Long before the Pulse shootings, Orlando, Fla., has been known as a place where dreams come true for millions of visitors each year. And in the wake of that unbelievable tragedy, nearly every corner of this tourist mecca has been touched by an outpouring of sympathy, compassion and unity.
But there’s been no official memorial ceremony or tribute in the Magic Kingdom or anywhere else at Walt Disney World, until Saturday night.
View this post on Instagram
It's sooo beautiful ! So beautiful how we all get together as a family ❤️💛💚💙💜 !!! It hurts knowing that sometimes we take life for granted and we are ungrateful … #prayfororlando #unforgettablecast #prayforhumanity #prayforhumanityandpeace #magickingdom #specialkissgoodnight #kissgoodnight #disney #waltdisneyworld
That evening, thousands of people gathered in the circle in front of Cinderella’s Castle to honor the Pulse victims, according to the website, Hello Giggles. Those who gathered carried colored glowsticks and LED candles, and stood in solidarity, waiting for the park’s “Kiss Goodnight” moment at midnight. That, as the website explained, is the Magic Kingdom’s way of signaling the end of the day and the park’s closing.
But even after the “Kiss Goodnight,” Walt Disney World plays selections of classic songs from its huge vault of Disney soundtrack recordings over its public address system. That is, until Saturday night turned into Sunday morning at the stroke of midnight.
That is when, according to Hello Giggles, park officials silenced the speakers lining Main Street U.S.A. for 49 seconds: one second for every life lost almost exactly a week earlier. Rainbow colors illuminated the castle on all sides. Cast members were permitted to participate in the vigil, according to Twitter, and other park workers distributed Mickey Mouse pins adorned in rainbow colors to visitors as they exited the park.
— 𝕄𝕣 𝔹𝕣𝕚𝕒𝕟 𝕚𝕟 𝕆𝕣𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕𝕠 (@MrBrianORL) June 19, 2016
Watch a video of the memorial tribute from YouTube, below.