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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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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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I thought this was interesting and good to hear:

 

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Disney employees will now be able to have visible tattoos and more freely express themselves with their clothes and haircuts as a result of a new initiative from the company to become more inclusive for its workers and visitors.

 

Josh D’Amaro, Disney Parks chairman, said a 16-month focus group of employees suggested adding “inclusion” to the company’s core values, saying the new key element will be “essential to our culture and leads us forward”.

 

The company’s values will now be known as The Five Keys (previously there had been four) that are safety, show, courtesy, efficiency and, now, inclusion.

As a part of the company’s new inclusivity efforts, employees will now have more autonomy when dressing for work.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/apr/14/disney-employees-more-flexibility-hair-clothes-tattoos

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Absolutely breathtaking free walking Groot animatronic that Imagineering have created:

 

 

https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/23/disney-imagineerings-project-kiwi-is-free-walking-robot-that-will-make-you-believe-in-groot/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly90LmNvL3g5N21KTDZUZFU&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAFtRTAef2mQJOdZielgTAvIFiXVc0qSex0ifkkZBnQSGJdjJLmFk1F5BkVrJpp4VZIFFR302Vdpko4iYLGR6f7GjV0CH5rB4Yy5cSy-d1mzGN7EvpwJGh0_bqQZueoLEhoyPS6Q1wpiVPXSyNvzJN56WKfOucCxYFz-ZRkkNk79H

 

It's a prototype and not necessarily designed for any specific attraction, but clearly the next evolution of the Bunsen/Beaker park roaming characters. A Jack Skelington built with this tech would be particularly mind blowing.

 

 

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That's super cool-between this and what Boston Dynamics have managed, there's some huge potential.  A short groot is probably a good idea to start.  Something with a low center of gravity, but also able to move/dance more readily than, say, a Yoda would have.  A tall, lanky character like Jack would be a whole lot more challenging. 

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A number of muppet characters would work well I think (Fozzie in particular as he has a good belly and chunky legs on the occasions you see a version of him below the waist). 

 

It being able to apply torque and ground itself for added stability when it senses the need to do so is incredible. I still can't imagine they'd let kids just run up to it though. How you stop people mobbing these free roaming concepts seem to by why Wall-E was ultimately confined to a warehouse, and one of the reasons (alleged budget cuts aside) Galaxy's Edge never got free roaming droids. Stage shows and controlled indoor meet and greets seems like the safest way to put this kind of expensive technology within the reach of a guest. 

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2 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

It being able to apply torque and ground itself for added stability when it senses the need to do so is incredible. I still can't imagine they'd let kids just run up to it though. How you stop people mobbing these free roaming concepts seem to by why Wall-E was ultimately confined to a warehouse, and one of the reasons (alleged budget cuts aside) Galaxy's Edge never got free roaming droids. Stage shows and controlled indoor meet and greets seems like the safest way to put this kind of expensive technology within the reach of a guest. 

 

The really impressive feat would be to see it fall over and get itself back up on two legs.  I can only imagine something like this being out in the wild with handlers, behind glass, or otherwise barred from interacting with guests directly.  Yeah, you can stick cameras etc in there to capture people trying to steal/vandalize/abuse them, but I think it's more likely that something like this could be in the queue/preshow for the new coaster at Epcot if it's being built for that purpose.  Maybe you'd see something like this around the Star Wars hotel (although even then, probably not completely untethered)? 

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1 hour ago, ChrisBardon said:

Yeah, you can stick cameras etc in there to capture people trying to steal/vandalize/abuse them, but I think it's more likely that something like this could be in the queue/preshow for the new coaster at Epcot if it's being built for that purpose.  

 

Honestly, for now I think we have to take it to be nothing more than a work in progress that's not really being built with any attraction specifically in mind. There's every chance Disney's parks division will never pay up to put this kind of thing into the parks themselves (though maybe Tokyo wouldn't hesitate). Bunsen and Beaker have a CM or two flanking them on the rare occasions they roll out through Epcot so I'd imagine if this ever did see the light of day in public it would certainly be similar. I'm not sure it benefits being part of a ride or ride pre-show and from the article it sounds like they're definitely pitching it as something to be part or live stage events and/or meet and greets.  

