One of my most memorable visits to Walt Disney World was in August of 1982. It was an amazing week. The resort was in the final weeks of commemorating its ten year anniversary, the Tencennial celebration that had begun the prior October. Within a few days, Walt Disney World will be marking it 35th Anniversary; it’s hard to believe that twenty-five years have passed since we were invited to “come celebrate a decade of dreams.”
Here’s how a newspaper advertising supplement from 1981 described the festivities:
“How many birthday parties have you been to in your lifetime?
Count 'em all up and put 'em all together, and they still can't compare to the one waiting for you all year long during the Walt Disney World Tencennial birthday celebration. Without spoiling any surprises, here's a sneak preview of what's in store each and every day for the next 12 months.
The Parade! An all-out, no-holds-barred spectacular saluting each of the themed lands in the Magic Kingdom. Main Street. Adventureland. Liberty Square. Frontierland. Tomorrowland. Fantasyland. All represented as one of the largest parades in Disney history winds its way through the Magic Kingdom with over 25O performers singing, dancing and creating musical magic every step of the way.
The Show! To let you know "Walt Disney World is Your World," the very talented Kids of the Kingdom bring each land to life in a spirited 3O-minute musical. The zany Disney characters lend a helping hand to create a show so entertaining and complete, you'll wonder whether you're in the Magic Kingdom or in a theatre on Broadway.
The Party! Twice a day every day, more than 1OO Disney characters, dancers and musicians ask you to "Come Follow the Band" from Town Square to Cinderella Castle for a royal birthday party to end all birthday parties! At the Castle Forecourt, you'll be right in the middle of it all — the singing, the dancing, the fun. And every party's capped off with a grand balloon release, an exhilarating sky-wash
It's the Walt Disney World Tencennial, a yearlong, smile-wide party. The happiest celebration in the history of the World!”
It seems pretty tame compared to the Happiest Celebration on Earth or the Year of a Million Dreams, but it was a great time none the less.