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Disneyland/World and Universal parks discussion thread (where the magic never ends... until a ride you loved is knocked down and replaced with something lame)


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It was just Flights of Passage that was down.  It was just disappointing since it was a so talked about before our going.  And since we lost hours on that day we didn't even really get a chance to head to Pandora.  The plan was to head over, hit our fast pass to Everest, then go explore Pandora.  But that plan went to shit.  

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My daughter got excellent grades this year, so I told her to pick her vacation spot.  Knowing Galaxy's Edge isn't open at Disney World yet, she picked Ohio, for the excellent coasters at King's Island

Galaxy’s Edge is very impressive, but I would say that many of the criticisms of it are justified. It looks great, and has an amazing level of detail, but it can feel a bit sparse and feels like there

We leave for Florida on Wednesday. We're spending two days at Disneyworld and going to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, I believe.  My wife was in charge of doing that part. I haven't been to Florida in 15 ye

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That's a shame. Although I think the whole Avatar thing may have backfired somewhat for Disney (they made the deal expecting there to be a sequel out already, and the zone was supposed to be finished last year) the theming of that area that I've seen in walkthrough videos is amazing and really gets me excited for Star Wars. I think Universal really lit a fire under Disney with such intricate theming for their Potter areas and rides. 

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6 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

 

Damn, you had me worried with this question so I had to look it up. Thankfully the pre-show video is the same and you still get the Warburton stuff.

 

"Nice work, pal"

Warburton was a nice surprise, for me at least. Wife and kid had no idea who he was. And Mrs. Huxtable intro-ed the Dino ride at Animal Kingdom. 

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Another positive note is that since my son is now all about coasters, we have a great roller coaster park about a half hour from our home, Kings Island. I've been going there since I was a kid. It's changed ownership several times, even owned by Paramount at one point in time. I have no idea who owns it now. 

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15 minutes ago, Eldorado said:

Another positive note is that since my son is now all about coasters, we have a great roller coaster park about a half hour from our home, Kings Island. I've been going there since I was a kid. It's changed ownership several times, even owned by Paramount at one point in time. I have no idea who owns it now. 

 

I think King's Island is a Cedar Fair park now-bought as part of the Paramount acquisition.  Of course, the next thing to do would be to get him to Cedar Point, but that's more of a graduation/escalation of being a coaster fan.  In general, they've got the biggest and best coasters out there from a pure thrill ride perspective.  If you end up deciding to make use of it, the Cedar Fair platinum passes are good for the whole season at both KI and CP (and a bunch of others that are further away), plus I think the platinum passes include parking.  Season pass meal plans etc also work cross park.

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1 hour ago, Eldorado said:

And Mrs. Huxtable intro-ed the Dino ride at Animal Kingdom. 

 

Thank God they went with Mrs.

 

Is the Dinosaur ride any good? Every time I see videos of it the story concept implementation (vroommm, roar, "not our dino", vrooom, roar, "not our dino") looks rather uninspiring. It's basically the Indiana Jones ride tech and I believe even the track layout is identical. I've always been surprised neither the Anaheim Indy jeep ride, or at the very least the Paris temple of doom coaster, made it to any of the Orlando parks. Perhaps now they own Indiana Jones, and if/when a 5th film happens on their watch, increasing Indy's presence might be on the cards in future. 

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46 minutes ago, Angry the Clown said:

Is the Dinosaur ride any good? Every time I see videos of it the story concept implementation (vroommm, roar, "not our dino", vrooom, roar, "not our dino") looks rather uninspiring. It's basically the Indiana Jones ride tech and I believe even the track layout is identical. I've always been surprised neither the Anaheim Indy jeep ride, or at the very least the Paris temple of doom coaster, made it to any of the Orlando parks. Perhaps now they own Indiana Jones, and if/when a 5th film happens on their watch, increasing Indy's presence might be on the cards in future. 

