Walt Disney World Officially Closing Stitch's Great Escape, Primeval Whirl, And Rivers Of Light; Other New Projects Postponed

The axe has swung for a few deeply unpopular Walt Disney World attractions. While the writing has been on the wall for some time, the coronavirus pandemic surely hastened the demise of Stitch's Great Escape, Rivers of Light, and Primeval Whirl, all of which are set to close. In addition, a few other previously announced projects have been temporarily postponed as Disney's theme park division battens down the hatches for the ongoing COVD-19 crisis.

Per a memo sent to theme park cast members (via WDWNT and further confirmed elsewhere), Florida's Magic Kingdom theme park has officially closed Stitch's Great Escape following an extended "temporary" closure while the Animal Kingdom park will shutter Primeval Whirl and the Rivers of Light nighttime show. This news should not come as a surprise to theme park aficionados, as these three attractions were among the most disliked in the entire Walt Disney World resort.

Stitch's Great Escape is the least surprising of the bunch. A re-themed version of the late, great Alien Encounter ride, it was too scary for kids and too silly for adults, resulting in an experience that pleased no one while wasting valuable Tomorrowland real estate. Rumors have flown for years about what would eventually replace it, but with the pandemic attacking Disney's finances, the space will probably remain empty even after the closure becomes permanent.

Meanwhile, Primeval Whirl was always an eyesore at the otherwise beautiful Animal Kingdom park, an off-the-shelf roller coast with light theming that felt like it existed solely to eat up guests rather than provide an affecting experience. Rivers of Light, on the other hand, was an ambitious nighttime show that required extensive technology and a brand new seating area to bring to life. However, it was never a hit with visitors, especially compared to the high-energy nighttime shows at other parks. When the dust has settled, we'll probably see a new show take over Rivers of Light's space. Who knows what'll step in for Primeval Whirl?

This news comes shortly after rumors flew yesterday that Disney was canceling the massive refurbishment of Spaceship Earth and the construction of a new Marry Poppins attraction at Epcot. We have learned that neither project is canceled, but both are temporarily postponed for the time being. Major attractions that were already deep in construction when the pandemic began, like the Tron roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom and the Star Wars hotel at Hollywood Studios, are still moving ahead.