Theme park attractions come and go all the time, and even though we’d like all our favorite rides and shows to stick around forever, the sad fact is that we have to say goodbye to at least a few every year.
This month, we take a look at a pair of closures set to hit Epcot before the end of the year and a controversial west coast closure confirmed to be happening soon. However, we'll get things started with an endangered attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom that may or may not have a replacement lined up...
1. The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic
Location: Disney's Animal Kingdom
Status: Rumored to be going extinct September 6, 2016
The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic was always billed as a temporary show for Disney's Animal Kingdom and now it looks like we might know when this entertainment offering will have its final performance: Labor Day. According to the official Walt Disney World calendar, there are no performances scheduled beyond September 5, 2016 and resort guests have found that they are not able to make FastPass+ reservations beyond this date either. While a last-minute extension for this show could still happen, considering the temporary nature of The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic, this doesn't seem especially likely, and Disney is probably looking to move on from this show (which has recieved mixed reviews since its start earlier this year).
Of course, while September looks like the end date for this particular evening show, what is left to be seen is what is happening with Rivers of Light. There have been no announcements from Disney regarding this nighttime spectacular (which was originally supposed to debut several months ago), and while Disney still has several weeks left this summer in which they could announce a fall debut for this show, it seems unlikely that Rivers of Light will be fully ready to go in just a few weeks.
So, if The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic is set to close in a few weeks, and Rivers of Light is still on hold, the question remains, what is going on with evening hours at Disney's Animal Kingdom? Will Disney just abandon this concept in the short term? Or press on with no evening show? Unfortunately, we don't have any answers yet. Considering the soft popularity of evening activities at this park in general, it is possible that Disney could just draw down nighttime operations for the fall/winter, and then re-launch Disney's Animal Kingdom after dark again when either Rivers of Light or Pandora: The World of Avatar is ready to go (whichever comes first).
No matter what ends up happening, one thing seems to be for certain: The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic is probably not going to be around after Labor Day, so if you still want to see this film-inspired show, you'll want to do so in the near future.
2. Ellen's Energy Adventure
Status: Rumored to be going extinct fall/winter 2016
Though we were skeptical at first about the idea of a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction taking over the Universe of Energy building, the presence of height testing balloons around this site a few days ago essentially confirms that Ellen's Energy Adventure (and perhaps the entire Universe of Energy building) isn't long for this world. While Disney has not yet confirmed that this attraction is indeed closing (or that a new attraction is even opening) if you count yourself as a fan of this slow-moving educational experience, then you'll want to make sure to stop by this attraction in the next few months, as its likely that Ellen's Energy Adventure will be closed before the beginning of 2017 to make way for a new, unspecified Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.