5 Confirmed Major Refurbishments at Walt Disney World Resort This Year

Disney parks are constantly changing their refurbishment schedules, making it difficult for guests to keep up with the operating times and latest news regarding their favorite attractions, resorts, shops, and restaurants. Here are a few big, upcoming changes that are either confirmed by their respective parks or at the least very strongly rumored for the very near future.

For August's refurbishment update, we take a look at a number of refurbishments happening at the Magic Kingdom in the coming weeks, plus the annual water park refurbishment dates are confirmed for 2016. However, let's first take a look at a refurbishment happening outside the theme parks... 

1. Celebrate the Magic (Magic Kingdom)

Status: Confirmed

Dates: August 5-31, 2016

The Magic Kingdom's nightly Celebrate the Magic castle projection show will be closing for refurbishment in just a few days on beginning on August 5th. This show will then not be performed for nearly a month, and is expected to tentatively return to Cinderella Castle on August 31st. Though no reason was immediately given for this lengthy closure, insiders suggest that new projectors are being installed for this show, which should bring the projection quality of this show up to that of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, which is now playing at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This is definitely a good thing, as the projection quality used in this show put Celebrate the Magic to shame. 

2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom)

Status: Confirmed

Dates: August 8- November 18, 2016

Though this refurbishment was originally supposed to take place this past spring, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Magic Kingdom is now set to close for a lengthy three month refurbishment beginning in just a few days. While we don't know exactly what changes will be taking place during this time, the lengthy downtime implies that some pretty major improvements are in the works for this attraction.

It's worth mentioning that Disneyland's version of Big Thunder Mountain got some serious upgrades back in 2014 which included new track, projection effects and a complete overhaul of the third lift show scene. Though the Disneyland refurbishment lasted over a year, the Magic Kingdom could simply copy some of these improvements with relative ease, especially the projection elements and the changes to the show scenes. However, it's also equally likely that this version is just getting an extensive clean-up that will last nearly three months. No matter what the case is, we'll at least know by mid-November what is going on with this classic Magic Kingodm ride, unless Disney decides to make an announcement (which is always possible).

3. It's a Small World (Magic Kingdom)

Status: Confirmed

Dates: August 22 - September 15, 2016

Another refurbishment coming to the Magic Kingdom that we've known about for some time is for It's a Small World. Though its a bummer that this attraction is going tp be closing soon, It's a Small World has been in need of some attention recently, with several of its animatronics and effects malfunctioning on a daily basis. While we wouldn't expect much in the way of "big" upgrades for this attraction, there is quite a lot that needs to be cleaned up, which justifies the long refurbishment time. Though it might be a little depressing to go without the Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed for almost a month, when this atttraction re-opens in mid-September, it'll probably look better than it has in years!

4. Blizzard Beach

Status: Confirmed

Dates: October 23 - December 24, 2016

Walt Disney World's water parks close every year for regular maintenace, and 2016 will be no different. This year, Blizzard Beach will be the first of the two parks to be refurbished, closing in mid-October for two months. This lenghtly closure in in line with other closures from recent years,  and should give Disney time to drain the pools and clean everything up at this park just in time for Christmas. 

5. Typhoon Lagoon

Status: Confirmed

Dates: December 25, 2016 - March 11, 2017

And just as soon as Blizzard Beach reopens, Typhoon Lagoon will be closing for its own refurbishment on Christmas day. This refurbishmed will be a bit longer, with the park remaining closed nearly three months until mid-March. The reason this closure is is a lot longer than that of Blizzard Beach is likely because when this park re-opens it will have a new family river ride, which you can read more about here. Though this new ride still hasn't been confirmed by Disney, internal permits suggest that this project is indeed moving forward, and we'd say that this long refurbishment time is pretty much proof that this new slide will be open by next spring.

Source: Theme Park Tourist

Banner Photo Credit: David Strom