At the D23 Expo last month we got a lot of big news about the new things coming to Disney parks. I shared an update of what all those things are, but today I wanted to share some of my thoughts about what we heard. Some things are very exciting, while others have people with mixed emotions. I would love to hear what you think about everything, so please share in the comments!
I think this is rather exciting, though I’m not sure how big the changes are going to be. Are we basically looking at new names and themeing for what’s already there? In the panel they mentioned there might be a new ride or two, but I don’t know that they’ll be totally new – rather just a re-doing of what exists. The big question is Mickey’s Fun Wheel and California Screamin’, the two major rides there. You can easily replace Mickey’s face with something else. I’ve heard speculation on various Pixar characters, though I think the Pixar ball would work quite well there. But how will they retheme California Screamin’ to be Pixar?
This was one of those rumors that I’m actually quite surprised to hear it’s true. I still don’t quite understand how it will work because the capacity just seems like it would have to be low. But having another transportation option is pretty cool and I’ll be curious to see how it works.
The Minnie vans have already made their appearance on Disney property, and I think it’s a smart move for Disney to have an alternative to compete with Uber. It’s something I might use occasionally but certainly not on a regular basis.
Star Wars hotel
A Star Wars themed hotel that’s also an immersive experience sounds like pretty much one of the coolest things ever. Of course, the thing that everyone is speculating on is the price. I’ve heard rumors of $1000-2000 per person for 2 nights. I think that’s probably going to be close to accurate. You’ve already got Disney charging $500 a night at some of their deluxe hotels. If it’s $1000 per person for 2 nights you’re looking at $500 per person per night. And yes, that’s a per person fee, but they’re also charging for the experience. It sounds like it will almost be like a game you can play, or you’ll be spending all of your time in the hotel. The price has the potential to be insane, though I did hear someone compare it to a cruise ship experience. If it also included food and entertainment that’s not available anywhere else, you might be able to make a case for justifying it.
Not surprising that we’re getting this in Magic Kingdom after all of the hype surrounding it on the other side of the world. I think another roller coaster is great, though in general I have mixed feelings about carbon copies of rides going into multiple parks. I’d rather visit another Disney park around the world and have things that are totally unique to that park. There have been some questions about congestion in Tomorrowland due to the proximity to Space Mountain, but I actually don’t know that it will be a problem. It looks like Tron will be further back, and they’ll be opening up more space. I don’t see that area as a particularly congested one right now so I think it will be okay.
Mission: Space restaurant
Most people are treating this as minor news, but it’s one of the most exciting for me! Because I love food. So a new restaurant makes me super pumped. And I’ve always been fascinated with outer space and astronomy, so a restaurant that puts you in “space” sounds really cool. And I think Disney has been doing a good job themeing the food in their new restaurants lately, so I can’t wait to see what kind of “space food” we get here!
Guardians of the Galaxy in Epcot
I know some people are bitter about IP going into the parks in so many places, but honestly Epcot’s Future World needs a serious freshening up. I love Guardians of the Galaxy and I do think it has staying power. It’s still going to have a nod to nostalgic Epcot, since there will be a mention/throwback to when Peter Quill visited the park in the 80’s. And it will be an “e-ticket” attraction. The only downside for me is that I’m assuming if they’re doing this, it means they’re not rethemeing our Tower of Terror to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. And over in California, that was probably the best ride I’ve ever been on. This ride would be my own exception to my feelings on not wanting duplicate rides in parks across the world. If what they put in Epcot is anywhere near as good as what’s in California, it’s going to be fantastic. I also have no love for Ellen’s Energy Adventure, so good riddance to that.
It sounds like this will pretty much be a carbon copy of what they have over in Paris. I rode it there (twice) and while it was fun and unique, I wasn’t blown away by it. I would have rather seen something unique, like I mentioned in the section about Tron. I’m glad it’s not replacing anything in France and I think it will draw some good crowds, so it’s a smart move by Disney. I’d just rather they brought over Crush’s Coaster!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
I’m honestly not sure what to make of this one. I have a lot of mixed feelings here. The concept of a ride in “2 1/2 D” sounds cool, and they’ve promised a catchy theme song. But I’m not sure about the art style they’re using for Mickey and Minnie, or the fact that it’s replacing the Great Movie Ride. I would have liked to see the Great Movie Ride updated instead, but it seems they’re moving away from the Hollywood in Hollywood Studios. It’s great that they’re adding Toy Story and Star Wars, and now this, but it still feels like the park has a bit of an identity crisis. And with the Chinese Theater currently being the “weenie” in Hollywood Studios, what will the outside of this attraction look like? It’s going to be the big icon of the park unless they do something else (stick back the sorcerer’s hat, anyone?) so I’m curious about that.
Disney Cruise ships
Disney announced they would be adding not just 2 new cruise ships, as previously shared, but 3. No complaints about that! More cruise options sounds even better to me. Maybe they’ll have a ship permanently sailing out of New York, which would be much more convenient for me and the many other Disney fans up here in the northeast. I just wish we had some names! What other names could we get – the Imagine? the Wish? Believe? Any other ideas?
Reviving an Old Show
Finally, they teased some sort of old show either coming back or going to a new park. They talked about how they brought back the Main Street Electrical Parade to Disneyland, and how the warehouse where it was being stored has “something else” in it. They didn’t say what, but they did a medley of songs that included Wishes, Golden Horseshoe, Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Mad T Party, and Tapestry of Nations. So I’m guessing it’s one of those. I would love to see the Golden Horseshoe come back, but I for some reason if I had to guess I would actually go with Tapestry of Nations appearing in Epcot again – that park hasn’t had a parade in a long time.
What do you think about all the park news that’s been released recently? What are you most excited about?