Disney theme parks reopen, but coronavirus hampers future plans
How can Disney restore the magic at theme parks?
Former Walt Disney Imagineer Eddie Sotto on getting guests back into the coronavirus-hit theme parks.
While Walt Disney World Resort’s theme parks have reopened alongside most of its other theme park around the globe, the company has not been able to bring back or resume construction on all of its planned attractions.
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In Orlando, Stitch’s Great Escape in Magic Kingdom, which hasn’t operated since 2018, was declared “permanently closed,” a spokesperson confirmed for Attractions Magazine last month. Additionally, Disney’s Primeval Whirl rollercoaster and the Rivers of Light nighttime show in Animal Kingdom have also been shut down.
CORONAVIRUS TO COST DISNEY THEME PARKS
Visitors to Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim and Disneyland Paris can, however, look forward to the opening of the Marvel Comics-inspired Avengers Campus – although an exact date remains unclear. Meanwhile, other planned attractions are being reassessed due to the financial strain and unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have separate project teams working on these efforts, but we are still evaluating project timelines based on the extended closures we’ve experienced due to COVID-19,” President of Walt Disney Imagineering Bob Weis said in a panel at D23 – The Official Disney Fan Club – in June.
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“While several projects, like Avengers Campus — at both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Paris—are able to surge forward based on where we were in development, there are others that will be picked back up in stages—like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and TRON—and some that are longer-term that we will need more time to assess,” he told the crowd at the time while also providing exclusive details on how Splash Mountain will be reimagined as a “Princess and the Frog” attraction in Disneyland and Walt Disney World at some point in the future.
DISNEY FANS PETITION FOR SPLASH MOUNTAIN TO BE RE-THEMED AFTER 'PRINCESS AND THE FROG'