Magic Kingdom Ride Closed More Than A Year Has Had Its Reopening Delayed... Again

Tomorrowland Transit authority Peoplemover at Magic Kingdom

There are numerous changes at Walt Disney World due to the pandemic that have resulted in attractions not quite functioning the way they usually do; or alternatively they're closed altogether. But one ride has been closed since even before the initial Walt Disney World shutdown, and it's remaining that way. What's more, it's seemingly going to remain that way for at least another month. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover turned the unscheduled shutdown into a major refurbishment back in early March of 2020, and has been closed ever since. It was supposed to reopen this weekend, but now that reopening has been pushed back to at least May.

As recently as a week ago the Peoplemover was scheduled to reopen on April 4, 2021, more than a year after it had first closed down. But just a few days before the date was supposed to finally arrive, Walt Disney World has announced that the Peoplemover will remain shut down until at least April 30. This makes May 1, 2021 the earliest we're likely to see the ride come back online for guests.

Back at the end of February 2020 there was a collision between vehicles on the Peoplemover and a few days later the ride was unexpectedly closed down. Of course, a few days after that the entire resort would shutdown due to the global pandemic. But when Magic Kingdom and the rest of Walt Disney World reopened in July of last year, the Peoplemover remained closed and was eventually added to the refurbishment list.

As early as January there were expectations the ride was close to ready to open, but every time we've gotten close to the end of the listed refurbishment, the date has been extended again. Right now it looks like the ride could reopen in May but honestly based on previous experience, it's just as likely that when we get to the end of April the closure will be extended yet again.

Exactly what the issue is has not been made public. When CinemaBlend visited Magic Kingdom last month, we caught the Peoplemover ride vehicles being tested, and everything appeared to be working fairly well, but clearly there's a lot going on behind the scenes that is not visible as a guest.

The Peoplemovier is the simplest of rides, that takes guests on a leisurely journey through Tomorrowland, showing off some aspects of the land you can't see any other way, while giving familiar parts of Tomorrowland a new perspective. It was originally devised as a prototype for actual city transportation that was to be used in Walt Disney's original plan for EPCOT, though that, of course, never happened.

And there is a latent fear among Walt Disney World fans that the Peoplemover might one day simply stop running for good. The version of the ride found at Disneyland closed in 1995 and so the possibility the same fate could befall the one at Magic Kingdom is always there. That doesn't seem likely at this point. If they're still working on getting this thing going after more than a year, they seem to be committed to getting it done.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.