In wake of the Opening of Pandora at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, let’s take a look at some the changes coming down the road for everyone’s favorite theme park, and the experiences they’ll provide.
Galaxy’s Edge will be coming to Disney’s Hollywood studios in 2019. The 14 -acre Star Wars themed addition will allow park guests to immerse themselves fully in “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” One of the major new “experiences” guests will be able to enjoy are the Millenium Falcon attraction(yet to be named), where riders will be able to take the reins of the Falcon. Each member of your party will be given a separate crew responsibility during the ride.
Also coming is a new Star Wars Battle attraction(also yet to be named) where guests will be made to feel like they’re on a Star Destroyer, inside the hangar bay. The new attraction will be built on a scale that Disney Parks has never attempted before.
If Galaxy’s edge isn’t enough to fill your Star Wars jonesing, then make sure you book a night at the new Star Wars themed hotel also debuting sometime in the near future(no opening date was given). The new luxury hotel experience is being dubbed the “most experiential concept ever,” by Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek. The resort will invite guests on a multi-day voyage aboard a starship with every window promising a view of space.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios will also open Toy Story Land in summer 2018. The land will bring guests into Andy’s backyard for adventures with his toys. It will include a new Alien Swirling Saucers ride based on the little green aliens from the Toy Story series and a roller coaster themed to the films’ Slinky Dog, Slink. The coaster will be a family-friendly ride that offers moderate thrills.
One of the rides I will miss the most, the Great Movie Ride will be replaced with a new ride through attraction featuring everyone’s favorite mouse, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The new ride will be based on the retro-style Mickey Mouse shorts that are now featured on Disney Channel. The new ride will be presented in “2-and-a-half-D.” This new breakthrough concept will present dimensional media without the need for 3-D glasses. Guests will step into the flat movie screen and onto the aforementioned train that will be operated by Goofy. According to Kevin Rafferty, a Disney ride designer, “This is not going to be a small attraction… It’s going to be game-changing.” The Great Movie Ride shut it’s curtains for good on August 13th of this year.
One of the more exciting recent announcement made regarding the changes coming to Disney World is the a new Tron Themed attraction coming to tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. It will be based on the Tron Lightcycle Power Run from Shanghai’s Disneyland. Riders will be blasted into the video game-like grid of the Tron films on cycle-like cars.
Epcot will also receive a makeover. Opened in 1982 some of the attractions at Epcot have begun to show their age, and will be given a modern update. This will all be done trying to keep to the “original vision of Epcot”(a more serious tone geared to entertain adults), while also injecting a bit more whimsy into the park.
A new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction will take over Ellen’s Energy Adventure in the former Universe of Energy pavilion. One may ask what are the Guardians connection to epcot? According to Chapek the attraction will have something to do with Peter Quill’s visit to the park when he was a child.
In the France pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase, a new Ratatouille attraction will provide a 4D ride that shrinks visitors down to the size of Remy, and sends them on an adventure using sophisticated trackless vehicles. The new ride is based on the popular Disneyland Paris attraction.
A new in-the-round movie about China will be presented at Epcot’s pavilion. Using a new digital “Circle-Vision 360” film and projection system that will replace the theater’s multiple screens with one seamless screen and image.
Mission space will receive a makeover. The original mission to Mars will be getting new media and the gentler option for the ride will take guests on an orbital adventure above Earth. Younger kids will be able to blast off on the revamped ride starting later this summer. Also coming is a new mission space restaurant that will open next to the attraction. The table-service restaurant transports guests to a space station high above Earth and promises to have great views.
Lastly a new gondola system dubbed “Disney Skyliner” will connect Epcot and Hollywood Studios and the Disney resorts en route to provide an additional travel option for guests of the parks to get around.