WATCH: ‘The Most Magical Story on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World’ on ABC

by | Aug 26, 2021 | Magic at Home, Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW News

Can’t make it to Orlando? Be a part of the 50th celebration on Oct. 1 when ABC airs “The Most Magical Story on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or have been locked in a tower by Mother Gothel), you probably know that Oct. 1 marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. It’s going to be a major celebration down in Florida, complete with two new fireworks shows, the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a collection of 50 gold statues around the parks, brand-new merch, the debut of KiteTails, and more.

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But if you can’t be there on the first of October, don’t sweat it. You can still be part of the party.

Just as the opening of Disneyland back in 1955 was broadcast on TV (with more than half of America watching), ABC will air a special on Oct. 1 called “The Most Magical Story on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World.”

A Star-Studded Special

disney legend whoopi goldberg will host the 50 years of walt disney world lookback

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Television

Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg herself will host “The Most Magical Story on Earth,” but she is just one of many stars to join this historic TV special. Christina Aguilera and Halle Bailey will both perform live in front of Cinderella Castle, their powerful voices set against a backdrop of inspirational music played by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

But that’s not all. Keep your eyes peeled for additional celebrities, including:

  • John Stamos
  • Gary Sinise
  • Candace Cameron Bure
  • Anthony Anderson
  • Marsai Martin
  • Melissa Joan Hart
disney enchantment at magic kingdom for 50th

Disney Enchantment is replacing Happily Ever After during the 50th celebration. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

NFL superstars will also be in attendance, including Doug Williams, Phil Simms, and newly Florida-relocated Tom Brady, who will need to stay far away from all Mickey balloons to avoid risk of deflating them.

The special will also bring Pete Docter, Kevin Feige, and the incomparable James Cameron onto our screens.

Past and present Disney execs will mak an appearance, including Michael Eisner and the Bobs: Bob Chapek and Bob Iger.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, multiple Disney Imagineers will be featured on ABC’s “The Most Magical Story on Earth”: Mark Kohl, Ann Morrow Johnson, and Bob Weis.

50 Years of Walt Disney World: Packed into 2 Hours

cinderella castle 50th anniversary - the most magical place on earth: 50 years of walt disney world

Photo by Julie de la Fe

Disney’s “The Most Magical Place on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World” takes the resort’s 50-year history and jam-packs it into 2 hours of TV goodness.

The EARidescent special event airs on Friday, Oct. 1, from 8 to 10 PM ET on ABC. But if you don’t have cable, YouTube TV, or a newfangled antenna, you can catch it on Hulu or on demand the next day or later that month on Disney+.

It’s a special you won’t want to miss, whenever you can get around to watching it. You’ll get to see never-before-seen footage about the plans and development of Disney World, plus insights into “pop-culture moments” like when Boy Meets World and Roseanne filmed specials there. (Though $20 says they leave Roseanne completely out of this special, with good reason.)

Perhaps the most heartwarming part of the special will be the segment on the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s partnership with Disney over the last 40 years.

Will you be watching “The Most Magical Place on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World” when it airs? Or will you be living it up in the parks? Tell us your 50th anniversary plans on our Facebook page!

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Written by Timothy Moore

Written by Timothy Moore

Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as your managing editor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).