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Magic Kingdom Land Goes Down, Retheme Coming

magic kingdom partners statue
Credit: Becky Burkett

A major retheme is set to happen at Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World Resort.

Opened on October 1, 1971, Magic Kingdom was developed by Walt Disney himself, who sought to create a destination where families could escape the ordinary and immerse themselves in a world of wonder. Modeled after Disneyland in California, Magic Kingdom encompasses six themed lands: Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland.

magic kingdom fantasyland

Credit: Becky Burkett

Main Street, U.S.A., serves as Disney World park’s grand entrance, evoking a turn-of-the-century American town complete with charming storefronts, horse-drawn carriages, and the iconic Cinderella Castle towering at the end of the street. Adventureland invites guests to embark on exotic journeys through lush jungles, ancient ruins, and encounters with pirates. Liberty Square pays homage to colonial America and is home to the iconic Haunted Mansion.

Fantasyland is a realm of enchantment and fairy tales, where guests can soar through the skies with Dumbo, journey under the sea with Ariel, and embark on magical adventures with classic Disney characters. Tomorrowland offers a glimpse into the future with thrilling attractions and experiences, including the all-new TRON Lightcycle / Run. Lastly, Frontierland transports visitors back to the untamed wilderness of the American West, where they can experience the thrill of mining expeditions and riverboat cruises.

Disney World’s Frontierland is down for now, except for one attraction

While Frontierland remains an integral part of Magic Kingdom, the land is down for right now. Well, except for one major attraction.

Splash Mountain closed down at the beginning of last year to make way for an all-new attraction, titled Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Construction has taken place for more than a year and Disney World just unveiled that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open in the summer of this year. The official description of the attraction can be read below:

“Join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis on their journey through a shimmering bayou as they prepare for a spirited celebration during Mardi Gras season. Along the way, you’ll see familiar faces and make new friends as you’re brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s inspiring story.”

With the water flume ride still closed, however, it has left some areas that usually wouldn’t be as crowded with more people in the Disney World park, particularly during busy times of the year. But, that’s not all.

remodel coming for popular magic kingdom attraction

Credit: Disney

Country Bear Jamboree, which has been a mainstay at Magic Kingdom since the Disney park opened in 1971, is closed for updates. Disney revealed earlier this year that the attraction would close down for updates and it’s officially shut down until the summer.

“If you’ve been too busy trottin’ through the wild west and have missed the news, the Country Bears are getting ready to put on a new show that pays homage to the Opry-style shows of Nashville,” Disney shared. “While the Country Bear Musical Jamboree will include easter eggs from the beginning to the end including a familiar tune fans may remember, the bears will sing new, reinterpreted Disney tunes in different genres of country music – like bluegrass, pop-country, Americana, rockabilly and other styles. Here’s a look at one of the clips we shared at Destination D23.”

With both of these attractions closed, many fans have wondered what the land might look like when it’s fully reopened.

What will Frontierland look like when it’s fully reopened?

Though Tiana’s Bayou Adventure isn’t going to take up any more room as an attraction than Splash Mountain did, there are rumors that it could bring with it some more changes to Frontierland.

The first rumor is that the opening of the attraction will bring a new land to Magic Kingdom: New Orleans Square.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Frontierland Magic Kingdom

Credit: Krysten S.

In Disneyland, New Orleans Square transports visitors into the enchanting ambiance of the historic French Quarter. As one strolls through this meticulously designed section of the park, the soulful melodies of jazz music drift through the air, mingling with the tantalizing aromas of Creole cuisine emanating from the quaint eateries lining the streets. Though Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion will not be a part of the land in Magic Kingdom, it would mean a divide to come to Frontierland.

In addition, there is a rumor that Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe could also be returned to Princess and the Frog. The restaurant, which is located just beside Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, has been the subject of controversy for many years, and this may be Disney’s way of updating it.

