What Is Still Closed at Walt Disney World?
Since the pandemic’s start, MickeyBlog has updated you on the returns of various theme park attractions, resorts, and amenities.
I’m happy to report that the list dwindled to less than 10 remaining absentees.
Here’s a list of what’s still closed at Walt Disney World.
1900 Park Fare
Okay, I’ll start with a few caveats. First, I’m not listing anything that Disney has confirmed is gone forever.
I’d previously included restaurants/experiences like ESPN Club and Spirit of Aloha, but there’s no point now. They’re dead.
So, the restaurants I will discuss are the ones whose fates remain unsettled.
1900 Park Fare is one of them, and I’m growing nervous about it. Disney has reopened everything else at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Also, the company recently announced the returns of character meals at two other resorts.
Almost by default, 1900 Park Fare has become the biggest mystery among Walt Disney World restaurants.
We’re about to discuss a possible explanation, though.
Like 1900 Park Fare, Akershus hosts a character meal with Disney Princesses.
You’ll sit at your table while the various face characters roam the dining room and interact with guests.
This seems like a good time to mention that Walt Disney World staffing hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels yet.
Also, the most challenging roles to cast are the Disney Princesses and other face characters.
Whispers have evolved into shouts about a so-called Princess Shortage at the parks. Disney obviously won’t ever comment about this, but it would explain a lot.
Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360
I’m listing this one more as a technicality than anything else.
Unlike the other attractions we’re discussing, Canada Far and Wide has operated since the pandemic’s start. However, Disney has chosen to close it temporarily.
The Canada pavilion is using the space for Appleseed Orchard, one of the Global Marketplaces at the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.
You should expect this to return by the end of 2022…unless Disney also uses the space for the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach
Okay, here’s another situation that comes with an asterisk. Disney actually reopened Blizzard Beach on March 7th, 2021.
At the time, the (slightly) less popular water park worked as the only game in town. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon stayed offline until January 2nd, 2022.
On that date, Blizzard Beach closed for renovations…and we haven’t seen it since then.
So, Disney hasn’t operated both its water parks simultaneously since the pandemic started.
Also, the continued absence of Blizzard Beach appears a bit curious. Park officials didn’t indicate it’d stay closed for more than six months.
Then again, nobody said the water park would return quickly, either. So this one’s prolonged absence remains something of a mystery.
Here’s hoping for a new attraction or two when Blizzard Beach finally reopens!
Enchanted Tales with Belle
The following two attractions come with even more intrigue.
Early in the pandemic, nobody expected Enchanted Tales with Belle to return soon.
After all, the building’s tight indoor space actively worked against social distancing practices in place at the time. We sure don’t miss those, do we?
However, Disney has long since dropped such restrictions under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Currently, there’s no reason why Disney wouldn’t reopen Enchanted Tales with Belle.
Even the Princess Shortage wouldn’t impact this one enough to keep it closed. I mean, Merida’s back at Magic Kingdom, after all.
I’ve heard a few alarming rumors about a possible repurposing of this space. I believe those are either nonsensical or factually incorrect, though.
As of now, I fully expect the return of Enchanted Tales with Belle. But then again, I said the same thing in March. Fool me once?
Similarly, Disney appeared ready to bring back Fantasmic! during the late spring.
If I recall correctly, my exact wording was that you should “expect Fantasmic! to reopen by Memorial Day weekend.”
Right after that, park officials played a terrific prank on me by draining the water surrounding Fantasmic!
Hey, do you know what boats need for sailing? It’s not a trick question. The answer is water.
Thankfully, Fantasmic! has since refilled its moats, allowing for the potential return of this nighttime presentation.
We’ve heard absolutely nothing about an official return or date…or even month, though. Disney has stated Fantasmic! will return in 2022. We just don’t know when.
Pete’s Silly Sideshow Character Greeting
As indicated by the Merida example, most character interactions have returned to Magic Kingdom.
Disney Princesses are holding court at Princess Fairytale Hall. Minnie Mouse has rejoined Mickey at Town Square Theater, too.
In fact, Disney recently announced that Crystal Palace will bring back its Winnie the Pooh character meal on September 20th.
However, one character greeting remains unavailable. It’s the one with Daisy Duck, Donald, Goofy (The Great Goofini), and Minnie Mouse.
When will this one return? I mean, I’d think soon, but I don’t know that for sure.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
We’ve had conflicting updates on this attraction since I last discussed it.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios retells Ariel’s story via a stage show.
Rumors of its cancellation have circled for several years now. The pandemic seemed like a death knell.
However, some sources indicated that Voyage of the Little Mermaid would return.
This news got my hopes up, as I’m one of the people keeping a light on for this attraction. It’s always been a must-do experience for me at Hollywood Studios.
Alas, I can no longer check the official site to monitor the situation because…well, it’s gone. Disney went *poof*, and the page disappeared.
Possibly, Disney could have done this due to an impending name change, one connected to the 2023 live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
Unfortunately, I think it’s more likely that Voyage of the Little Mermaid has joined Stitch’s Great Escape and Primeval Whirl in the Great Disney Graveyard.
Walt Disney World Railroad
Here’s another technicality. Park officials closed this railroad at the end of 2019 in anticipation of constructing Tron Lightcycle Power Run.
The railroad has remained stuck at the station since then. However, Disney recently announced that cast member training is underway for the ride.
New engineers are learning how to drive a train as Magic Kingdom prepares for its railroad system’s return.
I expect this one to open sometime in August or September at the absolute latest. Out of everything listed here, it’s probably most likely to return first.
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Feature Image Credit: Disney