D23 recap: Disney announces its new theme park attractions
Today, Disney announced a number of impressive new projects scattered across their theme park resorts in the United States, Europe and Asia. At the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts panel during D23 Expo 2017, Chairman Bob Chapek revealed over a dozen new developments coming to Disney theme park resorts across the globe.
With the complete overhaul of Disney California Adventure Park and the 50th anniversary celebration at Disneyland, there has been a ton of investment at the Disneyland Resort over the past decade. In 2019, Disneyland will be opening Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (formerly known as Star Wars Land), the first Star Wars themed area and the single largest Disney project to date. This themed area promises to take the concept of an immersive land to a new level, where everything is sculpted around the story of each individual guest.
Visitors can try their hand at piloting the Millennium Falcon on a mission for Chewbacca, where the actions of everyone will determine whether the mission is a success or a failure. After their flight, guests can go relax and sample a beverage at the cantina while listening to tunes from (former captain) Rex, now a DJ after dismissal following the Star Tours incident.
However, the First Order lurks in waiting, and those who follow BB-8 to the secret Resistance base may soon find themselves in a battle for their lives. Much is still unknown about the First Order Battle attraction, but two things have been confirmed...at least a portion of the ride will take place on a First Order Star Destroyer, and riders will come face to face with Kylo Ren during the experience.
While guests must wait until 2019 to visit Star Wars, next year the resort will host Pixar Fest, a celebration of every story in Pixar's catalogue of outstanding films. This celebration will bring with it new entertainment options (including a new nightly firework spectacular), new character greeting opportunities, and the return of the Pixar Play Parade, which will replace Mickey's Soundsational Parade as Disneyland's daytime parade. Pixar Fest will also see the return of the popular Paint the Night parade, but this time to Disney California Adventure Park and with an additional parade unit. Lastly, Pixar Fest brings with it a new Halloween event for Cars Land, which will begin this fall.
Pixar Fest also coincides with the opening of Disney California Adventure's newest themed area: Pixar Pier. A retheme of the existing Paradise Pier, the new area does away with the Victorian Boardwalk theme in favor of a traditional pier run by the Pixar gang. Inside Out, the Incredibles, and more will receive their own attractions, and there may be some additional Toy Story presence as well.
Lastly, Chapek dropped the news that a Marvel Superhero Universe themed area is currently in development for Disney California Adventure. While almost nothing has been confirmed, it is likely that this area will occupy the unused space behind Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! The area will feature attractions themed to Spider-Man and The Avengers, but further specifics will be revealed at a later time. An opening date has also not been decided, but it will definitely be after Star Wars opens at Disneyland (making this one likely 2020-2022).
Walt Disney World Resort:
Less than two months ago, Walt Disney World opened Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This project represents the culmination of a major overhaul for that park, and it has made Animal Kingdom a must visit park rather than the third or fourth choice for most Walt Disney World visitors. In the coming years, the focus shifts to the other three parks as Walt Disney World begins preparations for their 50th anniversary in 2021.
Next year, Toy Story Land debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios, adding two new and much needed family attractions to the park. The year after, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will open. This land will be 99% identical to the installation at Disneyland, but it will open later in the year.
In addition to these attractions, Disney's Hollywood Studios will be opening Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, the first Mickey-themed ride at a Disney park. A high-tech family dark ride, this attraction will replace the Great Movie Ride, which is scheduled to close for good later this year. While based on the IP of Mickey Mouse, the attraction features a completely original story: Guests are joining Mickey and Minnie for a viewing of a new Mickey Mouse short. However, Goofy arrives with a train and invites everyone to take a ride with him. What follows is a wacky and unpredictable adventure as guests cross from the real world into the world of the cartoons. Advertised as a 2.5-D ride, this attraction will use physical sets and new technology to transform the flat world of the cartoons into something unlike what has been seen before. The attraction is complete with its very own theme song and, in true Disney fashion, more hidden Mickeys than any other Disney attraction. An exact opening date was not given, but all Walt Disney World projects are scheduled to be completed by 2021.
