-As reported by Theme Park Tourist
By Amanda Kondolojy, Monday, September 26, 2016 05:22
Though we’ve already discussed at length the numerousattractions, characters and more that will be leaving Walt Disney World this fall (including nearly half a dozencuts at the Magic Kingdom park, specifically), this season will be also bringing a number of new experiences to the resort as well. Here’s everything new that guests will soon be able to check out in the coming weeks at Walt Disney World!
1. The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History
Park: Magic Kingdom
Opening Date: October 2, 2016
Just one day after the 45th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom, The Muppets will arrive at this park on October 2, for the opening of their new live show, The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History.
This new show will be hosted by human character James “J.J.” Jefferson, town crier of Liberty Square, as well as Sam Eagle, and will feature familiar characters like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and The Great Gonzo recounting famous historical tales, including the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
The show will take place several times daily right outside the Hall of Presidents, and will feature interactive elements as well as an original song written specifically for this new show. You can lean more about The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History here.
2. Rivers of Light
Park: Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Opening Date: October 2016
Just a few weeks ago we reported that Disney’s Animal Kingdom park operations had taken over putting the finishing touches on Rivers of Light (which essentially meant the technical problems with this show were resolved and it was in the home stretch), and in the days since this exciting development, extensive float, lighting and sound tests have been going on both after hours and during regular park operation. In addition, sources say that dress rehearsals will be officially concluding next week, implying that this show will indeed, finally be ready to go sometime in the next month.
As you might expect, Disney is being a little bit cautious when it comes to announcing a firm opening date for this new show (especially considering their last-minute delay back in spring 2016). However, the good news is that insiders are suggesting that Rivers of Light could go through an extensive preview period that may kick off in just a few days. During this preview period, Disney could work out any operational kinks with this show (it has been suggested that operations isn’t quite prepared to run the show three times nightly, as was originally proposed) and allow specific groups (members of the media, annual passholders, DVC members etc.) to get an advance look at this show before it makes its official debut. Not only will this provide Disney with a low-stakes technical rehearsal in front of a forgiving audience, but it will also give eager fans a great opportunity to get a first look at this brand new show.
We should know more about Rivers of Light’s opening (and potential pre-opening) very soon, as it looks like wait is finally almost over for this much-anticipated show, which is one of the most ambitious nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park, anywhere.
3. Dr. Strange character experience
Opening Date: October 2016
Though not officially announced yet, a casting notice has appeared on the official Disney auditions site recently that confirms that a Doctor Strange character experience will be debuting sometime in the near future at Walt Disney World. While the call says this will be a “limited engagement” (and doesn’t specify a park), it does suggest that Disney will be bringing a Marvel character to one of its theme parks some time in the next few weeks, before the film’s release in early November.
Now whether this new character experience will be for an upcharge event (similar to what happened with Star Lord and Gamora during 2014’s Villains Unleashed Event), a limited-time meet and greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which could debut this new character during the previews for this film that will be screening beginning October 7) or perhaps even a Castle Forecourt pre-show at the Magic Kingdom (unlikely, but still possible), it is absolutely certain that Doctor Strange will be heading to Walt Disney World in some capacity later this year for a limited time.
Opening Date: October 9
Epcot’s Canada Pavilion will welcome Bodh’aktan, another guest musical group, early next month to the Mill Stage for a very limited engagement from October 9th until the end of the month. The band will then take a short hiatus, after which it will return again for just over three weeks in January 2017.
This group’s music is described as combining elements of celtic, trad-Quebecois, polka, punk, Irish folk, Breton and Maritime music for a unique sound unlike anything else at Epcot, and should make for a very unique addition to the World Showcase’s entertainment lineup for their limited engagement this fall (and early next year).
Park: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Opening Date: Fall 2016
If you’ve been to the Muppet Courtyard recently you probably have already seen construction progress moving along rather quickly on PizzeRizzo, the new Muppets-themed quick service restaurant at this park. And while it looks like this new eatery will miss the September opening date that was previously rumored, given the current state of exterior construction, it seems all but certain that this new dining location will welcome its first guests sometime next month.
As you might imagine (considering the name) PizzeRizzo will basically have the same cuisine as the former Pizza Planet restaurant, with personal pan pizzas headlining the menu at this reimagined eatery. Though the food will essentially be the same, the dining room will be getting an overhaul, with many fun Muppets additions throughout the venue (which you can read about here).
Are you going to be heading to Walt Disney World this fall? Which of these new attractions and experiences are you excited to see at the resort?
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