The Blog Flume Filter for March 14, 2013
Written by Robert Niles
Jeff Elliott's being held in a bus somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, and since we couldn't raise the cash for the ransom, I'm stuck doing the Filter this week.
Walt Disney World today confirmed its planned transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, which we first told you about here last month.
Concept art courtesy Disney
It's the latest planned makeover for an area that's had more facelifts than Heidi Montag (for readers under 40) or Joan Rivers (for those over). What we didn't have last month was a timeline, which Disney provided today: Construction starts in April and completion's slated for 2016. So let's start taking bets. Which do we see finished first: Disney Springs or Avatar?
Disney's Hollywood Studios -- Disney's released the logo for this year's Star Wars Weekends, which honors the 30th anniversary of the release of "Return of the Jedi." Disney's also announced a couple of celebrity appearances for this year's events, including the return of Ray Park (Darth Maul) and lead Ewok Warwick Davis, who brings together the worlds of "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter" the way President Obama mashes up The Force with Vulcan telepathy.
Disneyland -- While you east coast theme park fans get to enjoy yet another series of Star Wars weekends, the Disneyland Resort is offering us on the west coast… a tribute to Greece? May 25-27, Disneyland and California Adventure will host special Greek-themed entertainment and food booths. The events will run in the Small World plaza in Disneyland and in Paradise Garden at DCA. Details to come.
Tokyo Disneyland -- Wrapping up the Disney news, Tokyo Disneyland is promoting the upcoming revamp of its Star Tours ride into Version 2.0 with an awesome video clip of the Empire invading Japan.
Which is cool until you realize, hey, wait a minute, isn't Japan already officially run by… an emperor? What's going on here?!?
Update: Universal Studios Japan announced today that is will be running a train on its Hollywood Dream - The Ride roller coaster backward, starting March 15- July 7. No word on whether the music played on the coaster will run backward, too.
This week's installment shows how SeaWorld is making all the ice that will be displayed in its Antarctica attraction. In fact, the ride will become the second largest source of ice in the Orlando area, trailing only the bars serving Disney cast members on the night of their weekly payday.
Speaking of attraction openings, Hong Kong Disneyland is now set to debut its new Mystic Manor attraction in May, as well. Back in the US, Disney's also confirmed that the new Mickey and the Magical Map show will debut at Disneyland on May 25. But if you're in the mood for a new attraction right away, don't miss our own James Rao's review of Silver Dollar City's Outlaw Run, a wooden coaster with a twist (actually, several of them), which debuts this weekend.
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