People rarely enjoy seeing an attraction close at theme parks. If a ride or show you loved goes away, it can be frustrating to lose that thing you did every time you visited. But even if the attraction wasn’t on your “must do” list, there’s likely still a minor feeling of sadness when something that has just always been there goes away. Such was likely the case with the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade which rumors seemed to imply was about to fire its last shot. However, rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated.
Recently it was discovered that the Walt Disney World website listed no operating hours for the attraction from November 27 through December 11, which is as far as the calendar lists operation. However, the arcade was not on the “Closed for Refurbishment” list, for those dates, which led some to suspect it might be closing for good.
I reached out to Walt Disney World for comment, and in response, was informed that the Walt Disney World website has now been updated and the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade shows normal operation through the end of the existing calendar, so it seems the whole thing was just a website glitch.
The whole thing may have been a holdover from the fact that the Shootin' Arcade had been closed for so long, and when it reopened, the operating hours weren't entirely updated. Honestly, considering how many moving parts Walt Disney World has, this sort of thing is probably normal, and it just isn't usually noticed.
The Frontierland Shootin' Arcade really has been there from the beginning. It was a day one attraction when Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom opened 50 years ago. The attraction only recently reopened to guests as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, and when it did, it did so without the additional fee that had been attached; the Shootin Arcade was free to all guests.
Since the attraction only just reopened, closing it only a couple months after it reopened to fix it up would have been unusual. Though it was possible the attraction going Free Play was some sort of "last hurrah" before it closed down.
To call this a super popular attraction would certainly be overstating things. This was more likely the sort of thing you did to kill some time while waiting for your FastPass+ time or lunch reservation. Still, the fact that the shooting gallery had been around since day one certainly did give the attraction an almost historic feel.
Certainly, any fan of Disney World history is going to be glad to see the Shootin' Arcade hang around. Frontierland just wouldn't feel quite the same without it. With the Shootin' Arcade free for all, it will quite likely see a lot more use than it once did. It may make an entire generation of brand new fans.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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