If you are an early riser, then you might enjoy getting to the parks right at “rope drop” to be one of the first guests inside. At the Magic Kingdom, this also includes a quick opening show, where the Walt Disney World Railroad Train pulls up to the Main Street Station full of characters, all singing a very cheery welcome song. The park always selects a “Family of the Day” to declare the Magic Kingdom officially open and to welcome all the guests along with the Mayor of Main Street, USA.
Not being morning people, this hasn’t been something we have done many times. While we have occasionally been to the park early for breakfast reservations, we’ve actually only seen the welcome show once. Quite honestly, it wasn’t even a very good one to see, since the Mayor’s microphone malfunctioned and you couldn’t hear anything. We always meant to go back and watch it again, but much preferred sleeping in. LOL!
Well, starting on January 9th, the Welcome Show will be moved inside the park, in front of Cinderella’s Castle. I believe the main motivation for the move is due to the upcoming refurbishment at the Main Street Train Station that begins the same day. This is both good and bad.
I like it because it’s something new and different. Instead of just putting the show on hold, Disney is replacing it with something different that still gets guests excited for the day. People line up so early, hoping to be chosen as the “Family of the Day,” and it would really be a shame to not do something that has become such a tradition.
That being said, I fear that Disney will realize that moving the show into the park actually turns it into a money maker for them. In a recent update, Disney announced that guests will be permitted access to Main Street USA prior to the park’s opening time. This means that shops will be open, as well as the Main Street Bakery. Guests will forgo breakfast at their resort and opt for a breakfast sandwich at the park while they wait.
Personally, I would not like to see this change become permanent. It’s been a nice perk for guests with early breakfast reservations to be able to get some empty park pictures on Main Street, and that won’t happen anymore with the new show. Main Street will fill up fast in the morning, which means the shops and Starbucks will be even more crowded than ever right at park opening.
Also, it was a wonderful sight to see the train pull up to the station with a caboose full of characters. My hope is that the change is merely temporary, and the Welcome Show goes back to the train station when the refurbishment is complete in a few months. We will have to wait and see!
In the meantime, I suppose we could *try* to see the Welcome Show at the train station one last time when we are there next week!