If you’re planning to visit Walt Disney World, it’s always a good idea to check which attractions are open and which are closed during your visit.
A budding Disney (DIS) – Get a free report Guests who take a trip to the theme park only to find that an attraction they’re looking forward to isn’t open may be a little disappointed. It’s an expensive trip, so you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible.
Since Disney World opened in Orlando in 1971, the company has redesigned and revitalized its attractions. The changes are part of a strategy from founder Walt Disney, who understood that the parks needed to be constantly reinvented to remain attractive destinations for new and returning guests.
In general, the best time for renovations is after the summer tourist peak season. The coolest two months in Central Florida are January and February, which is often the time with the least visitors and consequently the best times for facelifts and maintenance.
Planning such overhauls is a major undertaking, as much of the park has yet to stay open to adequately entertain guests during these months. The temporary closure of some attractions means other attractions are getting more visitors during these downtimes.
But sometimes, on rare occasions, an attraction is unavailable not just for a few weeks or months, but for years.
The Walt Disney Railroad returns for the holidays
After more than four years of closure, the Walt Disney Railroad has officially reopened, the company announced Dec. 23.
It was out of service for so long because its route was interrupted due to the construction of a new major attraction.
“Hear the sound of the locomotive, the chug of the wheels, and the whistle as you travel aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad,” the company writes on its website. “Take a seat on one of four carefully restored vintage narrow-gauge steam trains – originally built between 1916 and 1928 – and enjoy a relaxing 20-minute, 1.5-mile scenic tour.”
The Walt Disney World Railroad was active the day the park opened on October 1, 1971. At that time it only had one stop. Other stops were added regularly.
The railway runs four trains. Disney purchased the locomotives in 1969 and restored them for park use.
Disney opens new roller coaster
The new attraction, which has held up the train’s journeys for more than four years, was the construction of Tron Lightcycle/Run, a new roller coaster now slated to open this spring.
The ride is based on the 1982 Disney film Tron, which Disney says is the first production of its kind to mix live action with computer-generated imagery and backlit animation.
“Bend forward in the ultimate survival race!” the company writes on its website. “Leave the real world behind and join Team Blue in an epic quest through the Grid – the dark, computerized world without horizons of Tron.”
The roller coaster is modeled after the existing roller coaster at the company’s Shanghai campus and will be one of the fastest at any Disney theme park in the world.