It’s a Disney change for sure, but one with good reason behind it.
Like most other large businesses, Disney in March 2020 was forced to shutter its parks due to the covid pandemic. That meant a loss of more than $7 billion in 2020 alone, which dealt a crushing blow to the company’s bottom line.
But Disney is a powerful entity, and little by little it’s found its way to recovery. By April 2021 it had reopened its doors with capacity restrictions in place, masks required, and limited access to events that put guests crowded together.
Since then, it’s taken its time reintroducing many of its beloved rides, attractions, and restaurants. But Disney clearly also used its downtime to figure out what changes to make to optimize its business. And since it reopened, there have been many, from the overhaul of Splash Mountain to become a “Princess and the Frog” ride to the launch of its luxury “Star Wars” hotel.
And one of its best shows is actually on pause right now — but when it reopens, you’ll have a better reason to pay a visit to it than ever before.
Which Disney Attraction Is Closed?
If you plan to visit Disney anytime between today and July 15, be warned that you will not be able to see “A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King” show, which lives in Animal Kingdom.
But this short closure doesn’t mean the Broadway-inspired show is going away. In fact, it’s alive and well, and some new and exciting changes are coming.
It originally made its return in May 2021 in a modified format with limited, socially distanced seating. The performance itself was altered as well to enable the cast members to remain six feet apart, and singing along was discouraged, Disney Food Blog reported.
Sadly, several portions of the show also had to be removed due to safety concerns. These included the “tumble monkeys” and birds, which were played by people in brightly colored costumes. Disney removed them from the show temporarily to limit potential covid exposure.
But when “Festival of the Lion King” reopens on July 16, all those limitations will be gone, and the show will be restored to its former glory. Singalongs will be allowed again as well, as Disney back in April rolled back its guidelines to make masks optional.
Is Anything Else at Disney Still Closed?
Some Disney park attractions remain closed. Walt Disney World’s Railroad remains closed and has been since 2018, due to the construction of the Tron Lightcycle Run rollercoaster in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom.
Star Wars Launch Bay is still closed for now, although it will reopen very soon. It returns on July 17 with character meet and greets, which surely will make many a “Star Wars” fan very happy.
A few shows from Hollywood Studios remain on pause as well, including “Fantastic,” “Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple,” “Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular,” and “Voyage of the Little Mermaid.”
And while “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” is currently running, it’s due to close for refurbishment on Aug. 22.