Theme Park of the Day: Disney's Animal Kingdom

What should be added to the four WDW parks?

Speculation about what might be in store for each of the four gates at Walt Disney World.

From Randall Peek
Posted August 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM
With the construction of the new Fantasyland winding down and only the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening much in the future, I have to wonder what Disney has on its plate for each of the four parks over the next few years. This thread is open for speculation about what might be in store, or conjecture about what to expect from those things like Avatar that we know are in the pipeline.

I'm really not sure what we can expect for the Magic Kingdom, and I think the park might rest on its laurels for a few years after Fantasyland 2.0 is finished. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that Tomorrowland is most in need of plussing, and that the Speedway seems to be the biggest plot of land available that generates the least amount of interest. I could see this ride being taken out in favor of a second Star Wars attraction or even something to do with Tron, if they want to go with an in-house franchise. With the success of Cars Land, is there a possibility of a complete re-do of Tomorrowland as Star Wars Land? Themeing lands to particular movie franchises does seem to be a very workable strategy for building excitement in the parks.

For the Studios, I think it is fairly clear that the Studio Tour is a bit of a relic. It simply doesn't capture the imagination anymore, and the only real selling point of it is Catastrophe Canyon. With the proximity of Pixar Place, I think that a clone or even an expansion on DCA's Cars Land would do wonders for the park. I'd also like to see the Great Movie Ride freshened. The last time I went on it, last fall, it was really showing its age..

Disney's Animal Kingdom is the easiest to anticipate, with the future Pandora area moving in where Camp Minnie-Mickey has been serving as a placeholder for years. While we all know what the area will be, does anyone have a clue what exactly will be put there? We know it will be highly immersive, but just what can we expect? I've read that Disney has been testing a radio-controlled ultralight aircraft that looks like a dragon and is capable of some movement as well as, I've read, breathing fire. I can't help but wonder if this is intended for some show in the Avatar land, or if this is something that they are trying out as a future addition to Fantasmic. There obviously will be some big E-ticket attraction in the Avatar area, but I'm at a complete loss as to what it might be.

Finally, Epcot. There doesn't seem to be much on the horizon for this noble park, and that's a shame. I would really like to see something done with the old Wonders of Life pavilion, whether taking it out or putting something good in there, but it is a complete waste in its current state. I don't see much happening with World Showcase, either. Let's face it, the only two rides there are fairly mediocre, and without some type of sponsorship, we just aren't likely to see anything big or impressive happening around the lagoon. I hope I'm wrong, but hope somebody out there can make me eat my words.

So does anyone have any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions?

From Dominick D
Posted August 18, 2012 at 5:09 PM
Lately there's been this rumor going around about a DHS expansion. I'd be happy with everything in that post EXCEPT Tangled the Musical. Seriously, the songs weren't memorable. MK and AK are getting what they deserve (minus a real yeti), and Epcot, well, go look in Roberts blog post.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted August 18, 2012 at 7:44 PM
I agree with Dom those rumors would be awesome and really help. The 1 thing I have a problem with is LMA going away. I actually enjoyed that show and if you think about it, it could go with the cars land theme.

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 18, 2012 at 8:16 PM
Dom; Yes, I read that a few days ago. Seems like its a little past the rumor stage and more along the, these are viable options at this time. Looks pretty good to me, although like you, I'm not too hyped by Tangled the Musical. We really enjoy Beauty & the Beast, but with the New Fantasyland, B & B departure makes sense. I like the Star Wars & Muppet Restaurant ideas, but most of all the Monsters Inc. attraction and a Carsland. And an update on the Great Movie Ride with the elimination of the Terrible Hat would be decent.

From Dominick D
Posted August 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM
Yes, it's pretty much confirmed DHS is getting expanded since the Imagineers have been in the park lately. Let me give my in depth thoughts on the rumored plans:

Carsland- Maybe replace Junkyard Jamboree with something different to make it different? Carsland will be a huge success in Florida no matter what.