Over at Epcot, major changes are on the way as the entire park is set to transform. While there is no intention to alter the overall theme of the park (it will always be Future World and World Showcase), the park will be transformed into something that is timeless, relevant in the modern world, and, at the request of many visitors, gives an experience closer to what is expected from a Disney park. The entire project will be performed in phases, with the first phase to be complete by the park's 40th anniversary in 2022.
Coming to World Showcase, the France Pavilion is receiving a clone of Ratatouille from Walt Disney Studios Paris. This attraction will be built in an all new expansion of the pavilion, and will not replace any existing rides. In addition, a brand new film will be replacing Reflections of China, shot with modern digital cameras and carefully shot to produce a seamless viewing experience. While other projects were not announced, it was confirmed that several other projects to bring Disney IP to the countries representing their films are in development, and it is possible one or more of these could be announced at a later date.
Down in Future World, the big news is that Ellen's Energy Adventure is being replaced by a new E-ticket attraction themed to the Guardians of the Galaxy. While details were not provided, given the IP it is likely that this attraction will be Epcot's first roller coaster or some other type of high-adrenaline attraction.
In addition, Mission: Space will be receiving a complete overhaul with two new missions. Orange Mission will continue to be a flight to Mars, but the experience is updated to improve the attraction quality. Green Mission, however, is a completely new Earth orbital mission that is more focused on the sights and less on the action. (Update: The new missions will debut next month, in August.)
Lastly, Mission: Space will now be accompanied by a full-service restaurant where guests dine in space.
Not to be left out, the Magic Kingdom is receiving a couple attractions over the next five years. Opening on Main Street U.S.A. is a new theater bringing a large-scale live entertainment venue to the park. Modeled after the Willis Theater in 1920s Kansas City, this will fit in right alongside the existing buildings on the street. Performances here will be announced at a later date.
Then, in 2021, Magic Kingdom will open Tron Lightcycle Power Run, a clone of Shanghai Disneyland's most popular attraction. This ride will be added to Tomorrowland directly adjacent to Space Mountain, and will not require the removal of any existing attractions.
Walt Disney World's big plans don't stop at the boarders of the theme parks, as several non-park projects were also announced. None of these is more exciting than a new Star Wars luxury hotel coming to the Hollywood Studios resort area.
Much more than a hotel, this is a brand new concept for a multi-day immersive adventure. Not only is the hotel themed to the Star Wars galaxy, but every guest will live and breathe Star Wars from the moment they enter until the moment they leave.
Using mock windows, guests will feel like they are aboard a starship traveling the galaxy, and nothing aboard will break that illusion in any way.
In addition, Walt Disney World is adding their 15th Disney Vacation Club resort, Disney Riviera Resort, which will be added to the Epcot resort area.
With more visitors than ever, Walt Disney World will also be expanding their transportation options. Beginning soon is Disney's Minnie Van service, a resort-wide point-to-point transportation option that allows guests to travel around the resort without ever interrupting the feeling of Disney. (Update: The service starts this month for guests at the Boardwalk and Yacht & Beach Club resorts.)
For those who desire a more scenic option, Disney Skyliner is an aerial gondola system connecting the Epcot and Hollywood Studios areas. With stops at Epcot's International Gateway and the main gate of Disney's Hollywood Studios, in addition to Disney's Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and Riviera resorts, transportation will be both fun and efficient throughout a majority of Walt Disney World. This serves as a more economical and more efficient alternative to extending the Walt Disney World Monorail System, and is likely the direction Disney will go when pursuing future transportation options.
While content was light from this resort, it was announced that this will be the location of Disney's first Marvel-themed resort hotel. Dubbed Hotel New York, the resort will focus on the world of superheroes and feature Iron Man, the Avengers, Spider-Man, and more.
Much of the hotel will feel like a contemporary art gallery, putting the entirety of the Marvel Universe on display. While no theme park additions were announced in Paris, there is speculation that an announcement will be done at a later time to reveal future developments at those two parks.
Little was said about any of the Asian parks, as all of them have announced their plans on their own. However, it was confirmed that Toy Story Land will open at Shanghai Disneyland in 2018. Unlike the Disney's Hollywood Studios version, it appears that this area is mostly a clone of those added to Walt Disney Studios Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.
