Disney theme parks decided to make a bunch of big announcements all in a single day, so let’s catch you up on the most important reveals and operational changes coming to Disney World and Disneyland.
First and foremost, Disney announced that Tron Lightcycle Run will open April 4 at the Magic Kingdom. The first major attraction added to the world’s most-attended theme park since 2014 will also be the park’s fifth roller coaster and the ninth overall at Disney World.
The launched roller coaster first opened at Shanghai Disneyland in 2016 and was first announced for the Magic Kingdom in 2017. Guests will ride on motorbike-like vehicles themed around the “Tron” films and get launched at a top speed of nearly 60 miles per hour.
Disney did say that there will be unspecified “preview opportunities” for employees, annual passholders and Disney Vacation Club members ahead of its official opening.
Disney sets return dates for “Happily Ever After” and “Epcot Forever”
The day before the Tron coaster’s official opening, Disney World will see two nighttime shows make their comebacks.
In Magic Kingdom, “Disney Enchantment” will hold its last performance on April 2 and will be replaced the next day by “Happily Ever After,” which previously ran from May 2017 through September 2021.
Epcot’s “Harmonious” will also wrap up on April 2 and the once-temporary “Epcot Forever” will return on April 3. Disney said on its official Parks Blog that the “Harmonious” barges will be removed in phases once the show is closed.
Both of the departing shows had debuted on Oct. 1, 2021, as part of Disney World’s 50th anniversary. “Harmonious” was not designed to be temporary, but was poorly received by guests. The latest edition of “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World” said it was the lowest-rated nighttime show at the resort thanks to the “hideous projection barges,” poor sight lines, and copying much of the Disney song choices from “Happily Ever After.”
A permanent replacement for “Harmonious” is in the works, but no timeline for its debut has been announced.
Disney loosens park-hopping, reservations rules, brings back free WDW resort parking
The announcements also included a slew of changes to Disney World and Disneyland policies.
The changes include:
- Disneyland will have two months’ worth of its lowest-priced “Tier 0” days, where one-park tickets cost $104;
- Disneyland will allow park-hopping beginning at 11 a.m., instead of 1 p.m.;
- On-ride photos will be included in Disney World’s Genie+;
- Disneyland will offer free PhotoPass downloads to all guests during its “100 Years of Wonder” event, starting Feb. 4;
- Parking will once again be free at Walt Disney World hotels starting immediately;
- Disney World annual passholders will not need a park reservation to visit after 2 p.m., with the exception of Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom.
Many of the changes will reverse policies instituted under Bob Chapek during his time as Disney’s parks chief and later as CEO. Chapek was deposed in November by his predecessor, Bob Iger, after Disney reported large losses in its streaming business and missed on Wall Street estimates for its theme parks in its latest quarterly earnings.