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The Jungle Cruise update is one I’m low key excited about. I think having a bit more of a story could really help the ride as the last few times I rode Jungle Cruise, it was feeling stale. I love that they are incorporating SEA into the storyline, and am double glad that this isn’t a redo to tie into the movie.

 

Unlike some other PC makeovers (like Pirates and Splash) I have absolutely no reservations about removing the “savage” tribes and headhunter figures and have to shake my head at some of the outcry with the removal of Trader Sam. 
 

The refurbishment is happening in WDW while the ride is still operating though, so I have to wonder just how much different it will actually be. 

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On 4/26/2021 at 4:41 PM, Graeme said:

The Jungle Cruise update is one I’m low key excited about. I think having a bit more of a story could really help the ride as the last few times I rode Jungle Cruise, it was feeling stale. I love that they are incorporating SEA into the storyline, and am double glad that this isn’t a redo to tie into the movie.

 

Unlike some other PC makeovers (like Pirates and Splash) I have absolutely no reservations about removing the “savage” tribes and headhunter figures and have to shake my head at some of the outcry with the removal of Trader Sam. 
 

The refurbishment is happening in WDW while the ride is still operating though, so I have to wonder just how much different it will actually be. 

 

It must be weird to ride it right now at Magic Kingdom as they seem to be taking things out one after another rather than taking one or two things out and putting in the replacements before removing the next thing and replacing that and so on.

 

 

I wonder how the Skippers are working around the missing focal points.

 

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Velocicoaster queue area is looking excellent:

 

 

 

Mr DNA!

 

The muzzled raptor animatronics are great.

 

I really like the direction Universal are moving in with this, Secret Life of Pets, Hagrid and Super Nintendo World. They still might not be matching Disney for the sheer quality of the technology being used for rides and animatronics, but it's nevertheless pleasing to see them pursue new projects so aggressively. It's leaving me very excited for Epic Universe.

 

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Previously only seen recently in an investor stream, Disney have finally given a public reveal of their retractible lightsaber and... it's genuinely impressive:

 

 

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2021/05/star-wars-galactic-starcruiser-launches-in-2022-at-walt-disney-world-resort/?CMP=SOC-DPFY21Q3wo0429210068

 

 

 

These will be used as part of one of the experiences at the Galactic Starcruiser hotel (some may recall patents for this a couple of years ago). The lightsabers have been designed by imagineering so not intended for sale, but who knows what Disney will do when they realise they could probably charge $1000 for one. 

 

uih3yt7ygu67tu115.jpeg

 

New hotel details:

 

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Yes, that’s a new type of lightsaber Rey is holding in her hand, created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development. Guests who experience Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be the first to see it in action – along with so much more – starting in 2022 when this amazing new two-night adventure debuts. Watching that lightsaber activate right before your eyes will be just one of the countless ways that, from the moment you arrive to the moment you depart, you’ll be plunged into a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions – or even the casual conversations you may have – determine how your personal journey unfolds.

 

Your adventure begins at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser terminal at Walt Disney World, where you’ll gather with fellow passengers before departing for your intergalactic destination. You’ll soon enter a special Launch Pod and leave your world behind as you make a hyperspace jump to a galaxy far, far away.

 

You’ll watch through viewports as you approach the massive and magnificent Halcyon starcruiser, which will be your home for the next two nights. For a limited time, Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests can now see a model of the ship on display inside Walt Disney Presents – another special May the 4th surprise! 

 

When the Launch Pod’s airlock slides open, you’ll take your first step into a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser comes to life all around you. During your stay aboard this glamorous ship, you may interact with an eclectic group of characters both familiar and new, possibly including the starcruiser’s strong and charismatic captain, a plucky ship’s mechanic and a galactic superstar who can captivate an entire room with the crook of one jewel-encrusted purple Twi’lek finger.

