Published: July 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I sure hope ET being replaced with the Smurfs is wrong... If the ride had to go away, it should be something better than that.

Disaster was just re-tooled a few years ago and they just updated the outside queue... No way that is being replaced anytime soon.

Published: July 2, 2013 at 12:47 PM

star wars land will be brilliant. only downside is that my husband will not shut up about going back and we havn't even been this year yet!
Anon Mouse

Published: July 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I can understand that you want to be precise when discussing "rumors", but that's not the point of rumors. Rumors are designed to get people speculating. Thus, ideas and plans are enough. Besides, I don't know how an idea or plan is spending no money. People are still drawing a salary. Doing blue sky concepts takes up time and money. And projects can still be abandoned. Also, unannounced projects are rumors. This happens a lot with Universal's unannounced new attractions.
Robert Niles

Published: July 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM

By "real money" I mean additions to the corporate budget beyond the already allocated budget for the creative department, which would include designers' salaries and equipment.

Published: July 2, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Lets hope they first kick the horrible Fear Factor show to the curb before replacing anything else. Why does Universal has this awful show still running. And what about the always empty toon lagoon stadium at ioa? Get something good in there or put a Middel Earth land in there to gobble up toon lagoon or Marvel Island.

Published: July 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

The Disaster story is more than a rumour and will be happening as Universal realise that this is a major weak point so close to the new HP development. I think this is fantastic news and something that will keep the die hard Universal fans happy - most of which have become a little despondent with the tearing out of all the classic "ride the movie" rides to be replaced with a world that can only be called Simulator world! The removal of ET is bad news in itself, but to replace it with The Smurfs!!!! seriously??? have a word with yourselves Universal, stop this silly idea now, if you must remove the last iconic Universal ride, then don't rip it out for something that was a shocking film and really wasn't universally appreciated worldwide!!

Published: July 2, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I'd hate to see ET replaced with Smurfs. I'd love to see ET updated some, though. A Smurfs ride would definitely keep me away from that area of the park. - Melissa
TH Creative

Published: July 2, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Kudos to Mr. Iger! Ironically Mr. Iger's candidacy for CEO (which was advocated by Mr. Michael Eisner) was initially opposed by Mr. Roy E. Disney.
Robert Niles

Published: July 2, 2013 at 9:37 PM

If I recall, Iger assuming the CEO/Chairman job was the compromise between Eisner and Roy Disney that allowed the "Save Disney" skirmish to end. Roy got Eisner out the door, and Eisner got his man as successor. Then Iger brought Pixar back into the fold, Roy Disney was delighted, and everyone lived filthy rich ever after. (Thanks in large part to ESPN.)
James Trexen

Published: July 3, 2013 at 12:34 AM

^Just not ESPN 3D, right? ; )
Json Son

Published: July 3, 2013 at 1:41 AM

They should put in a studio ride to replace disaster. Have all the greatest hits come back, Kong, Jaws, BTTF, etc... Something like the Great Movie, but with more special effects and animatronics trying to hurt you. Make it BIG and perhaps expand into the Beattlejuice area. Make it the heart of the park. Universal gets criticized for not having as much heart as Disney.

Turn ET into that Space Fantasy Ride from Universal Japan. Perhaps use Nickelodeon characters instead to cater to the US audience.

anything but the smurfs please

Doug Jenkins

Published: July 3, 2013 at 4:13 AM

ET is tired and will be changed into something children related. Not sure why a SpongeBob ride would not do better than Smurfs. I agree with changing Disaster, but not sure King Kong is the way to go. Most younger people don't feel strongly about KK, but I'm feeling some cost cutting measures being considered. They must still have the sets and parts from the old KK ride. Put them to good use. I think the next really big stuff to be announced will be what replaces Fear Factor and, in IOA, Toon Lagoons unused theatre. They are both tear downs and will offer room to do something very cool!
Rob Pastor

Published: July 3, 2013 at 6:33 AM

I wouldn't pay much attention to the Orlando Business Journal's comment on Smurfs replacing ET, since their industry source was Screamscape, which is rarely ever right on rumor info.
Steve Griswold

Published: July 3, 2013 at 7:46 AM

The legoland photo of that water ride is just like the water ride at Dollywood in TN. It's a blast and you get soaked. Great addition to Legoland and perfect for that parks age group. - Pixie Steve

Published: July 3, 2013 at 9:12 AM

The Smurfs replacing ET? Did I read that correctly!? What is the theme park world coming too. Two steps forward one step back for universal. They start dominating the theme park world in Orlando, then put that on the table? Look out Universal, I'm not going to be the only one voicing my opinion on this one!

Published: July 3, 2013 at 12:16 PM

As for the Star Wars "expansion", I did not read how it actually will expand the park. Replacing and re-theming is one thing. When Universal expanded for Harry Potter, they used some space that had been employee parking, so an expansion would be an appropriate term.

I hope Hollywood Studios expands. If they increase attendance because if Star Wars, they will need more parking and better entrance/exits.

James Rao

Published: July 4, 2013 at 6:58 AM

King Kong for Disaster! is not an issue in my book. I would like to see the change. But, replacing ET with the Smurfs would be the first big misstep by Universal in years and could kill their phenomenal momentum. Granted, ET could use some retooling, or could even be replaced, but Dear God, not with Smurfs!

As for the other big news, the idea of spreading Star Wars throughout the park at DHS is an interesting one, but it breaks the mold of what has been successful over the past few years: adding wholly immersive new lands/sections to a park - not piecemeal work. We'll have to wait and see, but FWIW (which ain't much) I do question this approach - at least right now.