Disney World at 50 Collecting Project

Help Us Document History

Fifty years ago, on October 1, 1971, Walt Disney World opened, and a “Whole New World” began for Orlando and Central Florida.

You might remember opening day and the excitement it brought or watching Walt Disney on television on Sunday nights in the 1960s and wishing you could go to Disneyland – but now the Magic Kingdom was coming to you!

Maybe you tried to sneak a peek at the mysterious construction sites, applied for jobs, or were in the band that played on opening day.

Whatever your memories are of Walt Disney World coming to town, they are important to Central Florida’s history!

Who Can Participate

Anyone living, working, or visiting our seven-county region (Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, and Volusia counties).

What We Are Collecting

We are currently asking for digital donations of the example items listed below. If you’d like to donate something that’s not on this list, or if you have physical items you’d like to contribute, please contact Whitney Broadaway at whitney.broadaway@ocfl.net or 407-836-8587.

  • Images documenting 50 years of Disney in Central Florida. This might include the Disney sites before groundbreaking, construction, evolution of the park and its attractions, events, characters, and park photos extending from opening day to today.
  • Use these formats: JPG, PNG, or TIF.
Audio or video recordings
  • Video of park walkthroughs or visits, including videos on older media such as VHS tapes and Beta
  • Video of construction projects at the park including behind-the-scenes videos
  • Video of special events or anniversaries
Oral histories

Stories from:

  • Long-time/retired Disney employees including performers and costumed actors
  • People involved with the planning, designing, or building of the parks
  • People who have attended special opening events or had a unique Disney experience

Donation Form

About your submission

Please include as much information as possible: names, location details, backstory, etc.

About you

Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 10 files.

What Happens Next

After you submit your materials, you will be sent an email confirmation that we have received them. If your submission is selected for inclusion in the museum’s permanent collection, we will follow up with the appropriate donation paperwork. If you want to know more about how and why we choose to add items to our collection, please click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Whitney Broadaway at whitney.broadaway@ocfl.net or 407-836-8587.