Space 220 and Drawn to Life Open While Something Stays Closed
NBA Experience is dead, while Space 220 and Drawn to Life are finally ready to live.
Here are some Disney updates you should know.
What’s the Opposite of Surprised?
When Disney killed DisneyQuest, some deemed the decision merciful. After all, the place got pretty run down those last few years.
I say that as one of the few people who visited DisneyQuest each vacation, as I’m a gamer.
However, Disney Springs officials still misjudged their audience when they selected a replacement.
When NBA Experience opened in the former DisneyQuest building, early results were lackluster. Even influencers didn’t want to spend more than a couple of hours there.
Sadly, those early “crowds” reflect something of an opening month rush.
After that, NBA Experience turned into a ghost town, which is strange for a city WITH an NBA team.
This entertainment experience closed when the pandemic shut down Walt Disney World. At the time, Disney officials suggested it would return.
Now, we know better. But, honestly, we always did. I love the NBA and have stars in my eyes whenever Trae Young dribbles or shoots. And I didn’t want to go here.
So, let’s all hope that Disney chooses something better for this space. How about a new Adventurers Club, Disney?
The New Stuff Is Nearly Here
There are some stories I cover that seem like they spend years in limbo. The Edison at Disney Springs is one, and Pandora: The World of Avatar was another.
Well, two other long-gestating projects are finally ready to see the light of day. In fact, one will open next month!
Yes, after nearly two years in stasis, Space 220 will finally open at EPCOT in September.
As a reminder, the conceit of this restaurant is that you take a space elevator into orbit. Then, you dine as you orbit the planet, looking at Earth from outer space.
That lovely backdrop should lead to a tranquil meal that could calm you down after a trip on the nearby Mission: SPACE.
Disney didn’t reveal an exact date for Space 220’s opening, just that it would happen in mid-September.
If you’re visiting then, I’d suggest you stay flexible with your meal reservations.
I can speak more definitively about the new Cirque du Soleil show, though. The Disney Springs replacement to La Nouba is finally ready.
You may recall that La Nouba closed at the start of 2018. We’ve anticipated Drawn to Life ever since then, but the pandemic did a number on this show.
Cirque du Soleil infamously laid off 95 percent of its staff since it couldn’t host any performances.
Tickets to Drawn to Life will go on sale to the general public on August 20th. If you’re a D23 Gold member or annual passholders, you can buy them now!
Act now, as demand for those early shows is expected to be massive.
Disney continues to flesh out the Extended Evening Hours amenity for guests staying at Deluxe resorts and villas.
This service starts in October to match the increase in attendance due to Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
The official Disney website now includes a page that shows various Extended Evening Hours dates.
I previously mentioned that the schedule appears to be EPCOT on Mondays and Magic Kingdom on Wednesdays. The recent updates confirm that’s the plan for October.
Every Monday that month shows EPCOT Extended Evening Hours from 10 p.m. until midnight. Then, Wednesdays list Magic Kingdom from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
So, if you’re visiting in October, I have a pro tip for you. Presuming that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is available at this time, you know what to do.
Schedule a Monday visit to EPCOT late in the day. Then, ride Disney’s latest E-ticket attraction after the park closes to regular guests! The lines should be much shorter this way.
Disney also modified its Rider Switch policy, which could impact those of you with small children.
Until recently, Disney took a relaxed approach to Rider Switch, allowing people from the first party to ride again after the switch.
Well, Disney updated its rules on the official website. The critical wording is this:
“Please note that if the person in party 2 waited alone with the child or non-riding Guest, the number of Guests who may join him or her and ride again is limited.”
In other words, cast members have the right to allow only the party who waited to ride the second time.
Nobody knows how stringently Disney will enforce that rule, though. It’s mainly for those who shamelessly manipulate the rules.