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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...

Magic Kingdom

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…

Epcot

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...  

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Comments

Disney is sort of a disaster right now. DHS will start closing at 7 soon. DAK is failing in so many ways at night. Epcot is a mess. MK is the only park doing OK. Disney Springs looks amazing but it is not drawing business because none of the parks are. It's really quite a bad situation. They poured so much effort into Shanghai that they let WDW fall so far behind. Universal has been catching up but Kong was a letdown for most which is lucky for Disney. It will be interesting to see if they recover.

I agree with this article on all points, having just visited three out of the four I can only really comment on them. As far as Hollywood Studios, I would say they are the most right on! What rides that are running, the lines are atrocious!! everything has become packed to the gils. We even stayed for the Star Wars fireworks and if we hadn't asked a cast member where was the best place to view them we would have not seen half of what we did. But even standing the center of the viewing section we still could not see all of the effects, though what we saw were Fantastic!! I am 5'8" and still had trouble seeing the effects, I said more than once if they could just make everyone sit on the ground... People always complain about having others hold their children on their shoulders..well I can tell you that I can see why, our Daughter had to hold our grand daughter ( 8 years old ) up on her hip (the entire length of the show ) and still they had problems seeing. Make the shows Higher Disney or Make the viewing better!! Nothing Spoils a Great trip to see something only to leave so Disappointed having not enjoyed/ seen it. By the way we also stayed for the EMH the night before and after seeing a Packed!! Fantasmic,(sat in the farthest seats in the stadium and a waist of time because of it) we went to ride Rocking Roller coaster. Our wait was only 20 mins, we ran from Fantasmic, but when we turned the corner of the building the line was clear out to the entrance, by Tower of Terror!!! once we got of the ride the park was about to close, EMH was only 1 1/2 hrs, we were only able to get onto Star Wars and it was time to go home!! We are Pass holders and are hugh fans, but I have to admit, we are very disappointed at how long Disney has taken to upgrade these parks deciding instead to build complete parks in other countries in damn near the same time length that it is taking them to build New Fantasyland, Avatar, and now Star Wars and Toy Story land!!!

Had my first visit to Walt Disney World this Summer (June), and because I'm from Scotland and not able to go frequently I wasn't really in a position to judge what has and hasn't improved.

But by far my favourite park was Animal Kingdom. Just the whole atmosphere around the place and the animal-theme made me love it slightly more than Magic Kingdom. Felt a bit squashed at Hollywood Studios due to the fact there were so many bits blocked off, but I think that would be my favourite park once they've built everything they're planning to build there.

I Went there about 3 weeks ago and Epcot had a lot of great new things!, DHS(in my honest opinion)had some magic left despite closing half of this park, and MK had a cute new character that i missed out on.

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