The Magic of Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebrations Will Begin As Soon As You Land at Orlando Airport

The terminal train stations at the airport will be complete with a new mural featuring favorite Disney characters.

As Walt Disney World gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Orlando International Airport is getting a magical makeover in time for the festivities.

When guests fly into the hub this fall, they'll be greeted by a festive display, complete with a mural, lights, and photo booth.

The terminal train stations at the airport will be complete with a new mural featuring favorite Disney characters and passengers will "walk through a glistening glow of projected EARidescent light patterns," according to a Disney Parks blog post.

An "immersive photo opportunity" at the airport will let Disney fans experience the theme park before they even get there, with a recreation of a Disney ride vehicle.

"Collaborating on a commemorative presence at Florida's busiest airport means we get to be the first moment of celebration for guests flying into Orlando to be part of the spectacular fanfare," Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said in Disney's announcement.

The airport will also open a "Magic of Disney" store in its south terminal in 2022.

Meanwhile, some flourishes are also popping up at Walt Disney World itself. The Cinderella Castle recently received a makeover, with touches of gold bunting and golden embellishments around the castle. It also now sports a large 50th-anniversary crest, just above its main entrance.

The Disney World 50th anniversary celebrations will officially kick off in the theme parks on Oct. 1 and carry on for 18 months. Guests will be able to see tons of new anniversary programming, including two new nighttime spectaculars when they visit.

Attractions like the Tree of Life and the Hollywood Tower Hotel will sport a new nighttime glow and characters' costumes will have 50th-anniversary touches of gold.

The theme park is also running a contest through Oct. 1 that allows you to nominate a "Magic Maker" doing good in your community to win a free trip to Disney for its 50th celebrations.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at

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