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Saying Farewell To 2018 At Walt Disney World Resort: What We’ll Miss

Guests who enjoy a vacation to Walt Disney World are very likely to return back again as soon as they are able to enjoy the magic of the Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, Disney Springs, and water parks all over again. While many individuals might wonder how it is possible that guests love to return to Walt Disney World time and time again, the truth lies in the fact that the resort is forever changing and expanding. Each and every year at Walt Disney World features tremendous change in the form of new experiences, retirement of old experiences, enhancements, refurbishments, and more. This constant change results in the property forever evolving, making it guaranteed that there will be at least one new experience for guests to enjoy on each trip. This constant change also brings with it the removal of certain things that guests will certainly miss, though they know bigger and better things are coming in the future. 2018 is no exception and there are several experiences that were removed this year that guests are sure to miss.

1. We Wants The Redhead

One of the most iconic experiences in all of Walt Disney World is a boat adventure found in the heart of the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. Pirates of the Caribbean has guests set sail with swashbuckling pirates who at first can be found in skeletal form in eerie caves before being seen ransacking the local seaside village. One iconic scene on the attraction featured the auctioneer character selling off local women as brides and the nearby pirates would become impatient waiting for a particularly beautiful redhead. 2018 brought an update to this scene and now the iconic redhead can be seen as a pirate herself working side by side with the auctioneer selling off goods and more importantly, rum.

2. Free Resort Parking

Another change that came in 2018 unfortunately led to higher costs for guests who opt to stay on property at a Walt Disney World Resort and bring a vehicle with them. In the park, guests who had vehicles with them were able to park for free for their length of stay at their chosen Walt Disney World Resort. This unfortunately came to an end and guests now need to pay a nightly fee that varies depending on the level of Disney Resort that they are staying at. Value Resorts charge guests thirteen dollars per night, Moderate Resorts charge nineteen dollars per night, and Deluxe Resorts charge a whopping twenty four dollars per night.

3. Talking Mickey

An experience that many guests absolutely loved could be found in the very beginning of Main Street in the Magic Kingdom just after entering into the park. Town Square Theater is home to a meet and greet with Mickey who can be found in his magician’s costume. Mickey used to use amazing technology to actually talk and interact with guests in real time telling jokes, performing tricks, and much more. While talking Mickey was certainly very popular with guests who felt that the interactions personalized the experience, the technology was removed in 2018. Guests can still head to the Town Square Theater to meet Mickey, however he once again does not speak.

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4. Maleficent Dragon

Also found in the Magic Kingdom is a whimsical parade that runs each afternoon bringing a world of fantasy to life. The Festival of Fantasy Parade beings in Frontierland and works its way through Liberty Square and Main Street with larger than life floats and favorite Disney characters. One dramatic moments of the parade featured Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty battling his way down the parade route and trying to hold off the evil Maleficent in dragon form. The impressive dragon was created with steampunk styling and every so often would stop to dramatically breathe fire towards the brave prince. Unfortunately, a malfunction with the dragon float caused a dangerous fire that structurally damaged the head and neck of the figure. While this happened in the earlier part of 2018, the float has yet to make a return to the Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Photo Credit: Jacob Easley

5. Whispering Canyon Café’s Experience

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge brings the sense of rustic charm and spirit of adventure to life through a location that channels the décor and ambiance of the lodges of the great National Parks. Found in the beautiful lobby of the Disney Resort is Whispering Canyon Café, a full service location that is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Previously, guests who dined at the location could enjoy antics from the servers including pony races, larger than life soda refills, an overabundance of ketchup, and more. While many guests enjoyed these antics, they were removed in the summer of 2018. Whispering Canyon Café is still open daily for all three meals, however guests who dine there will enjoy a more mellow experience.

6. Straws

2018 also brought great change in terms of the way items are sold throughout the entire Walt Disney World property. The company made a pledge to become more eco-friendly in the upcoming years, and the first change to work toward that initiative was introduced this year. Straws are no longer found in many locations throughout Walt Disney World in an effort to cut down on the use of plastic that was often not recycled properly. While the absence of straws might not be a big deal to some guests, it is a step in the right direction to helping protect our planet by the Disney company.

About Caitlin Corsello

Caitlin Corsello first visited Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of the trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning about the history and small details of the parks, enjoying a Lapu Lapu, and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York teaching preschool and spending her time counting down the days to her next trip.