The Disney Parks world is abuzz today as a long-awaited attraction finally opened and more details were announced about Tokyo Disneyland’s 2020 expansion. In this post I’ll run through the news of the day, giving a few tips along the way. I’ll also try not to rhyme again.
Today marks the opening of Rise of the Resistance and, finally, the completion of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Well, sort of. Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios saw the attraction open while Disneyland’s edition doesn’t open up until January 17th. In keeping with my usual philosophy, I won’t be reviewing the attraction until I physically ride it. For those that don’t have a future trip planned and don’t mind spoilers, there are plenty of POV videos around the internet as well as reviews. I don’t personally recommend going that route but you do you. We will be at the Disneyland opening of Rise of the Resistance and are counting down the days!
As far as logistics go if you’re at Hollywood Studios in the coming weeks, there are two things to do – get there early and have the Disney World app at the ready. For opening day and the foreseeable future, Hollywood Studios is utilizing a virtual queue and ‘boarding groups’ limit the backup in the line. While the app explains this very well, the short explanation is that once inside Hollywood Studios guests log on to the app and join a boarding group. This will hold your spot in line while still being able to go and experience the rest of the park (and possibly Epcot depending how long your wait is). Once it’s close to time for your boarding group to go on the attraction you will get a notification and head over to the ride to get in the actual queue. It’s a smart system that many people have praised already. I expect Disneyland to use a similar method at opening, although that has not been confirmed.
Two words of caution about the attraction, which from the spoiler-free reviews I’ve read is an absolute home run. First, if you’re going in the next few months, get to the park early because you can not check-in to a boarding group unless you are inside of Hollywood Studios (and most likely Disneyland). I’d advise getting there at least an hour before park opening. If you show up midday, or even late morning, chances are high that you’ll probably miss out on riding the attraction that day. Secondly, keep in mind that this is a very ambitious attraction with a state-of-the-art ride system. Translation: Rise of the Resistance will probably break down from time to time. Much like Hagrid’s Coaster this summer, there will probably be some issues along the way. While breakdowns are unfortunate, I’d much rather Disney be ambitious and have this happen rather than just stay status quo.
All in all, Rise of the Resistance Opening Day seems to have gone well and we are looking forward to being there for the attraction’s Disneyland opening in January.
Tokyo Disney Resort Fantasyland Expansion Update
Rise of the Resistance wasn’t the only news of the day as Tokyo Disney Resort got in on the fun, giving updates and new concept art for their Fantasyland expansion. The 3 billion (!!!) dollar addition is set to debut on April 15, 2020. Here’s a breakdown of what was announced today.
Mickey’s Magical Music World at Fantasyland Forest Theater
While the theater opening was hardly news, the Oriental Land Company gave details on what will be inside of it today. The new show is called Mickey’s Magical Music World, here are the details given in the press release:
One day, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy find a giant music box deep in the forest. They turn the music box’s large golden key and doors suddenly open. Accompanied by the songs associated with them, various Disney Characters appear including Snow White, Pinocchio, Woody and his friends from the Disney and Pixar Toy Story film series, and more. Mickey and his Pals are delighted with the surprising development and are excited to hear the next song. But when the last door opens, no one appears and no music is heard. Worried, Mickey and his Pals set off on a journey to find the missing song. Along the way they encounter characters from many Disney films. Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast welcomes them with a colorful banquet. King Louie and others from The Jungle Book together with Timon from The Lion King put on a powerful jungle-style performance. In a lovely world of starry skies and mirrors, the Disney Princesses dance a graceful waltz. And then Ursula from The Little Mermaid and Captain Hook from Peter Pan appear in a thrilling scene. Will the journey of Mickey and his Pals lead them to the lost song?
On first blush, the plot sounds somewhat similar to Disneyland’s Mickey and the Magical Map. I’m lukewarm on that show but also imagine that this will be more of a production and I’m intrigued by some of the characters that were mentioned.
As for the actual theater, it looks beautiful as you can see from the concept art above. Having another indoor seating area is always a plus, especially with quality content inside of it. Time will tell, but I expect the show to be an excellent addition to the TDL.
The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast Details
This expansion’s marquee attraction is The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, a dark ride taking guests through Beauty and the Beast using a trackless ride system. While I try to stay away from any plot spoilers, there were a few reveals about the ride. The first being that the ride will last 8 minutes! I’m giddy thinking about that. Without looking it up and throwing out slow boat rides, this will be the longest Fantasyland dark ride ever.
The second piece of news is that the attraction will have a single-rider line. Single-rider is a great way to go regardless of what resort you’re visiting but it’s an even better option at Tokyo Disney Resort. Guests seem to utilize single-rider less there. Having single-rider at an attraction that will likely have 6 hour waits will be a huge boon to those looking to maximize time. We’ve done single-rider lines there and have never had more than 10 people in front of us in line. The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast will also have FastPass availability, although it will likely run out incredibly fast.
Shopping and Food Details
While nothing (much) new was reported on Minnie’s Style Studio (similar to a highly themed meet & greet) and the Happy Ride with Baymex (think Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Alien Swirling Saucers but with Baymex driving) there were a few details on the shopping and dining portions of the expansion. Belle’s Village will feature several highly themed shops including one designed to look like her favorite book store. There’s some specialty merchandise that will be available and, knowing the locals love of merchandise, will likely sell out very quickly.
As far as food goes, Le Taverne de Gaston is the Fantasyland addition. This is very similar to Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland in terms of aesthetic. The quick-service spot does have a few more things on the menu than its American namesake, mostly in the sandwich and pastry department. Over in Tomorrowland, there is a new building devoted to popcorn. Tokyo Disney Resort’s love of specialty popcorn knows no bounds and that will continue with this area serving three different flavors in a futuristic building. I love it.
While I can be fairly critical of Disney Parks decisions at times, today is a landmark day. The amount of money invested in the parks recently, both nationally and worldwide, is very encouraging. Over the next 5 months, I think there’s a strong chance that 2 of the best 10 attractions in the world will have opened up at Disney Parks in Rise of the Resistance and The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast. We can’t wait!
How excited are you about these additions? Let us know, along with any questions you have, in the comments below! Planning a trip to any of Disney Resorts? Check out our planning guides to help you get started. If you enjoy our site please subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email and like our social media pages. You can find all of those on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney, we really appreciate it!