Though big changes are underway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and even Epcot, things seem relatively quiet by comparison at Walt Disney World’s flagship park. However, just because there are no new rides or expansions under construction at the Magic Kingdom, that doesn’t mean that nothing is going on at this park. In fact, this summer will bring a number of important changes to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, including the return of a lesser known park icon and some substantial alterations to Cinderella Castle.
1. New castle turrets are ascending later this summer
Cinderella’s Castle is certainly a beautiful thing to behold, and even though this massive park icon is already (arguably) the most enchanting sight to behold at Walt Disney World, this world-famous landmark is about to get a even more impressive.
Over the past few months, giant rectangular boxes have appeared next to the castle, and now we finally know what’s behind the scrims: new castle "turret" expansions. Though these turrets (which look more like spires) will likely serve a practical purpose (we’ve heard that they will house projectors for the castle show), they will still extend this icon’s footprint and make Cinderella’s Castle more magnificent than ever.
2. The Orange Bird returns to the Sunshine Tree Terrace
After an absence of nearly three months, the Orange Bird has retuned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. Though the Aloha Isle Refreshments and Sunshine Tree Terrace swapped menus and locations back in March, this test period has ended and the Orange Bird icon is back at the Sunshine Tree, and has even gotten a bit of a promotion, as he has been added to the Sunshine Tree Terrace marquee.
If you count yourself among the Orange Bird obsessed, this little character can also now be found in a new attraction poster at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom as well. Nice!
3. Pirates of the Caribbean & Dream Along With Mickey say ‘so long’ for the summer
Though Walt Disney World will be welcoming a massive volume of guests this summer, not all of its attractions will be open. Yesterday was the last operating day for Pirates of the Caribbean for 2015 until September 26th, and Cinderella Castle stage show Dream Along With Mickey will be taking its final bow this summer next month.
Interestingly, the reasons behind both of these closures are somewhat ambiguous. Though Pirates of the Caribbean has been due for a major refurbishment for some time, the huge 6 month refurbishment that was announced earlier this year was shortened to just four months (now lasting during the summer season from June until September). Previously, the reasons for the refurbishment was said to be massive updates to the attraction’s ride and safety systems, but now that the refurbishment period only encompasses the summer, it’s hard to predict what changes could be coming to this classic ride at the Magic Kingdom.
The Dream Along with Mickey closure is a little easier to explain, as ongoing work at the Magic Kingdom hub as well as the aforementioned turret installation will likely limit when stage performances can take place in this area. Though some sources have reported that Dream Along With Mickey is getting ready for retirement, with only a five week refurbishment period, this option seems pretty unlikely.