With much in store over the next half-decade, it certainly looks like there is plenty for Disney fans to look forward to on the next visit to their Disney resort of choice.
What does "green mission" mean for Mission Space? I am kind of losing my mind at all the cool things being announced. I LOVE the Runaway Railway ride concept. My kids LOVE Mickey and Minnie and it will be so fun to FINALLY have a ride all about them. And having it be like going into a movie short is so perfect for the Chinese Theater. They are going to turn my least favorite park into the best park. I just wish that EPCOT would get cool countries added to the showcase. i am not excited about Spain or Brazil. I feel like the mexico pavilion already represents Spanish/Latin culture and wish they would add something like Egypt, Russia, Australia, or Greece to the showcase instead. I also wish that every pavilion had a ride. Want a Mary Poppins ride in the UK pavilion.
Bummed out about Great Movie Ride, but the rest sound awesome!
Did they show any concept art of the tail lights that the other Orlando theme park operators will be looking at for the next few decades?
Anything about new pavilions?
Stupid Guardians of the Galaxy. Stupid Energy.
Disneyland resort was neglected this year
TH Creative please celebrate all Theme Parks in Orlando . It is fantastic at last that Disney is adding all these updates and as an annual pass holder I can't wait to experience them all, but also I want Sea World, Universal and Lego Land to create amazing experiences as well , to continue to make Orlando where I live and work the best vacation destination. on Earth .
Thanks for the great coverage, AJ! I've been following along from here in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska, but I have added new entries for the confirmed upcoming WDW rides at the end of our
Looks like we were
Pixar Pier is most surprising news and Great Movie Ride is replaced with a Mickey Runaway Railway ride. That's different too.
Man, I just feel like I wasted 90 minutes of my life watching the presentation on Periscope. They should have called this the "Walt Disney World" presentation.
Most excited about TRON!
@TH Creative : haha savage
FWIW, I think that Nintendo land will deliver more than well for Universal, even as Disney adds all these wonderful new attractions. Just need to spend even more time (and money) in Orlando! (RIP SeaWorld, though.)
@TH Have you ever heard of Nintendo Land? You seem to be a bit oblivious to the fact that it's a thing now.
Can't wait for all that! (tough I'll have to wait. A lot.)
All of it sounds exciting. I can't wait to see more details on all of this. The new table service restaurant by Mission Space sounds interesting. Is it wrong that I hope that Wall-e flies by with an extinguisher in a space scene?
Wow. Just wow. So much magic coming to the parks. I applaud every move they are making. Goodbye Okay Movie Ride. Goodbye Massively Dated Ellen Ride. Hello AWESOME New Stuff. What an amazing day.
Well, taking this with a grain of salt. I'm old enough to remember all the plans the 1990s "Disney Decade" were supposed to give us that never came to be. But this sounds good (although sad to see Movie Ride gone) and nice to see WDW getting some long-overdue overhaul.
Well, taking this with a grain of salt. I'm old enough to remember all the plans the 1990s "Disney Decade" were supposed to give us that never came to be. But this sounds good (although sad to see Movie Ride gone) and nice to see WDW getting some long-overdue overhaul.
Curious as to whether there's any news on the new hotel for DLR?
In a (sort of) related story Universal is gonna build more hotel rooms on the old Wet & Wild property for people who are coming to experience the new Disney attractions. So that's helpful.
I'm assuming the never appropriately themed Jumping Jellyfish will become the Green Army parachute drop found in Hong kong. Goofys sky school being rethemed again? Walt Disney World is definitely where it's at the next few years. Very little reason to visit Disneyland.
^Except that the Disneyland Resort is getting the Star Wars expansion first, as well as Marvel Land, a new Pixar parade, a new Fantasmic, Pixar Pier (whatever that means), and they still have the best version of Pirates in North America. Might be the place to be in 2019 or 2020, then back to WDW in 2021....
I like that they are keeping the Speedway AND adding Tron. Why get rid of something kids love when you don't have to to add something new. I just wish they would update the speedway also..... it could use an update.
Does the lack of announcement mean that the rumored Fantasyland expansion in Disneyland is gonna be pushed back/cancelled?
