It has a been a few months since our last Disney Parks update so we’ll catch up on the news and rumors of note. Frankly, I’ve left a few items off the list because I didn’t have much of an opinion on them. If there’s news you have heard of interest, please drop a note in the comments and I’d be happy to add it to the post. I will give a brief synopsis of whatever rumor or news there is and then add my thoughts along with it. Let’s get to it.
Rumor: Indiana Jones/South America to replace DinoLand USA in Animal Kingdom.
We’ll start with this since I briefly addressed it in our latest post. As noted, this is strictly just a rumor at this point. Even with the addition of Pandora, Animal Kingdom is still in need of more attractions. This rumor has an Indiana Jones attraction (think Disneyland or Tokyo Disneyland) replacing Dinosaur and a remodel of Dino-Rama (the carnival area) to fit either Indy or South America.
I don’t think the broad idea has a great chance of happening. Replacing a whole land is a big task and Animal Kingdom just received a new land. Mix that in with Dinosaur still being a popular ride that is well received and I’m not sure this makes a ton of sense. But, I could see a re-skinning of Dino-Rama in the works.
This is an ugly area that was designed on the cheap. I’m especially partial to the whole area being transformed into a South America region where a variety of attractions would fit. This could add in some much-needed greenery and live animals to the area. Tokyo DisneySea has a South/Central America area land named Lost River Delta. The area is beautiful and home to a wide variety of entertainment. Something like this would work wonderfully in Animal Kingdom.
All in all, I think DinoLand will slowly be turned into something else over the next decade. If there weren’t so many projects in the works at Disney World this could be on the forefront but money is allocated elsewhere at the moment. I’m excited for this to change but think it will take a few years.
News: Festival of Fantasy Dragon Catches on Fire
Magic Kingdom’s daytime parade, Festival of Fantasy, suffered a malfunction last weekend. The Maleficent Dragon that breathes fire caught on fire and has been temporarily(?) removed from the parade until the float can be diagnosed and fixed. Thankfully, no one was hurt. It remains to be seen if the dragon will breathe fire when it returns to the parade.
This is really unfortunate for one of the better daytime parades Disney has created. The Maleficent float was one of my favorites from the parade and losing it for however long is a major blow. Safety comes first, and I think it could be quite a while before we see the dragon breathe fire. In fact, I would not be surprised if the effect is shut off for good. I hope it doesn’t come to that but time will tell.
Rumor: New hotels coming to Walt Disney World
Some filed permits and rumors have led to a belief that there will be a few new resorts at Disney World in the near future. The rumor revolves around 2 locations – a DVC resort at Fort Wilderness and a hotel at the entrance of Epcot.
I’m in favor of both of these projects and think both are likely. The Epcot location would be incredibly popular and Disney could charge whatever price they wanted to for rooms there. Hotels inside of theme parks is becoming more a popular trend and one that is pretty cool if done in good taste.
Adding a DVC resort at or near Fort Wilderness seems fairly inevitable. The area is charming and worthy of exploration, a resort there would draw more crowds. While one could argue that adding a resort to that area could lessen the charm, I think this would make the area even more enjoyable with a boon of new experiences. As long as the resort is kept in theme instead of generic rooms, which is a recent Disney trend, then the resort is good by me.
Over the next few years, Disney’s hotels will be at capacity as Star Wars Land and other areas open. Adding to that hotel capacity only makes sense for Disney, both financially and logistically. I’m for the company adding hotels so that the current prices don’t shoot through the roof even more than they already are.
News: Epcot’s Japan to add Signature Dining
While the details are pretty sparse so far, the Japan Pavilion is set to add another dining location. The restaurant will be run by Mitsukoshi USA, the company that runs the other Japan Pavilions restaurants. I’m hopeful that this restaurant will be a quality addition to World Showcase. Again, not many details are known but we’ll be sure to update you when we do know more.
News: Hard ticket Pixar Pier opening event set for June 22nd
Pixar Pier in California Adventure is set to open on June 23rd but the day before the area will open with a special ticketed event. For the low price of $299 (Ha!) guests can enter Pixar Pier a day before everyone else. This also includes food and parking, as well as a few other items. This also includes park entry. Still, the cost is way more than I’d pay. Here’s more information on the event.
I have to think that Disney is testing out this idea before next year’s Star Wars Land openings. If this proves to be popular than I could see a number of events coming that are similar to this. I’m slightly against hard-ticket events, especially when they seem to conflict on what should be offered to people who just buy a regular park ticket. It’s hard to argue too much with this, since the Pixar Pier opening date was known well in advance. Still, they could have just opened this land earlier for guests instead of trying to make a quick buck off of it. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm right now but it isn’t a huge deal.
That concludes this edition of news and rumors. What do you think of these items? Let us know in the comments! If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney please subscribe to the blog and like our Facebook page. You can find both of those on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!