Building Hype: Disney’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

May 24, 2022



Disney’s 50 Anniversary Celebration was one for the books – and we got to enjoy it more than once! Disney teased all the fun stuff they were going to roll out several months prior to kicking off the actual celebration in October of 2021. Based on how they celebrated their 25th Anniversary, we knew we would be in for a treat (but thankfully not the cake-decorated castle from 1996).

While we will definitely geek out over some of the things Disney did for their 50th Anniversary, we are also going to discuss how you can hype up your products and build fanfare for celebrations and milestones in your own business.

Anticipating the Celebration

Disney went all out leading up to their 50th Anniversary Celebration in October — but the preparation didn’t just start in October. They did quite a bit, including physical updates to the park and castle, teasing merchandise, adding special events and parades, and even creating new fireworks shows at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.

Two months prior to the celebration’s start, they began showing off all the exclusive merchandise in August, with influencers wearing their gear and getting everyone hyped to purchase it for themselves. They went with a theme different from the standard Walt Disney World logo, branding, and colors to create something completely unique that really signified the 50th Anniversary.

With all of the anticipated events for the 50th Anniversary, Disney needed to find ways to get more people in because they’d been hiding it for so long. Add in everyone’s desire to get back to the parks post-pandemic, and now you have a limited exclusive event opportunity. Disney was even able to increase capacity limits after the height of the pandemic. They also announced they were doing away with Fast Passes and implementing Genie Plus in its place. This new product is great for people who want a more flexible “go-with-the-flow” type of experience at the parks as it gives you suggestions throughout the day, predicts wait times, and much more. (That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its drawbacks, however, but we’ll reserve judgment on that for later.)

For advanced access to lines, you now have to pay an extra $15 per person, per day with a Lightning Pass. Their goal with both of these new tools was to help disperse crowds throughout the parks, making their guests’ experiences the best they could be. The previous launch of their Magic Bands was another product they released to improve the guest experience. We just hope that Genie Plus is a smooth launch, as there have been unfortunate struggles with Disney’s IT in the past! 

With new rides, limited-edition swag, and a brand new once-in-a-lifetime fireworks display, Disney lovers all over the globe couldn’t miss out on their celebration. But these massive changes don’t have to feel totally out of the realm of possibility for you. If you have a celebration coming up or want to create some big fanfare around a new offer or sale, you can pull that off with a few small changes.

Hype Up Your Customers

You can get your customers just as excited and hyped up for your products and launches as people waiting at the gates for Disney’s parks to open. Every milestone and product is worth celebrating — like hitting 10k followers or launching a brand new product. Smaller milestones like completing a certain number of orders on your site in a day or being able to take Fridays off in the summer are also things worth celebrating — and they’re things your audience can likely relate to or aspire to! Your customers will feel a sense of ownership in your success. They’ll feel like a part of it, and when you bring them in for the celebration, they become loyal advocates for your brand and continued success.

Take a look at the smaller touches Disney adds for things like their 50th Anniversary. They released a totally new logo and colors for the 50th Anniversary, but they also release new sub-brands for different seasons throughout the year, like new sweatshirts in the fall. 

In your business, think about how you can make small tweaks that feel custom to the season or specific to your audience — without overhauling everything entirely. 

​​Have you been offering the same products year after year? Maybe it’s time for a brand refresh or for new videos inside our program. Change up the colors, put a small twist on your customers’ favorite product, or perhaps update your content pillars. Ask yourself, does this align with what is going on in the world right now? Repurpose things you already have in your business that work! 

Bring Your Customers Along

As you start to refresh your offers or look at them in a new way, we want you to think about how you can build excitement and anticipation for your customers. Remember that, regardless of how big or small the milestone may be, your customers want to celebrate with you! 

Disney did an incredible job of building hype for their 50th Anniversary Celebration and creating FOMO that any Disney lover couldn’t resist. Consider the big and small ways you can create excitement with your customers by giving your beloved products a new look or launching a brand new offer! You might even consider things like giveaways for a business anniversary, discounts to celebrate milestones, and even freebies or bonuses if you hit a certain goal with a launch.

If you’re not sure which direction you should go or what you should really take a loot at first…. We recommend our Stop Squirrel Syndrome Workbook

Peter Pan knew the path he needed to take — the second star to the right, and straight on till morning! If you’re looking for a clear direction of what to do next in your business, check out our FREE Stop Squirrel Syndrome Workbook

It can hurt your business if you’re always chasing the next best “shiny” object you see or celebrating things that aren’t in line with your overall strategy (you don’t want to celebrate reaching a new level in your video game if video games have nothing to do with your brand). 

So, instead unlock this workbook and map out the projects that align with the most important areas of your business — so you’re doing the next right thing for your business and your customers!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Pixie Dust & Profits and tune in each week, as we share more tips from the Mouse that can help you grow your small business.

Be sure to follow us @pixiedustandprofits and text us at 207-203-6769 to ask your business fairy godmothers a question! It really is us who will respond.

See ya real soon.



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