Though we’ve known for some time that budget cuts were coming to Walt Disney World, new information has trickled out of the resort in recent days that shows one, very strange fact: almost all of the current cuts happening in the near future (at least that we know about) are going to be happening at the Magic Kingdom. Even though this park is even opening a new attraction on October 2, 2016, this date will also represent the end of operations for a number of in-park entertainers and characters, including some fan favorites. 

Though it is curious that Disney would make cuts at the park that has been more or less stable through the tumultuous summer of 2016, here are all of the cuts that we know about (so far) that will be taking effect at the Magic Kingdom in the next few days. 

1. The Notorious Banjo Brothers (And Bob) - Frontierland

Though you probably already know the Notorious Banjo Brothers (and Bob) as the resident country and western band of the Magic Kingdom (playing good 'ol country hits as well as recent Disney favorites with twangy flair), it looks like this entertainment act, which has been playing in various spots around Frontierland for nearly a decade (the earliest we remember them being around is in 2007) is unfortunately heading for permanent retirement from this park.

According to Disney's official park calendar, the final day for this Magic Kingdom mainstay will be October 1, 2016, and like all of these other cuts, no replacement is planned for this entertaining trio. In fact, two characters who call Frontierland home at the Magic Kingdom will also unfortunately be getting the axe at the exact same time.. 

2. Woody and Jessie - Frontierland

Image: Disney

Effective October 2, 2016, Toy Story characters Woody and Jessie will no longer be meeting guests at the Magic Kingdom in Frontierland next to Splash Mountain. And while Woody meets guests currently at Disney's Hollywood Studios' Pixar Place, the Magic Kingdom has historically been the only place in all of Walt Disney World where Jessie can be met regularly, which means guests who want to see this character one last time will need to do so in the very near future, as after this date Jessie will only appear as part of other entertainment around the resort, and will not be available for pictures or autographs. 

3. Rafiki - Adventureland

Aside from the loss of these two characters in Frontierland, it looks like Rafiki (who has been meeting guests in Adventureland for the past few months next to the Skipper Canteen) will also be leaving the Magic Kingdom in the near future as well. Though no firm date has been given for this character's departure, considering all the other cuts, the first week in October seems likely to be this character's last. However, the good news here is that, like Woody, Rafiki can still be found very easily at Walt Disney World. Guests who want to meet this character will be able to find him daily in the Rafiki's Planet Watch area of Disney's Animal Kingdom. 



Let's face it Disney isn't hurting for money. When they say they have to make budget cuts we all know it's a big bowl of baloney. Like someone else said they're taking all the magic away and raising the prices they are going to lose some families that choose to come regularly. I'm part of a group that loves all things Disney, and some of them even are DVC members are not going to Disney World on a regular basis like they used to. I realize Disney already has their vacation club money, but if people are coming and buying meals and buying souvenirs then they're still missing that money. We've been going every year since 2007, this will be our last year until the 50th anniversary. I just think when you're paying 300 to $1,000 a night for a hotel that there should be a lot more magic, and it shouldn't be being cut. Like I said when I started this comment, Disney is not hurting for money and they do not need to make any budget cuts.

I first went to Disney in 1975 as a kid and my parents took me twice a year for more than a decade. Now I am an annual pass holder and I take my kids about six times a year. I am very nostalgic and get anxious when changes are made, but it always seems like Disney makes good changes. Maelstrom was my favorite ride in EPCOT and I was so mad that they got rid of it, but I have to say that Frozen has grown on me. I love Disney so much that I dream about being an Imagineer and fixing all of the deficiencies, but they do it well without me. I fear change, but my advice is to embrace the change. Your kids are growing up with a new Disney and I think they are doing a good job in keeping the classic Disney and promoting the new Disney.

I'm sad to see the Banjo buddies go as they are old school magic kingdom and it feels like there is less and less of that these days. I'm sure there will be another night parade coming soon so I'm not concerned about that. and yes it's getting harder to afford a Disney vacation even as a DVC member.

i dont like the changes.. I loved the stitch ride.. i love meeting the characters.. your taking away what Disney was.. and i understand things cost more.. but your making it to expensive for someone to come.. you have raised prices every year the last few years.. stop changing so much.. stop trying to improve things that people already love and enjoy..

I have been to Walt Disney World to many times to count in my lifetime. Love Disney and the parks!!!!! It is time for some changes to keep returning visitors like me happy to come back. You have to admit, when Disney does something new, they do it right and spectacular.My family was just there in August and we thought everything with Star Wars was AWESOME!!!!! New things are not bad, just something new to enjoy. Disney has lots of new and exciting things coming to the parks. Where else can you visit that has something for you to do at any time for the price? Walt Disney World is amazing.

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