Home » The 8 BIG Updates from Walt Disney World This Week (July 1-7, 2019)

The 8 BIG Updates from Walt Disney World This Week (July 1-7, 2019)

This week at Walt Disney World, Epcot announces almost a dozen closures as it prepares to reinvent itself, an expensive new restaurant opens in the World Showcase, plus Disney’s Animal Kingdom is looking to rework the new(ish) UP! show, which debuted last year. 

Programming note: Though we normally devote some time to Orlando-area parks outside Lake Buena Vista, there has been so much going on at Walt Disney World over the past seven days that we decided to forgo the “beyond” this week. You’ll hear about all the news from Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando in next week’s update!

1. Crowds light during quiet 4th of July 

Image: Disney

Though the Fourth of July is typically a very busy time at Walt Disney World with both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot seeing phased closures in years past, it looks like things were a little lighter in 2019 with both parks staying completely open and wait times for popular rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Frozen Ever After staying relatively mild at between 60 – 90 minutes for most of the day. 

2. UP! A Great Bird Adventure to be reworked this fall

Image: Disney

Back in 2018 Disney’s Animal Kingdom changed its Flights of Wonder show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to include characters from the movie UP! alongside the cast of birds, and changed the title to the more IP-friendly UP! A Great Bird Adventure. However, it looks like these changes have not been very popular with guests, and Disney is going to be reworking this show again as a result. While these changes are being implemented the show will close from September 8 to September 14, with a reopening planned for September 15.

3. Full list of fall Future World closings now available

Image: Disney

Though we’ve known about the reinvention of Future World for some time news broke this week that the following locations will be closing at the end of the summer on September 8, 2019:

  • Club Cool
  • Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto meet and greet
  • Joy and Sadness character meet and greet
  • Baymax character meet and greet
  • FountainView Starbucks
  • Colortopia (Innoventions)
  •  Fountain of Nations
  • Art of Disney
  •  Pin Central
In addition, the Electric Umbrella quick service dining loction will officially close November 23rd, 2019, after which this location is expected to be remodeled and possibly rethemed in 2020. 

4. Club Cool to move in the near future

Club Cool
Image: Disney
Though we know that Club Cool is closing, this guest favorite area at Epcot, which includes free beverage stations with flavors from around the world, has been confirmed to be staying at the park and will return in some form after its closing. However, no details about when or where this new location might open have been shared. 

5. Takumi-Tei now open at World Showcase

Image: Disney

The newest signature dining experience at Walt Disney World is now open in the Japan pavilion. Named Takumi-Tei, which means house of the artisan, this new restaurant is perated by Mitsukoshi, which also runs the pavilion’s other restaurants and retail areas. 

The menu includes Wagyu Beef and a $130 per person  multi-course tasting menu with traditional tea service. Drinks include signature cocktails, premium sake and a wine and craft beer menu.

6. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge previews to begin for top-tier annual passholders 

Image: Disney

Disney has announced that top tier annual passholders, including Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders will have the opportunity to register for a preview of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on select dates and times in August at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Email invitations with a link to register will be sent out over the next few weeks.

If you are an eligible Passholder and would like to register a Guest to accompany you, that Guest must also have a valid Platinum, Platinum Plus or Premier annual pass, be listed on your Family & Friends list and have opted to share “All My Plans” with you.

7. New busses debuting this month  

Image: Disney

Though travelling by bus probably isn;t the most exciting part of a Walt Disney World vacation, this week the resort debuted new bus designs featuring the sensational six: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto. In addition, these busses feature refreshed interiors that include brand new blue seats and laminate floors. Some Walt Disney World buses will also have USB charging ports conveniently located between seats. 

8. Star Wars: March of the First Order now closed

The Star Wars:  March of the First Order parade will be wrapping up soon at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and had its last day of operation on July 7, 2019. This entertainment offering has been around for several years and featured Captain Phasma leading a group of First Order Stormtroopers from the Star Wars: Launch Bay to the Center Stage area of the park.