If you have a child obsessed with Captain Jack Sparrow, or ever wanted to see your little one as a Star Wars Jedi, brace yourself, because that favorite show, performance or character meet-and-greet may not exist on your next visit to Disney parks.
Disney has been quietly making entertainment changes at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts — sometimes where you’d least expect it.
Disneyland’s Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple will end on November 4, after a 12-year run at the park. The Star Wars offering allowed kids to channel their inner padawan powers and battle Darth Vader in Tomorrowland in California as well as at the Florida parks. Guests have hoped for a potential reopening for when Galaxy’s Edge debuts next summer, but it’s unlikely there will be enough space within Star Wars Land to host it.
Disneyland’s Hook & Ladder Co. firehouse band and Silver Dollar Six, who provided live music and surprise entertainment throughout Frontierland, ceased performing in mid-September. The cuts are affecting character meet-and-greets as well, with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit meet-and-greets at Disney California Adventure being reported as no longer existing. Rights to the character, who predated Mickey Mouse, were long sought after by Walt Disney himself, and famously retained by trading sports commentator Al Michaels to NBC in 2006.
Disney has extended the cuts to Captain Jack Sparrow’s pirate tutorial at Disney World. The show, which has been running since 2006, ended last month at Magic Kingdom, and was replaced with a Jack Sparrow meet-and-greet. That removed all live entertainment from Adventureland. Positions have been eliminated for select Citizens of Hollywood performers, who participate in the “streetmosphere” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as all four live actors in Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light performances.
Though these changes are likely permanent, there’s always a possibility of them returning. Just last week, Disney uncharacteristically responded to rumors of Rafiki's Planet Watch shuttering at Animal Kingdom, announcing it would only be closed seasonally. Nothing is ever guaranteed, though — after rumors all-but-confirmed the January closure of Stitch’s Great Escape at Magic Kingdom, Disney spoke up to say it would only be operating seasonally. Now, it’s being reported that the ride has in fact already quietly been removed.