This summer has been full of ups and downs at Walt Disney World, and as Labor Day (the unofficial end of summer) approaches we thought we’d take a look back at some of the good, bad and the ugly that was summer 2016 at Walt Disney World.
We’ll start things off with a look at the park that probably had the best summer of all...
Successes: Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, Elena’s Royal Welcome
Failure: Disney After Hours
Though attendance declines hit every other park, the one place at Walt Disney World that has basically held steady year over year is the Magic Kingdom. And perhaps not surprisingly, the park had the most successes as well. First up was the new castle forecourt show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, which was very well received and drew large amounts of guests for nearly every showing this summer.
And while the success of Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire isn’t all that surprising, one hit we did not expect was that of Elena’s Royal Welcome, which is a 5-minute show featuring a band new Disney Channel princess that has been happening daily before Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire. Originally set to run for only a few weeks, this show has been so popular that Disney actually extended it to run until the end of September, so as many guests as possible can get a chance to see Elena.
The only real negative at the Magic Kingdom this summer was Disney After Hours, which you'd be forgiven for forgetting even existed. This $150 upcharge event, which allowed guests to continue to experience attractions at the Magic Kingdom after closing, was so unpopular that Disney actually resorted to giving tickets away for free to hotel guests right before the event. Though Disney After Hours was offered for over a month at the beginning of the summer, it quickly faded into obscurity come June.
However, aside from the After Hours hiccup, it has been a great summer for the Magic Kingdom. And though attendance has been off, things have been pretty good at another Walt Disney World park as well…
Successes: All new attractions
Failures: The opening weeks of Frozen Ever After
Epcot had an absolute blockbuster summer, with the opening of three new attractions: Soarin’ Over the World, the Royal Sommerhus, and Frozen Ever After. Though the latter stumbled a bit out of the gate with numerous technical issues during its opening weeks (which caused frequent shutdowns and ride wait times in excess of two and three hours), the attraction has since stabilized, which has been a very good thing for guests wanting to experience this amazing new ride.
While attendance has been a bit soft at this park over the summer, these three new attractions have all been met with very positive reviews, and are continuing to draw guests, even if the rest of the park (particularly Future World) is in a bit of a state of flux.
And while the Magic Kingdom and Epcot both had a pretty good summer, Walt Disney World's other two parks haven't fared nearly as well...