Disney parks are constantly changing their refurbishment schedules, making it difficult for guests to keep up with the operating times and latest news regarding their favorite attractions, resorts, shops, and restaurants. Here are a few big, upcoming changes that are either confirmed by their respective parks or at the least very strongly rumored for the very near future.
This month's refurbishment update includes a surprise refurbishment in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, the continuation of a project around Epcot, plus refurbishments at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot are almost ready to end.
1. Space Mountain exit (Magic Kingdom)
Dates: Now - ??
Earlier this week the exit to Space Mountain was closed off to guests for undisclosed reasons for what seems to be an impromptu refurbishment. Now when guests exit the ride, they are being directed through the emergency exit in the back of the attraction. From there, guests walk through a backstage area of the park that loops around the attraction building, crossing the Walt Disney World Railroad tracks (a Cast Member is on hand to direct traffic) and walking near where the construction area for the upcoming Tron roller coaster will be.
It is unknown why this refurbishment is happening or how long it will be going on, but at least for right now, guests visiting Space Mountain can go on a little backstage tour of Tomorrowland after they exit the ride, which is pretty cool for now, at least until whatever issues are happening with the exit are resolved.
2. FriendShip Boat dock (Disney's BoardWalk Resort)
Dates: Now - June 21
Just a few weeks after the refurbishment of the FriendShip Boat dock at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the boat dock at Disney's Boardwalk Resort will be undergoing maintenance this week, that will include downtime during the following times:
- Tuesday, June 19 from 1-6 p.m.
- Wednesday, June 20 from 1-6 p.m.
- Thursday, June 21 from 1-6 p.m.
This work is expected to be complete before the end of the week, but as always, plans can evolve, so resort guests should check with the front desk before heading to the dock to take one of these water taxis.
3. American Heritage Gallery (Epcot)
Dates: Now - June 29, 2018
Though the biggest draw at The American Adventure pavilion is of course the show that shares its name with the entire pavilion, this location is also home to the American Heritage Gallery, which offers a look at some often-overlooked pieces of history. This summer, this gallery will be hosting a new exhibit titled "Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art" that will be opening in just over a weeks.
This new exhibit is being produced in cooperation with of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C. Some of the featured artists with works on display will be fashion designer Loren Aragon (Acoma Pueblo), noted doll maker Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan), and Juanita Growing Thunder (Assiniboine Sioux) from the Growing Thunder family of Montana.
This exciting new exhibit will be open in just a few days, and is expected to stay at the pavilion indefinitely as the newest semi-permanent inhabitant for this corner of the pavilion.
4. Former Sweet Spells location (Disney's Hollywood Studios)
Dates: Now - Summer 2018
Though Toy Story Land is opening in just a few days on June 30, 2018, Disney is going to be adding a brand new shop that sells primarily Toy Story merchandise inside the former Sweet Spells snack location on Sunset Boulevard. This former treat stop closed for good on April 15th, and the building has been walled off while this former grab and go dining spot is converted into retail space. No official re-opening date has been announced, but we'd assume that this project will be finished sometime in the coming weeks. Merchandise sold in this new shop wil include general Toy Story toys and apparel, as well as merchandise related to Toy Story Land, like that pictured above, even though this re-purposed shop won't actually be in Toy Story Land.