AT D23 EXPO 2017, DISNEY PARKS CHAIRMAN BOB CHAPEK SHARES PLANS FOR A NEW ENTERTAINMENT VENUE COMING TO MAGIC KINGDOM PARK -- Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled plans to build a new entertainment venue, inspired by the iconic Willis Theater as it looked in 1920s Kansas City, at Magic Kingdom Park. The theater is set to bring world-class entertainment to the Walt Disney World Resort.

CONFIRMED: Magic Kingdom Broadway-Style Theater Delayed or Cancelled

We previously told you that the Broadway-style theater that was going to be built in Magic Kingdom was likely delayed or cancelled altogether. Today we have the first official confirmation from Disney regarding the project: The mention of the theater has been removed from the What’s New webpage. The What’s New webpage was added to the official Walt Disney World website shortly after 2017’s D23 Parks & Resorts panel when Bob Chapek announced several projects currently being worked on for Disney Parks across the globe. This page, of course, focused on just the Walt Disney World aspects including the Tron roller coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, and new Main Street theater.

This is how the page appeared up until this past weekend:

What’s New Webpage With the Broadway-Style Theater as of April 8th, 2018


As of now, the webpage has removed the mention of the theater:

What’s New Webpage Without the Broadway-Style Theater as of April 10th, 2018


Information for the theater still resides on the 2017 press packet as well as the Disney Parks Blog. We don’t expect Disney to make a big pronouncement that the project is cancelled, so this may be one of the only confirmations we will see.

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  1. Perhaps, if meant to get operated as a real musical theatre (full evening shows), the location at the Magic Kingdom is the worst thinkable to be able to receive theatre guests independently from theme park guests.
    The similar situation in Efteling theme park (operating since 2002) has caused undesirable juggling in the evening hours with nadar fences and staffing/security at the spot, just to be able to separate the two different typpes of ticketholders…
    Choosing location = organisational planning & problems if not done well.

    1. I don’t think this was ever meant to house full-length Broadway productions, nor as a separate ticket sort of thing. If they wanted to do that, they would probably build such in Disney Springs (Downtown Disney), as they have in Shanghai.

      A “Broadway-style” theater in the parks is probably referring to something more like the Hyperion Theater in DCA, which can house full Broadway level productions (3 at a time, to be exact), but is actually used to house an theme park Broadway-style show that plays multiple times a day. I think that was the idea for Magic Kingdom (and I think it would have been a good one for multiple reasons).

  2. Of course this wasn’t going to happen!! They’re mostly building many many more motel/hotel rooms and points of sale at WDW these days. Not attractions so much or things to do for fun or guest experience. They’ve close more than they’re going to be opening. They are way over due for another park or two, and to revamp their existing ones from ground up. Epcot looks like a dump from 1987.

    1. Thanks Rhonda for your rant, it will get filed in the garbage. Please apply for Disney CEO job right away as your knowledge will be useless!

      1. Thank you Disney PR. Put money in parks, not answering blogs like a 7th grader. Florida Disney Parks are decades behind where they should be, especially considering the growth of hotel and vacation club. Many people, less to do.

        1. I don’t get why you’re all whining. Take a look at Disneyland Paris where we haven’t got a new attraction in the Magic Kingdom since 1995 :’). Disney World is getting all the best attractions, and when you miss out one time its suddenly “Disney doesn’t care about the States”.
          Disney World is literally on a huge expansion streak and you just got Pandora.

          “The Asian parks are on their own and not run by Disney, a different world there. MUCH better than here in the states.”Hong Kong Disneyland was literally the smallest Disney park in the world (Okay Studio’s aside, but that one is finally getting fixed as well). That is why they get a lot of new stuff. Tokyo is replacing a lot of stuff as well. You think their New Fantasyland (Beauty and the beast darkride, Big Hero 6 spinner and Mickey meet and greet) are new attractions? No, they replaced Autopia and a rocket spinner.

          Bottom line, Disney World is still getting the most new stuff in the next decade. Followed by Paris and Hong Kong.

          1. We just got Pandora? Dude, that’s the first addition to that park, ever! In 25 years! And while Flight of Passage a great ride, it’s only because of James Cameron it was so cool, Disney had MUCH lower scale attraction in mind, and Pandora is TINY area that you can’t walking through most of the time from crowds. We get VERY little here in the USA Disney parks compared to the huge expansion in rooms, and cut backs in staff and offerings. I promise you. NOTHING compared to Asian parks who as all things Asia, are run by them, with only having to meet Disney’s current minimum standards (which are very very low on any scale except making money).

    2. “Not attractions so much or things to do for fun or guest experience.”

