Walt Disney World opened 50 years ago; these workers never left

Disney

Walt Disney World employees from left, Chuck Milam, Earliene Anderson and Forrest Bahruth gather at the Magic Kingdom Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. to celebrate their 50 years working at the park. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — There were 6,000 employees who opened the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World to the public for the first time on Oct. 1, 1971.

Among them, two dozen workers from that first day are still working for the theme park resort a half century later and will join in celebrating Disney World’s 50th anniversary on Friday.

Over those decades, Disney World added three more theme parks, two dozen more hotels and grew to have a workforce of 77,000 employees before the pandemic.

But what never changed was the original employees’ devotion to the dream machine created by Walt Disney and his Imagineers.

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