Disney World's 50th anniversary is approaching fast, but two of the park's most beloved attractions will be gone before it comes. According to a report by Walt Disney World News Today, the "EPCOT Forever" and "Happily Ever After" attractions will be "retired permanently" on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Disney has already announced the new attractions that will take their places.
Disney warned that that "EPCOT Forever" and "Happily Ever After" will "sparkle into Disney history" when this summer is over. The two events are fireworks shows that go off regularly at the park throughout the summer. Their replacements are called "Harmonious" and "Disney Enchantment," both of which are scheduled to debut on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. That's the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, and the whole event is being called "The World's Most Magical Celebration."
It's hard to explain to the uninitiated at times, but familiar events like this do grab ahold of frequent park guests, who mourn their discontinuation. "Happily Ever After" reportedly debuted in the May of 2017, and is a popular attraction among fans. Some even commented on how heartbroken they were and vowed to return and see the show again before the year was over.
"What a terrible decision. I have no words... I'm heartbroken I won't get to see it again. It seems like it's just bad decision after bad decision lately," one person wrote. Another added: "I never got to see it... I'm so sad I've always wanted to go and this is heartbreaking. I will never get to see what it was like. I cried when I saw this," while a third wrote: "Man, Disney just doesn't understand their Guests at all!"
While this change is expected to be permanent, some Disney fireworks shows have reportedly been known to return years later, so there is hope for fans of "Happily Ever After" and "EPCOT Forever." Some fans commented about other past shows they are still pining after, and others remarked on their excitement for the newly announced ones.
Disney World opened in 1979 in Bay Lake and Buena Vista, Florida. It has since spawned a whole theme park industry in the area, driving tourism and creating a must-see destination for fans. It has slowly amassed a die-hard following with an enormous presence on social media.
That following has been particularly active over the last year and a half or so, as the COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from visiting the parks and threatened the whole tourism economy. As Disney attempts to kickstart its theme parks once again, those fans are watching every step they make.