It has been such a busy few weeks over at Disney HQ with the announcement of big changes at both the East Coast and West Coast parks that even Disney experts are finding it difficult to keep up. Fear not, here at DisneyAddicts we strive to keep you in the know so here’s a basic rundown of recent openings, closures and announcements of upcoming changes that may be afoot. So tuck in and consider yourself in the Disney-know!
Openings and Closures at Walt Disney World:
Main Street Electrical Parade (Closing at Magic Kingdom)- It is truly the end of an era as Walt Disney World recently announced that the Main Street Electrical Parade will make it’s final run at the Magic Kingdom on October 9th. However, those on the West Coast will be happy to know that Disneyland has called dibs and the Electrical Parade will be moving over to California for a limited time engagement. What still remains uncertain is what exactly will cover the coveted Magic Kingdom evening slot. Rumor has it that Paint the Night may be moving East but Disneyland has recently confirmed that it will be running before their evening fireworks at least through the holiday period. Watch this space for further details and if you can head to Disney World to stay “Bon Voyage” to this classic Disney parade.
Walt Disney World Welcomes Princess Elena of Avalor- As anyone with a daughter between the ages of 4- 8 will tell you, Princess Elena fever is definitely here! The newest addition to Disney Princess line-up will bring her Latin flare to Walt Disney World starting on August 11th with “The Royal Welcome of Princess Elena of Avalor” show which will take place at the Magic Kingdom at select times throughout the day starting on August 12th. Though showtimes are subject to change, they are currently listed as 9;05am, 10:00am, 1:00pm and 1:35pm. If this is on your must-do list then pick up a Times Guide when you arrive at the Magic Kingdom for an updated daily schedule. The introduction of Disney’s newest princess also means that a series of new toys, costumes, clothing and accessories inspired by Princess Elena can now be found throughout the parks and at disneystore.com. Elena of Avalor will also be making her Disneyland debut this Fall.
Belle Visits Liberty Square starting this August- In a move that will delight Beauty and the Beast fans but also leave many wondering what the connection is, as of August 7th, Princess Belle now greets guests at Heritage House in the Liberty Square Area of the Magic Kingdom. This special meet and greet is exclusive to visitors who have purchased Memory Maker, Memory Maker One Day Pass or are Annual Passholders with a PhotoPass entitlement. A MagicBand (validating proof of purchase) will be required to enter the line. Belle will be dressed in formal attire and will be there to great guests from 11am- 5:40pm. Like most Disney meet and greets Belle will take a break every 20 minutes. This limited time engagement is only slated to run until August 31st so head on over to Liberty Square and say “Hello!”
Typhoon Lagoon Announces Brand New Miss Fortune Falls Attraction- Typhoon Lagoon, one half of Disney’s waterparks duo will be receiving a brand new family raft ride that is slated to open in 2017. Guests will get to embark on a splash-filled journey through the fabled past of Captain Mary Oceanear, a swashbuckling, treasure-hunting heroine who sailed the Seven Seas in search of loot before washing up on the shores of Typhoon Lagoon. Guests will board treasure rafts at the attraction’s peak and embark on a white water rafting adventure to help Captain Oceanear reclaim her valuables. Boasting a ride time of 2 minutes- Typhoon Lagoon’s newest addition will have the longest ride time of any waterpark attraction.
The Muppets Take Liberty Square – The Liberty Square section of the Magic Kingdom has always been a delightful tip-of-the-hat to the America of day’s gone by. Where else can you board a Mississippi Steamboat, watch Americas presidents come to life or walk down the cobblestone street in search of some Christmas goodies? However, this section is probably the most inaccessible to little ones but that’s about to change when Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and friends arrive this Fall to teach us about American History. “The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History” will debut in October 2016 outside of the Hall of Presidents. Emceed by Sam Eagle, the ensemble cast will take us through some of the greatest moments in American History from the midnight ride of Paul Revere to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Consult the Times Guide starting in October for a complete list of show times.
