With a company as big as Disney, it is hard for guests (especially those who are active online) to be surprised by anything. Between well-sourced leaks, permit filings and even Cast Member chatter, whispers of pretty much every major Disney park development very often precede official announcements, sometimes by weeks or even months.
However, even though surprises are rare, this week Disney made several announcements that many weren't expecting. Though most of these revelations are good surprises (there's one notable exception, which we'll get to in a moment), here's all the developments you probably didn't see coming!
1. The (temporary) return of Soarin Over California
Though we officially said goodbye to the original version of Soarin’ several months ago, Disney has completed the refurbishment work on the interior queue and third theater and is celebrating by bringing back the original Soarin’ Over California film to Epcot for a few weeks before Sorain’ Over the World makes its big debut next month.
This is certainly an amazing surprise, and fans of the original film will certainly be happy to be able to experience this attraction one more time before its newest incarnation takes over in June. The early re-addition of Soarin’ should also help relieve pressure on Epcot, which has been suffering in recent months with this ride closed and Frozen Ever After still under construction. The recently announced closure of the Sum of All Thrills (and possibly what’s left of Innoventions as a whole) also isn’t helping things at this flagging park, but hopefully this surprise revival of a true park classic will hopefully help give an early boost to Epcot just in time for summer!
If you’re feeling nostalgic, Soarin' Over California will be open at Epcot from May 27th through June 16th (the day before Soarin' Over the World debuts) and FastPass+ reservations for this experience are available via My Disney Experience right now!
2. An early debut for Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire
Though it has only been a few weeks since the former castle show Dream Along With Mickey closed forever, it looks like Disney is ready to debut their newest show in just a few weeks! It was revealed yesterday that Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire will begin performances at the Magic Kingdom on a newly refurbished stage in front of Cinderella Castle in just under a month, on June 17th. Though we knew that this show was set for a summer debut, this is a lot earlier than expected, and certainly great news for those who are looking forward to this exciting new show that features not only Mickey and his pals, but also friends from Tangled, Princess and the Frog as well as Frozen.