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The Happiest Celebration on Earth

Events at Walt Disney World, Florida

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Walt Disney World Happiest photo

All four parks at Walt Disney World feature new, imported attractions for the 50th anniversary.

Arthur Levine, 2005. Licensed to About.com.
Disneyland may be the park where it all began and the focal point of the 50th anniversary event, but Disney World has joined the festivities with a slew of new attractions, including...

Disney-MGM Studios: Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

Imported from Disneyland Paris, this ambitious new stadium show is in the spirit of the Indiana Jones stage show. The focus is on car and motorcycle stunts instead of Nazi warplanes and giant rolling balls, but like Indy, the show includes copious explosions and death-defying moments.Check out my review of Lights, Motors, Action! and my Lights, Motors, Action! photo gallery.

Epcot: Soarin' and Turtle Talk with Crush

Florida guests can now experience the wonderful Soarin' Over California that has been wowing audiences at Disney's California Adventure park. Located in The Land pavilion, the attraction simulates hang gliding by lifting riders forty feet into the air on a motion base, with their feet dangling, and gently moving them in synch with projected images of famous California landmarks. Read my Soarin' ride review.

Although it debuted a few months before the Happiest Celebration and is not officially part of the 50th anniversary event, Turtle Talk with Crush, located inside The Living Seas pavilion, is a must-see. In classic Disney fashion, its real-time animation is an astonishing breakthrough in Imagineering technology that is wrapped around an engaging, delightful story. Crush, the surfer-dude from "Finding Nemo," is utterly convincing as he interacts with audience members.

The Magic Kingdom: Cinderellabration

If the pumped-up mayhem of Lights, Motors, Action! is intended for boys (and men with the dominant let's-blow-something-up gene--which is to say all men), then girls can get their sugar-and-spice-and-all-things-nice show with this new stage presentation. Picking up where the 1950 film ended, the show features Cinderella's coronation as an official princess. All together now: "Awwwwwwwww." On hand to cheer the newly crowned Cindy are other Disney royalty, including Snow White, Aurora ("Sleeping Beauty"), Belle ("Beauty and the Beast"), Jasmine ("Aladdin"), and, of course, one beaming fairy godmother. This show originated at Tokyo Disneyland.

Disney's Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest

Another mountain coaster is coming to Disney World, and this one sounds like it will hit new peaks. The E-ticket ride will feature an adventure through the Himalayan Mountains in pursuit of the elusive yeti. Like the Revenge of the Mummy coasters at the Universal parks, the trains on Expedition Everest will reverse direction for parts of the ride. See my Expedition Everest Ride Review for more info.

Other Walt Disney World Developments

The wonderful Typhoon Lagoon water park recently opened Crush 'n' Gusher, a complex of three uphill water coasters.

Effective January 1, 2006, Disney revamped its ticketing prices and policies. Its one-day ticket soared to $63, but a new 10-day option offers incredible value. It may be a little confusing to sort through all of the choices, but I've pulled together a feature, Walt Disney World Prices Go Up...and Down, to help you decode the pricing program, save some money, and find the best deal for your vacation.

To coincide with the kick-off of the "Happiest Celebration on Earth," the resort introduced its new "Magical Express" service. One of the hassles of a Walt Disney World vacation is getting from Orlando International Airport to your hotel. But Disney has removed most of the hassle and all of the costs for guests staying on-property by offering complimentary motor coaches to shuttle them from and back to the airport. The service also allows guests to bypass the baggage carousel and check in for their return flights at their hotels. Read Your (Free) Magic Carpet Awaits for more info about this innovative, intriguing new value-added benefit.

Walt Disney World's Happiest Celebration on Earth Photo Gallery

Next page: The Happiest Celebration on Earth at Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong Parks

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