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Olympic Sprint Champion celebrates Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary

Updated: Apr 6

Marking the official return of Canadian tourists to the United States post COVID, Canadian Olympic champ Andre De Grasse takes in the magic.


By: Lisa Naccarato

Six-time Olympic medallist, and reigning Olympic champion in the 200 m, Andre De Grasse, and wife, American hurdler Nia Ali, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. (Matt Stroshane, Photographer).

After a closure of almost 20 months, the land border between Canada and United States will officially reopen land and sea borders today to fully vaccinated Canadian tourists. This move marks a key turning point in the effort to return to normal travel post COVID-19.


The border reopening could not come at a better time for Disney Parks as it began an 18 month celebration the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World last month. Canada is an important international market for WDW and the opening allows Canadians to cross the border for leisure travel and enjoy the new, limited time offerings at the park.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek (left) and Executive Chairman Bob Iger (right) re-dedicate Walt Disney World Resort in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Sept. 30, 2021, on the eve of the vacation destination’s 50th anniversary. (David Roark, photographer)


“It is a thrill to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World and the extraordinary cast members and Imagineers who bring the resort to life every day and create magical moments for our guests,” said Bob Chapek, chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. “As we look to the next 50 years and beyond, we are inspired to continually reinvent the way we tell stories, and to use technology to immerse guests deeper into the story worlds they love so much.”


Among the 50th anniversary special additions:


“Harmonious,” one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park, debuts at EPCOT. This new show brings the globe together at World Showcase Lagoon in a celebration of Disney music. It is a powerful tribute to the unifying power of story and song, that incorporates pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting, massive LED panels. “Harmonious” features new interpretations of classic Disney songs in more than a dozen languages, performed by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world, including Luis Fonsi, Joy, Danny Gokey, and the Ndlovu Youth Choir.


Joining “Harmonious” with an Oct. 1 debut is another new nighttime spectacular, “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom Park. Created to launch with “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,”. This evening extravaganza features stunning fireworks, powerful music, enhanced lighting and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A. The show’s stirring soundtrack is anchored by an emotional original song, “You Are the Magic,” written and performed by multiple GRAMMY® winner Philip Lawrence, whose musical career began as a Disney cast member performing in Walt Disney World shows.


Drawn to Life, Presented by Cirque du Soleil and Disney, Premieres Nov. 18, 2021

Drawn to Life, the new family-friendly show coming to Disney Springs, is an original creative collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering. Premiering Nov. 18, 2021, during “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” Drawn to Life is a live acrobatic journey telling the story of Julie, a determined girl who discovers an unexpected gift left by her Disney animator father: an unfinished animation. As she dives into the inner world of animation guided by a surprising pencil, Julie embarks on an inspiring quest filled with her childhood Disney memories, brought to life through Cirque du Soleil’s innovative design and dazzling performances. Ticket information is available at cirquedusoleil.com/drawntolife.