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Walt Disney World Memories: Roy O. Disney dedicates the resort


Walt Disney World Resort officially welcomed the first guests to Magic Kingdom Park on October 1, 1971, and we’ve been chronicling this momentous day here at the Disney Parks blog as part of the most magical celebration of the world in honor of the 50th anniversary of the complex.th birthday. However, it wasn’t until a few weeks later, on October 25, today 50 years ago, that Walt Disney’s older brother, Roy O. Disney, officially dedicated the resort. I recently passed through Main Street, USA, to visit the place where this special moment took place.

The dedication was part of a big three-day opening weekend celebration held October 23-25. Celebrities, guests from around the world and thousands of members of the Disney cast were in attendance to mark this milestone.

At 2 pm on Monday, October 25, 1971, Roy read the dedication while standing behind a podium flanked by the only Mickey Mouse:

“Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney … and to the talents, dedication and loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney’s dream come true. May Walt Disney World contribute joy, inspiration and new knowledge to all who come to this happy place … a Magical Kingdom where young people of all ages can laugh, play and learn, together “.

Immediately after Roy’s statements, the grand official opening parade took place on Main Street, USA, with a small band, Disney characters and toy soldiers heading to Cinderella Castle.

Then the Herald Trumpeters of the U.S. Army Band sounded to announce the arrival of a 1,076-member music band led by Meredith Willson, composer of “The Music Man,” and made up of many students. of Central Florida High School. A mass choir soon appeared on the castle stage to join the band on “When You Wish Upon A Star.”

I could almost hear the parties 50 years later while I was at the place where Roy and Mickey were.

Looking up for a moment, I saw Roy’s window above the Main Street patisserie. This honorary recognition was added to the store in the mid-1980s. It is perfectly located to receive guests as they enter the park.

Years later, on October 25, 1999, a special statue of Roy was dedicated to Minnie Mouse, entitled “Sharing the Magic,” near the site where Roy read the original dedication from 1971. The sculpture was created by Disney legend Blaine Gibson, who also made the “Partners” statue of Walt and Mickey a few years earlier.

Today, in front of the City Hall is the statue “Sharing magic”. Look closely and you’ll see Roy grab Minnie’s hand underneath, a look at how he supported his brother throughout their story together. And now there are two more special statues in Magic Kingdom Park, as near Cinderella Castle, gilded sculptures of Mickey and Minnie are dedicated to past, present and future cast members in honor of the 50s.th birthday.

Five decades later, I am admired for the leadership of Roy Disney and the cast members who helped create the place where I work now. His passion, dedication and talent made Walt Disney World Resort what it is today, and I look forward to highlighting his accomplishments in the coming months as we continue with the most magical celebration in the world. Keep checking us out here on the Disney Parks blog and follow #DisneyWorld50 on social media channels as we chronicle this milestone in our history.





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