Rumor Rundown (continued)
NEW! Soarin' movie to change to a global theme. By late 2009,
both DCA and Epcot should be showing a new movie to Soarin' that has a
global theme, rather than being focused only on California.
NEW! Garden Grill to remove character dining and discontinue lunch
service, starting October 2008. The dinner service will remain. It can
only be concluded that Disney is looking to shave costs and save money, not
to improve the Guest experience, with this decision.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
NEW! Monsters Inc attraction next to Toy Story Midway Mania.
The "Pixar Studios" section of the park should receive another major
attraction right next door (note: this is possibly the 2010 E-Ticket
mentioned below). More detailed rumors point to the new ride as an inverted
roller coaster (suspended from above, feet dangling) themed to the chase
scene with Doors in the factory from Monsters Inc.
UPDATED! E-Ticket in Disney's Hollywood Studios by 2013.
Hinted at for some time even to the CMs, this new E-Ticket is likely to be a
smaller version of DCA's Radiator Springs Racers, to replace the Backlot
Tour, and bring complete PIXAR-ification to the corner of the park from
Narnia over to the Big City sets..
UPDATED! Star Tours revision. Anthony Daniels made unofficial
mention in an interview of doing work for this attraction, to open in 2009,
so it seems all but certain. Certain members of ILM have also mentioned
their participation. Polarized glasses will be used for a 3-D effect, and
some rumors call for three Audio-Animatronics figures. Apparently, the
closed Body Wars attraction, where the simulators are identical, has been
used for some time to create, test, and adjust the synchronized movement of
the cabin to the movie.
Time for something new, I wager.
"Meet Mickey" new home. The Sorcerer Mickey meet and greet may be
moving into the Disney Animation building, where it's rumored to receive its
own permanent backdrop from Fantasia for picture-taking.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Rivers of Light. The Rivers of Light is an idea for an after-dark
parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This park will finally have a reason to
stay open after the animals return home at dusk. Millions of dollars have
reportedly already been spent in infrastructure. It is unknown if the parade
would use the same parade route already in use (despite its name, it's not a
Hotels and Other
Bay Lake Tower = DVC Suites at the Contemporary Resort. Still
unannounced, a new building will be replacing the now-razed North Wing of
the Contemporary, to house only DVC Suites. It will connect via breezeway to
the 4th floor "grand canyon concourse" and thus has easy access to the
restaurants. Filings with local government at first implied the name will be
Kingdom Tower, but the correct name appears to be Bay Lake Tower.
Rumors and Speculation
Projects that are being considered (Note: some may never occur)
NEW! Walt Disney World to start online restaurant reservations.
More than one online rumor points to restaurant reservations soon to be
available at Disneyworld.com (and presumably, layoffs at the phone
NEW! Discovery Island (Treasure Island) possibly re-themed for
pirates. Reportedly, officials are looking into using the onetime bird
sanctuary, an island off Fort Wilderness, for a separate-ticket pirate
UPDATED! Disney's Jungle Trek / Boutique park for theme park #5.
Some online sources claimed Disney was investigating a ‘boutique' park,
meaning very high entrance fees ($250 or more per person), very limited
maximum attendance, and personalized attention. SeaWorld has a boutique park
in the form of Discovery Cove, the dolphin encounter. This rumor has been
seen before for Discovery Island, the former mini-zoo in Bay Lake that now
One idea had been to use this island for a pirate-themed park. The newest
ideas claim that land north of Animal Kingdom (and south or west of the TTC
and MK) could be used for this. That makes sense, given the recent
construction of Western Way at great expense, so far for nothing. Western
Way will feed into Flamingo Crossings, but if a park were located here the
road would make even more sense. One possible idea for a theme floated was
"Night Kingdom", to appeal to adventure and outdoors-oriented patrons, with
such experiences as close animal encounters and zip lines. This rumor calls
for the Adventurer's Club to close at Downtown Disney and a similar facility
open up elsewhere to be the entry point for Night Kingdom.
As of July 2008, however, plans for Night Kingdom appear to have been
changed to Disney's Jungle Trek, with some downsizing of food and venues,
but an all-day operation that puts through several "shifts" of visitors on a
series of encounters designed to last just five hours (and cost $300 per
FastPass possibly going premium. Disney has filed a patent for
FastPass technology on cell phones that implies people staying at Disney
hotels could receive priority use of the FastPass system, perhaps even
making reservations a day in advance.
