5 Confirmed Refurbishments Coming This Summer to Walt Disney World (July 2016)

Here’s the current report this morning from our friends at Theme Park Tourist regarding refurbishments happening this summer at the Walt Disney World Resort. 

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.

For July’s refurbishment update, we take a look at a few previously-announced refurbishments, as new details have been revealed about what guests can expect during these attractions’ downtime. In addition, we’ll also take a look at a recently confirmed dining refurbishment as well as a quickie Magic Kingdom refurbishment taking place in just a few weeks!

1. Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom)

Status: Confirmed

Dates: July 25-28, 2016

If you’ve been to Tomorrowland recently at the Magic Kingdom, you may have noticed a snazzy new paint job on the rotating Carousel of Progress. And though this attraction has remained open during this unannounced (but very welcome!) exterior transformation, it looks like the Carousel of Progress will be closed very briefly for just a few days in July while some light interior upgrades are made to this attraction as well.

Though a familiar rumor has been circulating online (as it does almost every time this attraction goes down for refurbishment) that the final show scene will finally be getting an update, given the length of the upcoming closure for this attraction we’d imagine that this is probably not in the plans, at least this time around, with regular cleaning and maintenance likely taking place instead. While we’re sure that an updated final scene will come to this attraction at some point, it doesn’t seem like it will be this year.

2. One Man’s Dream (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Status: Confirmed

Dates: July 16-19, 2016

The One Man’s Dream attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closed for a very short three-day refurbishment in mid-July, and though we mentioned this in last month’s update, it has been confirmed that this attraction is being shuttered for a few days this month in order prepare the theater for another movie preview, this time for Pete’s Dragon, which opens in wide release this August. Though the original One Man’s Dream film made an appearance for a few days earlier this summer, it looks like the trend of housing film previews in this location is here to stay, at least through the end of the summer.

3. Dinosaur (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Dates: July 29 – October 16, 2016

This is another closure that was already confirmed last month, but we recently learned that Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will actually have longer-than-expected downtime during this upcoming refurbishment. Though this ride is still closing in just a few weeks on July 25th, it is now scheduled to welcome guests back to the Dino Institute on October 17th, more than two weeks after it was originally scheduled to reopen on September 30th. Given the increased length of this already long refurbishment, we’d guess that a number of upgrades (perhaps to the animatronics?) are going to be taking place behind the scenes, as this attraction will be down for more than 10 weeks.

4. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory food court (Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Dates: July 11 – Fall 2016

The Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory food court at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter is closing in just a few days on July 11th for a major refurbishment and will reopen later this fall (a specific reopening date has not yet been confirmed). During the refurbishment, this popular resort eatery will be getting a complete overhaul, and though it has not been confirmed yet, we’d imagine that a new name, reimagined decor, and refreshed menu will be a part of the grand re-opening of this popular hotel dining establishment later this year.

Because this refurbishment s expected to last for several months, hungry diners at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter will be able to visit the new Scat Cat’s Lounge, which is a temporary dining location that can be found near the lobby. This pop up dining location will serve a number of familiar menu items, including jambalaya, gumbo, po-boy sandwiches, beignets, other hot and cold entrees as well as grab and go items, similar to what was offered at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory food court.

Image: Disney

However, if guests would still prefer to sit down in a traditional quick service eating area, a special dedicated bus that will take hungry diners to the Riverside Mill Food Court at the neighboring Port Orleans Resort – Riverside will also be running daily from from 7:00 AM until midnight during this extensive refurbishment.

Though this lengthy closure is a bit of a bummer for those who love this dining establishment, it looks like there will be plenty of dining options for guests during this extensive refurbishment, and hopefully when this dining location re-opens later this year it will be better than ever!

5. Bus loading area at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Status: Confirmed

Dates: now – unknown

Over the next few weeks, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom who use the bus load zone area at front of the park (next to the guest parking area) will notice that extensive work is being done to extend this small area into a larger bus depot capable of dealing with the larger demands of a full-day park.

Work already began on this expansion project in mid-June and while we don’t have an official completion date yet, considering temporary walls have been installed around certain sections of the current bus holding area, we’d imagine that this project will take several more weeks to finish, if not the rest of the summer. Though this might be a bit of a pain for guests currently hopping a bus from this park (or those trying to get to a water park this summer), hopefully this project will make those long bus waits a little more comfortable for resort guests, especially during this park’s later hours.

Note: We keep a track of all upcoming Walt Disney World refurbishments over in our Rehab Watch section.



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Don Korta
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