New Mission Space Films to Drop Next Month

Edited: July 19, 2017, 2:49 AM

And the wave from D23 begins! The headline on the July 18th Disney Parks Blog announces: "New Adventures Begin at Mission: SPACE in August at Epcot." This one small step towards the 50th Anniversary shows up just before the annual EPCOT Food & Wine festival as well as the Halloween and Christmas parties to run from late August through early January. This rolls the parks into 2018 and the pending opening of Pixar Land.

Replies (16)

Edited: July 19, 2017, 8:12 AM

Let's face it TH, there's very few spots left in Disney's calendar where there's nothing going on in the parks. So to say,

"This one small step towards the 50th Anniversary shows up just before the annual EPCOT Food & Wine festival as well as the Halloween and Christmas parties to run from late August through early January. This rolls the parks into 2018 and the pending opening of Pixar Land."

is nothing but hyperbole. I'm glad they're adding something new since they're pulling 2 attractions out in August (Great Movie Ride and Universe of Energy), but the lack of any great fanfare Disney is putting behind this signifies to me there's not much to it. The Mission: Space upgrades were buried in the rest of the D23 park announcements, but I was hoping that they might be significant. However, the fact that they're coming a month after being announced (with a date announced through the blog, not through an official press release), means that the initial reaction to this change (that the attraction would be further neutered) is likely spot on.

One small step forward, but 2 big steps backwards in my book TH.

July 19, 2017, 12:22 PM

@Russell: How is this two steps backward. While I surmise the new films (compared to the ten all new shows and attractions) is not a huge deal (I used the words "small steps") it was in fact announced and will open in August.

Is it not also an exercise in hyperbole when someone makes an underwhelming assessment of a new development -- especially when that development has not been unveiled?

Edited: July 19, 2017, 12:53 PM

The 2 big steps backwards are the closing of Energy and Great Movie ride before adequate replacements are in place.

Your hyperbole suggests that updating Mission: Space (which some were hoping would be more significant than what it appears to be under a 1-month timeline), F&W, Halloween, and Christmas events will carry the resort all the way to the opening of Pixar Place. That's a load of baloney, because the seasonal events happen every single year and would not take the place of the 2 downed attractions. With the Osborne lights not happening at WDW for the first time in over a decade, DHS (down to just FOUR rides now) is a shell of a park. Disney's seasonal events don't cover for the fact there's little left in DHS to do until Pixar Place opens next year, which appears to be a nothing more than a tacky band-aid compared to Star Wars.

July 19, 2017, 1:15 PM

It drives me bonkers that Disney expects guests to book vacations months or years in advance, yet they can close attractions forever on 30-days' notice. I'm not necessarily lamenting the loss of Great Movie Ride or Energy, after all, those attractions would have to go down at some point to create replacements, but Disney's complete neglect for the effort they require guests to go through to visit WDW is frustrating. They force guests to book certain rooms 2 years in advance, they require you to book ADRs 180 days in advance, they want you to make FP+ reservations 60 days in advance, but when it comes to delivering a defined lineup of attractions and entertainment, operators feel they can do whatever, whenever they want. They just released Rivers of Light performances for October through November just a couple of weeks ago.

I'll give them the ability to make changes on the fly as needed, but these announcements are "big picture" type changes to the parks that didn't have to wait until D23. Certainly there's something to be said about keeping certain things under wraps and there are some delicate timelines with contractors and artists required, but did Great Movie Ride really need to close before Pixar Place is ready? Closing Energy is a bit of a personal itch to me because we've avoided the attraction on our last few visits, so when we heard the end was near, we were hoping it might last through the rest of 2017, and not close so abruptly. However, Great Movie Ride cuts DHS off at the knees (a park already bereft of attractions justifying a full admission price), yet Disney is doing NOTHING in the interim to compensate guests paying full-price admission for a half-day park. As I stated on another thread, if we didn't already have non-expiring park hopper passes purchased 10 years ago (at a significantly lower price), we wouldn't even bother going to DHS on this trip, and any guest stepping into the DHS gates without a park hopper is a complete SUCKER.

