Walt Disney World certainly had an interesting year in 2020. The park was closed for several months for the first time in history. And while it was able to reopen during the summer, things are far from normal. Park capacity has been held to about one-third of its potential, and a number of other health and safety precautions have drastically changed the way the parks looks and feels. While all signs point to 2021 being a better year for the resort, things are still clearly a little strange, as we've seen more than one attraction go down for extended, and previously unscheduled, down time. Now The Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, which had been down literally all-year to this point, is finally back in action, but another attraction, The Tomorrowland Peoplemover, which was expected back this week, will be continue to be down at least through the end of the month.
This morning, as mysteriously as it shut down, the Rock 'N' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios reopened to the public. It had been closed since January 1 with Cast members not having any details for the reason for the closure beyond "technical difficulties." While unscheduled ride shutdowns are certainly nothing new at Walt Disney World or any other theme park, they usually last hours, not days.
After five straight days of downtime, one had to wonder if there was a more serious issue with the coaster that might lead the attraction into more long term maintenance, or perhaps even permanent closure. This is, in part, because that's exactly what happened with the Tomorrowland Peoplemover at Magic Kingdom. The ride had gone down unexpectedly last March just before Walt Disney World was forced to close. When the park reopened the Peoplemover was still not functioning. Eventually, the ride was added to the list of attractions undergoing scheduled maintenance.
Originally, the Tomorrowland Peoplemover was scheduled to end its refurbishment January 9, but now Walt Disney World has updated its schedule, and it seems the Peoplemover will remain out of commission until at least January 30. While the Peoplemover is a fairly simply attraction, a slow ride throughout Tomorrowland in what was originally meant to be a demonstration of an actual mass transit system, it's incredibly popular with Disney parks fans, especially since the version built at Disneyland has been gone for several years, so the Walt Disney World version is the only one left.
The delay may in the Peoplemover may simply be due to the fact that refurbishment needs to go slower than it otherwise would, in order to keep workers safe. There are always constructions projects happening at Walt Disney World and while that construction has mostly resumed, we do know it's all going slower than was originally planned.