On Monday, Disney World Guests were surprised to find an attraction operating that wasn’t scheduled to open until mid-March.
When it comes to rides and attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort, the line-up of available options is an ever-changing one. That’s because in an effort to stay ultra-competitive, Disney is continually refurbishing, re-imagining, or maintaining and repairing its attractions.
A major overhaul of Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain attraction is currently underway as Imagineers remove any nods to the former so-called “controversial” attraction and install new elements that will lend themselves to an entirely new Guest experience, inspired by Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. This is what Imagineers call reimagining an attraction. In contrast, the TRON Lightcycle/Run attraction in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom is nearing completion and will open to Guests during the first week of April (though there are some serious issues with the ride vehicles, and from Disney’s response to complaints about the vehicles, it doesn’t look like anything will change.)
Attractions and rides at Disney World are put onto a refurbishment schedule. This gives Cast Members and Imagineers the time they need to spruce up the rides, make repairs, and take care of other issues on the attractions–or address things before they become issues. Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one ride that usually falls onto the refurbishment calendar at the very beginning of each calendar year.
This year, the ride’s refurbishment began on January 9, and at first, the closure was indefinite. Soon Disney World announced that the ride would reopen on March 17, which sounded like a very “lucky” day to reopen a Guest-favorite attraction. But on Monday morning, as Guests made their way through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, many were surprised to see that Kali River Rapids was already fully operational again–about three weeks ahead of schedule.
Kali River Rapids at was originally set to reopen on March 17 – but it reopened to guests at Animal Kingdom earlier today. pic.twitter.com/JOXdrHKYt0
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) February 27, 2023
At Kali River Rapids, Guests are invited to “skim across an erupting geyser, drift below a canopy of lush vegetation and be whisked along fast-moving rapids. Graze gushing waterfalls and bedrock amid the raging current. Then, as the harmony of nature is disrupted, you’ll plummet down a dramatic 20-foot slope.” Now Guests won’t have to wait until March to experience that plummet.