This week at Walt Disney World, two limited time tests come to Disney's Animal Kingdom, A resort perk gets a cutback, plus a new show is announced for Disney's Hollywood Studios!
Programming note: Though we normally devote some time to Orlando-area parks outside Lake Buena Vista, there has been so much going on at Walt Disney World over the past seven days that we decided to forgo the “beyond” this week. You’ll hear about all the news from Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando in next week’s update!
1. New Disney Junior Show coming this fall to Disney's Hollywood Studios
2. River Country will finally be demolished to make way for a new Magic Kingdom hotel
One of the most infamous locations in all of Walt Disney World is River Country, which was a well-liked water park at Walt Disney World near the Magic Kingdom, and was unceremoniously abandoned and left to rot for nearly two decades, with slides, pools, and other structures slowly being overtaken by nature.
However, though this decaying park seemed like it was just going to waste away forever at Walt Disney World, it looks like Disney is finally ready to do something with this space, as the Orlando Sentinel is now reporting that they have confirmed that Disney is indeed building a hotel on top of the former River Country site. You can read more about this development here.
3. Disney's Hollywood Studios location confirmed for new Star Wars hotel
In an effort to extend the Star Wars experience beyond Star Wars: Galactic Edge (now confirmed to be opening in fall 2019 at Disney's Hollywood Studios) Disney has confirmed that they will be building a brand new Star Wars-themed hotel adjacent to Disney's Hollywood Studios, specifically right across from where Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will be on the south side of the park.
While the idea of a hotel that close to the edge of the theme park may seem a little weird for regular Walt Disney World visitors, other Disney resorts around the world, including Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disneyland, have built hotels on the edges of their theme park with access to these hotels for guests actually inside their theme parks, which is what Disney is going for here as well with new "immersive experiences" being developed as part of this hotel.