Earlier this week it was announced that Disney would be making sweeping cuts around the resort which included the closure of a number of character-based attractions and some staff downsizing around the resort. However, it looks like Disney saved the most drastic cuts for the weekend, as it has been confirmed that two HUGE cuts are coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom next month...
1. Rafiki's Planet Watch now closing permanently on October 12
Earlier this week it was revealed that Rafiki's Planet Watch at Disney's Animal Kingdom was set to switch to seasonal operation as of September 30th. As we've discussed previously, seasonal operation is often the kiss of death for attractions, but we were hoping we'd be able to check out this attraction a few more times sporadically before it closed forever at some point in the future. However, we were shocked this week when it was confirmed that this attraction will be closing forever on October 12th, which means the Wildlife Express train will not run after this time and the entire conservation station (including the Affection Section petting zoo) will be shut down.
Interestingly, the veterinary facilities here will continue to operate, as they are necessary for the care of the animals at the park, but everything else is expected to be closed since this attraction will not be reopening at all. Inside sources say that some of the experiences inside this land will possibly be moved elsewhere, but it is unclear at this point which of these experience are even able to be relocated, aside from the character interactions since things like the petting zoo and other attractions required the animal facilities that were housed in this area.
We don't exactly know why this closure is happening, as there are no plans (at least that we know of) for a replacement, and this looks right now the closing of this entire land (and the half-dozen attractions housed within) is a purely cost-cutting measure. And if that is the case, we might have another attraction that will be "standing but not operating" like so many other attractions from Disney's past.
And though we were shocked by this closure, it looks like there is yet another attraction that is getting a HUGE cut in just a few days as well.