Disney World To Retire Beloved Experience Amidst Wave of Cancellations Shuddering Parks

in Walt Disney World

The left half of the image shows a bright and sunny day at Disney World, complete with a large fairytale castle. The right half depicts a person sitting in an airport with their head in their hands, appearing stressed, and a pink suitcase beside them.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Walt Disney World Resort seems to be on the warpath as a beloved experience is set to be retired, with news of another experience getting numerous shows canceled through certain days. What’s going on at the House of Mouse in Orlando?

A vibrant fireworks display illuminates the night sky above a brightly lit, fantasy-themed castle adorned with blue and purple hues during the Disney Halloween Party, attended by an excited crowd.
Credit: Disney

Disney World Parks Dealing with Cancelations, Shut Down of Experiences Through Summer Months

Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests will experience a temporary hiatus in the nightly projection shows until at least June 6. According to the Walt Disney World website, the “Wonderful World of Animation” show will not be performed during this period, likely due to a large stage obstructing the projection towers. This stage is set up for a private event on June 5, and Disney will need at least one day to dismantle it.

The next scheduled performance for “Wonderful World of Animation” is at 10 p.m. on June 7, as listed on both the Walt Disney World website and the My Disney Experience app, barring any further cancellations. The status of the “Disney Movie Magic” projection show remains uncertain.

Typically performed consecutively with “Wonderful World of Animation,” it has been removed from the entertainment schedule and is no longer listed on the Walt Disney World website or the My Disney Experience app. While it is common for projection shows to go on hiatus during the longer daylight hours of summer, the complete removal of “Disney Movie Magic” from the website is unusual.

Cast Members have suggested that the show might return in late July, potentially with updates or a refreshed format. But these shows aren’t the only thing causing trouble for guests this summer.

EPCOT will not have any form of festival this summer, marking the first time Disney World has not had any offerings for guests throughout June, July, and August. The 2024 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival will begin on August 29, marking a significant shift in the event schedule.

A large geodesic sphere, reminiscent of the iconic structure at Disney World’s Epcot, looms in the background. The sphere has a striking red X painted over it. Colorful balloons float around the sphere, contrasting against the clear blue sky above.
Credit: Inside the Magic

No Festivals This Summer at EPCOT?

This adjustment means EPCOT will be free of festivals for most of the summer, from May 28 through August 28, 2024. In contrast, in 2023, the Flower and Garden Festival ended on July 5, quickly followed by the Food and Wine Festival, which started on July 27.

This change suggests that Disney aims to address concerns that EPCOT has become oversaturated with festivals in recent years. By spacing out the festival dates, Disney likely hopes to make each event feel more special and seasonally connected, enhancing the overall guest experience.

Furthermore, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is having trouble with the operation, and the ride has yet to open to the general public officially. The opening date is in a few weeks, on June 28. The ride has faced multiple technical issues, resulting in at least one prior shutdown, and today it experienced another malfunction. Shortly afterward, guests were evacuated from the ride.

Observers near the main drop witnessed Cast Members assisting riders from the stopped boats. The queue is closed, but Disney anticipates reopening the ride later today.

Walt Disney World Resort is also experiencing eleven closures this month and summer. Test Track at EPCOT will close on June 17 and has no reopening date. Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith is currently down for a massive overhaul and is set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this summer. The Country Bear Jamboree is also closed and is expected to reopen later this summer, but there is no official date yet.

A crowd of people gather around the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella's Castle at Disney World. The castle is adorned in blue and gold spires, while the people wear various casual outfits, enjoying the lively atmosphere of the park.
Credit: Nicholas Fuentes, Unsplash

Cancelations, Shutdowns, and More Oh My!

Per the official Walt Disney World calendar, Blizzard Beach will close for refurbishment starting Saturday, March 16. Coinciding with this closure, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon has reopened. This pattern has been consistent since the theme parks closed due to COVID-19.

There remains hope among enthusiasts that both Disney water parks could operate simultaneously this year, but this is yet to be confirmed. Should this not materialize, it is assumed that Blizzard Beach will reopen in the fall, coinciding with Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon’s annual refurbishment.

Some experiences have been closed since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and have yet to be announced if they will open at all. The beloved indoor show “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, known for its captivating retelling of the classic tale of The Little Mermaid, lives on stage with beloved characters like Ariel, Flounder, and other underwater (and land) friends, remained silent for over 3 and a half years.

Many Disney fans had assumed the show was closed for good. However, on December 19, Disney surprised fans by announcing a reimagined version titled “The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure.”

Set to debut at the Animation Courtyard Theater in the fall of 2024, this new iteration promises to bring a fresh perspective to the timeless story with new elements and musical arrangements. In the past few years, Disney has not made any official announcements regarding the fate of the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.

In July, reports emerged that the sign displaying performance times had been removed, and the official page on the Walt Disney World website had been taken down, replaced with a humorous message stating “Someone Ate the Page!” accompanied by a photo of Stitch.

A large geodesic sphere, known as Spaceship Earth, is illuminated in vibrant rainbow colors against the night sky. Flags can be seen in the bottom right near trees silhouetted by the glow of the lights.
Credit: Disney

What Could This Mean?

The string of cancellations, shutdowns, and other changes at the Walt Disney World Resort parks this summer could have several implications for both the parks and guests. Firstly, the absence of certain attractions or shows, such as the closure of Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple or the reimagining of Voyage of the Little Mermaid, may impact the overall guest experience.

Guests looking forward to these experiences may feel disappointed or find their itinerary altered.

Furthermore, removing specific entertainment options or closing attractions may lead to increased crowding or longer wait times at other popular attractions within the parks. This could affect guests’ overall enjoyment as they navigate the parks. Additionally, the uncertainty surrounding the future of certain attractions or shows may create confusion or frustration among guests planning their visits to the parks.

Without clear communication from Disney regarding the status of these experiences, guests may be left unsure about what to expect during their visit. Overall, the series of changes at the Walt Disney World Resort parks this summer underscores the dynamic nature of theme park operations and highlights the importance of flexibility for Disney and its guests.

While some changes may be disappointing, Disney’s ongoing efforts to adapt and evolve its offerings aim to enhance the guest experience in the long run.

A scenic view of a monorail passing over a vibrant, floral-filled park with a large pyramid structure and reflecting pond under a blue sky with fluffy clouds.
Credit: Brian McGowan, Unsplash

Does This Mean Lower Crowds This Summer at Disney World?

The cancelations and shutdowns at Disney World this summer could potentially lead to lower crowds, but the impact may vary depending on several factors. Firstly, the popularity of the attractions or experiences affected will influence the overall crowd levels. If the canceled or closed attractions were significant draws for guests, their absence might deter some visitors from planning park trips, resulting in lower overall attendance.

Additionally, the timing and duration of the closures will play a role in determining crowd levels. If the closures coincide with peak vacation periods, such as holidays or school breaks, the impact on crowd levels may be more pronounced. Conversely, if the closures occur during slower periods, the effect on attendance may be less significant.

Furthermore, external factors such as travel restrictions, economic conditions, and public health concerns may also influence attendance levels at Disney World this summer. Overall, while the cancelations and shutdowns may contribute to lower crowds at Disney World to some extent, other factors will also play a significant role in shaping attendance levels during this time.

in Walt Disney World

View Comment (1)