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Disney World's 50th Anniversary at Magic Kingdom

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

Visiting Magic Kingdom on its 50th anniversary date is for crazy people and we were those crazy people. More on the crazy stories later, but wait for it.

Our day started by taking a taxi over to The Polynesian Resort for breakfast. The bridge to the resort was already backed up, but lucky for us we had an awesome cab driver. Once he saw the traffic he veered right to enter Magic Kingdom and then we took lesser known back roads to the Polynesian. Breakfast was at Ohana. It’s a family style meal of ham, scrambled eggs, fruit, breakfast potatoes, and of course Disney waffles. The food was very good, but didn’t compete with my favorite breakfast place: Boma.

Our Ohana breakfast.
Ohana at The Polynesian Resort

We then headed to Magic Kingdom by monorail. Upon entering the park, we were given special 50th anniversary park maps. The park was already pretty busy and I was worried about long waits. It turns out the long waits were reserved for shopping at the Emporium and all popcorn stands. Those 50th anniversary popcorn buckets are a hot commodity. Hot popcorn at 9:30am on a very sunny and hot day just seemed wrong. No popcorn or popcorn buckets for us. We made our way to the opposite side of the park from a couple days ago. Jungle Cruise was first up. We received our return time and then kept Colton moving through The Swiss Family Treehouse…twice. Then a quick detour to the flying carpets. I watched the behind the attractions documentary about the Jungle Cruise ride on the plane ride to Orlando. Knowing some history about it made it even more enjoyable. I asked my son if he wanted to go on a log ride or on a fast train and he said log ride so off to Splash Mountain we went! There was essentially no wait and Colton rode it like a champ! He really enjoyed the ride. Disney is changing the theming of this ride soon so it was really nice to ride it one more time before it changes. We then headed to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. There were a couple loud parts that I needed to cover Colton’s ears but overall he really enjoyed this one too.

Park maps given on Oct. 1, 2021
Disney's 50th Anniversary

It was very hot today and Colton was getting thirsty at this point. He wanted chocolate milk, but we weren’t near a place that sold any so we settled on a strawberry fruit popsicle. After devouring it he wanted to ride the buzz light year ride again so we made our way to Tomorrowland. That ride is a family favorite! We then went on a first for me ride, Astro Orbitors. The main appeal for this ride was the elevator ride up. Colton loves elevators.

The park was packed with people, but we weren’t experiencing anything that reflected the madness of the 50th anniversary celebration. That was about to change with lunch. We found a bench in the shade in Tomorrowland and we began browsing the options. Most quick-service restaurants had special meals and snacks for the anniversary. We settled on Casey’s Corner. It was 1:30pm and the next window was for 2:05pm. A little long, but not too bad…So I thought. After placing the order, we made our way to the restaurant and started to wait for our window. We stood around and eventually a couple sat down near us with a tray full of food. I asked them how long it took to get their food. They told us an hour after their pickup time. 🙊 No way Colton was going to make it that long so we ordered ice creams to hold us over. Lucky we did! Our order was finally ready at 3:30pm. Yikes! Next, finding a place to eat the food was whole other battle. I ordered one of the special hot dogs topped with strawberry jam and funnel cake pieces. It was nice! As much as I enjoyed the food, it was a reminder for why we normally make dining reservations. Sit down meals are 1000x better in my opinion.

We left Casey’s not really knowing what we’d do next. We headed towards the main spoke of Magic Kingdom and already 5.5 hours before the night show was to begin, several people had claimed their spots for fireworks so we claimed an area too.

The Disney App requires a lot of power, and my phone was pretty much dead. No worries, I thought. I packed my FuelRod to charge my phone. As I opened my bag, I realized I forgot the cable! Next was operation find a cable to buy. Well apparently Disney does not sell them anywhere in the park including Tomorrowland Power Company 🙉. I didn’t want to buy another fuel rod, but I knew they came with a small cable. There is a FuelRod station in Tomorrowland but it was out! I dreaded the next store: The Emporium. This store is the largest in Magic Kingdom and had been packed with a huge line to enter for hours. I got in line and eventually found the FuelRod station. Also empty. It was looking more and more like my phone was just going to be dead. I’m okay with not having a phone. I’m not okay with not being able to order dinner! I checked one last store and finally found a FuelRod station that worked in the theater on Main Street.

On my quest for a charger, Colton and Brian camped out at our spot in front of the castle. I returned to camp and collected Colton to ride more things. We headed to Fantasyland to ride the carousel and Little Mermaid ride then I got a text from Brian. He said it was starting to get crowded and he needed the stroller to establish our space. So we returned. We weren’t hungry, but based on our lunch order I knew we needed to plan for dinner. After the fireworks was going to be way too late to eat. We decided on pizza.

Ordering food was challenging because with so many people around the castle, cell service was getting dicey. It took several attempts, but I placed the order! We waited until our window opened but no cell service to check us in for food so Colton and I went on a quest for cell service. The plan was to head to The restaurant and tell them we couldn’t use the app. Eventually the app worked and we were checked in. Colton was growing tired of waiting so we rode it’s a small world while we waited. As we got off the ride, my phone dinged for our food order.

After packing up the food, Colton and I headed back to Brian. We got in front of the castle and it was madness. It was a sea of people and no paths were cleared. In one hand I held three pizzas and the other hand I held Colton’s hand. We nicely pushed our way through. It was incredible tough, but eventually we made it back! We ate and waited until 9pm for the show. The show was incredible although it did seem like a lot less fireworks then my all time favorite Wishes show. By this time we were exhausted but we lingered for an hour so we weren’t leaving with the masses. Tomorrow we head to Epcot!

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