“Gone Mad” Tea Party at the Grand Floridian – Disney World certainly has no shortage when it comes to awe-inspiring ways to watch Wishes evening fireworks display. Whether its aboard a pirate cruise, at a dessert party, or from atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, there’s plenty of ways to add a bit of Disney magic to your evening entertainment. But, what makes Grand Floridian’s “Gone Mad” tea party extra special is that there is actually no cost to attend the event and no reservation needed. Just head over to the resort on Wednesday evenings from 8:30-10:30 pull up a Mad Hatter-themed chair on the patio near Gasparilla’s Island Grill and enjoy this amazing vantage point from which to watch the fireworks. Have your wallets at the ready though because the event may be free but if you really want to “Eat Me” and “Drink Me” it will require some cash.
Openings and Closures at Disneyland:
Tower of Terror at California Adventure to Be Taken Over by the Guardians of the Galaxy- In a move that has been generating its fair share of both applause and controversy, Disney has recently announced that California Adventure’s headlining Tower of Terror attraction is about to get a space-aged makeover. The original attraction will close in early 2017 to make way for this high-energy new adventure that will pave the way for a stronger Marvel presence across the Disney theme parks. The lobby of the Tower will become the the home of Taneleer Tivan (The Collector) where visitors can view his latest acquisitions- The Guardians of the Galaxy. When Rocket escapes, he enlists guests to help him free the other Guardians from captivity. Visitors can expect the same amazing free fall sensations of the original ride but with a new and engaging storyline set to the movie’s much-loved soundtrack. For now the change is only set to take place on the West Coast tower but many Disney World enthusiasts see it as a pre-cursor of things to come.
Disneyland says Goodbye to Disneyland Forever Fireworks – As Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration winds down in early September, the larger-than-life nighttime fireworks display will also bid fans a fond farewell. However the fireworks are due to be replaced by the delightfully nostalgic Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks display which was created in 1958 was Walt’s way of giving his guests a spectacular send-off at the end of a long day at the parks. The new display will run on Friday thru Sunday evenings beginning September 9th.
The Return of the Original World of Color – Disneyland has recently announced plans for the return of the original World of Color evening water pageant to California Adventure starting on September 6th. Fans of the beloved Disney show will be pleased to hear the same familiar soundtrack of songs they know and love as well as the return of favorite Disney characters like Wall-E, Eve and Pocahontas just to name a few.
Star Wars Rebels Interactive Adventure comes to both Coasts – For Star Wars fans with imaginations and pocketbooks of galactic proportions, Disney Floral and Gifts is offering a pre-payed Star Wars scavenger hunt designed to immerse visitors in the storyline of Star Wars Rebels. This modern day treasure hunt starts right in your resort room with a few magical intergalactic surprises before guests grab their smart phones and head on over to Star Tours to unlock the mysteries of the universe and ultimately a special box filled with with Star Wars themed loot. The package is now available at Disney Floral and Gifts for a cool $499.99. A bit steep for those who enjoyed Disney’s free scavenger hunt events like Epcot’s Phineas and Ferb-themed Agent P’s Adventure, but it would be a nice surprise for that special Jedi in your life. More information can be found at Disney Floral and Gifts.
These are just some of the many changes that Disney has highlighted in the year ahead, joining the extensive refurbishments already underway at several theme parks including the Star Wars and Pixar themed upgrades over at Hollywood Studios and the Avatar expansion slated to open up in Animal Kingdom in 2017. To keep abreast of all things Disney, keep checking back for further details or visit our sister site. www.chipandco.com.
Planning your next Disney vacation? Fill out our form below for your FREE quote.
Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect vacation package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook.
Images copyright Disney.
- What Happens to my Reservation if Disney Prices Increase? - January 8, 2020
- Are There any Buffet Character Dining Experiences at Disney World? - December 30, 2019
- When is the best time to book my flights? - June 18, 2019