      Really?!! Have you not been paying attention the last few years? World of Pandora, Toy Story Land (WDW and Shanghai), Star Wars Land (WDW and DL), Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway, Marvel Land (at DCA, Paris, and Hong Kong), Guardians coaster, Tron coaster, Ratatouille ride, Frozen lands (Paris and Hong Kong), etc.? That’s BILLIONS of dollars spent on attractions. Building another park at WDW is NOT going to happen… it’s all they can do to keep the existing 4 relevant and up-to-date.

      1. Really Billy? Have you not been paying attention? At WDW which she was commenting about, they cut 4 attractions to add Toy Story Land and Star Wars? NO growth. Pandora replaced Festival of Lion King and Pocohanas shows, next to NO growth. The ‘new attractions’ were an overlay in Maelstron to sell toys for Frozen, and a new movie in Soarin’. That’s about it for the last decade. Meanwhile, they’ve tripled rooms. Cut staff. Added stores instead of attractions to Disney Springs. Their record speaks for itself. NOT very many attractions in WDW. The Asian parks are on their own and not run by Disney, a different world there. MUCH better than here in the states.

        1. The attractions that were cut at Hollywood Studios to add Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land were all generic “back lot” tours and shows that any entertainment company could reproduce. Disney is responding to what it’s customers want by putting more immersive, IP-based rides in its parks (see the surge in attendance at DCA once Cars Land opened, and the massive increase in attendance at Universal parks all over the world with the addition of Harry Potter).

          The Lion King show is still playing at the Animal Kingdom… it was replaced by a billion dollar land that has one of the highest rated attractions in the world (“Flight of Passage”).

          I know everyone is nostalgic for Maelstrom… but Disney took a boring, non-kid friendly ride with 5-10 minute waits and turned it into the most popular attraction at EPCOT, with 90+ minute waits through most of the day. Even if you aren’t a big fan of Frozen, that attraction now takes a lot of crowds out of the rest of EPCOT!

          I noticed you didn’t comment on the Ratatouille, Guardians of the the Galaxy and Tron attractions because they don’t follow your narrative (or does clearing massive amounts of land to build new buildings not count as “growth” to you?).

          The parks at Toyko are not owned by Disney, but the ones in Shanghai and Hong Kong both have Disney equity ownership (47% of HK and 43% of Shanghai) and both are managed by Disney, so don’t discount the expansions there.

          Disney has “tripled rooms” at its hotels? Based on my calculations from Wikipedia, that is a HUGE exaggeration. The last deluxe resort they built (Animal Kingdom Lodge) was in 2001. The number of deluxe rooms (5,625) haven’t increased in 17 years. The number of moderate rooms (7,083) haven’t increased since the 1997 addition of Coronado Springs (though that number will increase for the first time in 20+ years once the Coronado Springs Tower is complete). The only new, non-DVC resorts they’ve built in the last 15 years have been 2 value resorts (Pop Century in 2003 and Art of Animation in 2012). So value resort rooms have increased from 5,444 in 1999 to 10,308 today (a value resort increase of 89% over nearly 2 decades).

          Looking at all 3 types of resorts – Deluxe, Moderate, and Value – the number of rooms have increased from 18,152 in 2001 to 23,016 rooms today (total growth of 26.8% over 17 years). This rate is actually BELOW the growth of hotel rooms for the US as a whole.

          I agree that the number of DVC rooms has increased considerably (though the new Riviera resort is replacing part of the 30+ year old Caribbean beach) with 3,467 rooms being added in the last 15 years (from 1,754 rooms in 2002 to 5,221 rooms in the fall of 2019 when the Riviera opens)… though these rooms would not have been added if there hadn’t been growth in the DVC over that time period.

          As far as Disney Springs is concerned, I, too, had a soft spot in my heart for Disney Quest… but if it were doing great business, Disney would have gladly kept it. The NBA Experience may or may not succeed, but you’re bound to know Disney did a lot of consumer research before agreeing to let it be built.

          1. People, the topic of this article is just and ONLY ( :-) ) the communication stop about the proposed new musical theatre.
            When I posted the first comment on top, I was guessing : WHY ?
            The feasibility and operational difficulties due to the location (and location only) could be the reason.
            Perhaps, if I’m right, the project popps up again, later, on a DIFFERENT location in WDW. To run shows independent from theme park visits, you need a direct access location, with (preferrably) nightlife possibilities after the show.
            In that case, “Springs” would be a greater location… :-)
            But let’s just wait…

          2. Billy, you clearly work for Disney PR team. The Guardians will be a one track roller coaster, will cost less for a first real new ride in 30 years at Epcot. Fun Spot here in Orlando invests a lot more in attractions than Disney. Disney is all about making money on hotels, and cutting staff at parks to bare minimums. And that’s fine, every company can invest where they want, please just don’t point out a very few attractions in the last 30 years, most of which have been a move from ‘attraction for guest experience’ to “a ride that will help our bottom line by promoting our movies and selling toys’. LESS will be put in Hollywood Studios with new lands than they cut out to put it in. And with lower capacity. Yet the hotels keep going up. They’re several theme parks behind the times, and them having to offer $44/day tickets is proof in this. The place is becoming a dump they can only fill with drinking festivals year round.