 

I'm a little surprised at that as well.  The Indy ride could have gone into Florida adventureland, or even into studios if you wanted to boost something there.  You'd think that with the R&D that they've done on it, replicating it at another park would be a no brainer.  Of course, they've also repeated attractions with differences between parks, so a slightly different IJ attraction in Florida would make sense.  I wonder if they could justify that into Epcot somehow with the new direction.  Wonders of life with Mola Ram? 

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The only other place the Indy jeep ride exists is at Tokyo DisneySea (pretty much identical save for having a different name and no on ride fire effects).

 

I think if an Indy ride went anywhere in WDW it would be in Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom, and if it were the jeep ride and it went at Animal Kingdom then Dinosaur would have to go as, again, it's the same tech and track layout. I don't know the layout of available expansion space at either park. You have to assume expansion space is already set aside for adding another ride to Galaxy's Edge in x amount of years time. The area behind Great Movie Ride where part of Toy Story Land will be is rumoured to eventually expand into a Monstropolis Monsters Inc area.

 

The Indy Stunt Show will effectively be the last remnant in the Hollywood Studios park's old "behind the scenes" theme so it's probably not a stretch to assume its days are numbered, especially with the eventual name change of the park looming in the not too distant future. Take it away and I suspect regular visitors will still expect to see the character's presence retained in the park however (the show is now as old as the park itself). Maybe they could dream up an Indiana Jones water ride as the studios park could do with that type of attraction. After Star Wars, Toy Story and Mickey that park will have had a beefy injection of money though so it might be quite a while beyond 2019 before it next sees significant additions. 

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Some nice Star Wars construction photos (Orlando version) from bioreconstruct on Twitter.

 

 

To give some reference, if you go back and look at the D23 model, the Battle Escape ride will be on the West side of the land and the ride building will be built into the mountains. The West side seems to be where the resistance presence will be in the park, where as over on the East side is where the heavier First Order presence and Falcon ride will be.

 

Allegedly, like Pandora at Animal Kingdom, the plan is to have very few park signs in Galaxy's Edge so as not to ruin the illusion. This includes not actually having big signs for the name of the attractions outside of the rides. Battle Escape is also supposed to be a 6-7 minute ride with multiple pre-shows. I've also seen some claiming you will have a choice to side with the Resistance of the First Order for a different ride experience but I don't know if that is accurate or not. 

 

 

The circular foundations above where the Falcon ride will be could perhaps relate to the alleged carousel loading system (the rumour is there will be 7 pods on four carousels, with six guests per pod in the cockpit). It'll be interesting to see what the magic trick is to give riders the illusion they are individually boarding the Falcon that is parked out front as, as far as I know, you are certainly not walking up the ship's ramp to board the ride as the queue will be in the hanger bay. 

 

Below you can see further works to the remaining section of Streets of America which, as mentioned the other week, will clearly be staying opposite the Muppet Courtyard to better serve as a bridging area before guests reach Galaxy's Edge. At the rate of progress they are making it looks like this will be finished and opened back up by the end of the year. I still can't tell if the facade is being turned into a useable building, however. You'd think so as for some reason at this early stage they added a large Coca Cola sign to a storefront on the corner (they even removed the protective wrapping off it recently too), but there doesn't appear to be much activity behind the building front just yet.

 

 

 

Bonus, while Googling I found the concept art Jim Hill mentioned in his podcast from D23 2015 that showed the (now abandoned) Bantha People Mover they were considering:

 

beast.jpg

 

Shame we won't get that. It would have been an insane achievement to have pulled off.

 

 

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Again via Bioreconstruct, construction shots of Toy Story Land.

 

They hit a big milestone the other week with the completion of the track for the Slinky Dog coaster. They've definitely picked up the pace here now.

