Which Walt Disney World Attractions Remain Modified Or Closed?
People like me keep describing theme parks as getting back to normal. While that’s true, not everything has returned to pre-pandemic status.
Which Walt Disney World attractions remain modified or closed? Read on to learn which ones haven’t returned to normal yet.
Why Some Shows Remain Closed
Several Disney show-based attractions remain closed for one of two reasons.
Some of these shows require violations of social distancing practices. Guests must group too close together during the experience.
Others haven’t returned because Disney had no need for them. The parks have capped capacity of roughly one-third of normal.
As such, ride throughput only needs to satisfy one-third of ordinary demand.
You don’t need to understand park strategy to grasp this concept. When you cook for yourself, you don’t make three dinners, right?
Of course not! You only eat one. Making any more food would be wasteful.
For this reason, several shows haven’t come back, and a couple may remain closed indefinitely.
Which Shows Are Closed and What’s Their Status?
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios hasn’t operated during the pandemic.
Disney hasn’t brought this one back for both reasons listed in the previous section plus a third.
This show includes a massive amount of seating. Rather than use it for a sparsely attended show, management repurposed this area.
The Indiana Jones theater functioned as a Relaxation Station for more than half a year.
Now that Disney has removed all Relaxation Stations and increased capacity, this show could return soon.
However, the oldest attraction at Hollywood Studios (no, really!) has hovered near cancellation for several years now.
I cannot guarantee it will return. With an Indiana Jones movie just around the corner, I expect that it will, though.
The news isn’t as sunny for Voyage of the Little Mermaid. My favorite show at Hollywood Studios hadn’t performed well over the past few years.
Park officials had already toyed with its cancellation before the pandemic. Many insiders believe that it’s gone for good.
At a minimum, it won’t be back soon. A live-action version of the film will debut over the next 12-18 months.
So, this show may yet return. These two Hollywood Studios attractions are in the most jeopardy at the moment, though.
Similarly, Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage suffered when Disney and the actor’s union fought during the pandemic.
Hollywood Studios temporarily rebranded this theater for a big band show, but that proved short-lived.
I expect Beauty and the Beast back soon, although Disney could ostensibly replace it with another themed show.
Other Currently Closed Shows
I’ve focused on Hollywood Studios thus far because that’s where most shows are.
However, other parks haven’t brought back all their show-based attractions, either.
At Magic Kingdom, we’re still missing Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. I’m a bit surprised that this one hasn’t come back yet.
The rest of Tomorrowland always seems crowded. Disney could use something to siphon off some park traffic.
Enchanted Tales with Belle also hasn’t returned. That one wasn’t even possible until recently. It falls under the “tight space” category.
Now that the CDC has loosened its guidelines for social distancing, it could return soon.
More than half of American adults have received their vaccinations, making indoor attractions like Enchanted Tales with Belle much safer.
Similarly, Turtle Talk with Crush at EPCOT wasn’t possible, either. That’s a relatively small theater compared to the others we’re discussing.
So, it remains closed but could come back at any point. Disney seems to be targeting July 4th as the full-fledged return to normal. So, that’s the target date.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the most essential show recently returned, albeit in a modified state.
The name change to A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King reflects that most of the tumbling and crowd interaction is gone for now.
Instead, this show is more of a small-scale version of the hit Broadway play.
The park also hasn’t reopened Finding Nemo — The Musical due to lack of demand. It was rarely crowded, even before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Up! A Great Bird Adventure has returned without the Up tie-in. I suspect that’s not permanent, but who knows these days?
Why Are Some Ride Experiences Modified?
Several Disney attractions have required modifications during the pandemic. Let’s take a look at them, along with what has changed.
For example, Haunted Mansion famously works differently right now.
The beloved Stretching Room doesn’t stretch, which technically makes it just a room.
Disney understandably preferred not to group dozens of guests into a tight space during the pre-show.
So, you walk straight through this section on your way to boarding a Doom Buggy.
Park officials have similarly modified several line queues for rides. Some like Peter Pan’s Flight still work as usual.
Others like Test Track have changed dramatically. You no longer design a car here. Instead, you walk through this room while waiting in line.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith works similarly. The previous “meet the band” pre-show segment remains offline for the time being.
The same is true at DINOSAUR, where you no longer hear the scientist ignore all sage advice, instead imperiling you with a secret mission.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror skips the Rod Serling video right now, which lessens the experience for me. Your mileage may vary.
Similarly, the pre-show movie at Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway isn’t available, which is a bit surreal.
You walk through a crack in the wall sans explanation about what went down here. It’s weird.
Finally, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run skips all the Hondo Ohnaka stuff. You also don’t get playtime in the Millennium Falcon’s living quarters.
Now, once you reach this room, you get directed to a cockpit rather than embrace the plentiful photo ops.
All these updates could change at literally any moment – like, I’m worried this article will be dated by the time you read it.
That’s the current status of Walt Disney World’s attractions as of today, though.