Monsters Inc Coaster- Yeah, this has been rumored for quite a few years now....

TGMR- I like the idea of Carthay Circle replacing the hat and theater, even though the shop on SB is gonna have to close. The restaurant sounds cool too.

Red Car Trolley- Just rewatched Roger Rabbit the other day, coincidence? This would fit DHS, but where would they put the SWW merchandise tent?

Tangled: The Musical- I doubt this will happen (though BATB might be enclosed). Tangled had songs that weren't memorable and I don't think it would fit a full length show.

Star Wars Land- If all this is true, I'm the most excited for this, and need I explain why?

From Matt Babiak
Posted August 19, 2012 at 8:52 AM
I love the idea for this expansion. The only thing is that I'm not sure how believable this is. I'm not sure about adding a whole Carsland, but RSR could take over LMA pretty easily I think. And I think it's been 5 maybe 6 years since the rumors for that d*** Monsters Inc coaster started. But if this really is true, it means that DHS could very easily become Disney's #2 park.(Carsland and Star WArs expansion alone catapult it above AK and Epcot.)

From Randall Peek
Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:29 AM
All your responses have concentrated on the Studios, and I am happy to hear about these expansions to that park. I would love to see it made into a full-day experience. I'm not seeing much love given to the Muppets area, and merely rethemeing the restaurants wouldn't do much for pushing that franchise. The Muppets deserve a dark ride, maybe the Muppet Not-So-Great Movie Ride, with the Muppets parodying classic movie scenes?
What about the other parks? Can we hear some speculation? If Star Wars is going to remain at the Studios, what can be done to freshen Tomorrowland? It is badly in need of some new, vital attractions, and that plot of land back there is just too good to waste.

From Matt Babiak
Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:03 AM
In theory, the Speedway land could probably fit 2 almost average sized rides, or 1 E-Ticket. The Stitch building is best off being torn down, since the show with alien in the middle concept hasn't worked out.

From Sean Huckel
Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:24 AM
The Stitch building is a bit hard to tear down considering its location. It can be gutted and filled with something else, though.

From Dominick D
Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Stitch would be easy to turn into a 3D show, but that's it.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM
Aggred Dom.

From Tom Cunningham
Posted August 21, 2012 at 3:41 AM
A Direct Bus To Universal !!!!! ;)

From Sean Huckel
Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:00 AM
Dom, a small dark ride could fit in the Stitch building if they also took out the shop connected to it.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:40 PM
Sean that dark ride would be Snow White. I only see that becoming a 4-D theater by combining preshows 1 and 2 and combining both chambers

From Dominick D
Posted August 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM
Snow White doesn't fit into Tomorrowland.

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 22, 2012 at 6:06 AM
Dom: That needs to be a finalist for typo of the week. "Sow" White, very appropriate.

From Dominick D
Posted August 22, 2012 at 7:01 AM
Fixed it.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 22, 2012 at 7:09 AM
Could Dom win TOTW two weeks in a row? Stay tooned! (That was intentional, so I will not accept a nomination.)

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted August 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM
No, Dom I meant the size of the ride would be equivilant to that of Snow Whites

From Dominick D
Posted August 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM
Mike, does a fixed typo count?

From Jay R.
Posted August 22, 2012 at 4:57 PM
I like Stay Tooned though.....

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:23 PM
As the Founder and self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner of the Typo Of The Week Society, I will answer young Dom's question thusly:

Only if I see it before it's fixed.

From Randall Peek
Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:54 AM
This message board has become the personal playground of a very small group of individuals. Rather than staying on topic for the thread, it merely becomes a forum for your own personal discussions. Thanks for making outsiders feel welcome, guys. I'm sure that there is an actual, useful forum on some other website.

From James Rao
Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:16 AM
Randall, the issue is that there is already a blog flume weekly series covering the same topic...

So far Epcot and DHS have been covered. I am guessing that Animal Kingdom will come next week.

Regardless, it doesn't make sense to post the same thing on two different threads.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

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