When you picture Walt Disney World, there is a good chance that Cinderella Castle will form in your mind. The Magic Kingdom was the first park at Walt Disney World, and it is the top theme park on the planet. Walt Disney World is constantly changing, and the Magic Kingdom is no exception. While the largest changes at Walt Disney World in 2017 will take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are also things happening at the other parks. Here are seven Magic Kingdom changes for 2017. Some of them have already taken place. This information is so you will know what to expect if you have a trip planned soon.
7. The Return of Stitch
Stitch’s Great Escape is one of the most controversial attractions at Walt Disney World. While there are some people who love it, many guests complain about it. During the attraction Experiment 626 is not the cute alien that you’ve come to love from Lilo & Stitch! In 2016, Stitch’s Great Escape was moved to seasonal status, meaning that it is not open most days. If you have never experienced the attraction, it will be open daily May 28-August 19. The hours are expected to be 10:00am-6:00pm. There are rumors that Stitch’s Great Escape’s days are numbered, so if you’ve never tried it, or if you love it, you’ll want to visit this summer.
6. The Hall of Presidents Updated
The Hall of Presidents is a patriotic show that features Audio-Animatronic versions of all the presidents. Whenever a new US president is sworn in, the attraction will close for several months so that the new figure can be added and the attraction can be refurbished. The Hall of Presidents is currently closed, and is scheduled to reopen at the end of June. The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History continues to run several times a day.
5. New Security Checkpoint
Transportation & Ticket Center
Entering the Magic Kingdom used to be physically and emotionally difficult. You knew that you were close, but you needed to get through the long lines at the security checkpoint first. The area was cramped, especially first thing in the morning. In April, the problem was solved by moving the security checkpoint to the Transportation & Ticket Center instead. There’s more room, so the lines move faster. Cinderella Castle isn’t as close, which makes it easier on your emotions. The new spot is not without problems, especially if you’re resort hopping and using the Monorail. Since resort guests don’t stop at the T&TC, they go through security at their resort at the Monorail stop. Guests arriving by bus will still go through security at the Magic Kingdom’s front gate, but the lines are more manageable.
4. Main Street, U.S.A. Opens Early
Main Street, U.S.A.
One problem with the Magic Kingdom is that everyone is in a hurry at the beginning of the day. There are going to be popular rides that you were not able to get a FastPass+ for, and in the past rope drop meant arriving early and making a mad dash across the park. Main Street, U.S.A. and its charm were all too often ignored. That has now changed. In January, Walt Disney World started to open Main Street, U.S.A. an hour earlier than the rest of the park. That means you can browse the shops, grab a cup of coffee and a pastry at Main Street Bakery, and still have time to line up for rope drop. With Main Street, U.S.A. opening early, you can finally pay attention to the details that you’ve always rushed by before.
3. New Welcome Show
Main Street, U.S.A.
For years guests would stand outside of the Magic Kingdom entrance, looking up at the train station. About ten minutes before the park was set to open, a train would pull up, and several characters would appear. Mickey would welcome everyone, it was a great way to start what promised to be a magical day. The Magic Kingdom Welcome Show has moved and changed. It is now called Let the Magic Begin, and it’s held in front of Cinderella Castle. It’s hard to see the show and get in the right spot for rope drop for the rest of the park, so you’ll have to choose between starting the day with Mickey or getting in the shortest line possible for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
2. The End of Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular was the perfect way to end the day at the Magic Kingdom since 2003. It is one of the best known fireworks shows on the planet. That is why the end of Wishes was met with so much surprise. The last night for Wishes was May 11, 2017.
1. Happily Ever After
Of course, the Magic Kingdom without fireworks is something that is unimaginable. That is why a new show replaced Wishes on May 12. It’s called Happily Ever After. The show lasts 18 minutes, and it takes you through several popular Disney films. A new score has been recorded, and lasers and projections add to the spectacle. The expectations are high for Happily Ever After, and Disney promises that it will deliver. After all, the Magic Kingdom is “The Most Magical Place on Earth”, so the nighttime show needs to be something that will leave guests in awe.