If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World this fall, there will be plenty of new things to do around the resort. All of the attractions that debuted this past summer will still be there to check out, a new Muppets-themed show will premiere at the Magic Kingdom, and if rumors are correct, you just might be able to see the long-awaited opening of the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
However, even though there are plenty of interesting things to see and do this fall, there are some troubling developments happening right now at Walt Disney World that seem to indicate budget cuts are happening behind the scenes this fall.
1. The holidays are being upgraded at Disneyland, but downsized at Walt Disney World
Earlier this week, Disneyland Resort confirmed some big plans for the 2016 holiday season. Disney California Adventure will be introducing a new, seasonal version of World of Color known as Season of Light, and is also kicking off a new winter event known as the Festival of Holidays which will bring multicultural activities and entertainment as well as 14 themed festival marketplaces to the park. And over at Disneyland park, the park will be bringing back the popular Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle overlay as well as the Believe…in Holiday Magic fireworks show. With such an amazing lineup of new and returning holiday events, this winter looks like it will be a great time to visit Disneyland Resort. But what about Walt Disney World?
While you may think something equally as impressive might be announced for Orlando, thus far the only new addition for 2016’s holiday season at Walt Disney World has been a new stage show for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party upcharge event, which you can read more about here. Aside from that Epcot will still have its Holidays Around the World event (which includes the Candlelight Processional), and Disney's Hollywood Studios as well as Disney's Animal Kingdom will decorate for the season.
Unfortunately, this anemic lineup is not only underwhelming, but it also leaves Walt Disney World at a net loss for the holiday season when compared to the past few years, as the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was officially retired in 2015, which leaves Disney’s Hollywood Studios with no special Christmastime entertainment whatsoever. While some were hoping that Epcot might bring back its seasonal Lights of Winter attraction (which was retired in 2009), no announcement has been made regarding this and with less than two months to go before the holiday season kicks off at the resort in November, if something like this were to be announced, we'd imagine it would have already happened by now.
While the holidays at Walt Disney World (and the Magic Kingdom in particular) are always special, East Coast Disney fans would be forgiven for being a little jealous of all the holiday offerings being introduced at the Disneyland Resort this year, and it seems baffling that the most-attended theme parks in the world aren't doing something a little extra for the holiday season in 2016, especially as attendance has not been great this year, and doesn't show any immediate signs of improving.