Walt Disney World has earned a reputation not just for having the best-attended and most well-themed parks in the world, but for hosting a number of top-quality events. Whether it's single-night events like the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party or ongoing events like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, chances are good that if you are a serious Disney fan, you've been to several of the resort's events over the years.
However, even though you may have gotten used ot these events, that doesn't mean change isn't still possible. In fact, 2016 will bring a whole host of changes to what kinds of events will be hosted at Walt Disney World, and for how long. And unfortunately, the first change isn't exactly one for the better...
1. There will be fewer events overall
2014 and 2015 have been transformative years at Walt Disney World, and have seen the closures of nearly 40 rides and attractions across the resort. However, special events have also taken a beating in recent history, with several being cancelled over the past 18 months.
Obviously, the biggest loser in recent history has been Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as 2015 saw the end of both Star Wars Weekends as well as the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights events. 2014 was also the last year for the Unleash the Villains event at this park, which was a troubled one-night event that was one of the only events to actually be too popular, with guests flooding this oversold one-night-only event for two years in a row before it was ultimately cancelled
However, Disney’s Hollywood Studios isn’t the only place at Walt Disney World losing events. Disney Springs will no longer play host to Festival of the Masters or Car Masters Weekends, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will no longer host Harambe Nights, now that the park has been confirmed to be extending its hours in early 2016.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Epcot is the only Walt Disney World theme park that hasn’t lost an event over the past two years. However, that doesn’t mean things aren’t changing at this park…
2. Flower and Garden will be getting super-sized in 2016
Though November might seem like a premature time for Disney to start talking about 2016’s edition of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Disney has confirmed that there will be substantial changes made to this event next year. Chief among these alterations is the event’s expansion to 90 days, up from last year's 75 day event. Already Flower and Garden was Epcot’s longest-running event, but with this newest development, Flower and Garden nearly doubles the length of this fall’s Food and Wine Festival (which ran for a record 46 days in 2015).
Part of the reason for the expansion may be to help absorb some of the crowds left behind by the cancellation of Star Wars Weekends, which previously happened concurrently with Flower and Garden Festival. The longer event time also may be capitalizing on the opening of the new Frozen attractions at the World Showcase, which are projected to welcome their first guests sometime this spring, presumably during the Festival.
Other changes to this year's Flower and Garden festival will include a new main entrance topiary inspired by the 1943 Donald Duck comic "The Victory Garden.", Ranger Mickey Mouse will appear in topiary form in a Future World garden, and a new Fab Five play garden will debut with musical instruments built into a children's play area.
Though we've already gotten the first details about next year's event, we look forward to hearing more about 2016's returning elements as well, which will include an all-new seminar series, the return of the Garden Rocks concerts, and even more Outdoor Kitchens.