Grandmother Willow, the wise tree from Walt Disney Pictures’ Pocahontas sagely tells that if you listen closely to the spirits of the world around you, you will learn and understand! After listening to the whispers herself, here is what she has heard about oncoming changes at Walt Disney World!
🔎 RUMOURS 🔎
⭐Rivers of Light close to completion?⭐
Having been delayed from making its spring/summer debut, it has been rumoured that Animal Kingdom’s upcoming nighttime show will soon make an appearance. This follows the announcement that The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, the limited time show running in its place, will have its last performance on the 5th September this year, indicating that the new show Rivers of Light, which takes place on Discovery River Lagoon beside the Tree of Life, is near completion.
MY THOUGHTS: The latest late night expansions to Animal Kingdom seem to give a new lease of life to the park, creating more ways in which guests can engage with different cultures and nature, with a Disney spin. I hope that the new nighttime show will encourage more people to explore the park and give it the love it deserves. Although I am sure many guests who have come and gone from the parks since the original opening date have been disappointed with the delay, the Jungle Book show has been positively received, even making an appearance at the White House!
⭐Closure of the Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon?⭐
A family favourite attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark, the Shark Reef, is rumoured to be closing in this coming September. As an original attraction of the park from 1989, it allowed children and adults alike to snorkel above tropical fish, rays and even sharks which glided happily along the coral below. With expensive upkeep and the new Miss Fortune Falls ride coming to the waterpark, Disney may be taking this chance to close the attraction which has been on the cards for several years.
MY THOUGHTS: I loved this attraction, despite the freezing cold water and minor panic every time a shark comes near, so it will be a shame to see it go, as it makes the park different from any other waterpark in the area. It will be interesting to see what they replace the reef with, if anything, or if they will update the existing attraction or theming.
📢 CONFIRMED 📢
⭐The Muppets Present – Great Moments in American History⭐
Opening in October later this year, a new show featuring favourites from the Muppets, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo and the patriotic Sam Eagle, will take place outside the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom. Delivering tales from America’s history in their dramatic and humorous manner, the show is also to include an original song, with the characters themselves in Colonial America costume.
MY THOUGHTS: The show is to be part of Magic Kingdom’s 45th anniversary celebrations, and personally I feel this might appeal more to American visitors to the park. However the comical and entertaining way it is presented, as well as the ever popular Muppets theming, may catch the attention of international visitors.
In keeping with the Muppets motif, the previously Toy Story Pizza Planet restaurant at Hollywood Studios will reopen this autumn as Rizzo the Rat’s new pizza restaurant PizzeRizzo. As a casual quick-service dining experience, guests will be able to enjoy tasty Italian-American style pizzas and cool refreshments in a uniquely themed location, indicating Rizzo’s heritage family and friends who have visited his establishment over the years. Disney Imagineers also revealed plans for a “cheesy” banquet room, and a “unique booth that is specifically designated for Rizzo’s celebrity pals.”
MY THOUGHTS: Two storeys of indoor and outdoor seating suggest this is expected to be a popular spot to grab a counter service meal, and I am excited to hear reviews of the quality of the pizza served; whether it is closer to Italian recipes, or similar to that previously served at Pizza Planet. With the current major updates and changes in the park already, this seems like a good choice of theming, as it is adjacent to Muppets 3D and will bring more uniformity to the layout of the park.
⭐New family raft ride Miss Fortune Falls⭐
Typhoon Lagoon is expecting a new expansion to include a new family friendly raft ride, which will be the longest at any Disney waterpark at 2 minutes long. The attraction, named Miss Fortune Falls, will be located near the Crush ‘n’ Gusher thrill ride, and in keeping with the waterpark’s typhoon and shipwrecked theming, has a story of its own. Following the journey of fictitious Captain Mary Oceaneer, riders will discover her treasure hunting past, collection of hoarded relics, and experience how she was stranded years ago on Typhoon Lagoon by a raging storm. The ride is set to open in Spring 2017, following the park closing for refurbishment after Christmas.
MY THOUGHTS: Looking forward to trying this ride for myself! I love the story concept – it suggest possible displays or friezes within the ride to look at as you go by, rather than just many twists and drops which may be less family friendly. I just hope the ‘falls’ in the title does not mean a waterfall over your head like in Castaway Creek!
⭐Farewell to the Main Street Electrical light Parade⭐
The long running, late night parade at Magic Kingdom will make its final procession down Main Street USA on the 9th October, before moving for a ‘limited encore’ season at Disneyland, California. The parade, which features multiple beautifully glowing floats and characters, waving and dancing to a tinkling soundtrack, has been running intermittedly since 1972, but will no longer feature in the events schedule in the future.
MY THOUGHTS: I am very sad to see this parade go, as the floats are so stunning and colourful in the dark at the end of the night in Magic Kingdom. Tinkerbell leading the parade with her luminous wand and wings is the highlight for me, being my favourite Disney character, and unlike the Festival of Fantasy Parade, the Seven Dwarves have their own mine cart full of sparkling gems. If you are planning a WDW trip soon, make sure to check it out before it leaves!
(Rumours sourced from WDW News Today)