 

 

 

Below shows where the entrance to the land will be. I long thought it was going to be at the end of the little 'Pixar Place' street where you currently enter for Midway Mania, but looking at the arial shots above it's clear that will in fact lead to the second entrance to Galaxy's Edge. They'll probably have to knock down or partially knock down a building below to widen the gateway into Toy Story. There's a scrim in front of that stage building with the partial blue/grey wall shown below which is right beside the One Man's Dream building (I believe it was the building that housed that Jack Sparrow thing which closed a few years ago).

 

 

I'll be interested to see how they re-theme that back street where Pixar Place currently is. Maybe it will stay, but when the Midway Mania entrance goes all that street is left with are stalls selling Pixar merchandise and all that stuff is going to be available in Toy Story Land so they maybe they can build a coffee shop or something on that street as you approach Star Wars... though it also occurs to me the 2nd entrance to Star Wars may in fact be via Toy Story Land (the Orlando Galaxy's Edge only has two entrances) so what becomes of the Pixar Place St is a mystery if it only leads to a dead end.

 

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10 minutes ago, Angry the Clown said:

 

Is the Dinosaur ride any good? Every time I see videos of it the story concept implementation (vroommm, roar, "not our dino", vrooom, roar, "not our dino") looks rather uninspiring. It's basically the Indiana Jones ride tech and I believe even the track layout is identical. I've always been surprised neither the Anaheim Indy jeep ride, or at the very least the Paris temple of doom coaster, made it to any of the Orlando parks. Perhaps now they own Indiana Jones, and if/when a 5th film happens on their watch, increasing Indy's presence might be on the cards in future. 

 

Dinosaur is just alright, but it's hard to get too excited about it when you know Indy is so much better. It is the exact same ride tech and track layout as Indy, but missing much of the grandeur. To me, Dinosaur always felt like a bit of a bumpy ride through dark rooms with some Dino AAs and a bit of foliage and colourful lighting.

 

Indy is one of the best theme park rides ever that feels like an adventure through an actual temple on this crazy truck with a mind of its own, and encountering the same traps as Indy would. The encounter with Indy and the giant ball at the end is just the amazing cherry that tops it all off and which Dinosaur is lacking. 

 

I think they never brought it to WDW, because they feel like they did bring that ride already, just with a different theme. If they did something with Indy again, they'd probably want to try and do something completely different. Even though it's very similar to Dinosaur, I think it would be accepted well at WDW, as it is such an incredible ride. The fact that Spider-Man and Transformers are essentially the same ride doesn't seem to have hurt either one at Universal. 

 

As for the Indy roller coaster, I don't think they ever brought that here simply because it isn't popular enough, and isn't really a Disney quality ride. In Paris, they had to start running it backwards to try and get people to go on it. I also think many people view it as a park filler that was quickly added to DLP and DisneySea (as Raging Spirits) to help bolster their thrill ride attraction numbers.

 

Now if they wanted to also re-theme it to a dinosaur theme and replace the Hester and Chester area with it, I'd be all for that. 

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25 minutes ago, Graeme said:

Indy is one of the best theme park rides ever that feels like an adventure through an actual temple on this crazy truck with a mind of its own, and encountering the same traps as Indy would. The encounter with Indy and the giant ball at the end is just the amazing cherry that tops it all off and which Dinosaur is lacking. 

 

Imagineers knocked it out of the park in 94 and 95 with Tower of Terror and Indy. I remember when I was in Florida in 94 there was a magazine in the hotel room (I was at what is now Port Orleans Riverside, then Dixie Landings that year) and there was a huge multi-page article about the making of the Indy ride. It was six/seven years later that I got out to California for the first time and was finally able to ride it. As I wrote the other day, the queue area alone is a marvel of design. It doesn't shock me to hear that it still holds up to this day too, much like Tower of Terror. Both are true classics. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Graeme said:

I wonder if there is any chance they would sell it to another park. 

 

https://orlandoinformer.com/blog/dragon-challenge-closing-new-harry-potter-ride/

 

According to Orlando Informer (A great site that focuses more on Universal than Disney), Dragon Challenge was due for a complete rebuild and replacement of it's track, similar to what Hulk just went through. Instead of doing that, they are building the new attraction.

