One of Disney's (NYSE:DIS) newest character-fueled experiences is currently on a seasonal hiatus. Club Disney -- the continuous indoor dance party that launched at the new Sunset Showcase theater just two months ago at Disney's Hollywood Studios -- closed earlier this month.
The closure appears to be temporary, but there's no indication on when it will be open again. Disney has several attractions that are open only when crowds are peaking, but this wasn't pitched as a seasonal attraction. The theater itself was set to house various events throughout the year, but Club Disney was pitched as the "premier engagement" of the theater. It would be "open daily" the official Disney blog proclaimed. Two months later, that's just not the case.
Club Disney may have seemed like an odd attraction. Guests would enter the air-conditioned dance floor, under a mirrored ball donning mouse ears. Electronica versions of classic Disney tunes would play as folks would dance with costumed characters surrounded by a wraparound video screen. Snacks, drinks, and other concessions were available as well as ample seating.
It may seem cheesy, but it was a great way to interact with Disney characters. It was also a great way to relax without having to wait in a long line, something that has become a growing problem at Disney's Hollywood Studios given the many attractions that it has closed or is in the process of closing ahead of the multi-year construction of Star Wars Land.
It's also hard to overestimate the appeal of an indoor attraction on a hot, cold, or rainy day in Florida.
The timing of the closure is peculiar. Disney's hosting a weekly hard-ticket event at the theater every Saturday night -- Club Villain, where folks pay $99 a head for a dinner and entertainment experience -- but it certainly doesn't seem like Club Disney should be closed during the day or the rest of the week. We're heading into the seasonally potent Presidents Day holiday weekend, and the theme park is already starting to get crowded.
With wait times for the park's most popular rides setting guests back for more than an hour, having a high-volume attraction available with no wait would be a no-brainer to keep open. It also would only help that Club Disney got its beat on next to the park's two thrill rides, giving families with younger kids something to do while their older siblings were riding coasters and tower drop rides.
Disney's been dismantling the park for two years, but with admission rates inching higher every year -- it now costs $97 plus tax for a one-day ticket to visit Disney's Hollywood Studios -- closing any attraction at a park with little else to do doesn't seem like a smart decision.