The new Mickey looks scary. @_@
Glad Speedway is not being replaced. That is a rite of passage for young kids, and I will never forget my children driving the cars for their first time. It is not for everyone, and they need electric cars, but it does not need to be replaced. Very curious about the world showcase attractions. I hope they are country specific. Ratatouille is fine, but I don't want any more Frozen like attractions that are fictional settings in the showcase. I like the movie ride, so I am not happy about that, but it is the biggest set of announcements probably in their history. If I won the Powerball, I might have to move into the Star Wars hotel as a permanent resident (but not in Carbonite). Now, I hope Universal steps it up for their mystery land purchase, and maybe we will get a fifth gate announcement at the next D23.
Wasn't the Guardians ride supposed to be Florida's version of Tron? I'm curious to see what the new ride system will be, as well as where this new space restaurant is supposed to go (Odyssey seems most likely).
Sea World will survive, competing in the aquarium/roller coaster park segements, not in the theme park segment, which it was never really good at anyway. Just look at Ocean Park, Hong Kong.
Jaw dropping news. All of these new goodies will give me plenty of excuses to keep going back to Orlando and Anaheim.
So Excited! The only downside is trying to figure out when to go from NZ (where options are a little more limited and visits far more intermittent)
Please no more roller coasters - the odd one is fine but too many and it begins to lack sophistication
RE: Daniel Galvan
This all sounds so great - am going to WDW in September this year, so will have to plan to go again maybe in 2021.
Firstly, Well Done TPI for your predictions. Your premium grade Sri Lankan tea leaves have done you proud! Exciting! Exciting! Exciting! Huge investment over the next 5 years overlapping with the current spend. Certainly Universal and Comcast's financial strategy has kicked Disney into gear.
I've watched Disney largely sit on their hands in Orlando for many years while Universal built big. And as a result, we haven't been to Disney in about 5 years, even though out youngest child was too young to remember going. Meanwhile, we've carried annual passes for Universal and Sea World for the past several years.
Jeremygary - Comcast will be thinking equally as big so it is fantastic to be a theme park fan.
Very excited with all the changes and can't wait for the new Mickey ride. Sorry folks I love old movies but GMR had become a bore. Even a new attraction like Tron, which I'll never ride, will be exciting for those who can. Personally I prefer something more creative and unique than another coaster.
By the way, I love the look of the Mickey on the new attraction. He has that original look to him. His look may fit in much better with what Disney is trying to do with the ride.
Seriously one of the best WDW hauls at D23 I've heard. Really good to see MK getting a Broadway theater. Excited for the Mickey ride! I've been on Great Movie Ride maybe three times in the ten years I've been going (passholder for many of those years). Great to hear about Tron but a bit disappointed that Speedway will stay. That is imo the worst attraction at any resort and some parks have been removing them (boring and takes up lots of space). Other than that, good news all around. I will start saving for the Star Wars resort now! Hopefully in the next few years we will get the new pavilion(s), a redo of Imagination (keeping Figment though), a return to the old ending of Spaceship Earth, and a new nighttime parade (let's do a "Paint the Night" treatment only with SpectroMagic). :)
@Mike R: I thought the same about Illuminations, but then realized a lot of these changes at Epcot are so many years out, perhaps that's an announcement they are saving for later, maybe even for the next Expo. I also get the sense from other stories, that Disney expected Siemens to renew as a sponsor so perhaps--and this is just a guess--more was planned to be said for both Spaceship Earth and Illuminations?
I'm excited to see Disney investing heavily in the Orlando parks again. Our family used to be annual Disney World visitors, but switched over to Universal around 2006 because there were better incentives for staying on site, especially the fast pass. Then they started building like crazy, and going to Universal reminded us of going to Disney in the nineties: every year, something new! It helps that our family's favorites in pop culture include Potter, Simpsons, and Nintendo. I am personally beside myself with excitement for Super Nintendo World, though I fear for my bank account once I hit the merchants in that area. Hope the annual pass still gives a discount then!
They should have kept the Great Movie Ride, and built Mickey from scratch. All well, hopefully they will make a similar new ride someday. Other than that everything sounds fine.
Wake me up when they create something as fully immersive as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Looks cute though.
Good article, AJ.
