Plot Twist: Disney World Reviving Hated Event Later This Year

in Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dance on stage in Disney Holidays in Hollywood at Disney Jollywood Nights.

Credit: Jess Colopy, Inside the Magic

In a surprising turn of events, Walt Disney World Resort is officially bringing back an unpopular event later this year.

The “Most Magical Place on Earth” also happens to be one of the busiest. Magic Kingdom Park is the most-visited theme park on the planet, drawing in millions of guests per year. Its neighboring parks aren’t much less frequented, with the resort in general bringing in over 58 million visitors.

Guests walking in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom behind Cinderella Castle
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

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Keeping this many parkgoers entertained is no small feat. Like all theme parks, Disney World makes regular additions to impress new and regular guests alike.

New attractions may get the most attention (if you’ve been able to navigate social media without encountering the heated debate over Tiana’s Bayou Adventure this week, congrats), but ticketed events also play a huge part in keeping attendance strong.

Disney World - Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a float during a parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Credit: Disney

The big two are, of course, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – both of which are held at Magic Kingdom and sell out at a rapid rate every year.

To temper demand, Disney introduced a new event for 2023: Disney Jollywood Nights. Hosted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, highlights included Disney Holidays in Hollywood (an all-new stage show featuring Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy), What’s This? Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! (performed on the façade of the park’s iconic Chinese Theater).

Minnie Mouse twirls on stage with backup dancers during Disney Holidays in Hollywood.
Credit: Jess Colopy, Inside the Magic

What was met with overwhelming excitement upon its announcement was pretty quickly derided by fans. The event’s first night was deemed a total disaster, with guests comparing it to a watered-down version of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park.

Those in attendance complained that they had trouble checking in, waited in hours-long lines for food, characters, and shows, and suffered through a glitch on the My Disney Experience app that summoned everyone back to Jazzy Holidays at the Hollywood Brown Derby at the same time. All in all, not exactly worth the hefty price tag.

While Disney made concerted efforts to improve the event (including pulling out the wildcard that was Duffy the Disney Bear dressed as Santa Claus), Jollywood Nights was still assumed to be a one-and-done event – but it seems like Disney is giving it a second chance, as Disney just put out a casting call for the event.

The Brand-New Holiday Event at Disney World called Jollywood Nights.
Credit: Disney

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In a listing for the Disney Holidays in Hollywood stage show, Disney claimed that it’s looking for “male and female presenting dancers with exceptional dance technique and performance quality” who “must be proficient in multiple styles of dance that include musical theatre-jazz and swing.”

For now, we don’t know what other shows will return for the occasion. We’d like to think that Disney has taken last year’s critiques on board to prepare a more satisfying event for guests. However, we’ll likely need to stay tuned until November to know for sure.

Did you attend Jollywood Nights in 2023? Share your thoughts on the event with Inside the Magic in the comments!

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