Photos/Video: Walt Disney World Celebrates 40th Anniversary at Magic Kingdom

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With much fanfare, provided onstage by the Main Street Philharmonic, the Walt Disney World Resort celebrated the 40th birthday of the Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Resort, Fort Wilderness and even the Electrical Water Pageant. Following the performance of several Disney classics by the band, Main Street soon became flooded with Mickey, Minnie and dozens of popular Disney characters as they paraded down the street, celebrating celebrations from years past.

Below is a video of the full character cavalcade:

On stage, the characters were united with 40-year cast members and Disney Parks executives, including Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney World and Disney Parks and Resorts.

“We’ve grown by leaps and bounds since [October 1, 1971],” Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton told guests assembled in front of the Castle Saturday. “But the fact remains that this place, as it appeared on October 1, 1971 was the last great vision of one of the world’s greatest dreamers.”

The Dapper Dans, a barbershop quartet, led park guests in a chorus of “When You Wish Upon a Star” and daytime fireworks and streamers shot into bright blue skies. A special edition of the “Wishes” nighttime spectacular is planned for after sundown.

Below are some photos from the event, courtesy of Disney Parks and Resorts

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