Home » 4 Exciting Refurbishments Coming to Walt Disney World Very Soon

    4 Exciting Refurbishments Coming to Walt Disney World Very Soon

    Starbucks at Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom - Image © Disney

    Disney World always has some sort of refurbishment in the works, but the parks have recently been flooded with overhauls, additions, and expansions. There’s something happening at every Disney World park, and the announcements just keep on coming. Here are a few things that are scheduled for this year, some of which have been formally announced while others are still just (researched but still rumored) speculation. From a new Starbucks location to an overhaul to a classic ride, there are plenty of important refurbishment dates to remember. If you’re planning a trip in 2015, keep a lookout for these closures, expansions, and new attractions.

    1. Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Discovery Island Starbucks location

    Starbucks at Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom - Image © Disney

    Status: Confirmed

    Disney announced their partnership with Starbucks in 2012. Since then, three new Starbucks locations have been added to the Disney World parks, including locations at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In addition, two Starbucks stores are located at Downtown Disney.

    The fourth park, Animal Kingdom, is finally getting its own Starbucks, too. In January 2015, the merchandise store Creature Comforts closed for good. Since then, Disney has updated the color scheme of the building and announced an expansion of the merchandise location nearby, Disney Outfitters.

    This Starbucks will be conveniently located along the path to Africa, so it will probably be busy, especially early in the morning. The projected opening day is June 4, 2015, though that could change depending on Disney’s construction schedule and delays.

    2. Magic Kingdom: Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid 

    The Journey of the Little Mermaid - Image © Disney

    Status: Confirmed

    On February 2, 2015, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid closed at Magic Kingdom for a month-long refurbishment. Disney hasn’t officially announced what changes will be taking place, but most people assume the ride will undergo the same small transformation as the Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, which had lighting effects added during its refurbishment last year.

    Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, which is located at Disney’s California Adventure, underwent a minimalist refurbishment, but the effects were impressive. The beginning and end of the ride were mostly unchanged, but the “Under the Sea” portion was enhanced by black lights, which give the fish and characters a neon appearance. The overhead lights are also darkened slightly, which makes the whole ride feel truly “under the sea,” since the ceiling, walls, and other elements aren’t as noticeable.

    The ride is set to reopen on March 6, 2015; it should be fun to see what changes have been made when it reopens.

    3. Magic Kingdom: Liberty Tree Tavern

    Status: Confirmed

    One surprising new refurbishment that has been confirmed is the Liberty Tree Tavern restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. Though we know that this refurbishment will keep the restaurant shuttered from July 6 through November 20, 2015, we don’t know exactly what changes are being made. Some have speculated that the restuaruant could be transformed into a new dining experience that could be flipped around to serve Adventureland (which the building currently backs into). Of course, the refurbishment could also be strictly cosmetic in nature (similar to what’s happening now with Flame Tree Barbequeue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), but we’ll have to wait and find out. 

    3. Disney’s Hollywood Studios: For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along

    Frozen Sing-along Celebration - Image ©Disney

    Status: Rumored

    Disney seemed unprepared for the popularity of the hit movie Frozen. The film was released in 2013, and Disney World has been struggling to add its theming to the parks ever since.

    In 2014, a Frozen-themed summer concert was added at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and a Frozen-themed ride area will be added in Norway at Epcot soon. In late 2014, the summer concert was revamped and named “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration Show.” Guests can catch this 30-minute show at the Premiere Theater with a FP+ reservation (or without, if you’re lucky and/or arrive early).

    A few days ago, Disney made an internal announcement about the area that used to house the American Idol Experience attraction. This area, named the Superstar Television Theater, is currently under construction, but the company hasn’t confirmed any theories about what changes it’s undergoing. The most popular theory, though, is that this will become the new area for the Frozen sing-along show.

    The theory makes perfect sense for a couple of reasons. For one, the movie was (and still is) a massive hit, so Disney will likely capitalize on its popularity in any way they can. Also, this area offers ample space for a large stage and seating area, which will be great for the huge crowds the sing-along draws each day. While Disney hasn’t officially announced the changes, the rumors are spreading quickly, and some guests report that Cast Members are talking about the change openly.

    There’s no date yet set for this refurbishment yet, so keep your eyes peeled for future announcements.