For those who say Disney will be the best. Let me say what Universal has in plan:
Ha ha @ Barry Zuckerkorn, that's funny. If one somehow doesn't believe that Pandora isn't as immersive as WWoHP, then Star Wars Land will be, but even moreso. Hogsmeade is decent, but a visible show building a light overlay of Duelling Dragons lessens the experience. Diagon Alley is world class, but no better than Pandora, and likely will be greatly exceeded by Star Wars Land. Anyway, I'm sure you must be kidding.
Wow. I'm stunned but i think this is evidence of how current management feels about the Disneyland Resort. They basically just pulled down their pants and took a leak all over their Anaheim property. Just before they said anything about Marvel in DCA, after an hour long presentation on the billions and billions of dollars going to be spent in Orlando, I was expecting the next announcement to be that they were tearing down the Anaheim property and closing up shop to further fund their REAL resort.
@thedrumman No way Jose. But good luck with all that.
Does disney have problems getting permits to build at DLR? Also i would imagine they have to be careful with how they allocate the available space given the location of the resort and balance that against any future expansion plans.
76.184---if you have been to DLR. it is so so busy, all of the time. Evidently, they are having problems, with the city getting the new parking lot approved. disputes with neighboring hotels, over business/customer access.
It's super annoying when you're trying to follow all the comments on a great thread like this and new, anonymous comments randomly appear scattered throughout each time you take a look. You have to essentially rescan the entire thread to see what new posts have popped up and where instead of just jumping to the bottom. Any way to fix this Robert?
For the past couple of years, I was drinking the Universal Kool-Aid. Even though I'd mostly been a WDW pass holder, I just kept looking at the Orlando scene and thinking...Pandora and Disney Springs and a Frozen overlay are great and all, but....look at what Universal is doing!!! They are killing it!
Now that the dust has settled, I'll give my thoughts...
Russell: Exactly why I'm delaying my next Disney World trip by 3 to 5 years. Luckily Disneyland is right down the freeway where I live, but I anticipate the next trip (after my current AP expires in the fall) to be in late 2019 or 2020. Another Disney decade, but takes half of that for them to finish.
I am bereft at the loss of GMR, a week before I arrive in Orlando. It's one of our favorites! Its got Great right there in the title!
Btw - thanks AJ for a good, concise article. Great to see all these news items in one place.
@Anton - Well, we were already delaying out of our normal every 2 year routine waiting for Avatar (last visited in fall 2014), so it wasn't like we were going to wait another 2 years. FWIW, Pixar Place would not have been enough for us to plan a trip next year, and if Mission: Space goes down next year, then a 2018 trip would not have been any better than going this year. I just bothers me a bit that Disney expects guests to plan vacations so far in advance, yet they can make significant changes to the parks at the drop of a hat. The fact that DHS is going to go probably 9+ months with just 4 rides should be embarrassing to them. There's absolutely no reason they can't have GMR limp along another few months to time its closure with the opening of Pixar Place, especially in a park already handicapped by attraction closures over the past 2-3 years.
It's true a new golden age to be a theme park fan. With all of these new announcements, what Universal Orlando has done in the last decade plus Nintendo Land, we are being hooked up to the extreme. Funny, I wasn't excited for Tron until I saw that darn rendering that slapped the reality of it happening into me. That is going to look so freakin good in that area.
Holy cow, so much negativity in these comments! Not everything can be updated or built every single year. Someone wrote "Disneyland was neglected..." Yeah, it's a huge bummer they're not putting in Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, or a full update to Fantasmic, the DLRR, or more changes to DCA. Wait... Seriously people, ease up!
And Marni said this is just the first half of what's to come from Disney in Orlando...
I can't agree with TH. This all does not put disney way ahead of universal. Disney is doing this all because of universal. We can all agree on that.
Thanks Russell, that makes sense. In my head that was probably the spot.
"The D23 expo for Japan is happening next February, so we might get more on what's next for Shanghai Disneyland, and further details on the expansions of both Disneyland Tokyo, and Hong Kong Disneyland."
