For 2 Minutes Last Night, Disney World Captured Nostalgia That Was Missing From 50th Anniversary

    Last night, Disney introduced a new segment to the Disney Enchantment fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. The new intro matches nostalgic imagery with video and audio from Walt and Roy Disney before Mickey Mouse comes on to introduce the fireworks show. Here’s our video of the intro, followed by the transcript.

    ANGELA BASSETT: Good evening. Tonight, we gather in a most enchanted kingdom. One overflowing with magic. And once upon a time, it all began with a dream.

    James W. Rouse (from E.P.C.O.T. film): Yesterday, Disneyland and the New York World’s Fair. Tomorrow, a project so vast it’s already been called a whole new Disney World.

    WALT DISNEY: As you can see on this map, we have a perfect location in Florida. There’s enough land here to hold all the ideas and plans you can possibly imagine.

    [Attraction music snippets from Pirates of the Caribbean, “it’s a small world”, Haunted Mansion, Carousel of Progress]

    ROY DISNEY: Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney. May Walt Disney World bring joy and inspiration and new knowledge to all who come to this happy place – a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together. Dedicated this 25th day of October 1971.

    MICKEY MOUSE: Oh boy! This place sure is swell. Some folks like to say it all started with a dream, but you want to know what makes this place really special? It’s you! Each and every one of you. Anytime you set foot here, you leave this place brighter than it was before because you are the magic!

    With this new intro, Disney executives did two things. First, importantly, they admitted that Disney Enchantment fell short of its intended purpose. It’s not every day that a Magic Kingdom fireworks show receives a change like this – especially during a major anniversary. Enchantment was brought to Magic Kingdom as a replacement for the fan-favorite Happily Ever After firework show, but it was introduced on October 1, 2021. The debut date meant that expectations were that it would be the 50th Anniversary fireworks show. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to that expectation. Instead, critics of the show were quick to point out that the show lacked the type of heart that Happily Ever After had, and it had zero nostalgia for Walt Disney World.

    The second thing this new intro does is it shows that Disney is not only willing to change, but also listen. Disney has sent survey after survey asking guests to share their opinions of Disney Enchantment and the 50th Anniversary celebration as a whole. This new intro shows that willingness to change as well as Disney’s ability to get it right…when they want to. Early indications were that Disney Enchantment was originally filled with more nostalgia – a proper 50th Anniversary show – but that executives wanted something that would last beyond the 50th Anniversary. Something more evergreen. They ultimately produced something that was so detached from the 50th Anniversary that the entire show missed the mark for a lot of guests hoping for something that would celebrate the history of the resort.

    We’re big fans of this change, but it leaves us wondering what if. What if Disney Enchantment was different? Would it quiet the voices calling for the return of Happily Ever After? What if Disney would’ve added this intro earlier, would it have made the 50th Anniversary feel more like an…anniversary? What happens next? If this new intro ties an evergreen firework show to the 50th Anniversary, does it make the show less evergreen? Does this intro marry Disney Enchantment to the 50th Anniversary? If it does, does that mean that Enchantment ends on March 31, 2023? How does Happily Ever After tie into the future of Magic Kingdom?

    While we think that this intro makes the show much more enjoyable, we hope to get some answers to our questions in less than three weeks when Disney Parks chief Josh D’Amaro takes the stage at the D23 Expo (September 9-11, 2022).

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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