          3. No Billy. Disney took away more than they are putting in. Backlot tour, Stunt show, etc were for fun. Toy story land and Star wars land will not be more immersive, they will be to see the franchise and sell toys. Disney has not added an attraction for the sake of an attraction in decades at walt disney world orlando. The customers experience doesn’t matter. They’ve cut back staffing and parks enough to increase demand in other ways.

          4. Well said Billy.

            Oh, and calling anyone who says something positive (or that offers a well thought out counter argument to a critical remark) “Disney PR” isn’t cool. C’mon now…

    3. I agree with you on the parks and rides at WDW. There are hotels going up everywhere. Looking at Hollywood Studios, what is there for kids and families to ride? Two rides in Toy Storyland (not counting existing Toy Story mania) little ones can’t go on the coaster, I don’t know how many rides there are in Star Wars, (I’m not a fan) The opportunity to make that area, ToyStoryland, like Fantasyland in The Magic Kingdom, with lot’s of rides like, Poo, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid where you’re immersed in the story was lost. If all the new hotels are full of guests where to they go and how long will the lines be.
      It could turn guests off in the long run.

    4. Agree Rhonda,
      Disney spending money to just make more money and not provide a guest experience that really would bring them ‘Value”. This project being cut likely was show to not be profitable. The end. That’s all that matters to them. And that’s their right, but companies that do this eventually lose their respect of customers. The thin veil gets weak when so little new stuff has come to disney in the last 10 years plus, except shopping and well themed, but cheaply run Disney motel locations. The few examples of new rides provided here don’t even cover the one’s they’ve discontinued. They spend more on their magic band tracking system (to sell people’s data) than they do attractions or experiences. How about adding stuff, instead of take 2 away, replace with one promotional/sales spot mindset? Their cheapness shouldn’t be so obvious to so many. No wonder my Comcast stock is killing Disney’s. Please Disney. Get rid of Chapek and Iger and get someone who can run the theme parks to some fashion of real growth.

  3. I’ve been to all the Disney parks around the world several times and WDW/DLR are my favorites, especially now with Avatar and Cars Land. Guess i’m not in the cool [holier than thou because I think Tokyo is the best place ever] club.

    Also Hong Kong has by FAR the worst operations of any of the Disney Parks…they open whole sections of the park hours after the park opens. But that is mainly because there’s no one ever there and the places loses money. Also why do none of you complain about how Disney Sea has the low capacity version of all the major rides even though the place is always packed – the lines are always insane. WDW Toy Story Mania has three tracks and Tokyo’s has one, and WDW Tower of Terror has almost twice the capacity of Disney Sea’s.

    1. You must have gone on a different day than us. Asian parks are run like a machine, and they spare no expense, they’re not run by Disney. Only have to meet their minimum standard. Much like restaurants in Disney Springs. It’s not hard to meet Disney’s minimum standard these days. Bar is set very low. Only profit and efficiency based and avoiding bad PR. Not based on safety or a good time.

      1. You do realize both Hong Kong and Shanghai are run by Disney? Only Tokyo is independent. But as somebody else already pointed out, culture is way more important than the owner. Japan is a very nice country with hard working people who know what hospitality is. THAT makes the big difference, not the owners.

  4. Maybe they will finally close the Indiana Jones stunt show, Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast shows at DHS. If they built this to replace Beauty and the Beast or Indiana Jones they could also host movie prieviews and special hard ticket shows when the park is closed by adding a path as both bookend the entrance. It never made sense at Magic Kingdom. DHS needs more to do especially with Star Wars coming.

  5. The Tokyo parks are not ran by Disney as it’s owned by private developers, but the reason it’s so efficient and clean is because it’s in Japan, not because it’s not owned by Disney. Japan is very strong teamwork/respectful culture and they only allow immigration under very special circumstances, so everyone that works at Tokyo Disney (except for some of the performers with special entertainment visas) is Japanese. It’s the same everywhere in that country…very different then the rest of the world. Universal Studios in Japan the employees are very friendly and efficient as well.

    Hong Kong / Shanghai’s employees are not nearly as consistent as those cultures, well, aren’t nearly as consistent.

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