This week at Walt Disney World, more closures were announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we learned more about when plans for Star Wars Land will move forward plus Disney Springs hits another important milestone which will hopefully help alleviate some of the traffic woes that plague guests visiting this shopping district.
Outside Walt Disney World, Universal closes two major attractions (one for good!) and introduces some new entertainment options which may or may not be permanent. Busch Gardens also confirms its plans for Christmas 2015 and announced a money-saving deal for passholders good this month only!
1. A pair of closures are announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Earlier this week, two more closures were announced to be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. First up is the Mulch Sweat and Shears Show, which will have its last performance at the park next month after 11 years at the park. No word yet on what will replace this band at the park’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration.
Though the loss of this band is certainly a blow to longtime park fans, the biggest confirmed closure announced this week was that of the Osborne Family of Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Though this annual tradition will be back for 2015’s holiday season, when the lights switch off on January 3, 2016, they’ll be going out for good, at least at Walt Disney World.
2. Star Wars Land to break ground in 2016
In a related development, it was confirmed this week that ground will be broken on Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios sometime in 2016. Though this is a little bit earlier than expected (some cynical fans were expecting a 2-3 year waiting period between announcement and construction, similar to what happened with Pandora: The World of Avatar), Disney still has yet to commit to an opening window for this new land. While we'd like to be optimistic, with two rides, new restaurants and more, we still wouldn't bet on seeing this land anytime before 2020.
3. New road opens at Disney Springs
Though traffic at Disney Springs is still pretty nightmarish, there’s at least an easier way for guests to enter the parking garage on the west side of the shopping complex. Guests who are traveling east bound on Buena Vista Drive Drive can now take a dedicated “flyover” ramp that leads directly into the third level of the parking garage. You can check out a brief video of the new route here.
4. New fireworks cruise announced
Earlier this week, Disney announced a brand new upcharge event: Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise. Essentially, this new event will take guests out on the Magic Kingdom ferryboats select nights one hour prior to fireworks showtime, so they can enjoy dessert and drinks while experiencing the night’s fireworks show from a unique vantage point. The cost of this excursion will be $99 for adults, $69 for kids. You can find out much more about this brand new event (including what’s on the menu!) here.