Is a Disney park refurbishment just a necessary evil or is it an exciting mystery of what is to come?
Well, the Disney Park Nerds think a little bit of both.
Fresh out of a 2020 Disneyland refurbishment, there is more to come…
There seem to be two (very opinionated) camps to this debate and we will explore both sides. No matter which side you find yourself, a Disney park refurbishment notification is sure to elicit a reaction!
A Little Background
From time to time, Disney parks have to take an attraction or show “off-line” in order to do routine preventative maintenance, minor repairs or major repairs, minor upgrades or massive overhauls and a little bit of everything in between. Regardless of which side of the debate you fancy, Disneyland is generally nice enough to give some advance warning and they post a Disneyland refurbishment schedule. Typically, it is embedded in the daily calendar on the individual park website.
So…is a Disney Park Refurbishment a Necessary Evil?
“Wasted trip”, “Missed the best ride”, “This sucks”, “Oh well, I don’t even care” (said passive-aggressively) – these are all comments from people in the “necessary evil” camp. Attractions must be maintained and dealing with a “downed” ride is often the price to travel during less crowded times of the year.
We Nerds believe this depends largely on the trip. Are you a local heading to the park for a day with the family? Is this your third visit of the year? For these folks, the refurbishment is merely a inconvenience.
On the other hand, what if you have saved money for years to take your family on the vacation of a lifetime? What if the attraction that is closed is the headliner you have been waiting to experience? For these folks, a necessary evil turned into a vacation disappointment!
And the Nerds know about disappointment. On our first trip to the Tokyo Disney Resort, the Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull at Tokyo DisneySea was closed for refurbishment at the last minute and we were devastated. In the end, the attraction is a near clone of Disneyland’s Indian Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye but we didn’t know it at the time. The advertisements, pictures of the cyclone in the main room, the colors…it all looked so intriguing and we felt our entire vacation was just a little bit of a let-down despite being enthralled with Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
Or is a Disney Park Refurbishment an Exciting Mystery?
Well…this may be a Nerdy point of view, but this is generally where we stand.
A Disney park refurbishment is a chance for a ride to be enhanced and to be improved by the amazing team of Imagineers. It’s an opportunity for the Disney team to reinforce Walt’s desire that a Disney park never be truly be finished. Instead, it is a place that grows and expands just like our imagination.
The rumor mill really gets cranking on some refurbishments – sometimes this turns out to be nothing and other times, it’s great! Think of Pirates of the Caribbean without the addition of Captain Jack? How about it’s a small world without classic Disney characters woven into the scenes? What about overlays like Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy or the Haunted Mansion’s Nightmare Before Christmas?
Taking a ride off-line is a chance for something better! It’s like the mystery boxes on Super Mario Cart, could be great or it might be a banana peel. It’s still fun to take a chance and see what you find.
Let’s Do Something About it (just remember it’s not 100%)!
Even those of us – or those specific times, because it does vary trip to trip – who see the Disney park refurbishment as a mystery to be unwrapped don’t like to be denied our fun. Even the most optimistic of Nerds would rather a ride was down for refurbishment when they are not at the park. Nobody wants to miss out on a favorite attraction or have fewer attractions available to thin out the crowds.
Our Nerdy recommendations?
- Check the refurbishment schedule when planning a trip
- Double check the refurbishment schedule just before you book the trip
- Triple check the refurbishment schedule periodically as your trip nears
- If a refurbishment pops up and you cannot reschedule or it is not worth rescheduling, remind yourself that you will be back!
In the meantime, enjoy your Disney park adventure and do your best to be a Nerd…even if for the day.