Disney World Confirms New Soarin' Theater, Plus Midway Mania Expansion
Walt Disney World confirmed the news we told you last summer — that it would be adding a third theater to its Soarin' attraction at Epcot's Land pavilion, to add more capacity for that popular travel film.
In addition, Disney will be using some of the space recently vacated by the closing of the Backlot Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios to add a new track to Toy Story Midway Mania, to expand the capacity on one of Disney World's other hard-to-get-Fastpass attractions.
Both expansions are scheduled for completion in 2016. Construction work on the new Soarin' theater has begun already.
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Both moves will provide much needed relief to the excessive crowds visiting these two super popular attractions. However, adding additional headliner attractions throughout these two parks would also alleviate some of that pain....
Finally! Here's a quick fix that should have been done years ago. Better late than never, I suppose.
Per the Disney Parks blog, the expansions will be open by "late" 2016. Another glacial timetable from Disney, but should we really have expected anything else? By that measure, it sounds like we're looking at 2017 AT THE EARLIEST for anything new opening up at Hollywood Studios, and even then it will presumably just be the rumored Toy Story Playland-type thing.
This is good news, those are two of the rides that are constantly overwhelmed by crowds. TSMM in particular is so endlessly popular that they should have built two of them.
I find it odd that Disney would announce the Soarin' expansion, but not also announce the already widely rumored (confirmed with reports from location shooting) new movie for the ride. Disney milks these press releases for all they're worth to make it seem like their construction doesn't take forever. It's gotten so bad that their press releases are months behind what even peripheral theme park fans already know. Ultimately the question has become, why do they even bother making press releases anymore?
Wonder if they are ever going to update the video in Soarin. It would be nice to have a flyover of the orlando parks in orlando and maybe some things on this coast.
I imagine one of the reasons that Disney takes so long to develop their new products in Orlando is simply because they can. Sure, Universal is building newer and better things at an amazing rate, but it's not going to take too much longer before they run out of room. They've already cannablalized some old favorites to make room for newer and better - but how long can that go on for? A new King Kong land for the islands, replace the Woody Woodpecker kidzone in the Studios, ditch ET, replace Terminator 3D, and then...what? Lose the Lost Continent? Cut down the last Truffala tree in Suess landing? They may have to return the Marvel rights to Disney, just to clear some room for new product...And Spiderman is one of their top rides!
I'm happy to have these announcements to help with ride capacity. That said, I'll echo what others have said and think they're moving really slowly and still need to actually add new attractions. Disney is really running in slow motion at this point.
Are they adding one or two theaters to this Soarin update? That ride is so popular that it could have two theaters for Fastpass plus and two for standby and it still be at least a 45 minute wait. Remember Disney, more wait equals less time inside merchandise stores and eateries. Just sayin
I find it interesting that these two rides are so popular in WDW. In California Adventure, IMO, they are ok, but not a big deal. They are certainly nothing in comparison to Universal's heavy hitters. I think their popularity shows up the lack of attractions at DHS and Epcot. I hope Avatar isn't just another lame Soarin attraction.
To me, this is ridiculous.
Disney can build rather quickly if they want to... look how (relatively) quickly the work at Downtown Disney/Springs has progressed...
Brett Blake begins a post with the words "Walt Disney World's problem?"
This is great news for Disney fans. Glad to see they are trying to alleviate wait times.
Totally agree with the anon poster about these in CA, had my first trip west last year and thought meh - if we have time. (Much preferred getting on the unique rides).
We're still early into 2015 and they're saying late 2016? How long could expansions take, considering Cast Members at TSMM have already reported being shown the new construction on the third track and there have been confirmed reports of construction already occurring for the 3rd Soarin theater.
Regarding the comments about Disney having acreage. What good is it? They will never fill it with more parks. People only go for week. Building more parks would not increase attendance. Universal does have room and the desire to have the best and weed out the stale attractions.
Awesome! I love Soarin' at EPCOT!
Disney does everything at a snail's pace... they know the masses will flock no matter what.
Disney need not move faster. They have more WDW business it can handle.
I wish they will finally announce Star Wars Land.
My guess is that Disney found a tax loophole plus the screen based rides are already developed.
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