Disney Parks Closing & So Much More
Disney News on Parade: March 16, 2020
Before Walt Disney World closes its parks, we take a look at what’s happening and the effect the Coronavirus is having on the Vacation Kingdom of the World.
Let’s go one by one through all the parks and talk about what’s happening. I end with a video reflecting my feelings at the end. Let’s start with Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The new parking drop off and security area is coming along. Easily this could be (and should be) completed within a month.
The project also includes some perimeter fencing:
You’ll recall this area had a big grass lawn. The drop off for the trams has been pushed back considerably.
One doesn’t have to go far inside the park to see reminders of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At the Studios, the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is having long wait times, aided in part by occasional breakdowns. It doesn’t take much more than 15-20 minutes to bring the ride back up and running, but when it happens while you are in line, you begin to feel the difference.
You can see the entire video here on our YouTube Channel. Better yet, visit our post & podcast for a complete scene by scene breakdown of the attraction, and of my review.
The nearby theater now hosts Mickey & Minnie in Vacation Fun. This is a cute short which provides a synopsis of some of their travels in other shorts. You’ll recognize some of the segments if you’ve seen the shorts.
Outside the theater are photo spots.
All of them tie into locations Mickey & Minnie visit during the film short.
The incredible Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is still doing strong business. Guests are still arriving early to get boarding passes to Rise of the Resistance:
We can’t emphasize enough getting hold of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: A Complete Guide. it is the most comprehensive insight into this attraction in the Universe. Whether you are visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World we strongly suggest you subscribe to our newsletter, and get complete access to this guide. My favorite part is the interactive map:
Let’s take the Skyliner. Leaving the Studios, we see a lot of cars–even though the parks have announced closures within the next two days.
A fun fact before you arrive at Epcot on the Skyliner. Look for this piece of construction out away from the park. It’s where those working on the construction of the Ratatouille attraction can see how different finishes will appear.
Inside France at Epcot, this small shop has been closed down temporarily, probably to be re-decorated/tied to the culinary themes of Ratatouille. Recall that in years past, this store has sold kitchen ware.
Everywhere you can see the beauty of the annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Here in Italy is one of my favorite showcases.
Apparently because of Coronavirus, it appears that some of the groups have been changed out. This local band, known as SoundUp, is a local group that was called in to replace the Canadian rock band from Montreal, Simple Plan. They worked very hard to provide a solid concert to a smaller crowd.
Usually construction walls are down in “go-away grey” or “go-away green”. I love the construction fences with their dynamic colors in what is now the former Future World.
And there are plenty of those fences. But look up and around and you see work going on. Here we see new solar panels being prepared for the former Universe of Energy building.
You also see a new color palette replacing the side panels of that building.
It’s from this corner of the park you can exit/enter Epcot. It’s a little crazy, but the park is trying everything they can to make it work during this construction period.
Even from across the Seven Seas Lagoon, one can see the impact of the new blue paint on Cinderella Castle. Note the tower on the far left, which shows a part before and after.
A closer show helps us to see how the “pinkish” hues on the castle might look. To me they look more salmon than pink.
It’s a little more reminiscent of the hues found on this nearby retail shop. I always thought the shading worked fine here, but I’m not sure it’s working on the castle
Here’s another view, but from the shade. If you study it carefully, you would say that the shade of pink is lighter at the bottom than at the top. Usually it is in reverse. My guess is that they’ve applied these shades in sections so they can stop, take a look at it, and consider how it appears in different times of the day. By the way, you can also see the cranes on the bottom. All painting was halted during the last couple of days while the park was still open.
Speaking of being open, three attractions seemed to be struggling with this. The first is Splash Mountain, which had temporary delays during the day, even though it has just gone through a two month rehab.
The second is The Haunted Mansion, which went had temporary delays on Saturday, and entire days the week prior where it didn’t open.
The third is the People Mover, which was entirely down on Saturday, with no intention of opening. I hope that with the park being down, these attractions can get some TLC and be up and running more consistently.
After the fireworks, I found this team of College Program Cast Members gathered for a photo. It was a tough moment for these kids, who were surprised to learn that their internship had abruptly come to an end.
After I shot that photo, I offered to take a photo of the team so that everyone could be in it. I then reflected on the moment later here in this video.
With that we bid adieu to all of Walt Disney World’s parks for a short period until we meet again. Be sure to catch my podcast this week as we deal with not just Coronavirus, but find inspiration in “a Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow.”