Also just wanted to say anyone thinking nintendoland is going to be a dud. If anyone is a gamer in here, then they know nintendo will have a hand in creating this land and it will be nintendo standard just like the JK Rowling standard for harry potter. It will be very immersive in every way shigeru miyamoto is playing a big part in designing the land. He is the mario and zelda creator and has created many other memorable nintendo games.
Toy Story Land -- too little, too late, as usual Disney.
@Shane - I too think Nintendo could be pretty epic for Universal. Another frequent poster here would not agree as he stated, "future attractions based upon a gaming system from 1979?" when comparing the likely Nintendo Land announcement to everything announced at D23. I'd say nearly 40 years of success over at Nintendo despite challenges from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and others (like Atari, Sega, and others that no longer exist on the console market) demonstrates that Universal have a viable IP that can go head to head with anything Disney can put out there.
I would love to visit every one of these new Disney attractions... but alas, I have yet to get a fastpass reservation for Snow White. I'm sure it will be 20-years before I can actually ride any of these things (with the exception of the skyliner).
I really have to agree on the cost of the hotel. My thoughts are that they leaked it to gauge what the reactions would be. I am a SW nut, and fairly well off, and I would not pay any amount quoted so far. I will point out that you can pay $225 a night at a Universal hotel, walk to a park, and get unlimited front of the line access to almost all attractions. That Star Wars hotel will need to have a gate entry like the California lodge at Disneyland and some special perks other than fancy windows and people in costumes to justify any price mentioned when Universal is doing things that are actually beneficial with their three top hotels. Granted, all of these announcements are great, but come on.
I'm super excited about all of these announcements and look forward to many future trips to the Disney Parks. Thanks also for the great coverage.
Disney can price it wherever they want, because people will pay it (whether they can afford it or not). Honestly, Disney could jack up their theme park tickets to $200 and people would still pay it. It really depends on what Disney is trying to do with this hotel. Are they looking for a boutique hotel catered to the rich and snotty that can afford $1k/night (that could keep out the most hard core fans that might make the place even more authentic), or are they looking at a nice hotel that normal people can cash in some stock for a once in a lifetime experience at $500/night (allowing hard core fans not only to come, but come every few years creating a community of "regulars")? Clearly, if they price at the lower end of the spectrum, they'd have to have lots of rooms to meet demand. If they price at the $1k/night, they could get away with a few dozen rooms that would still have enough demand to be constantly sold out. Think of it as the "Cinderella's Castle Suite" for Star Wars fans. Really, they could go $2-3k/night and some crazy rich people wouldn't bat an eyelash, but I honestly think they're doing themselves (and the Star Wars brand) a disservice by making the experience inaccessible to the average guest. On the other hand, this is the trend that Disney has been following over the past few years with ridiculously priced upcharges that people book blindly because it has the Disney name associated with it. People with lots of disposable income have no problem throwing an extra hundred dollars a day into their trip for upgraded rooms, dessert parties, and behind the scenes tours, but I wonder how many lower income guests are getting left behind (or going severely into debt) with this trend. While Disney probably doesn't lament losing business from low income guests, they should start worrying when guests with 6-figure incomes don't come back as frequently or spend as much money in their parks.
Wow, Disney is going screenz all the way. Screenz in all the rides, hotel and even restaurant. The next five years will be amazing to see all these announcement artworks get downgraded like Star Wars, Pandora and Toy Story Land. Can't wait to see if they deliver this time, but they need to they are losing market share by the minute.
1K a night is ridiculous. Is that official though?
Not official, but widely reported. The level of details in the rumors suggest that it's either Disney putting out feelers to see if the price points are acceptable, or they're pretty close to reality (obviously subject to market forces). The $1k price point was mentioned quite frequently in the guest survey that Disney used to collect data prior to making the D23 announcement, which is probably where it's coming from.
I'm in agreement on Comic-Con being the place for the Marvel Universe announcements for DCA. They teased just a little bit at D23 to leave it open for a big reveal at Comic-Con. I imagine there will be a little more detail provided on Guardians at Epcot as well.
Swapping parades around at the Disneyland Resort is ridiculous. Disneyland needs to keep a nighttime parade, fireworks and Fantasmic full-time. Moving Paint The Night to DCA is unnecessary. If anything DCA should get its own nighttime entertainment.
