Primeval Whirl, Stitch's Great Escape and Rivers of Light are now permanently closed

Jul 16, 2020 in "Primeval Whirl"

Posted: Thursday July 16, 2020 3:45pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

In a memo to Cast Members, Disney has today announced that Primeval Whirl, Stitch's Great Escape! and Rivers of Light are now permanently closed and will not reopen.

Stitch's Great Escape! at the Magic Kingdom has been mostly closed since late 2016, and was at one time strongly tipped to be replaced by a Wreck It Ralph attraction that did not ultimately get approval. The show's lobby area had been host to a Stitch meet and greet prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. Since the Magic Kingdom's reopening, Stitch has been appearing at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in a physically distanced setting.

Similarly, Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom has been closed for more than a year due to a series of technical and operational difficulties, alongside poor guest ratings.

Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom opened with great excitement after a series of delays due to ground-breaking autonomous technology, but ultimately did not meet guest expectations. Budget cuts were made to the show last year, which saw the live performers removed, but this was not enough to save the show from cancellation.

No announcements of any plans for replacements have been made at this time, but with great uncertainty and budget constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be some-time before we hear more.

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MisterPenguin7 hours ago

Shang Chi is not covered by the UO exclusion clause.

Jones148 hours ago

Is Shang Chi covered by the Universal contract? If not, one would think Disney would leap at the chance to get another Marvel attraction into WDW, especially given how well the movie is doing.

RSoxNo19 hours ago

I think Ta Lo is a better fit than Raya.

Karakasa11 hours ago

Both Ta Lo and a Raya attraction would fit in well with Asia, that's for sure. I'd personally not mind a "Beastly Kingdom" based less around European folktales and more on myths from Africa, pre-colonial Americas, Oceania and of course Asia. Lot more unique to explore there. Could of course squeeze in a walkaround unicorn or something like that, though. I'm however kind of against a Nemo land in Animal Kingdom because... there's already a Nemo land, in Epcot. TotW does kind of stick out like a sore thumb, being neither particularly Asian or prehistoric, which is unfortunate. Maybe the current updated Nemo is a stopgap until they can figure out something to do with it? Removing Primeval Whirl does seem like a good time to try to retheme Dinorama, if ever, and using the land TotW is on could make room for more Dinoland stuff. In particular, since Disney is going on ahead with making more media pertaining to Ice Age after the Fox acquisition, they could easily put an Ice Age themed ride in there, then say Dinoland is less about only dinosaurs and more about prehistory in general. I'd sooner prefer Ice Age in Dinoland than Indiana Jones or a Zootopia replacement, anyway, lol. Sidenote... Kinda tired of the Donald theming going on in Dinoland right now. It was fun for the 20th anniversary of AK, but it's overstayed its welcome at this point.

JoeCamel12 hours ago

I have to count a Ukrainian Ironbelly as one, yeah a potter creature

DisneyDodo13 hours ago

Unless you count hippogriffs and other Potter creatures as “European mythological animals,” they don’t really have that great a presence anymore at Uni. Certainly not as big a presence as, say, dinosaurs…

RSoxNo114 hours ago

We did our DAK buildout show last week, and I'll put some of my ideas below: So the assumption / understanding is that Disney doesn't want to use European mythological animals because they're heavily represented over at Universal. My wish would be that the stretch from roughly the Gibbons to Theater in the Wild would be the mythological section. My cringe-worthy name was "Beastly SEAport" and it would focus on mythological animals inspired by Asian mythology / supernatural. I'd eliminate Kali River Rapids and put Mystic Manor between the gibbons and Everest. Then I'd put a Ta Lo attraction (ideally Shanghai Pirates tech) on the Theater in the Wild footprint (and the area behind it). I also think that area needs a dining establishment, and a mythological / supernatural area would be a welcome area for an Adventurer's Club type establishment.

doctornick2 days ago

I feel like a Ta Lo attraction/area would work, but would probably feel somewhat superfluous along with Pandora. I'd favor putting a third attraction in Pandora and adding a new land based on Australia or South America (or at least new attractions to existing lands). I continue to feel that Mystic Manor would be a perfect add to DAK in terms of the type of attraction it is. Put an appropriate façade and say that Lord Mystic retired to Harambe or Anandapur.

RSoxNo13 days ago

I want to see an extinct animals (non-dino edition) family friendly ride on this footprint. I also think the next big move for DAK should be a Ta Lo attraction, ideally w/Shanghai Pirates tech.

J45464 days ago

if they built a new road that went around the massive lake south of dinoland and flipped the backstage docks/marina to the eastern side of the river, freeing up that area for a suspended launch coaster that skims across the lake and goes into the jungle around it dipping into the trees and around the volcano i also decided to put in there....anyways get rid of the backstage road between Dinosaur and the new ride showbuilding, opening it up for guests to have a cool viewing area of the lake with coaster flying over it....that would be cool. Also retheme the entire parking lot dinoland area as well.

doctornick4 days ago

I’m down with combining the Nemo theater and the Dinorama plot into an undersea area with Crush’s coaster in a Sea (or maybe Australia/Oceana) land with the rest of Dinoland remaining as is.

ULPO464 days ago

One of the original proposals for future expansion had flight of passage being similar to the Pterandon Flyers on the other side of I-4. Where guest would be "flown" on a banshee across the Park to a future expansion. Of course cost and scale as well as theming prohibited this idea. What you see today was what was completed. A future expansion is a possibility but there's just way too much IP to work with just to focus on one subject. Moana will stay at EPCOT. As for Nemo a future "re-imagined" show will replace the old show of course this is all up in the air give or take that the pandemic finally comes under control as theater in the wild is an indoor theater. We have to remember it's been nearly 13 years since the original Avatar film was released, if and if it's a box office flop, which is doubtful, current upper management could reconsider the future of said development. Case in point everyone was hoping that 2012's John Carter would be a box office success for Disney which would have had Mission:Space get a John Carter IP Overhaul. Remember while fan's are placed into the idea pitch, money is a massive factor for all and future projects if the IP isn't a success it won't be expanded extended even if it's a popular area.

J45464 days ago

pretty much. If they redeveloped the carnival area and built that concept rollercoaster the excavator....that would be cool.

James Alucobond4 days ago

I’m not sure I’d consider it ripe for redevelopment. It’s lost a ride, but it was one very few people liked anyway. I at least get the impression that Dinosaur is still fairly popular, so it’s not like generic dinoland is a problem thematically. Just put something less awful in place of the carnival portion of the area.