Cosmic

Wherein We Discuss Theme Parks

328 posts in this topic

I know there are at least a couple other theme park enthusiasts out there, so I figured I'd give this a shot. The D23 Expo opens later this week, and there's a good bet we'll get some news about upcoming projects. There will definitely be lots of info about Shanghai Disneyland and Avatar Land in Walt Disney World, and hopefully yet-unannounced expansions for Disneyland/DCA and WDW. The Disneyland Resort expansion was already promised to the city of Anaheim in exchange for no tax on entertainment tickets, and the changes to Disney's Hollywood Studios were essentially confirmed by CEO Bob Iger at the shareholders' meeting when a 6YO "tricked" him into revealing that the park would change names at some point in the near future. Iger has also said on multiple occasions that Star Wars will get an increased presence in the parks after the purchase of Lucasfilm, but that hasn't materialized yet.

Personally, I hope we get a solid idea of what these new Star Wars areas are going to entail. I'd like to know what the major attactions are, even if they're light on the details.

What do you guys think? What are you hoping gets announced?

Shanghai:

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I love amusement parks, and I used to follow all this stuff pretty closely, but then the forums I frequented closed up shop and I've been outta the loop ever since. Perhaps now I have reason to start following this stuff again.

Am I the only one disappointed that "Avatar Land" has nothing to do with the Nickelodeon show? The area looks incredibly impressive, but I just can't get excited for it since I found the movie thouroughly disappointing.

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Im really looking forward to what plans Disney has for Hollywood Studios in Florida. Theres really been a ton of rumors floated about (as well as a name change), but I just want to know when they plan to do.

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As many here will probably know, I'm a big Disneyland guy and that's really the only theme park I know extensive things about or can speak at length about. Not that it's the only theme park I've been to or enjoy, just the one I like the most and actively know and learn about.

With that out of the way, I would like to see some sort of Star Wars area in Disneyland, but I don't know about having a whole Star Wars-land. I would rather have it be some sort of offshoot of Tomorrowland because Star Tours is already part of the existing land.

Speaking of Tomorrowland, I would like to see some of that $1 billion go towards renovations to that. Autopia is outdated and reeks of gas so that could use some changes, maybe an Endor speeder bike ride? And I find the main entrance is extremely inefficient and gets clogged up too much with Astro Orbiter in the middle and how it narrows down. It can get hard to walk through because there is so much going on just in that little space.

And Toontown will not be the thing turning into Star Wars-land, even though it could use some work.

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I'm going to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen in a few weeks. One of the most historic parks in the world, with one of the most historic coasters.

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As many here will probably know, I'm a big Disneyland guy and that's really the only theme park I know extensive things about or can speak at length about. Not that it's the only theme park I've been to or enjoy, just the one I like the most and actively know and learn about.

With that out of the way, I would like to see some sort of Star Wars area in Disneyland, but I don't know about having a whole Star Wars-land. I would rather have it be some sort of offshoot of Tomorrowland because Star Tours is already part of the existing land.

Speaking of Tomorrowland, I would like to see some of that $1 billion go towards renovations to that. Autopia is outdated and reeks of gas so that could use some changes, maybe an Endor speeder bike ride? And I find the main entrance is extremely inefficient and gets clogged up too much with Astro Orbiter in the middle and how it narrows down. It can get hard to walk through because there is so much going on just in that little space.

And Toontown will not be the thing turning into Star Wars-land, even though it could use some work.

Eh, the guy or gal that runs that Twitter account doesn't know jack about capital expenditure plans for the park. Even if they did know, it's like how a team can swear up and down that a guy isn't going to be traded... until he is. They've already filed permits to move backstage offices from behind Toontown over to that new land they bought on the other side of Harbor Blvd, so there's something going on back there. If they take Autopia, they would probably have to take the Subs, too; Autopia goes over the top of part of the Subs. That was actually the rumor for a while, before it switched to the Toontown area.

In Hong Kong, the Autopia cars are electric, so people keep on saying that they could bring that over to the States.

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I'm not a huge amusement/theme park person. I think it has to do with my fear of heights. We went to Dollywood in Sevierville, TN this summer, though, and I have to say it was really nice. We went on one rollercoaster which was indoors, dimly lit, and only had two big drops. It was okay but it pushed my boundaries a tad. I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to stuff like that :P If you plan on going to Dollywood, DO NOT wear closed-toe shoes if you plan on going on the water rides. Two days there and 4-5 water rides later, our shoes were ruined and we had to go buy new ones.

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If you plan on going to Dollywood, DO NOT wear closed-toe shoes if you plan on going on the water rides. Two days there and 4-5 water rides later, our shoes were ruined and we had to go buy new ones.