@Shane you make some great points. This is all because of Universal and everybody knows it. Disney was blindsided back in 2010 with the opening of Harry Potter and their hands were tied with all of their foreign investments. However, I don't think Universal will be announcing a third park anytime soon.
I don't get some of the negativity because these announcements are freakin' awesome! Disney is finally doing what a lot of us have been begging for for years - adding new rides and lands! And fixing Franken-Epcot!
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge...ugh, it doesn't exactly roll off your tongue, what were they thinking? They may as well call it Star Wars Planet We Haven't Seen Before. You know that everyone is still going to call it Star Wars Land. When Disney's California Adventure opened, the VP in charge was adamant that the cast members call it by it's full name, not DCA, but of course now everyone calls it DCA.
I wonder how much park admission at WDW will be in 2021? An annual increase of $20? $200 may not be far off!
@ProfPlum -- don't worry, Disney will pass these costs straight on to their guests!
No matter what Disney does any more, there is a lot of negativity toward them. It all sounds cool to me. I guess you can't please everybody.
Clones or not,
Now that it's been a couple days, I'll go ahead and share my thoughts on these announcements...
"However, I expect this to function much more like a cruise ship, where the price includes the whole experience and not just the room."
AJ said "-Guardians of the Galaxy: Great attraction, wrong park. I was hoping Guardians would go into Hollywood Studios, as that seems to be the most natural fit for the IP."
"So it can draw comparisons with the Tron makeover at Test Track?"
"That only comes from guests who say the interior design looks like the Tron movies."
I can kinda see your point about Tron, but Tron in Shanghai and TestTrack 2.0 are different enough from a design perspective to avoid comparisons. Plus the slight similarities could have been leveraged as a unifying aesthetic for a re-imagined FutureWorld. Top it off with a revitalized Mission: Space that furthers the "Tron" look, and you've got a "Space and Beyond Land" that stays consistent across the entire east side of FutureWorld. Who's to say this new Guardians ride (we still have no idea what type or ride system they're using) won't still have that "Tron" look to it anyway? The GoTG Universe is vast, and there's nothing stopping Imagineers from inventing a planet that looks like Tron where Groot, Rocket, Starlord, Gamora, Mantis, and Drax wage battle. With a 3rd movie already green-lit, the possibilities for the Guardians at WDW are pretty endless (only limited by any Avengers crossovers that step on the Universal-owned IP, i.e. Asgaard).
Russell: I assume every thing has a master plan so to do one thing will change another. The Guardians makeover of Energy is the third change after Mission Space and the new Space restaurant whereas if they reskin any ride in DHS, it suggests a Marvel Land is coming, which might not happen due to contractual reasons. Seems like a reskin is a waste for Guardians if they can build an entirely new ride. This is in fact better for Disney World visitors. A reskin is a bandaid. Get a bigger bang with an all new Guardians attraction. What better choice than the huge Energy building.
I hear you Anton. BTW, the "huge" Energy building is reportedly not even big enough to contain this Guardians attraction. Disney filed permits to move drainage ponds behind Wonders of Life to expand the footprint for this new attraction. That's why it was assumed that Energy was going to be Tron, because of the long, skinny runout needed to connect to the second show building. Who knows what this Guardians attraction will look like, or even when it will be complete, but it is a pretty interesting development, and one that might be a watershed moment for EPCOT (as much as Avatar is for DAK and Star Wars is for DHS).
Russell, you've hit the nail on the head when highlighting that the 4 parks are losing their identity. Exactly my concern over the last couple of years and with these latest announcements Disney is making it loud and clear - all parks will be saturated with Disney owned IP regardless of each park's original concept. At this level theme parks have to continually evolve so nothing in "Theme Park World" stays the same. Whilst I love the overall announcements there are some strange decisions. I agree with those who think Tron should be at Epcot and Guardians at Studios and Star Wars should be aimed at everybody not just the die-hards. Exciting times though!
I don't necessarily have an issue with the parks being saturated with IP. It's the parks losing their over-arching theme that's bothersome. It started with DCA taking the California out of the park. It's followed with DHS being neutered, and now EPCOT is following suit.
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