Though we’ve known for some time that budget cuts were coming to Walt Disney World, new information has trickled out of the resort in recent days that shows one, very strange fact: almost all of the current cuts happening in the near future (at least that we know about) are going to be happening at the Magic Kingdom. Even though this park is even opening a new attraction on October 2, 2016, this date will also represent the end of operations for a number of in-park entertainers and characters, including some fan favorites.
Though it is curious that Disney would make cuts at the park that has been more or less stable through the tumultuous summer of 2016, here are all of the cuts that we know about (so far) that will be taking effect at the Magic Kingdom in the next few days.
1. The Notorious Banjo Brothers (And Bob) - Frontierland
Though you probably already know the Notorious Banjo Brothers (and Bob) as the resident country and western band of the Magic Kingdom (playing good 'ol country hits as well as recent Disney favorites with twangy flair), it looks like this entertainment act, which has been playing in various spots around Frontierland for nearly a decade (the earliest we remember them being around is in 2007) is unfortunately heading for permanent retirement from this park.
According to Disney's official park calendar, the final day for this Magic Kingdom mainstay will be October 1, 2016, and like all of these other cuts, no replacement is planned for this entertaining trio. In fact, two characters who call Frontierland home at the Magic Kingdom will also unfortunately be getting the axe at the exact same time..
2. Woody and Jessie - Frontierland
Effective October 2, 2016, Toy Story characters Woody and Jessie will no longer be meeting guests at the Magic Kingdom in Frontierland next to Splash Mountain. And while Woody meets guests currently at Disney's Hollywood Studios' Pixar Place, the Magic Kingdom has historically been the only place in all of Walt Disney World where Jessie can be met regularly, which means guests who want to see this character one last time will need to do so in the very near future, as after this date Jessie will only appear as part of other entertainment around the resort, and will not be available for pictures or autographs.
3. Rafiki - Adventureland
Aside from the loss of these two characters in Frontierland, it looks like Rafiki (who has been meeting guests in Adventureland for the past few months next to the Skipper Canteen) will also be leaving the Magic Kingdom in the near future as well. Though no firm date has been given for this character's departure, considering all the other cuts, the first week in October seems likely to be this character's last. However, the good news here is that, like Woody, Rafiki can still be found very easily at Walt Disney World. Guests who want to meet this character will be able to find him daily in the Rafiki's Planet Watch area of Disney's Animal Kingdom.