Yeah that's not just Dollywood, but anywhere with water rides.

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I'm a pretty cliche theme park-goer. Went to WDW last summer and it was incredible as ever. I'd go again in a heartbeat. It's obviously not about the rides, just the experience and nostalgia bomb. Going to Six Flags St. Louis in a couple weeks, which should be alright. Coasters are okay and the park overall is nothing special.

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I was just at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Saturday. They better announce something for it this weekend at D23. They have closed so many things in the past 2 years without doing anything substantial. Star Wars land and Pixar Place expansion would go a long way towards fixing that problem. Tower or Terror is one of my favorite rides at WDW (Number 1 favorite will always be Living with the Land), but I can't see myself going to HS much if they don't add more.

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I was just at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Saturday. They better announce something for it this weekend at D23. They have closed so many things in the past 2 years without doing anything substantial. Star Wars land and Pixar Place expansion would go a long way towards fixing that problem. Tower or Terror is one of my favorite rides at WDW (Number 1 favorite will always be Living with the Land), but I can't see myself going to HS much if they don't add more.

They got rid of the big wizard hat stage, right? I thought the idea was they were going to make the entire area follow the throwback theme and build a new visual centerpiece (formerly the wizard hat, preceded by the water tower)?

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I was just at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Saturday. They better announce something for it this weekend at D23. They have closed so many things in the past 2 years without doing anything substantial. Star Wars land and Pixar Place expansion would go a long way towards fixing that problem. Tower or Terror is one of my favorite rides at WDW (Number 1 favorite will always be Living with the Land), but I can't see myself going to HS much if they don't add more.

They got rid of the big wizard hat stage, right? I thought the idea was they were going to make the entire area follow the throwback theme and build a new visual centerpiece (formerly the wizard hat, preceded by the water tower)?

Yes they did, it was gone by time I was there in March. It was more that Disney signed a deal with Turner Classic Movies to help update the Great Movie Ride, and one of the things as part of the deal was to make the Theatre a center piece to covey the TCM advertising and such.

I love amusement parks, and I used to follow all this stuff pretty closely, but then the forums I frequented closed up shop and I've been outta the loop ever since. Perhaps now I have reason to start following this stuff again.

Am I the only one disappointed that "Avatar Land" has nothing to do with the Nickelodeon show? The area looks incredibly impressive, but I just can't get excited for it since I found the movie thouroughly disappointing.

I just thing an Avatar land in general will be meh. Especially since most people at this point have forgotten about the movie. They could have taken that part of Animal Kingdom and really Star Wars'ed that up, and emphasized the creatures of Star Wars.

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I was just at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Saturday. They better announce something for it this weekend at D23. They have closed so many things in the past 2 years without doing anything substantial. Star Wars land and Pixar Place expansion would go a long way towards fixing that problem. Tower or Terror is one of my favorite rides at WDW (Number 1 favorite will always be Living with the Land), but I can't see myself going to HS much if they don't add more.

They got rid of the big wizard hat stage, right? I thought the idea was they were going to make the entire area follow the throwback theme and build a new visual centerpiece (formerly the wizard hat, preceded by the water tower)?

Yes they did, it was gone by time I was there in March. It was more that Disney signed a deal with Turner Classic Movies to help update the Great Movie Ride, and one of the things as part of the deal was to make the Theatre a center piece to covey the TCM advertising and such.

The Great Movie ride is sorely in need of an overhaul. It was charming but clearly very aged. The young ladies who served as our guides (and impromptu characters) throughout the experience did a very good job, but you could tell they weren't terribly proud of certain aspects of the ride in comparison to the other available attractions. Plus many children who come to Disney most likely have no idea what the featured movies were. Casablanca, Alien? Classics, obviously, but I can visualize about 30 kids instantly pulling out their phones in boredom at the very sight of some of these unrelatable films which they have no appreciation for.

Hollywood Studios could very easily become the "aw lame as hell" park where parents drag their children to, and what Disney can never, ever afford to have is a place within their greatest creation that kids have zero interest in venturing to. I have no doubt, however, that the geniuses that run WDW will come up with something brilliant and charming that appeal to all ages and interests.

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What you've said about Hollywood Studios is true, but on the other hand, it has three of the best Disney rides in Rockin' Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror and the Toy Story arcade game. I don't know that the park would ever be entirely marginalized just because of those ride alone, but the fact that there's little else means the waits are always ridiculous on those three. I'm not at all a Star Wars fan, but the new Star Wars land should go a long way. Also, there's a rumored Marvel land, which I think would be great. Lots and lots of material for them to work with.