 

This singing sensation will be a featured performer during one of your exquisite dining experiences inside the Crown of Corellia Dining Room, which you can see in this artist concept rendering we’re sharing today for the first time. The enticing supper club’s name is an homage to Corellia, the planet known galaxy-wide for its shipyards that gave us not only the Halcyon starcruiser, but also the Millennium Falcon. The dining room is a bright and welcoming hall that will offer breakfast and lunch to passengers before transitioning each evening into a lavish multi-course menu of both otherworldly and familiar origins.

 

As your journey continues, you’ll have the opportunity to train in the ancient ways of the lightsaber, learn more about the inner workings of the Halcyon starcruiser and even jump on a transport to the planet Batuu to further your adventure inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This isn’t storytelling – it’s storyliving, where you’ll see, feel and live Star Wars in a whole new way. 

 

 

 

swta02938402983402394820349823049234.jpg

 

swlp203948203948203498234202398420394.jp

 

uih3yt7ygu67tu114.jpg

 

 

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That lightsaber looks...wrong?  The handle seems too long and the blade too thin, but I suppose that some concessions are in order to make it actually retract.  I also notice it was held perfectly upright before extending-hopefully there's a way to keep it on a belt or something before extending (or that it can extend at an angle).  You might do something like that with a small electromagnet holding the base in (that could reverse polarity to extend the blade perhaps)?

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It's definitely longer to accommodate the mechanism yes.

 

disney_lightsaber_patent_fig_2.jpg

 

disney_lightsaber_patent_fig_1.jpg

 

disney_lightsaber_patent_fig_3.jpg

 

disney_lightsaber_patent_fig_5.jpg

 

You can view the patent (filed in 2017) here:

 

https://patents.google.com/patent/US10065127B1/en

 

I don't think guests will get the opportunity to attach it to a belt or anything. It seems designed for a game of sorts "on board" the hotel that's supposed to somewhat mimic Luke's lightsaber training aboard the Falcon.

 

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It looks pretty cool. It’ll be interesting to see what people think of it in person. Since it is supposed to maybe be used in the game, I would guess it can withstand being swung around quite well, but I would assume that actually hitting things probably won’t work. 
 

I’m a bit disappointed that it isn’t actually using measuring tapes :) 

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Those patents are cool (and definitely fodder for a homebrew version).  Have there been any rumblings about what that hotel is actually going to cost?  I can't think of a parallel other than a cruise, but that's usually much longer.  I have a feeling I'll go eventually (especially if it means actually getting to go on Rise of the Resistance), but we'll see when travel is actually a thing again.

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It’s a two night stay...in cruise terms, that would be maybe $600-$1000 a night, so $1200-2000.

 

Sadly, the theorized numbers I’ve seen bandied about were quite a bit higher (mid-3000s).  But I imagine Disney is still trying to figure out the right price point.  I also imagine, like cruises, it’ll be seasonal.  Staying there for Life Day (Christmas), Spring Break, or the Summer will be more expensive than staying in February or mid-September.

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I still think it's a shame that non Starcruiser guests will not be able to visit and go to the restaurant or something. I think Disney missed a trick there as not everyone is going to want to spend the money on the hotel experience, but would love the chance to look around (which I turn could even convince people on the fence that it's worth paying for). The lack of decent dining in the land itself still seems like a major oversight. The recent Art of Galaxy's Edge book shows what they had planned, and there's still room for it so perhaps it will come, but it was so strange to me that they made the cantina so tiny and never foresaw how popular that would be.

 

It's also a shame that the interactive experience people were promised for the land itself are seemingly going to end up in the hotel, and I have to wonder if all that was really lost in the land due to budget cuts or whether they realised that they can hold it all back for the hotel that they know people are going to pay a lot of money for (potentially money on top of a long stay outside of the two Star Wars nights are another hotel on property too). 

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