The History of Frontierland

Frontierland is one of the iconic themed lands within the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World’s premier theme park located in Bay Lake, Florida. Its inception can be traced back to the park’s opening on October 1, 1971. Inspired by the success of Disneyland’s original Frontierland, which opened in 1955, Imagineers envisioned a similar experience for visitors to the Magic Kingdom. Frontierland was designed to transport guests to the American frontier of the 19th century, capturing the essence of pioneering spirit and adventure.

magic kingdom splash mountain

A usually crowded Frontierland at Magic Kingdom looked all but abandoned in July 2020/Credit: Becky Burkett

The thematic foundation of Frontierland revolves around the exploration and settlement of the American West. Its design incorporates elements of the wilderness, rustic architecture, and attractions that reflect the spirit of the frontier era. The land is characterized by its rugged landscapes, wooden structures, and attractions that celebrate the folklore and legends of the Wild West.

One of the key attractions that define Frontierland is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a thrilling roller coaster set amidst a mining town plagued by supernatural occurrences. The ride takes guests on a high-speed journey through caverns, canyons, and dynamite explosions, evoking the excitement of a runaway mine train. Another beloved attraction that previously was a part of the land was Splash Mountain, based on the characters and songs from Disney’s controversial film Song of the South (1946). This log flume ride told the story of Br’er Rabbit’s adventures as he seeks his “laughing place” while encountering various critters along the way.

Splash Mountain Magic Kingdom Disney World

Credit: Disney

Over the years, Frontierland has undergone several enhancements and additions to keep it fresh and engaging for visitors. In 1992, adding Splash Mountain brought a new level of excitement to the land, offering guests a refreshing escape from the Florida heat while immersing them in a beloved Disney tale. Furthermore, entertainment offerings such as the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade provide interactive experiences for guests of all ages, allowing them to test their marksmanship skills in a frontier-style setting. Now, the land is set up yet again for another major retheme.

The immersive theming of Frontierland extends beyond its attractions to encompass dining experiences and retail locations. Restaurants like Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café serve up hearty Western fare, while shops like Frontier Trading Post offer a variety of merchandise ranging from cowboy hats to frontier-themed souvenirs. These elements contribute to the overall atmosphere of Frontierland, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the spirit of the Old West.

What is still open at Magic Kingdom?

While Country Bear Jamboree and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure are closed, all other major attractions at Magic Kingdom are open.

These include:

  • Space Mountain
  • TRON Lightcycle / Run
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Jungle Cruise
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • The Barnstormer
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Carousel of Progress
  • Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel

How to navigate Magic Kingdom with attractions closed in Frontierland

Though there will be times when the traffic gets bad inside of Magic Kingdom, there are still some things you can do to make sure you best navigate the Disney World park.

First, take advantage of Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane passes. While all attractions are on the Disney Genie+ Tip Board on the My Disney Experience app, you’ll need to purchase Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and TRON Lightcycle / Run a-la-carte if you want to bypass the regular line.

Magic Kingdom has so many attractions that you can make Disney Genie+ worth it for your stay if you know how to stack your attractions and make the most of the service.

TRON Light Wall effect returns

Credit: Disney

In addition, understand that you don’t need to do everything to have a great time. Many Disney World guests come to Magic Kingdom, particularly, and wear themselves out trying to take in every attraction. We recommend booking two days for Magic Kingdom if you have the time. If you can only spend one day in the park, make a list of the attractions you most want to enjoy and prioritize those on Disney Genie+. From there, you can begin to map out your day so that you aren’t running from one side of the theme park to the other.

Don’t be afraid to take breaks and to take time to enjoy the little things, either. There’s so much to see and do at Magic Kingdom– from Rope Drop to Happily Ever After and every moment in between– so don’t take for granted your time inside the iconic Disney World theme park.

Disney Dining will keep you updated with the latest developments coming from Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and more.

About Brittni Ward

Brittni is a Disney and Universal fan; one of her favorite things at both parks is collecting popcorn buckets. While at Disney World Resort, Brittni meets the princesses and rides Kilimanjaro Safaris. At Universal, Brittni enjoys the Minions and watching Animal Actors on Location! When not at Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando, Brittni spends time with her family and pets.

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