July 19, 2017, 1:23 PM

What the hell are you talking about? "Carry?" I just stumbled across the Mission:Space announcement and posted it. I have no idea what the hype was among people who had whatever hopes you are referencing. I just know it was announced and posted that it was here. I added Food and Wine and the two parties (which regularly sell out) as an indication that we are entering into a period of historically big attendance at WDW.

I just made note of a timeline. I just offered up what I am seeing happening at the resort.

Apologies for not pointing out Disney's shortcomings. It's been my experience there are plenty of people on the TPI discussion page that are ready, willing and able to handle that end of the operation.

Do you guys wear matching jackets or something?


Edited: July 19, 2017, 1:55 PM

You didn't just make note of a timeline. You stated the usual course of events in Disney's season as if they're out of the ordinary, or trying to compensate for current short-comings while guests wait for the tacky Pixar Place (as if that's supposed to excite anyone). Tomorrow or Friday is as much "one small step towards the 50th Anniversary" as any of the annual festivals that you so astutely chronicled.

I merely commented that Mission: Space coming so fast after it was announced at D23 is an indication/confirmation that the new experience is not going to be that transformative to the attraction, or at least not as much as some had hoped after D23. I then clarified your "one small step towards" comment by noting the two big steps back Disney is taking over the next few months in closing 2 "major" attractions. One of those is at a park that has seen half a dozen attractions close with little added in the past 3+ years to compensate. Sure, you can say you have to take steps back to make progress, but Disney has plenty of spinmeisters and its own website/blog to peddle that propaganda. I'd prefer to tell it like it is.

FWIW, F&W doesn't "sell out" as a whole, but many of the very limited admission special events do. Many seminars, culinary presentations, and some Party for the Senses can be booked on a walk-up basis. MNSSHP rarely sells out aside from the Thursday and Friday nights around the week of Halloween (just like HHN), and the same goes for the MVMCP and NOJ. Also, September through mid-December (minus Thanksgiving) has NOT been a period of "historically big attendance at WDW". That's why Disney has added all the special events, room discounts, and the annual fall free dining promotion. This period has only recently been getting more crowded, and just 5 years ago represented some of the slowest days in WDW's operational calendar (along with mid-January through early March, minus MLK and President's Day).

July 19, 2017, 2:00 PM

Wow people. Chill out. Russell - if you're really surprised by sudden attraction refurbishments, you haven't been around Disney parks very long. TH - just chill the eff out.

Edited: July 19, 2017, 2:17 PM

I was excited that Disney was going to make some significant improvements to Mission: Space when they announced it at D23 along with the new restaurant (not terribly excited about the restaurant though). Then when they trickled out the opening date on the Parks Blog, aside from an official press release (meaning it's not that important), my hopes for a truly significant improvement to Mission: Space were dashed. Mission: Space is one of my favorite rides in the WORLD (not just WDW), and I really wanted Disney to plus it up. I should have believed the opinions immediately following D23 that it wasn't that big of a deal, because it looks like it's not.

Energy and Great Movie Ride are not "sudden attraction refurbishments", they're forever closures of attractions that a lot of people really like (maybe not so much Energy, but GMR has a lot of fans). Cedar Point gave people months to get their last rides on Mean Streak before it closed last fall, and similar theme parks have done the same for even not-so-popular attractions that were nearing the end of the line. Disney doesn't seem to care, nor do they care that they're charging guests $100 for a theme park with FOUR rides in it for what is likely to be 8-10 months.

Edited: July 19, 2017, 2:24 PM

Mr. Meyer writes: "You didn't just make note of a timeline. You stated the usual course of events in Disney's season as if they're out of the ordinary, or trying to compensate for current short-comings while guests wait for the tacky Pixar Place (as if that's supposed to excite anyone)."

I Respond: So when I use the word "annual" that implies that these events are "out of the ordinary?"

I see.