We went to Disneyland a few weeks ago. I absolutely loved Cars Land in California Adventure, but I thought the Bugs' Land was subpar. It's a novel idea, but there's just not nearly that much there and the movie it's tied to is not a classic. I thought when we were there that it would be a great idea for them to come out with an Ant-Man ride or attraction, shrinking the passengers down and such.

Also of note, a castmember told us that they're redoing the Soarin' Over California ride at all parks soon. Disneyland Shanghai will open with a new film on Soarin', which was 4K video recorded of spots all over the world. That video will be exclusive to that park for the first year, but by year two it should end up on the Soarin' rides in the US, which will lose the "Over California" branding. I wish they did it differently. I've long said that the Epcot Soarin' should have not been a California version, but should have been of the east coast. I'd like to see them feature different sights and smells to make the rides unique to each park.

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Well with Disneyland Soarin' I believe they updated the screens and the projection when they just recently redid the area of DCA it's in.

I had also heard they had filmed or were filming a new ending scene with the parade down Main Street.

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They did just update the screens, at least in Anaheim. They mentioned it was done to be compatible with the new video coming soon. They also redid the logo for the ride. It's "Soarin'" in big letter with "Over California" in a small box beneath it. Obviously, this was done so they just have to remove the box when the name changes in a few years.

According to the castmember, there are lots of rumors of what exactly will be in the video and the endings. He told us that one morning they ordered all the staff into buildings and did a flyby with a helicopter to capture a visual of Main Street around 5am. However, he didn't mention if it was in the winter when it was still dark at 5am, so I don't know if the shot would be a lit-up night sky. But they believe there will be several alternate endings - sometimes taking you to Disney World, sometimes Disneyland, sometimes Shanghai, Tokyo or Paris.

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The Soarin' trip I did last August in WDW was a lot of fun. Really relaxing, enjoyable experience. The visuals were obviously out of date, but that didn't negate from the ride, really. If the screen itself was 4K or at least as high-definition as possible it would've made it a far more immersive ride, but really when you've walked around Epcot under the damnable hot sun in 100% humidity for 4 hours, gently cruising along in an AC-cooled room with some non-nausea-inducing simulation is good enough for me, quality be damned.

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Yeah, Hollywood Studios is top-heavy for sure. But, like CS85 said, I'm confident Disney will address the issue. It's never been an "all day" park for us anyway but when we go to WDW in just under 4 weeks, it might be little more than "try and ride Toy Story Mania twice and hop a bus to the Magic Kingdom." We've got a soon-to-be 3-year old daughter now so the usual couple hours we'd spend running back and forth between Tower of Terror and Rock'n Roller Coaster will be dramatically cut back because the little one can't ride those. Conversely, we'll probably spend more time in the Animal Kingdom than we usually do.

Speaking of Animal Kingdom, is there more of an out-of-place section in any of the Disney parks than DinoLand U.S.A.., or at least the "Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama" section? I understand the concept they're going for, but it's just very un-Disney.

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I think Avatar Land will be very out of place. They created rides for Star Wars and Indiana Jones before they owned them, but those weren't entire lands. Also, they were, IMO, far more iconic films. I realize Avatar was huge, but it has thusfar produced only one film, boosted largely off the 3D visual effects we've since grown tired of. I think they should have waited for Avatar 2 to be a huge success before deciding to build a land, if at all. It looks amazing, but not Disney-ish.

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Yeah, Hollywood Studios is top-heavy for sure. But, like CS85 said, I'm confident Disney will address the issue. It's never been an "all day" park for us anyway but when we go to WDW in just under 4 weeks, it might be little more than "try and ride Toy Story Mania twice and hop a bus to the Magic Kingdom." We've got a soon-to-be 3-year old daughter now so the usual couple hours we'd spend running back and forth between Tower of Terror and Rock'n Roller Coaster will be dramatically cut back because the little one can't ride those. Conversely, we'll probably spend more time in the Animal Kingdom than we usually do.

Speaking of Animal Kingdom, is there more of an out-of-place section in any of the Disney parks than DinoLand U.S.A.., or at least the "Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama" section? I understand the concept they're going for, but it's just very un-Disney.

Animal Kingdom needs to dump the Dinosaur ride immediately. First of all that movie was god-awful, second of all half the animatronics are jank. DinoLand USA clearly fell flat but the investment was such that they just sorta shoe-horned it into Animal Kingdom for the sake of doing so. Dinosaurs are cool, but simply dino-branding a group of crappy diners and one terrible ride won't cut it.

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