This week at Walt Disney World, a beloved character is confirmed to be exiting, two refurbishments are announced, plus a limited-time deal is extended, an annual passholder freebie returns for 2016 and Rivers of Light gets ready for a fall opening.
Outside Walt Disney World, Universal makes its final preparations for the return of Halloween Horror Nights in just a few days, plus a new eatery gets an opening date and Discovery Cove welcomes five new adorable residents! It's been a busy week, so let's jump right in!
1. Scoop to leave the Magic Kingdom next month
Long-time Citizen of Main Street USA character Scoop Sanderson will no longer be regularly appearing at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and his last day in the park will be in just a few weeks on October 8. Though no immediate reason was given for this sudden departure, it is believed that Disney terminated the contract they had with the performer who brings Scoop Sanderson to life due to ongoing budget cuts at the park.
This is especially sad as Scoop has appeared on Main Street for many years, and is truly an icon for pin traders (he even has a number of official Disney pins that feature his likeness!). Right now we don’t know if any other Citizens of Main Street will be cut this fall, but for now we do know if you want to see Scoop on Main Street one last time, you’ll need to do it soon as he'll be gone for good in just a few weeks.
2. Rivers of Light reportedly almost ready to debut
According to several sources, Walt Disney Imagineering has officially completed development on Rivers of Light, and has now handed the finished project over to the operations department of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park for the finishing touches. In addition, performers who were slated to be a part of this show before it was delayed have been informed recently that rehearsals are starting up again very soon.
Given these developments, it seems increasingly likely that Rivers of Light will debut sometime this October, possibly as soon as the middle of the month. You can read more about this developing story here.
3. Annual Passholder free glass deal returns for 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
According to Disney's Annual Passholder newsletter, this year will bring another freebie for passholders who visit the 2016 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival three times. However, instead of an etched port wine glass, passholders this year will get the etched tumbler pictured above.
4. Refillable popcorn deal extended through the fall
The refillable, souvenir popcorn bucket deal that was introduced at Walt Disney World this past summer has been extended and will now be available for guests to take advantage of through the end of October. In case you need a refresher, guests may purchase a special refillable popcorn bucket for $10 with refills available for $1.50 each throughout their length of stay. However, if you're heading to the park with your refillable bucket from the summer, be aware that a new fall-inpired design is debuting soon and guests will need to have the new design for the refill.