Throwback Thursday: WDW 25th Anniversary

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Castle-Cake from the Skyway

When I think about my childhood at Walt Disney World, I always think back to the 25th Anniversary Celebration. It was a 15-month celebration commemorating the first 25 years of the Walt Disney World Resort. The celebration took place between October 1, 1996 and January 1, 1998 and was centered around the Magic Kingdom. The theme song for the celebration was Remember the Magic and whenever that song comes on my ipod I am instantly transported back to Main Street, looking at the Castle Cake.

The Imagineers transformed Cinderella Castle into a giant, pink cake adorned with 25 candles, one for each year of Magic. I know many Disney fans hated the Castle Cake, but as an 8 year old girl I thought it was awesome! I’m sure the 8 year old boys thought it was ugly, but despite what other fans think, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

When you walked into Main Street USA you could visit the 25th Anniversary Welcome Center where you could tell a cast member the date of our first visit and get a “guest of honor” badge to celebrate past visitors.

Disney also rolled out a new parade for the occasion, “Remember the Magic” was a new daytime parade with a stop-motion twist. There were six floats, each with a different interactive experience. The parade began with the Remember the Magic float where guests danced with the Fairy Godmother and other royal dancers while a sparkling castle glittered on the float.  The Little Mermaid’s Undersea Float had guests doing the Conga to “Under the Sea”. Guests waltzed with Cogsworth on the Beauty and the Beast Float. On the Lion King Float guests marched beside the savanna animals while “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” played. Aladdin’s Treasure Float had guests dancing to “Prince Ali” and “One Jump Ahead”. On the largest float, Enchanted Forest, popular Disney characters led guests in a grand waltz while fireworks shot out of the float.

Outside the Magic Kingdom, Epcot debuted Illuminations: 25. This show utilized the same components of the original Illuminations but with four more fireworks barges, a new new story line, new music, and new programming. There were actually two versions of the show, the first one lasted until 1997 and is known for its non-classical soundtrack including music from The Lion King. The second version had a soundtrack that was more like the original Illuminations but kept the hardware from version A. This version remained until 1999, when Reflections of Earth debuted.

What are your memories of the 25th Anniversary Celebration? Did you hate the Castle Cake? 

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3 Responses to Throwback Thursday: WDW 25th Anniversary

  1. Safari Mike says:

    I miss the skyway

    the castle cake not so much

  2. Ashleigh says:

    I know, I’m in the minority on that one :)

  3. Safari Mike says:

    Thats ok. U were 8. I was 26

    ugh. now im depressed. stupid cake castle

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