Though construction is going strong at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on both the Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land projects, Pandora: The World of Avatar is less than a year away from opening at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Epcot has been confirmed to be on the cusp of a new renaissance (at least in Future World), one park that has always had a reputation for consistency throughout the years is the Magic Kingdom.

However, even at Walt Disney World's original theme park, change seems to be in the air, with a cancelled upcharge experience making a re-appearance after nearly a year, a cutback confirmed to be happening in Fantasyland, plus the reported downsizing of a promising project that we might not ever be able to see now. Here's everything you need to know that is happening now at the world's most-attended theme park. 

1. Disney After Hours will make a return appearance in 2017 at a lower price point

One of the biggest failures of 2016 was the Disney After Hours event, which was priced at $149 per person when it launched last Spring, and allowed guests to continue to experience select attractions at the Magic Kingdom after the park closed to regular guests (sort of like a paid Extra Magic Hours).

However, this event proved to be quite unpopular, and Disney actually had to resort to giving tickets away for free to on-property hotel guests and Disney Vacation Club Members on event days just to get a few hundred guests to attend this upcharge experience on the days it was offered. Though Disney After Hours was available for several weeks after its initial announcement, it quickly faded into obscurity come June and many assumed we would never hear about this event again. 

Image: Disney

However, it looks like Disney is trying to make Disney After Hours work once again, but this time with a lower price point. Beginning early next year, a ticket for this event will cost $119 plus tax for ages 3 and above, $30 less than its original price point. Like before, event attendees can enter the park at 7:00 PM and then stay until three hours past the scheduled park closing, all while enjoying unlimited complimentary ice cream novelties, popcorn, and soft drinks. Here are the dates in early 2017 that this event is scheduled to take place:

  • January 20 and 27
  • February 2, 9 and 16
  • March 2 and 9

Though this development was definitely unexpected, perhaps the return of Disney After Hours to the Magic Kingdom isn't all that surprising considering the current upcharge climate at the Magic Kingdom, which has seen the introduction of $700 rental tents in Tomorrowland, $50 upcharge dessert parties that include obstructed views of the Festival of Fantasy parade, and a "premium" travel option that allows guests to pay more to travel faster between Walt Disney World theme parks using backstage busses all over the past few weeks. 

While upcharge experiences have always been an option at Walt Disney World, it seems like these types of premium experiences are becoming more and more common, espescially at the Magic Kingdom. And unfortunately, alongside these new upcharge options, there have also been a few cutbacks at this park as well...


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