A familiar, yet unexpected buzz surged through the newly cooled breeze as Florida emerged from a hard, storm-filled season. There was a palpable sense of community as the entrance plaza flooded with classic EPCOT® entrance music and conversation between guests. Commemorative maps and posters were passed around, some of the park’s most influential cast members presented at the America Gardens Theatre, special drinks were sold at Choza de Margarita and snacks elsewhere across the park, the Harmonious barges were decked out with a commemorative display and a special show played across Spaceship Earth to the beloved “We Go On.” The fun-packed, colorful, and varied offerings made for a lively day at one of our favorite Disney parks, but the community spirit encircling the park during the day is what made it feel most special. Disney celebrations tend to bring out the best of Disney magic, where guests spend as much time connecting with strangers about the day’s events as they do with their party. A simple, “Where’d you get that?” can launch a deeper conversation, just as standing in line for one of the weekend-exclusive offerings can spawn a new friend. Disney has always excelled at bringing new people together—EPCOT especially due to the nature of its gotta-try-it-all food festivals—and it’s 40th birthday celebration serves as a reminder of just how possible that still is.
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