Monday theme park news round-up: Attraction closures, plus Disneyland SoCal resident ticket deals
The new year brings several notable attraction and restaurant closings at major theme parks around America.
Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue has closed at Universal Studios Florida, to be replaced with a new monster musical production later this year.
Festival of the Lion King has closed at Disney's Animal Kingdom, as Disney eliminates Camp Minnie-Mickey to make way for the new Avatar land. Festival of the Lion King will reopen in a new theater in the Africa section of the park, later this year.
Doc Brown's Fried Chicken has closed at Universal Studios Hollywood, as the last hold-out of Back to the Future goes away to clear the way for what we hear will be a new Simpsons-themed eatery, inspired by the wild success of the Springfield Fast Food Boulevard at Universal Studios Florida.
And the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage has closed at Disneyland. Disney's calling this an extended refurbishment, but given that the subs are wildly expensive to operate when balanced against the relatively small crowds that they can handle, coupled with ongoing Imagineering plans to bring more Star Wars to Disneyland's Tomorrowland, many fans are skeptical that we'll see the subs return. Keep your eyes on this one. If the subs sit around for months with no sign of work, that's not a good sign for their return.
Speaking of Disneyland, the California resort has announced its annual ticket deal for Southern California residents. Southern California residents can buy a 2-day ticket (one park per day) for $129, a 2-day Park Hopper for $164, a 3-day, one park per day ticket for $159, or a 3-day Park Hopper for $194. All days must be used by June 6, but Disneyland has not said anything about having to use all the days within 14 days of the ticket's first use, as it has required in the past. March 31-April 20 is blocked out for these tickets, however. Tickets are available at Disneyland.com, resort ticket booths, and many local grocery store checkout lanes.
Update: For comparison, Florida residents can buy a three-day Walt Disney World pass (one park per day) for $129 plus tax. Four days is $149 under the WDW resident deal.
The subs have been open for 7 or 8 years, they couldn't possibly close down after that limited time, right?! Well hopefully not. Didn't Rocket Rods close down like this for an extended refurb? Of course we know what happened there.
Only a certain fan site is claiming that the subs will close for good. Nothing but rumors and speculation.
We have been to Universal Orlando countless times and not once did we even consider watching the Beetlejuice show.... glad it's going away because I heard it is painful to sit through.
"announced its annual ticket deal for Southern California residents"
I've seen a lot of comparisons made between the subs and the Rocket Rods' "refurbishment" but I think in this time of intense internet scrutiny a quiet closure like that is a lot more difficult to pull off. The Disney Parks Blog gave a tentative reopening timeframe and a rough description of the work to be done. Obviously "plans are subject to change", but I still have a hard time believing Disney would put their official blog's credibility on the line so needlessly when they could have otherwise kept it quiet. Just to be safe we rode it on New Year's Day. It sure could use a legitimate refurbishment. Things are looking rather worn and faded down there. Hopefully they can just kill two birds with one stone, fixing things up while reducing operating costs for a year. I also wouldn't mind seeing them go away to make way for a truly spectacular new ride, but I definitely don't want to see a decrepit lagoon sitting unused again. If they do go with a new ride for that area, I hope they keep some form of clear body of water in that area because it does look good at the base of the Matterhorn.
Nemo does need some work done on it. Paint is fading, but worse is the smears and smudges on the glass walls in the show building. Plus projector lamp bulbs need to be replaced. Characters swim and change brightness from "screen" to "screen".
Another bottom line decision, so I'd like a My Magic + account credit for the loss of the another classic attraction that's been sacrifice to fund, what?
'so I'd like a My Magic + account credit'
I never understood the point of the subs once they became the Nemo ride. I enjoyed the subs when it was 20k Leagues because I liked feeling like I was underwater and seeing the underwater animatronics. That was cool. I appreciate that the water was needed to complete the illusion of those animatronic sea critters being real. It made sense.
With these rumors surrounding the removal of Nemo Subs and Autopia to make way for Star Wars, what will happen to the monorail? If that goes, well, I may have to draw the line there.
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