Has Walt Disney World cancelled its recently announced Main Street Theater? It would appear so. Eyewitnesses have reported that construction walls around the physical site where the theater would be constructed have been removed. The location is currently being returned to service as a parking lot.
This is a bit late in the game for Disney to change their mind about this project, but not unheard of. Project plans had already been filed with the Water District and concept art had been shared with fans. However with Disney, until vertical construction begins, no project is ever final. Just ask people who are still waiting for that Israel pavilion that was advertised on in park signage when EPCOT opened or those still waiting for Beastly Kingdom at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The TRON coaster at the Magic Kingdom is still believed to be moving forward in time to open for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary in 2021.
I’ll be honest, if I had to choose between a new indoor coaster in Tomorrowland or a new Broadway caliber theater for the Magic Kingdom, I’d go with the new theater. There’s already one indoor roller coaster in Tomorrowland, it doesn’t need another one right next door.
The theater would solve a big problem for Magic Kingdom, which is struggling with large crowds, by soaking up a couple thousand guests at a time for each show during the peak hours of the day. It would make the park feel emptier, even though it would probably be even busier.
If Disney decides not to build the new Main Street Theater right now, it might be worth keeping an eye on Disney’s Hollywood Studios where there were previously plans to enclose the Theater of the Stars (home to the very long running Beauty and the Beast stage show) and give it the Theatre of the Wild treatment with capacity for more guests and a larger production. The question for Disney is, what would they put in there? There’s a Tangled musical on the Disney Cruise that would work well or perhaps that upcoming Frozen sequel. Otherwise, there aren’t too many animated musicals in the pipeline over in Burbank.
There has been some online chatter about how the Magic Kingdom has decided to go ahead with a new project themed to Pirates in Adventureland instead of the Main Street theater. There were also some plans being considered that would involve connecting Tom Sawyer Island to the mainland and making the Lilly Belle steamboat a permanent dining location. We won’t know until Disney makes an announcement and breaks ground. But I have heard that Disney is concerned with sprucing up the Adventureland / Frontierland areas of the Magic Kingdom in the near future.
As always with Disney, plans are subject to change. The theater could just be postponed a few months and Disney is planning to reclaim the area to use as a parking lot during the busy summer months. What do you think of Disney’s decision to cancel or delay the Main Street Theater?