Walt Disney World will soon build a path between Magic Kingdom and Grand Floridian. While this has been rumored for decades, Disney has finally filed a new permit with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with a title that’s a dead giveaway: “GRAND FLORIDIAN TO MK WALKWAY.” Subsequent to this, Disney has confirmed that the project is, indeed, a walking path between the park and monorail loop resorts.
“Building” a path is probably a misnomer, as most of this path has existed for years. It’s the infamous “pathway to nowhere” and there’s a decent chance some of you have fallen prey to it. Upon finding a long monorail line after the Magic Kingdom fireworks, perhaps you’ve spotted a tranquil, illuminated pathway leading towards Grand Floridian.
What a great, stress-relieving convenience! Or so you might’ve thought at first, enjoying a nice stroll over ‘Walk Around the World’ pavers, delightful views of Seven Seas Lagoon, and the warm glow of lamps overhead. That is, until arriving at the end-end of the path and having to turn around, walk back to Magic Kingdom, and wait in that long monorail line. Not that we know from experience or anything. At first blush, the completion of this pathway seems like pretty great news. There is a potential downside, though…
Before we get to that, let’s take a look where things presently stand on this confirmed project. We took a look on the resort monorail today, as it looks like prep work is already beginning for the bridge across the canal:
These photos are admittedly not the greatest, so it’s probably tough to see the white flags marking what, presumably, will be the new walkway connection.
Prior to that, the existing path is still in place, although it’s no longer accessible from Magic Kingdom due to the Walk Around the World removal work.
The downside is that the reason this path has never connected to Grand Floridian is because there’s a canal in between the resort and Magic Kingdom that leads to storage and maintenance facilities for Magic Kingdom’s fleet and floats used in the Electrical Water Pageant.
In order to complete this pathway between Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Magic Kingdom, a bridge over this canal will be necessary. To allow for future (infrequent) maintenance, it’ll need to be a removable bridge of some sort. In order to allow for the daily use of the Electrical Water Pageant, it’ll pretty much need to be drawbridge.
That should raise some red flags. For years, we’ve joked that the only reason Electrical Water Pageant still exists is because the “team” behind it is a dude named Earl who Walt Disney World management forgot was on the payroll 3 decades ago. He hauls it around behind his 1970 Sears fishing boat every night, hoping none of the hotshots wise up.
Or should I say, half-joked. Electrical Water Pageant’s continued existence defies logic in the era of modern Walt Disney World. It wouldn’t surprise me if it flies under management’s radar, and I fear that it only continues to run nightly because it’s cheap. My concern is that any impediment to that “cheapness” could be the demise of Electrical Water Pageant.
I want to be abundantly clear here: Electrical Water Pageant does not necessarily have to be retired and there is not even a rumor that it will be retired. The bridge here could be a drawbridge or Electrical Water Pageant’s docking location could be moved. This is simply a worry of mine–there are simple solutions to this problem.
With Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary on the horizon, I’d hope that Electrical Water Pageant would be safe for at least the near future. However, so much has been changing these last few years that it being retired doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibilities. I’ll be seeing Electrical Water Pageant a few times this week just in case!
This would seem to be part of Walt Disney World’s plans to overhaul the park arrival experience, which is presently being carried out at both Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Most notably, this has entailed the controversial removal of the Walk Around the World bricks in front of Magic Kingdom and the TTC. It’s a bit ironic that these bricks are being removed just as this pathway full of them will finally start to see regular use.
This is just one of many infrastructure projects currently underway at Walt Disney World that range from new roadways and overpasses to the Skyliner gondola transportation system. Regardless of how you feel about individual projects, this massive undertaking is nice to see. It will alleviate stress on Walt Disney World’s strained infrastructure…although it could also be a harbinger of future crowds Walt Disney World is forecasting for the 50th Anniversary and beyond.
While we’re apprehensive about what will happen with the Electrical Water Pageant, the truth is that Walt Disney World could axe that any day for no reason at all, irrespective of this project. This would present a convenient excuse, but it’s not as if an excuse is needed.
With that in mind, we’re pretty excited about this pathway between Grand Floridian and Magic Kingdom. One of the reasons we favor the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower is because of the walking path, which is always more reliable and efficient than taking the monorail (it also has what’s consistently the shortest bag check line at Walt Disney World).
This new path will directly connect the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to Magic Kingdom, which should be only a slightly longer walk than Magic Kingdom to Contemporary. It should also be noted that there’s an existing path between the Grand Floridian and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Additionally, there’s a path between the Transportation and Ticket Center and Polynesian. Finally, there’s a path between the Poly and Shades of Green.
We walk all of these paths with regularity, and in the future would absolutely walk from any of these three resorts to Magic Kingdom rather than taking the boat or monorail (well, for half the year; April through October are probably too hot and humid for the longer walks).
Ultimately, these longer walks certainly won’t be for everyone, but we far prefer being in control of our own destiny (so to speak) on foot than being beholden to Disney’s transportation. In fact, guests like us who will walk are probably in the minority, but even 10% fewer guests on the monorail will help ease the burden on that system. Color us cautiously optimistic about Walt Disney World’s new walkway project between Grand Floridian and Magic Kingdom!
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What do you think about the walkway project between the Magic Kingdom and these monorail loop resorts? Will you use it, or are you more worried about the potential loss of Electrical Water Pageant? Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts on this? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!