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

Image: Disney

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. 



Ive been going to Disney World at least once a year since 1971. I was born 2 months before it opened. (I have since moved to FL and am an annual passholder, visiting at least once a week) I honestly dont care about those characters being discontinued, dont recall the country band and have no clue who Scoop Sanderson is. I am very sad about the electrical parade, tho. It was a magnificent spectacle and I'm sorry to see it go. However, it was older than dirt. I will look forward to something new in its place and cross my fingers that its as good or better. Same with Stitch's great escape. It sucked when it was alien encounter, but it sucks even more now. I'm happy they will replace it. I also have to agree with one of the comments in regards to the frozen ride in Epcot. I enjoyed Maelstrom, but more importantly, that ride was about Norway. How does Frozen offer insight into the culture of Norway or any other country? (They really need to ditch the 3 caballeros in Mexico for the same reason. Its like they are forgetting the focus and intent of world showcase.) Anyway, change is good.

WDW is getting the Paint the Night Parade from Disneyland. Disneyland is getting the Electrical Parade--which is where it started in the 70s. I find these comments about how people have been watching this parade for 40 years at WDW truly amusing. You'll be wowed by the Paint the Night. They're in the off season now, cuts are normal, it'll ramp back up once the holiday season starts. Plus they are getting ready for new and great things like Toy Story Land (Jessie will pop up there). The characters should rotate out, it gives variety to each visit.

wdw is not getting paint the night. it's staying at dlr and will be going seasonal, until the retirement of dep.

I don't see why they're cutting characters. Back in the day they just had them walking through the park. They can go back to doing that and do a rotation. Like two days a week, this character, 2 days a week, another and so on. Taking away any Toy Story character is a mistake since the new movie is coming out.

They should've thought about this before they did the Star Wars expansion, then this wouldn't be happening.

I agree with a previous comment that said the CEO should take a pay cut. My family and I have been DVC members for 16+ years, as well as annual pass holders, and its nearly impossible to afford to vacation at WDW. Mr. Iger has made some really bad decisions lately, IMO. He needs to stop cutting out the "magic", stop raising prices before he loses more loyal Disney fans.

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