Yesterday Disney announced a slew of entertainment additions, as well as a few endings, for Walt Disney World in the coming months. In this post, we’ll share details on the changes as well as dates for the returning shows while sprinkling in our own commentary along the way.
First, let’s start with a little bit of surprising news. Disney has intimated that Happily Ever After, Magic Kingdom’s current nighttime spectacular, will end permanently on September 29th. Epcot Forever will end on September 28th. Here’s what Disney actually said:
“This summer is also your last chance to come out and catch the current fireworks shows before they sparkle into Disney history. ‘EPCOT Forever’ will conclude its limited-time run on September 28, and you have until September 29 to take in the spectacle of ‘Happily Ever After’ at Magic Kingdom Park.”
I do think that announcement leaves some wiggle room for Happily Ever After to return to Magic Kingdom and, frankly, I would be surprised if it doesn’t come back at some point. On October 1st, Disney Enchantment will debut for WDW’s 50th anniversary and will run for at least the duration of the 18 month celebration. The show promises to have a better infrastructure than its predecessor, meaning more projections and different launch sites.
Why I’m skeptical about Happily Ever After being gone forever is because it’s only a few years old and is almost universally loved. This is purely a guess but I would also think that the show is more cost effective than Disney Enchantment. Disneyland often brings back old firework shows and most people know that the Main Street Electrical Parade has been retired approximately 54 times. I could see Happily Ever After returning in a similar fashion. Still, if you want to make sure you see it then do it before September 29th! Epcot Forever will be gone forever though. Lord willing.
Moving on, Disney has announced a slew of entertainment options returning in August. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor will be welcomed back to Magic Kingdom on August 8th. This is a solid addition to Tomorrowland and is a good amount of fun. I do not think it’s to the level of changing your itinerary or anything but it’s certainly a strong addition. It’s the type of quirky and fun entertainment that Magic Kingdom needs more of, even if it’s in a strange location.
Epcot will be welcoming back Turtle Talk with Crush on August 21st. It’s just fine and fun to do with kids. That’s about all I’ve got on that one aside from not realizing that it wasn’t already open. It has been open in California Adventure.
Hollywood Studios welcomes back two shows, starting with the nighttime spectacular “Wonderful World of Animation” on August 1st. This show hadn’t even run for a full year prior to the closure. Here’s the Disney synopsis: “This cinematic nighttime experience leverages projection mapping technology to transform the park’s iconic Chinese Theater on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation.”
Also returning to Hollywood Studios is Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage on August 15th. I’ve very openly hoped for a change at the theater but that won’t be happening anytime soon unfortunately. While Beauty and the Beast is decent, it’s grown tired and has run in that theater for longer than Animal Kingdom, California Adventure and DisneySea have existed.
Hopefully this will all spark a change to most of Disney World’s (and Disneyland’s) entertainment coming back by October 1st, in time for the anniversary. Some of that would mean that Disney needs to hire people in a hurry. That does seem to be happening, at least at WDW. The parks are slowly returning to a pre-COVID state despite cases rising. We hope that progress continues and some of the other, perhaps strongers, acts return.
Are you excited for these entertainment changes? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! Planning at trip to Disney World? Check out our Disney World Trip Planning Guide. If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney, please subscribe to the blog on the right side of this page. That’s where you can find links to our social media accounts, as well. Thank you for reading!