Stunning Walt Disney World Rumors – September 2018
The latest batch of Walt Disney World rumors highlights a couple of Disney theme parks that may receive a boost. Yes, we have more hints at new pavilions at Epcot, something we’ve only been awaiting since, oh, the late-1980s.
Changes to the World Showcase?
Next week marks the 36th anniversary of the opening of Epcot. On October 1st, 1982, Disney introduced Mickey Travelers to the World Showcase. It brought to life one of Walt Disney’s dreams, a daily World’s Fair site, a place where international cultures would be on display for all guests to enjoy. On opening, there were eight foreign pavilions and one based on the United States.
Disney would add two other pavilions at later dates. The Morocco Pavilion would debut to much fanfare in 1984, as the country’s ruler had a hand in the construction and authenticity of its American presence. Similarly, the Norway Pavilion that arrived in 1988 had a key sponsor in the Norwegian government. Both countries had a hand in the construction of their pavilions, and they funded them as well, at least partially.
Park planners had wanted foreign entities to pay for the pavilions from the start. They simply hadn’t received any takers for the offer. Once Walt Disney World opened and proved popular, some countries opened up their wallets to pay for a pavilion at the World Showcase. There weren’t enough of them, though.
It’s Been Over 30 Years?!
Since Norway opened on June 3rd, 1988, the back half of Epcot has remained stagnant. Disney hasn’t opened a new pavilion in more than 30 years! Rumors have come and gone countless times during this time. We’re still waiting on the 12th pavilion, though.
The frustrating part for Disney fans is that the World Showcase’s design allows for double the pavilions that Epcot currently hosts! All of those gaps between pavilions are where other international tributes should go.
Recently, hints have emerged that Disney’s exploring the construction of new pavilions. The Brazil Pavilion is frequently mentioned as one possibility. Earlier this year, the Circle of Life attraction closed, and cast members whispered that Disney needed the space for other facilities, ones currently located in the place where the Brazil Pavilion would go, the spot between Italy and Germany at the World Showcase.
In recent days, a second pavilion rumor has picked up steam. Disney might add TWO new international pavilions in coming years. The other one would be the India Pavilion, and it would come with an E-Ticket attraction! If this rumor comes to fruition, Disney will build a boat ride based on The Jungle Book, the 2016 movie that earned almost $1 billion in worldwide box office.
Demand certainly exists for this premise, both as a beloved novel and a movie. Also, analysts have pointed out that the Sanaa restaurant and India-based pop-up kiosks at various Epcot festivals are wildly popular. The potential restaurant options at the India Pavilion could justify its existence financially.
The lingering question at the moment is simple but significant. Exactly how many changes is Disney willing to make at the World Showcase over the next few years? We previously discussed the Mary Poppins ride rumor. It came on the heels of the Coco overlay rumor at the Mexico Pavilion.
Now, two different pavilions are up for consideration as (long overdue) additions to the World Showcase. Disney’s expansion budget at Epcot only has so much money available. Which of these changes would bring the most guests to the park? Which ones would you want to see? It’s a tough choice.
Welcome to Monstropolis?
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Monstropolis is the setting for the Monsters, Inc. universe. It’s where Mike and Sulley work and live. Monsters University, the location of the movie sequel, is located here, too. And what does Disney love to do with its theme parks? The company creates attractions and sometimes even themed lands based on its beloved intellectual properties (IPs).
The one thing that Walt Disney World lacks is a great Monsters, Inc. ride. Yes, there’s the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor at Magic Kingdom. That’s a comedy roaster rather than a ride, though. At Disney California Adventure, Disney retrofitted a failed attraction named Superstar Limo into Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, a ride that re-tells the story of the original film via dark ride experience. And Tokyo Disneyland features the best ride yet based on the IP, Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek.
Monsters Inc. Themed Land?
With two ride concepts already in existence, Walt Disney World park planners have at least considered constructing an entire themed land based on Monsters, Inc. They would host this new project at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, presumably connecting it with Toy Story Land in some way.
The one catch is that the two current Monsters, Inc. rides are too similar. If Disney wanted multiple rides based on Mike & Sulley, they have a second option. Allegedly, a concept for a door-based Monsters, Inc. roller coaster has existed for the body of ten years. Park planners have debated the notion for that long. Construction of an entire land, Monstropolis, would justify the expense of an E-Ticket roller coaster.
Ostensibly, a new Monsters-based themed land could re-locate the Laugh Floor experience, too. Disney would free up that valuable space at Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom while tying together multiple attraction concepts at one place in Hollywood Studios.
The other reason why this rumor makes senses is that Star Wars Land is about to drive attendance at the park. With so many new guests visiting, the two rides at Star Wars Land won’t be enough to satisfy customers. A pair of Pixar themed lands based on Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. might do the trick, though.
Quick Notes about the Disney Skyliner
The Disney Skyliner is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. It may or may not be in operation when Star Wars Land debuts, but the expectation is that it will. Disney wants the new transportation option in place to curtail bus and boat traffic during the hectic first year of that themed land.
Much of the Disney Skyliner construction is already in place. As such, we’ve learned a great deal in recent weeks about how the system will work. We previously knew that the Disney Skyliner will have five stations aka drop-off and pick-up points. Two of them are at the International Gateway at Epcot and near the front entrance at Hollywood Studios.
The other three Disney Skyliner access points are at/near Disney resorts. These hotels will become incredibly popular in future years due to their convenience. They are Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort/Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and the upcoming Disney’s Riviera Resort. Whenever you plan to visit Star Wars Land primarily, you’ll want to stay at one of these properties, at least until Star Wars Hotel opens.
The big reveal in recent weeks involves the gondolas themselves. WDWNT has discovered that Disney doesn’t plan to use air-conditioning in the gondolas. Imagineers have run some wind tests and determined that the natural air at higher elevations will be enough to keep guests cool during hot summer days. I should add that Disney does have plenty of historical data to evaluate on this subject, too. After all, Magic Kingdom had gondolas until the 1990s.
Interestingly, while the gondolas allegedly won’t have air-conditioning in place, they will feature onboard audio. It’s an understandable decision given Disney’s need to relay safety information to guests. Should the gondola system suffer a temporary breakdown, the sound system is still the best way to update guests regarding the situation.
Of course, when they’re stuck on the gondolas, they may want that air-conditioning. Hopefully, WDWNT’s information isn’t accurate on this subject or, if it is, Disney reconsiders. I for one want to ride comfortably in a gondola, and that means with air-conditioning blasting in my face.
Walt Disney World Rumors
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