Despite record quarterly earnings
, Disney is in the midst of cost-cutting initiatives throughout their U.S. theme parks, including those here at Walt Disney World.
At Epcot, the cuts include a number of popular meet-and-greets
. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are no longer meeting guests in the U.K. Pavilion. Aurora has been kicked out of Epcot’s France and Chip ‘n’ Dale are no longer at their meet-and-greet outside of Innoventions. All of the characters will continue to meet guests in other areas, but some of those meet-and-greets are part of some very expensive character dining experiences.
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger will meet guests at Magic Kingdom and in the Crystal Palace character dining. Chip ‘n’ Dale will continue to meet guests in Epcot’s Garden Grill character dining and at numerous other meet-and-greets. Princess Aurora may meet guests at her former meet-and-greet at Magic Kingdom, but that meet-and-greet doesn’t list her as a regular character currently. The only place to meet her at the moment, according to official Disney websites, is at princess-based character dining experiences.
Those aren’t the only closures to hit Epcot. The Circle of Life
educational film at The Land closed abruptly earlier this month. Innoventions West is currently sitting closed with no news of what will replace it. Soarin’ is also closed at Epcot as it goes under a refurb before reopening with a third screen and likely a new film later this year.
Epcot did recently open a new meet-and-greet for Baymax
, and Joy and Sadness have been strongly rumored
to be coming to Epcot as well, but there's no word on whether these new cuts will impact those plans. A new Frozen-themed meet-and-greet and ride
will open later this year at Epcot as well. With the introduction of Frozen, large crowds are expected at Epcot. Those crowds may equal the return of the currently closed meet-and-greets or the introduction of new ones.