Update on Entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort

Bettina Buckley

by , Vice President, Walt Disney World Resort Live Entertainment

Walt Disney World Resort offers a treasure trove of experiences for guests of all ages. We recognize that part of the magic of visiting any Disney park is seeing favorite Disney friends and discovering one-of-a-kind shows and performances. Since reopening, we’ve continued to offer modified character experiences and entertainment throughout our resort, while also taking the appropriate steps for the health and safety of our guests and cast members.

Recently, we’ve had to make some difficult decisions to reduce our workforce as the business impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic have become more long-lasting than anyone could have predicted. As a result, we’ve had to pause many live shows and entertainment experiences at our resort for longer than originally anticipated.

While it’s impossible at this time to fully replace the incredible entertainment that existed throughout our parks before the pandemic, we are offering live entertainment in new ways wherever possible, including character cavalcades in all four parks and pop-up appearances, like discovering Joy from “Inside Out” frolicking on the lawn near the Imagination! pavilion in EPCOT. Additionally, we’re featuring modified shows such as the popular “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and live musical performances like the Main Street Philharmonic in Magic Kingdom or the Discovery Island Drummers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This extends to our seasonal offerings, with Halloween underway and the holidays right around the corner. In fact, the fan-favorite Voices of Liberty are set to make their return and join the JAMMitors and Mariachi Cobre at the American Gardens Theatre during the upcoming Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, beginning on Nov. 27.

Determining which shows can return and when is a complex process. As with the rest of our phased reopening, we will also consider the guidance of health officials and government agencies in determining when the time will be right to adjust capacity, and as soon as it is appropriate, we will start to bring additional entertainment back.

Like most of our fans, we know that our beloved entertainment cast are an incredibly special and essential part of the Disney experience.  We look forward to the day when we can welcome back more live entertainment to our parks, and we will share more news about these announcements as we’re able to do so.

Comments

  • To be honest Disney is not Disney with out all the shows, Parades and Character meet and greets It is very bland and boring. The Entertainers make Disney magical. Without the Entertainers Disney is just a run of the mill team park. I come for the entertainment and stay for the rides.

  • Welcome to the blog Ms. Bettina!

  • Thank you for recognizing what a key, critical role that entertainment (and characters) play in the Disney Parks. They are the “Disney difference” that make the parks special for more than just good food, good attractions and themed hotels. Over the years I have spent many more hours enjoying park entertainment than I have riding attractions. They are not place-holders or time-fillers to me – they are the reason I love Disney Parks. From the Dapper Dans to the Voices of Liberty, from the Indy Stunt Spectacular to the glorious Festival of the Lion King, those are the experiences that make me travel to Walt Disney World, when Disneyland is in my own backyard. But when in my own backyard, our family loves to spend time with the Disneyland Dapper Dans and The Bootstrappers, or watching Mickey & The Magical Map or dancing with Star-Lord and Gamora at the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off. Please remember that is in these moments – whether having the Dapper Dans serenade you with “Happy Birthday” or having Star-Lord dance around with you or having Carol the Piano Lady improv a song about you at the Rose & Crown or Yehaa Bob invite you to run around the room with a bunch of new friends that forever memories are made. It’s about the interactions with the performers and the characters. And without them, the parks and resorts lose their magic. There are so many more entertainment memories I want to make and shows I still want to see. I just hope I have those opportunities in the future that inspire me to return to the Disney parks again and again!

  • Thank you for updating us. We know you are all making tough decisions that no one wants to make and my heart breaks for all the cast members that have been affected by this. Please when you go to reopen/bring back entertainment, bring back those you stopped back in March as well. Such as all of the wonderful live entertainment in each country in the world showplace. The wonderful band in Africa. The Asian dancers. The banjo players would be a joy to have back. (And so so many more to list) So many wonderful cast members that made our day. WDW and DL, all the parks are not magical due to the rides, but the magic that their cast spreads around each and every day. Please don’t forget them. <3

  • It is heartbreaking what the pandemic is doing to everyone, I hope that all the cast members at Disney know how much we appreciate them and hope that when we come out on the other side of this pandemic we will get to see them all again. Our family will not get to do our annual trip so we are suffering from Disney withdrawal. But we hope to see you all next year and in the mean time please keep safe and we will be thinking of you all.