Latest Disney Rumors for August 1, 2018
Alright, Mickey Travelers, it’s time to bring you up to speed on the most enticing Disney rumors out in the wild. As a reminder, the rules here are simple. We’re only reporting stuff that has a solid amount of credibility. Even the items that we list here are never guaranteed to arrive at the parks, though. The beauty of Disney’s blue sky phase is that Imagineers believe that any good idea is possible. The harsh reality of a major corporation is that some truly spectacular ideas aren’t practical in the real world. With that in mind, here are several exciting Disney rumors for July!
The Disco Yeti May Get a Cure!
Do you know what “Permanent B Mode” means? Only Disney fanatics and MickeyBlog readers are familiar with this term. It indicates the current status of the Yeti at Expedition Everest. The lurking horror that resides within the Forbidden Mountain is broken.
Some unfortunate soul miscalculated the physics of the Yeti and the man-made mountain base. Once Expedition Everest opened, Imagineers quickly deduced that the massive weight of the Yeti caused an unexpected outcome. It was cracking the foundation of the Forbidden Mountain! Disney had no choice but to limit the movements of the monster, putting it in Permanent B Mode.
Since 2008, Disney visitors have derisively described the monster as the Disco Yeti. Imagineers have privately lamented that the issue is so deep in the core of the foundation that they aren’t sure a fix is possible. Well, the most famous Imagineer at Disney, Joe Rohde, recently indicated that Expedition Everest might wind up fixed…and sooner than expected!
During a press conference, he firmly stated, “I will fix the Yeti!” The belief is that the next time the attraction closes for refurbishment, the Yeti will switch to A Mode! It’ll go back to swiping at your face as you drive by, just like when the attraction first opened.
Disney Resort Updates
Some fine detective work and some posts from reliable message board posters have brought new Disney rumors and resort details into focus. The important one is Star Wars Hotel, arguably the most significant Disney hotel project since 1971.
Disney recently confirmed that the hotel won’t open at the same time as Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is disappointing but understandable. Disney wants to stagger the introductions of these technologically advanced projects. Otherwise, they’d have to split Imagineers between the land and the hotel as they tried to fix any issues that may arise.
We now know that Star Wars Land will open late in the fall of 2019. According to some permits that The Walt Disney Company had to file with South Florida Water Management District, we have specifics about Star Wars Hotel. Disney listed that they will break ground on the project by the end of 2018. More importantly, the expected completion date is sometime in 2020. In other words, the gap between the debut of Star Wars Land and Star Wars Hotel should be 15 months or less.
Meanwhile, an official Disney site may have jumped the gun on an important reveal at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. As you know, the resort is currently undergoing renovations including construction of a 15-story tower. When Disney announced the project, they indicated that a restaurant would become a key part of this development.
Attentive Disney fans noticed a surprising update a few days ago. The DisneyMeetings.com website revealed that this new restaurant is Villa del Lago. Generally, the parks blog is the first to publish such news, meaning that this is probably not information that the public should have yet. So, this “rumor” feels extremely reliable. Here’s what you need to know according to the site:
“Attendees will be able to network over cold drinks and light fare at a new oasis built out over the water and connected by a series of bridges to other areas of the convention resort. Named “Villa del Lago”, this bar and grill seats 60 people, and designated group areas seat an additional 90 people. Villa del Lago is set to open in 2019 along with a new 15-story tower that will feature over 500 Guest rooms and concierge-level services.”
Disney has previously promised that this restaurant will have a special amenity. It will offer terrific views of nightly fireworks displays at multiple Disney theme parks. Due to the location of Coronado Springs, it could feasibly provide views of Rivers of Light and Fantasmic!. Since it’s also a straight, albeit distant, shot to Magic Kingdom, that’s a possibility, too. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot is probably more realistic, though. We’ll just have to wait and see whether “multiple views” means two parks…or four.
What’s Up with Imagination! Pavilion?
In recent years, Disney has aggressively targeted its weakest links. They’ve upgraded Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a new themed land, and they’re rebuilding Hollywood Studios on the fly. Disney California Adventure is the best that it’s ever been right now, thanks in large part to the opening of Pixar Pier. It should only get better when more Marvel attractions arrive later, also.
At Epcot, Disney’s upgraded Mission: Space, and they’re adding a new Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster soon. They’re even introducing a Ratatouille attraction at the France Pavilion. What’s left that guests aren’t crazy about?
Journey into Imagination with Figment is one of the most divisive of all Disney topics. This once-great attraction got butchered at the turn of the millennium. Even its latest iteration is still sadly lacking in key elements of the original ride.
For a while now, Imagineers have pondered the best ways to improve the Imagination! Pavilion. Last year, a credible rumor arose that Disney might shutter Figment once and for all. In its place, they would introduce an attraction based on Inside Out, the instant classic from Pixar. Recently, Disney announced that they ARE building an Inside Out ride. They’re simply doing it at Disney California Adventure. While they may follow suit at Epcot, the current conjecture is that Disney has chosen a different route.
As the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World approaches, park planners have embraced the idea of returning to their roots. Figment and his friend, the Dreamfinder, are the original IPs at Epcot. Due to the sustained popularity of these characters, Disney currently has a proposal on the table for a staggering $250 million reboot of the attraction, one that would feature Figment. One of the most reliable Disney insiders on the internet has confirmed that this plan exists; however, the person added that several potential ideas for the Imagination! Pavilion are still under discussion. This individual also states that any of them would take up to seven years to complete. In other words, any changes here aren’t immediate unless something changes quickly.
Is Coco Coming to the Mexico Pavilion?
In the process of this discussion, multiple sources confirmed that Disney has also had internal dialogue about Coco. A natural tie-in with the Mexico Pavilion has led many to speculate that characters and settings from the movie would get implemented someday.
The same insider who mentioned the Figment rumor noted that a Coco overlay is a possibility for Gran Fiesta Star Starring the Three Caballeros. Since that is one of the least trafficked attractions at Epcot, the fit makes perfect sense.
Alas, updating the Mexico Pavilion isn’t high on Disney’s list of priorities right now. It sounds like the idea has been pushed to the background for now. Insiders suggest that it would be a fairly easy repurposing should Disney go that route, though. It would be like the new overlays with Twilight Zone Tower of Terror turning into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! and California Screamin’ becoming The Incredicoaster at Disney California Adventure. For now, Disney seems content to wait on the idea, though.
These demonstrations of what Disney has under consideration are interesting on their own merits. They reveal the challenges of future-proofing a successful theme park. Disney has countless ideas available to them but only a limited amount of resources. They must choose the projects that make the most sense financially, but they also need ideas that will entice consumers to visit more often.
Think about each of these Disney rumors under those constraints. Would you visit Animal Kingdom more if Expedition Everest gets fixed? You would eat at Villa del Lago if it has multiple fireworks views, right? How much more would you pay for this opportunity over a regular meal at Walt Disney World?
Similarly, if you were running Disney, would you invest a quarter-billion dollars to reboot Journey into Imagination? Or would you favor Inside Out instead? How much would you expect a Coco overlay to boost traffic at the Mexico Pavilion? These challenging questions are ones that Disney must face every day to perfect the Disney theme park experience!