Space Mountain to get new effects. Rumored changes to the attraction
during the 2009 rehab (which starts in January 2009 and lasts an astonishing
fourteen months) include a new loading zone (with security gates) and a new
star field effect. Other reports call for even more dramatic re-theming.
It's about time for new effects, n'est-ce pas?
Rumors persist that a sound system will be added to the new rockets, and
it seems certain the new rockets will feature side-by-side seating. Although
the track is to be replaced entirely, the track layout is rumored to stay
E-ticket for MK's 40th Anniversary. In 2011, when MK turns 40, a new
e-ticket may be in the offing, but details and concepts are still highly
speculative (ideas include old favorites, like Fire Mountain).
SpectroMagic replaced for 40th Anniversary. Long-range planning
suggests SpectroMagic may leave in 2011, possibly for Hong Kong Disneyland.
There is a possibility the MK may get instead TDL's Electrical Parade,
Tomorrowland restaurant to replace dormant Skyway building. One
report calls for the Skyway building and the large quad area, sometimes used
for temporary stages, to be used for a futuristic eatery; think of the Pan
Galactic place in TDL.
Adventureland Veranda restaurant to reopen as Tortuga. The
long-dormant eatery may be re-opened with a pirate theme (hence the name
Tortuga). Timeline unknown.
Adventureland make over to Pirates. One idea being considered is to
transform all of Adventureland to Pirates, which could mean a new tiki room
show (that would be universally welcome!) and the replacing of the Swiss
Family Robinson Treehouse with a pirate ship play area. One report even
calls for a new outdoor roller coaster.
Russian pavilion. One online report claims that a long-ago vision for
a pavilion dedicated to Russia could again be on the drawing boards for the
intermediate/long term future.
Imagination Pavilion. Permits filed recently suggest the upstairs
area of the Imagination post show may be receiving a facelift.
Thrill ride at Tokyo pavilion. This long-delayed project may have new
life again. Some online reports call for a new concept (not the bullet
trains, or Matterhorn-style Mt. Fuji), and claim Joe Rohde has been
Test Track upgrades. In 2009, Test Track will be used to experiment
with version 3.0 of the technology, which is needed for DCA's Radiator
Springs ride. Some of the ride system upgrades may stick around for Orlando,
Canada Raft Ride. Some early rumors are pointing to a Kali-style raft
ride for Canada, a concept long considered but possibly gaining new traction
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Ratatouille Restaurant. One report online mentions the possibility
that Ratatouille may move into DHS. Would this be part of Pixar Place and
thus a new facility? I hope so. If not, an obvious candidate for location
would be the Studio Catering Company (sometimes known as Flatbread Grill) by
the soon to be gone tram tour. Or they could take over an existing table
service location; if so, my guess would be Mama Melrose.
Lights Motors Action re-theme to Cars. One online rumor points to an
extension of Pixar Place all the way to the back of the park by re-theming
Lights Motors Action to Lightning McQueen and his gang.
Great Movie Ride changes. One online report is calling for several
changes: Star Wars was one idea floated to replace the Alien scene. Also,
Tarzan may be on the chopping block, as well as the bank robbery and
Jack Skellington Halloween Party. Disney's Hollywood Studios is being
considered for its own Halloween party to appeal to a more adult audience
than Mickey's Not So Scary party at the Magic Kingdom.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
NEW! Yeti stuck in permanent "B" mode. The enormous Audio-Animatronic
yeti at the end of Expedition Everest was deemed so important to the ride
that a provision was made for when the robot broke; the creature would
freeze in its spot, but strobe lights would create the illusion of movement,
and the ride would not have to be shut down.
Is the lunge a thing of the past?
Reportedly, the yeti has been in B-mode for weeks and months on end now,
supposedly because the concrete fountain on which he is mounted has become
irrevocably cracked. Designers or construction laborers somehow didn't
account for the repetition of such incredible forces, and now the figure
cannot be used as designed. No word yet on what the permanent solution may
Australia. Inside sources are mum, but there is a large amount of
land cleared in DAK, as visible on recent Google satellite maps. Could this
be Australia? Long rumored, but if it comes, it should hopefully also
provide a walking path out to Conservation Station.
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