 

They also have another article with some guesses as to what could possibly be replacing it.

 

https://orlandoinformer.com/blog/harry-potter-4-attractions-replace-dragon-challenge/

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1 hour ago, ChrisBardon said:

That's way more progress than I thought on Toy Story for a section that's not supposed to open until next summer.  Wonder if the opening date could get bumped up a bit (to, say, the end of this year)? 

 

Hmmm. There's probably still a little more than six months work if you really think about it. I believe the target is May but I could imagine a soft April opening.

 

Looking again at construction photos, my thinking about the Pixar Place street leading into Galaxy's Edge is all wrong. Ignore the arrow below, bioreconstruct is just pointing out the addition of a new crane in SW Land, but open up the image and focus on those central buildings right above the Star Wars construction (that's Midway Mania on the left, and Great Movie Ride/Mickey on the right). You can clearly see they are not building a gate into Galaxy's Edge at the end of the Pixar Place street that currently runs between the rear of both buildings. This begs the question where the East gate entrance will be. Remember Orlando only gets one entrance point at the East side of the land (where as Anaheim gets two).

 

If you actually use the arrow as a reference and look North East to where those two potted trees are randomly sitting we can likely conclude that the entrance will be opposite those trees leading into Toy Story Land (where there is a curve in the construction wall on the Toy Story side I guess? That just about lines up with the Frontier Land Entrance from the D23 Anaheim model I think). It again begs the question of what will become of the Pixar Place street and the road at the end of it though. Perhaps the street will indeed be locked off to guests and instead be used for cast member access? It's weird there's that one tiny corner building facade piece at the end of Pixar Place on the back of Great Movie Ride, but maybe that was left standing so as not to interrupt that street section while it is still needed (Midway Mania currently exits at that far end in the opposite building).

 

Also of interest is that spot in the upper right of SW Land at the rear of the Muppet Courtyard. There's a construction wall there, but within the confines of the Star Wars construction you can see there is still a city building facade standing opposite that wall, so could that be another slight expansion of the courtyard that might serve as another way in/out of Galaxy's Edge?

 

DFbvRt4V0AEG9jX.jpg:large

 

Incidentally, the beige and green buildings in the lower left are where room will be for Star Wars expansion. A similar free plot exists behind that point in Anaheim too. If you look at the land model from D23 there's a grey building facade with a First Order banner hanging down from the front of it which could be a vague hint as to the theme of an eventual third ride. 

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Blog Mickey has some fantastic detailed images of Toy Story construction:

 

Toy-Story-Land-07202017-3.jpg

 

First addition of some theming! 

 

Loads more great shots at the link below:

 

http://blogmickey.com/2017/07/photos-toy-story-mania-new-entrance-slinky-dog-dash-theming-toy-story-land/

 

 

Some superb shots of Star Wars construction too:

 

Star-Wars-Land-07202017-2.jpg

 

Star-Wars-Land-07202017-5.jpg

 

Lots more great stuff at the link:

 

http://blogmickey.com/2017/07/photos-new-attraction-elements-visible-star-wars-galaxys-edge-july-2017/

 

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The area surrounding Muppets Courtyard with the Streets of America facade still standing is going to be called Grand Avenue and will be themed to present day LA. It will open this Fall. 

 

From Blog Mickey

 



The new theme will be that of present-day Downtown Los Angeles. It will showcase vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different vibrant districts and cultures in the city. You’ll see trendy shops, lofts, restaurants, and other businesses that have been converted over the last couple of decades. Grand Avenue is being billed as “a place of community, recreation, and relaxation”. The recent renaming of the MuppetVision 3D theater is a part of this new theme.

 

More photos and info at http://blogmickey.com/2017/07/photos-grand-avenue-construction-disneys-hollywood-studios-july-2017/

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WDWMagic has some detail on one of the main points of interest in Grand Avenue. 

