dining and, of course, an authentic boardwalk bordering Crescent Lake. Pizza or taffy, anyone?

World of Disney. The world's largest Disney store -- just 10 yards short of a football field -- features 12 shopping areas themed to classic Disney films, a 25-foot-high plush-toy "mountain" and a whimsical display of giant flying machines with Disney character pilots. Located at Disney Village Marketplace, World of Disney is a shopper's paradise, with more than 8,000 pieces of character merchandise.

"SpectroMagic". Throughout the 15-month-long celebration, the crown jewel of light parades, "SpectroMagic," will roll nightly down Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom (except during special ticketed events). "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks also will be performed nightly.

Grand Floridian Spa & Health Club. A healthy menu of massages, manicures, body therapies and other treatments provide grand-scale pampering with emphasis on wellness at the newest Walt Disney World Resort spa. The 9,000-square-foot spa carries the Victorian theme of Disney's Grand Floridian Beach Resort and even offers a special spa menu for children featuring kids' massages and mini facials.

Backstage Pass to 101 Dalmatians. The dog days of summer give way to a frisky fall at Disney-MGM Studios, where props, sets and special effects from this fall's long-awaited Walt Disney Pictures' live-action release, "101 Dalmatians," are on display for film buffs. Guests on this backstage tour can see special effects such as mechanical Dalmatian puppets and the mansion facade of Cruella DeVil, played in the film by Glenn Close.

Ariel's Grotto. A mermaid's paradise is also a great place for a photo op. The lush lagoon setting in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom gives guests a chance to meet "The Little Mermaid" character, Ariel, and then cool off in the interactive leap-frog fountain spouting between sea sponges.

Rainforest Café. Great food in the midst of a "tropical rainforest" complete with an active volcano, cascading waterfalls, playful primates, fluttering butterflies and the occasional rain shower make Rainforest Café a "Wild Place to Shop and Eat." The 550-seat environmentally friendly cafe and retail shop is open lakeside at Downtown Disney.

Coming to Epcot next spring will be Test Track, presented by General Motors, to be the longest, fastest attraction ever built at Walt Disney World Resort. Also next spring, the multi-million dollar Walt Disney World Sports Complex opens as the premier sports destination for athletes and spectators alike. The complex will be the training site of The Harlem Globetrotters and in 1998 will become spring training home of the Atlanta Braves.

For more information about Walt Disney World Resorts, call 407-824-4321 or visit their home page on the World Wide Web. For reservations, call 407-W-DISNEY or your travel agent.

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