Photos: Walt Disney World at 40

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  1. 40 and fabulous

    Fireworks explode above Cinderella Castle as dancers and Disney characters perform while taping a segment of "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" at the Magic Kingdom on Dec. 3, 2010, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 40th anniversary of the opening of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort will be celebrated in 2011. (Mark Ashman / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Star power

    Musical artist Yanni, right, plays the piano as the "Yanni Voices" perform an arrangement of "O Holy Night" at the Magic Kingdom on Dec. 3, 2009, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Yanni was taping a segment for the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" holiday TV special. (Mark Ashman / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 'I'm going to Disney World!'

    Tom Brady, quarterback of the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots, signs autographs at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on Feb. 2, 2004, one day after leading the Patriots to a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers. (Gene Duncan / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. The first 25 years

    First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to a crowd as Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner applauds Oct. 1, 1996, during the rededication of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on the 25th anniversary its opening. (Tony Ranze / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Royal fun

    Prince William, right, grimaces after he and friends of the royal family finish their ride on Splash Mountain Aug. 26, 1993, at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Harry Soames, left front, was the prince's companion on the three-day vacation. Other passengers are unidentified. (Bob Pearson / AFP-Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Celebrating two decades

    The 20th anniversary rededication ceremony of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in 1991 brought legions of Disney cast members onto Main Street, U.S.A. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A world-class welcome

    Roy O. Disney, brother of Walt Disney, is joined by the beloved Disney character that started it all, Mickey Mouse, in welcoming the first guests to the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Oct. 1, 1971. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Cinderella's future home

    In 1971, a blue-spired castle -- destined to become one of the world's most-photographed buildings -- rose in central Florida as the iconic centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom, which opened on Oct. 1, 1971. In the 40 years since guests first strolled down Main Street, U.S.A., Walt Disney World Resort has blazed brave new entertainment trails based on its founder's fertile imagination and vision that the resort would forever continue to evolve. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 1/9/2008 12:37:03 PM ET 2008-01-09T17:37:03

Tokyo Disneyland canceled its popular parades for the first time in its 25-year history Wednesday after a 660-pound steel pillar adorned with colorful planets tumbled from a Buzz Lightyear float.

The pillar on the float, part of its popular Disney Dreams On Parade, crashed to the ground Tuesday afternoon — just yards away from children lined up to watch the twice-daily extravaganza at the theme park.

There were screams but no injuries among visitors and the characters on the float, including Buzz, the hero from the 1995 Disney movie "Toy Story," according to the park's operator, Oriental Land Co.

But Disneyland is canceling its two daily parades while it carries out safety checks, the first time both events have been canceled since the park opened in 1983, according to Oriental Land spokesman Tsutomu Kato.

"We'd like to apologize for causing panic," Kato said.

The accident came after visitors were evacuated after a small fire broke out on the roof of the Swiss Family Tree House attraction at Disneyland last week. Nobody was injured, and firefighters extinguished the flames an hour later.

The park is investigating both accidents but doesn't yet know what caused them, according to Kato.

Disneyland, the first Disney park to be built outside of the United States, is one of two hugely popular theme parks Oriental Land operates just outside of Tokyo.

In 2007, 25.4 million people flocked to Disneyland and its sister attraction, Disneysea, both just outside the Japanese capital.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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