 

Quote

 

One prominent hot spot to spring up is the Baseline Tap House, a cheerful corner pub specializing in beer and wines from California.

 

In a quaint brick building, Baseline Tap House celebrates the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles by paying homage to the building’s former life as the Figueroa Printing Company, a mom-and-pop print house that had ties to the Disney studios in nearby Burbank. The space retains many of its cool architectural and mechanical details with exposed walls and old printing equipment and artifacts, blending the past and present in an inviting space. Outside is a charming tree-shaded terrace, perfect for a relaxing break in the day. California craft ales, lagers and cider are the stars of the drink menu. California wines on tap along with specialty cocktails are not to be missed either. A gourmet non-alcoholic lemonade and soda on tap round out the drink selection.

 

Small bites will be on offer, including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses.

 

 

http://www.wdwmagic.com/dining/baseline-tap-house/news/26jul2017-baseline-tap-house-to-debut-alongside-new-grand-avenue-district-at-disney.htm

 

So get drunk before venturing into Star Wars land. :)

 

That sounds like a pretty similar array of food and drink to the Writer's Stop which used to be situated on that corner, so it seems I might be right in having predicted a spiritual successor. So that will obviously live in the Writer's Stop building, but still no firm word on turning that facade into actual shops, drinks places...etc but from the Grand Avenue description you'd have to assume that is indeed the plan? I guess we'll know if we see them start to put a roof on the top of the building front.

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WDWMagic actually has some good Star Wars construction shots of their own.

 

Star-Wars-Land_Full_30624.jpg?width=2400

 

An angle not typically seen in these kinds of fly by shots.

 

If you look in the lower left, that's the remaining building facade behind the Muppet Theatre that I was writing about yesterday. If you look it is still standing, but mysteriously resides behind the construction fence so we still don't know how that little segment at the back is going to be expanded and whether it might in fact be a third point of entry into Galaxy's Edge. Again, so far we've been told only two gates for the Orlando version, and when you get back behind the Muppet Theatre it's quite a small area to channel guests through, plus you have guests exiting Muppets back there too so the argument against it being another way into Star Wars is that it could be too congested.

 

So if not a third entrance, will they put up another building facade there and maybe add another shop, eatery or drinks place? It's possible after the main Grand Avenue is opened up they might do a little work behind Muppets to make the theming less New York-esque, and perhaps even change the Christmas Shop and Mama Melrose restaurant back there.

 

Another view, this time  look to the upper right to see that lone city facade behind the Muppets. You can see here that it sits pretty far back from the construction wall. It's been left standing for a reason though (and I'm just damn curious to know what that reason is).

 

Star-Wars-Land_Full_30627.jpg

 

 

WDWMagic have several more great Str Wars construction images below:

 

http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/star-wars-land/gallery/25jul2017-star-wars-galaxy's-edge-construction-aerial-views.htm

 

 

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Disneyland Star Wars construction video via Fresh Baked. You can see how much further ahead of Orlando they are in Anaheim with the outer steelwork already up for the Falcon attraction and the entire steelwork frame for the Battle Escape ride complete (the ride building is HUGE). More concrete walls up in California too. I wonder how many weeks/months Anaheim's version will open before Orlando's. You'd have to hope no more than three months (I'm still going to guess May 2019 for Disneyland, and July 2019 for Hollywood Studios). 

 

 

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http://blogmickey.com/2017/07/photos-hourglass-lake-gondola-construction-july-2017/

 

Blog Mickey has a cool new update with aerial photos on the progress of the Skyliner station at Art of Animation and Pop Century. There isn't actually a lot to see yet, but I didn't know they were building it right in the middle of the lake that separates the two resorts. This will make it very convenient for people from both resorts to use the gondolas. I was worried they would build it on the Art of Animation side and require Pop Century people to walk all the way over. 

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