Walt Disney World has cancelled several live entertainment performances at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
It’s not the first time Disney has done it. In fact, it seems to be a growing annual practice by the House of Mouse–laying off Cast Members and cutting back on fan favorites in the parks ahead of the end of the financial year for the entertainment giant.
Fans of Disney are unhappy with the cuts, to say the least, and many have become very vocal with their disapproval, some beginning online petitions to bring back some recently dismissed PhotoPass photographers and others beginning Twitter campaigns.
Animal Kingdom’s Afro-Pop Burudika Band is rumored to be among the first to go, signing off on their final show in mid-October. The incomparable music and street performances at Harambe Marketplace in Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom have never been met with anything but huge crowds of smiling Guests, singing, clapping and dancing along to the African beats of this amazing group, whose name means “to be refreshed” in Swahili.
The Twitter campaign #SaveBurudika has taken off among Disney tweeters who hate to see the famed band leave the Most Magical Place on Earth. Many users are against cutting Burudika, including @GettingGoofyWDW, aka The Other Prince Eric, who tweeted “it’s downright painful to think of losing their energy and the entertainment.”
Another user, DVC Mary, reached out to Imagineer and largely Animal Kingdom’s creator, Joe Rohde, saying “you’re our only hope.”
Last week, Inside the Magic brought you the news of the proverbial axe falling on the Muppets at Magic Kingdom, a move that has some diehard Muppet fans also taking to platforms like Twitter to share their disgust for Disney’s decision.
Twitter user @ryanescanlon, aka yung thai coconut, tweeted “The Muppets show about American history in Magic Kingdom is ending and this is the worst thing to ever happen to me.”
Another Twitter user, Disney in your Day, promises revenge with the wallet upon hearing about the Muppets decision and an increase in prices elsewhere: “okay Disney you take away my Muppets and then start charging $99 for a dessert party with side viewing and no alcohol. In this case, I will vote with my wallet and will definitely not be at Magic Kingdom dessert parties in the future.”
Pertaining to the decision to cut Kermit and the gang, user @DerekBurgan stepped up to “defend” Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger: “In Disney’s defense, Bob Iger only made $65M last year. If we kept the Muppets in Magic Kingdom, he might make just $64,500,000 this year. Who could live on that?”
But sadly, the cuts don’t stop there. Magic Kingdom is also losing its Royal Majesty Makers–the jolly revelers who take part in the opening ceremony at Magic Kingdom each morning. Epcot is losing its Folklorico dancers and the Coco puppet show completely, and the Taiko Drummers and JAMMitors which usually perform 7 days a week have been cut back to only 5 days per week.
This all comes at the same time as does news of higher parking fees at Disney World Resort Hotels, as well as projections for price hikes on tickets for special events like evening dessert parties after the first of the year.
Last year, Animal Kingdom also lost the dancers from its Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular. Disney has opted lately for lower-priced non-Union performers with less experience, all in, what some believe to be, an effort to inflate its bottom line. Over the last decade, one-day tickets for one park have risen from $79 per ticket to $159 on the parks’ most popular days. Wouldn’t the ticket price hike be enough to offset anything paid for quality entertainment?
The recent weeks have also seen many of Disney World’s higher-level executives and salaried managers laid off–the largest non-Guest position lay-off round since 2017. This is happening despite the fact that Disney CEO Bob Iger received a pay increase of 80% last year.
Sadly, some of Disney World’s most diehard fans wonder how much entertainment will be left in the parks when Iger retires.
How do you feel about the entertainment cuts at Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Orlando Weekly