Welcome (or welcome back) to 40 Days to 40 Years; a series that records 40 years of magical memories through the eyes of nearly 40 magical Disney bloggers. We are rapidly approaching the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, and today, our guest author Melissa of Disney on Wheels, will take us back to the 25th Anniversary during the year 1997.
In 1997 I was a senior in high school, getting ready for graduation and college. My family had been to Walt Disney World together several times but we had not been since 1993. I decided to ask for a trip for my graduation gift in the hopes that my parents couldn’t say no. Turns out, they couldn’t.
I found this commercial on YouTube, I think it was made me want to visit.
In 1997, Walt Disney World celebrated its 25th anniversary. “Remember the Magic” was the slogan that was used and was also the name of the anniversary parade in the Magic Kingdom. Of course one of the biggest parts of the celebration was the transformation of Cinderella Castle into a giant, pink birthday cake. I thought it was really cool but I could understand how you could be upset if it was your first visit, or your first visit in a long time, and you didn’t get to see the castle in all of its glory.
Also located at the Magic Kingdom was a 25th Anniversary Welcome Center. You could view a film called Mickey’s Magic Memories where you were able to get a sneak peek of Disney’s upcoming projects like the Animal Kingdom. Guests could also register their name and first visit to receive a special badge with the year of your first visit as well as a commemorative lithograph. My mom gave me our families this year.
Another big part of 1997 was the beginning of Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s MGM Studios. I had actually never realized I was there for an official Star Wars weekend until I started looking through pictures earlier this year. It wasn’t as grand of an affair as it is now, but we got to meet several characters and for a geek like me, it was a dream come true.
That trip was one of my favorites because of the anniversary celebration. There seemed to be a special type of magic in the air. It was also one of the last trips my family took together. I left for college, my sister a few years later, so it became more difficult to find the time or the money. But I will always have the memories from that trip and hopefully we will all have the chance to remember the magic together again.
This Anniversary certainly was a highlight in Walt Disney World’s history. Who could forget the “castle cake controversy”? My goodness, did sparks fly! Thank you for bringing us these photos Melissa. I’d love to take a poll amongst the series followers- YAY or nay on the castle cake?? Melissa (@disneyonwheels) is basking in the light of Cinderella Castle as you read this post. What some Disney bloggers won’t do in the name of research…
My co-host, Beth of Pursuing the Magic and The Magical Blogorail, and I are honored to welcome the creator of WDW Fan Zone, Stuart @DisneyGeekDad, to the series tomorrow. The 20th century at Walt Disney World is winding down! Be sure not to miss 1998.