July 19, 2017, 3:27 PM

I think the new M:S experiences will be welcomed. I don't think that many people will miss Ellen, and if you want to see dinos, there's an attraction for that over at DAK. I just wish they'd hurry up and get that new Space restaurant open.

And Disney can't tear down Innoventions and replace them with trees and park space quickly enough.

July 19, 2017, 5:36 PM

And they need to tear down the People Mover tracks at Disneyland's Tomorrowland even quicker.

Edited: July 19, 2017, 7:12 PM

I'm honestly surprised that Mission: Space is reopening this soon. Back when it closed at the beginning of June, most were speculating it would be down until October. I'm glad it's reopening sooner, as I'll now be able to ride it on my trip.

That said, TH, I do think you're making this out to be a far bigger deal than it actually is. From what was said at the presentation, it sounds like the changes are simply new ride films. It isn't something on the scale of redoing Star Tours, or even redoing Soarin', and is more similar to the plussing Disneyland has done on Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan's Flight in the past couple years. While I'm sure the changes will be great, any crowds coming for it will be an order of magnitude smaller than those who show up for the annual fall events (which, BTW, have nothing to do with the 50th anniversary).

To be completely honest, I do not think we will see a huge increase in total visitors to Walt Disney World until Star Wars Land opens in 2019. Pandora and Toy Story Land will surely increase visitor counts at their respective parks, but those who are planning a once in a lifetime (or once in a decade) visit are likely to hold off until everything they care about is open (for most, that is likely Star Wars and/or Guardians). Were I not dead set on going this year (the trip was supposed to happen in 2014), and had I visited the resort in the past, I would absolutely hold off until 2021 before planning a visit.

I also agree with is disappointing that a destination theme park is announcing multiple closures less than a month in advance. While I don't expect them to know an exact date a year away, it would have been nice (both for guests and for marketing) to make an announcement in the spring that this was the last summer to experience Ellen's Energy Adventure and Great Movie Ride. The single biggest reason I am going this fall is because I worry more such closures are on the way, and I've got a feeling some high profile rides may disappear in the next few years.

Edited: July 20, 2017, 7:01 AM

"So when I use the word "annual" that implies that these events are "out of the ordinary?""

No, but the way you worded that phrase, along with your constant, rose-colored spin on Disney news, makes it seem like the annual events are part of your "one small step". Your mentioning of the annual events has nothing to do with WDW's 50th Anniversary or the coming changes to Mission: Space, or Pixar Place, so why did you feel the need to include them? Even Disney themselves specifically said the announced enhancements to EPCOT (Mission: Space, Guardians, and Ratatouille) were geared towards EPCOT's 40th Anniversary in 2022, and did not mention WDW's 50th Anniversary once during the presentation that I saw.

Here's how an objective, non-Disney-Kool-Aid drinking person reporting on the this news would have relayed this information...

"The Disney Parks Blog revealed that the changes announced at D23 to the Mission: Space attraction will debut this August. The Blog did not detail the specific changes that will be made to the ride, but the short time frame outlined to make the changes suggests that the current ride programs and interior theming will not be significantly affected."

If you wanted to throw in your whole leading towards the WDW 50th Anniversary spin that you continuously bash us over the head with, you could add,

"This change will the first of many resort enhancements and additions announced at D23 that are likely to lead towards Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary celebration in 2021."

However, someone could easily point out that this change at EPCOT (along with Guardians and Ratatouille) was specifically linked by Disney at D23 to that park's 40th Anniversary in 2022 not WDW's 50th. You have a tendency to overplay things like this TH. I'm eagerly awaiting for you to announce that Mission: Space is the "Hamilton" of gravitrons.

July 30, 2017, 4:23 PM

New film drops on August 13th.

July 31, 2017, 5:26 AM

"And they need to tear down PeopleMover tracks at Disneyland...". How about putting PeopleMovers back in it? There are always people on the TTA, and you could plus that up quite a bit.

August 3, 2017, 3:36 PM

Star Wars VR attractions at Disney Springs keeps the big mo' with WDW.

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