The sands in the hourglass are running low, and Disney World is almost out of time if the Resort intends to make good on several of its parks promises to Guests, as the year is quickly drawing to a close.
In early 2020, Disney Parks execs had a difficult task ahead of them–a difficult task followed by hundreds of difficult tasks. In only a few short weeks, a mystery virus that had infected thousands overseas found its way into the United States, and people of all ages were becoming sick–some seriously sick. Before long, it was clear: the coronavirus was making victims of people from all over the world, in all walks of life, in every age bracket.
Talk of Disney’s Parks, from Shanghai and Hong Kong to California and Florida, ceasing operations began, and soon after, each Disney-owned theme park resort across the globe began to announce its plans to close in an effort to help curb the spread of the terrible virus.
It was an unprecedented response to an unprecedented time, and it seemed that the whole world great silent as, for the first time since 1955, not a single Disney Park was in operation anywhere on earth.
And the most unsettling part was that no one could predict when the parks would reopen. For some parks, like Walt Disney World’s theme parks, the closure lasted a few days short of 4 months. For other parks, like Disneyland California, the closure lasted much longer. Disneyland ceased operations for 13 long months.
When the time came for Disney World to reopen, plans were made to do so slowly, in phases, and with a significantly reduced Guest capacity. After having closed in March, the Central Florida parks began to open their gates once again in mid-July, but many attractions and experiences were unavailable at the time.
There were no fireworks spectaculars, no parades, no experiences of any kind that would draw scores of people into a condensed area. There was also no live entertainment, and masks and social distancing were mandatory. It was a very different experience for sure, and returning to a pre-pandemic Disney World would take a very long time.
A very, very long time, indeed.
On Thursday, journalist Scott Gustin pointed out a list of experiences and offerings that were to be part of the year 2022 at Disney World but that have yet to find their way back to the parks (or into the parks for their respective debuts).
A list of things still expected at WDW in 2022 but without dates:
– EPCOT and DHS trams
– “Hey, Disney!
– Toy Story characters /Green Army Drum Corps
– Round-up Rodeo BBQ
– Pluto, Daisy, Donald, Goofy at Pete's Silly Side Show
– DuckTales World Showcase Adventure pic.twitter.com/M5yC8VqeSq
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 6, 2022
The list includes the following experiences:
- EPCOT and DHS trams
- Toy Story characters/Green Army Drum Corps
- Round-up Rodeo BBQ
- Pluto, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy at Pete’s Silly Side Show
- DuckTales World Showcase Adventure
The Guest-favorite nighttime experience Fantasmic! has been missing for a while now, and though Guests have been assured that work is being completed so that the exciting show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can reopen in 2022, the days left in the year are dwindling, and as of the time of this post, there are no available show times through December 6.
Trams at EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios
When the parks at Disney World reopened following the pandemic closures, no trams were running. Since then, trams have returned to Magic Kingdom, but they have yet to return to EPCOT or to Hollywood Studios, and though Guests have been told they’d return sometime this year, there’s been no definite date for that return unveiled as of yet.
Green Army Men Drum Corps at Toy Story Land
At Toy Story Land, the talented band of drummers made up of Green Army Men from PIXAR’s Toy Story shows up to entertain Guests of all ages with their “high-energy performances and awe-inspiring drum sequences,” but they have been MIA for quite a while now. The Disney World website says the drum corps is “returning soon,” but to date, there’s been no announcement forecasting their return.
Round-Up Rodeo BBQ at Toy Story Land
Guests are still awaiting the opening of the Round-Up Rodeo BBQ table-service restaurant at Toy Story Land. The all-new restaurant was first announced in 2019, and the pandemic no doubt delayed construction of the new venue.
Rodeo Round-Up BBQ will be located near the entrance to Toy Story Land, just past the tall statue of Woody and to the right. And though Disney has said the new dining experience would be open sometime in 2022, there’s been no announcement about when exactly that will happen, leaving many to wonder if the restaurant will see its grand opening in 2023.
Pluto, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy at Pete’s Silly Side Show
Disney pals at Pete’s Silly Side Show in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom haven’t been around to greet Guests either. The area in which Pete’s Silly Side Show was located before the pandemic closures was reimagined into a relaxation station in the park when Magic Kingdom first reopened. Guests could step inside, have a seat around the table, and even take off their masks in the air-conditioned area, and though the area was a welcome addition in Summer 2020, Guests are wondering if and when the character meet-and-greet experience will ever return.
DuckTales World Showcase Adventure
By this point in the post, you likely know the drill: DuckTales World Showcase Adventure was yet another addition to the Disney World experience that was to have come to fruition in 2022, but at this time, we don’t have a firm date for that.
It’s definitely not a scrapped idea, however, as Matt Youngberg–writer, director, and producer who worked on the DuckTales series–said recently that the entire DuckTales team has been working with Imagineering to get the new addition up and running at EPCOT soon!
The crew of Ducktales was heavily involved in this. I can’t wait to go see it in person! So much work on our side and on the amazing imagineers’ side to put it all together. https://t.co/2gRNi3oyGr
— Matt Youngberg (@theironwrist) September 27, 2022
Here’s hoping that little phrase “later this year” spurs Disney to bring these experiences to Guests later this year rather than “too late for this year.”