While the crowds hurry along up and down Main Street trying to see and do it all, there is something that is too often overlooked by many, worth watching at the very least one time. Maybe you have not known of it in the past, but now you will!
Every day at 5:00pm the Magic Kingdom has a flag retreat ceremony. The Main Street Philharmonic Band plays a moving selection of Patriotic songs to start, The Dapper Dans lead the crowd, while Disney’s Color Guard proceed in lowering the flag. It is a truly moving ceremony that has to be witnessed for yourself to fully experience it.
In true Disney fashion they do an amazing job. The ceremony is put forth with such pride and respect. So many guests in the park walk right by it every day not even acknowledging it is occurring, because they are hurrying past from one destination to the next. While FastPass+ is a can’t miss, and getting on the rides is wonderful, this ceremony takes things back to the time-honored traditions Walt established and was so fond of. It is something that has taken place since opening day of the Magic Kingdom on October 1st, 1971, and in the hustle and bustle of modern-day Disney it continues on. That is the one of my most favorite things about Disney, some of the best moments are when you take a minute to slow it down and take it all in.
Another part of this ceremony that I personally hold close to my heart is that one or sometimes multiple honored guests at the park get to participate in the ceremony as Magic Kingdom’s Veteran of the Day. Former Veteran’s stand in salute as the flag is lowered, folded and presented to them as they become part of the march down Main Street as the end of the ceremony, before the flag is retired for the evening.
My husband had the honor of being Veteran of the Day many years ago. it is a magical Disney moment we will never forget. He was presented with a special certificate and pin from Disney that we have framed and hanging on our wall, and we will cherish it forever. Our family got to march right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A in an entirely different way that day at Disney, and it was truly amazing. As a military family no matter how many times I watch the ceremony taking place in Magic Kingdom it never loses its effect, it has produced chills, even tears more than once. We as a family are so thankful to Walt and those who continue to carry on the tradition as it takes place everyday with pride. A small sign of respect goes a long way. We make a point to watch it every time we are in Magic Kingdom at 5:00pm.
Next time you find yourself in Magic Kingdom at 5:00pm take a minute to get to Town Square at the front of the park, and experience it for yourself, you won’t regret it!
Do you need more information or help planning your trip to see the Flag Retreat Ceremony? As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for MickeyTravels, I would be happy to help you plan your trip! Contact me anytime Liz@MickeyTravels.com, or on my Facebook page. Vacation planning services are 100% free.