Published: August 20, 2011 at 5:45 AMThe Fantasyland model looks EXTRAORDINARY. In size it looks as big as Frontierland and Liberty square ...combined! When you add in the waterfalls, landscaping, Disney NextGen, sound and (at night) lighting effects, the Fantasyland addition will make Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom into the best theme park experience on the planet -- even surpassing its sister park in Anaheim.
Published: August 20, 2011 at 7:45 AMSo is this all the new news for the parks we are getting?...
Published: August 20, 2011 at 7:57 AMGreat update, Robert! Thanks for bringing the Expo home to those of us not lucky enough to attend.
Published: August 20, 2011 at 10:29 AMSeveral readers have expressed disappointment that there was no word about the fate of Pleasure Island/Hyperion Wharf/Whatever They're Calling It at the Walt Disney World Resort.
No, that wasn't a reporting oversight. In both the presentation and the WDI pavilion at the show, there's not a mention of anything regarding that part of the WDW property.
Completely guessing here, but since that development is so dependent upon attracting commercial partners, I suspect Disney's having trouble in this economy lining up enough business partners to create the critical mass necessary to redevelop the area. So we get one-off such as Splitsville in the meantime.
I think the issue is further complicated by Disney's waffling on whether it wants an adults-only entertainment district or not. It's tough enough finding business partners these days. It's even tougher when you can't decide what type of business partners you want.
That's just my $.02 though. I haven't talked with any insiders about Pleasure Island in some time, so if you've got inside scoop, please share it.
Published: August 20, 2011 at 10:46 AMI'd like to get some Florida readers' opinions on the timeframe for the New Fantasyland. When I visited in July, it looked like work on the Beast's castle, The Little Mermaid and the circus-themed area were all coming along nicely.
But I didn't see that any work had begun on the Seven Dwarfs ride. From the model, it looks like there's a show building and quite a bit of site grading that needs to go in for that, not to mention the track (which shouldn't take that long).
Any thoughts on insight on the progress on the Seven Dwarfs ride? I couldn't get anything out of the Imagineers at D23. I'm guessing that construction is moving in phases and that the Seven Dwarfs are the last phase, but I'd like to know if anyone has seen anything go vertical on that part of the project yet.
Published: August 20, 2011 at 10:43 AMI also should note that the presentation very much was the Tom Staggs Show. They showed a video of Staggs working various Disney parks jobs, including as a Jungle Skipper. He pulled off a sight gag making fun of Aulani Imagineer Joe Rohde's immense earring, too.
Staggs has a deadpan delivery and wonderfully dry sense of humor that complements well Disney's typical earnest cheerfulness. I thought he was hilarious bantering with the talking Mickey character at the beginning of the show today. ("You're looking especially articulate today, Mickey.") By the way, that Mickey is just stunning. It's amazing to see Mickey's mouth move like that as he speaks.
Published: August 20, 2011 at 11:33 PMWhile I really like the idea of the swinging mine cars..... It concerns me that it might be met with some of the similar problems that The Bat at Kings Island had back when they tried to make that concept work (too much stress of the track / carts from the swinging caused it too be a mess?). Any thoughts from other people more in the know about the details? I hope that Disney has figured this out and the investment pays off. I really do like the idea of a new family coaster in Fantasyland.... and it is high on the list of new upcoming rides I am most looking forward to riding in the next few years.
Published: August 22, 2011 at 12:14 AMThe swinging car design on the Seven Dwarfs roller coaster is totally different than The Bat. There is no relation. If you really understood The Bat design then you'd know why this is a non-issue for this new coaster. There is a huge difference.
Also, The Bat concept was a success in its second generation and a handful of these coasters are still in operation today.