by Beth Keating
September 21, 2023
In walking around Magic Kingdom recently, my family joked that Florida was continuing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort, instead of Disney100 (honoring the company’s founding), since the golden 50th anniversary character statues were still making their homes throughout the four parks. We thought by now, a full half-year after the 18-month long 50th celebration ended in March, the figures would have been re-homed somewhere.
The adorable statues had arrived in the parks just a few weeks ahead of the October 1, 2021, celebratory kick-off, and maybe the figures just didn’t want the party to be over. In any case, they were a fun addition to the atmosphere of the parks, and it turned into a bit of an unplanned scavenger hunt trying to locate favorite Disney characters. We especially enjoyed finding our pals in Hollywood Studios.
If you aren’t familiar with the statues, there were 50 (give or take, depending on how you counted the characters or character groupings) small sculptures scattered around the four parks, and when you waved your MagicBand+ at the medallion at the base of the statue, the character would respond with lines or sounds from their respective films. Mostly. (They were notorious for taking too much time to reset between guests, and sometimes not really responding at all.)
Now, Walt Disney World has announced that the medallions will be getting a refresh – Imagineers will be “pixie-dusting” the golden 50th anniversary versions to enable guests to continue interacting with their favorite Disney friends for future trips.
It seems that those beautiful statues will be making their permanent homes in the parks after all! Let’s keep the party going!
Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.