The Latest Disney Rumor Roundup
The Walt Disney Company constantly refreshes their park offerings. They follow a mandate from Walt Disney himself. He famously stated, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” To honor his vision, Disney executives update or “plus” their parks all the time. It’s a corporate philosophy that perfectionism is a good thing.
At times, some of the Blue Sky ideas for park improvements leak out to the public. Not all of them are true, but they’re all worthy of mention. If nothing else, these secrets that are revealed offer insight into what goes on behind the scenes at Disney. MickeyBlog News reports everything that’s factual, but you may want to know about some other stuff that could happen down the line. Here are three of the most exciting (but plausible) Disney rumors right now.
Another Magic Kingdom Resort?
Our friends at WDWNT just posted something that aligns with a rumor that’s floated around for the past couple of years. With hotel occupancy rates near historic highs, Disney’s in need of more resorts. Mickey Travelers have a seemingly unlimited desire to stay at official Disney properties due to the special hotel guest benefits. Park planners believe (for good reason) that they could book these new rooms just as easily as the old ones.
Location matters when building a resort, though. Over the years, Disney’s learned that proximity to theme parks is the most important logistical factor for guests. Since Magic Kingdom is THE most trafficked theme park in the world, Disney needs the most hotel room availability here.
Last year, a credible rumor arose that the company wanted to build a volcano-themed resort in the area, possibly one that would have a special back entrance to Adventureland. WDWNT is reporting that this idea is still in play, only at a different location than previously suggested. They note that Disney has filed plans to pile some dirt at a location close to World Drive. Sparing you the commercial zoning and government jargon, there’s good reason to believe that Disney will build another Magic Kingdom resort here.
Another Epcot Resort?
Epcot has a similarly persistent rumor about its hotel options. Currently, Disney has two resorts so close to the back of the park that they opened a special entrance, the International Gateway. Through this gate, visitors staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn have quick access to the World Showcase, which is only a few hundred steps away.
The reality is that most guests enter through the front of the park, though. Future World is the main gate for Epcot. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the next closest property, but park planners would prefer something much closer. To wit, there’s been some internal discussion about a new resort right at the front of Epcot! Yes, you could theoretically leave the hotel lobby and walk to Spaceship Earth in a matter of minutes if this hotel becomes a reality.
The current belief is that Disney would use space behind The Seas with Nemo & Friends to construct the hotel and an adjoining parking lot area. The size of the parking lot is a matter of some speculation. It might only service hotel guests, but there’s also a chance that Disney builds an expansive parking lot that will cater to all park guests. Both WDWNT and our friends at DisBoards have posts/threads about it if you’d like to learn more.
The upshot of both rumors is that they reflect Disney’s confidence in its Parks & Resorts division. With so many new vacationers expected when Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge opens, corporate executives aren’t quite sure where to host them all. All of the stories that we’ve reported on Disney’s financial strength support this concept that the company is well-positioned for explosive growth over the next few years.
New Monorails? One Less Show?
Two odd rumors intersect in our third update. During the legendary D-23 2017 Expo, Disney announced that they would add a new theater near the entrance at Magic Kingdom. You can see the mini-update here.
Disney states, “Magic Kingdom Park will soon be home to a new inspired by Kansas City’s Willis Theatre, just as it looked when Walt Disney lived there. Full story here.” When you click this link, however, you’ll notice that the page won’t load. It’s not a technical error; it’s just gone.
The Parks Blog removed the full-length version of the article because Disney allegedly changed plans. The belief is that park planners decided that they had a more urgent need for that money. And this rumor lines up with a second, seemingly unconnected one.
You may not know who Bob Gurr is, but you at least know of his seminal work for the company. The Disney Legend had a hand in constructing some of the most important ride carts of all-time, including the Doom Buggies at Haunted Mansion. And he also worked on the monorails.
Gurr recently shocked a Disney panel by blurting out something that was probably not supposed to go public yet. When asked about the potential for a new monorail fleet, he called the current Mark VI line the “duct tape monorail.” Then, he revealed that Disney has a contract out with Bombardier Transportation, the world’s foremost experts in monorail design. You can read up on their current INNOVIA Monorail 300 line here.
Yes, a man who worked on the original monorails and every fleet implementation since then has indicated that Disney ordered a new set of vehicles. The timing of this purchase makes sense, as Disney caught flak for a viral video that showed an open door on a monorail. It’s literally a one in a million type of mishap, but it gained attention due to public awareness about the current fleet.
This monorail series has outlasted any other one in Disney history. For years, Disney fans had wondered when the company would replace the current fleet. They latched onto the video as proof that an upgrade is sorely needed. While the single-issue criticism is ridiculous (mistakes happen with technology), the underlying point is valid.
Disney does need a new monorail system. And the timing here makes sense. While another rumor suggested that Siemens offered to build an entire monorail fleet in exchange for continued sponsorship of Spaceship Earth, Disney declined their offer…presuming it was even true.
When the video leaked, however, Disney suddenly needed money to pay for a new set of monorail vehicles. Taking that money from the proposed Magic Kingdom Theatre budget makes a lot of sense. A new theater is a financial extravagance. A new monorail fleet is a necessity. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if Disney suddenly announces that they’re ready to swap in a next-generation monorail car fleet.
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