Let’s Look at Disney’s Latest Rides and Shows!
Here at MickeyBlog, we try to keep you current on the latest goings on at Disney theme parks across the world. Recently, The Walt Disney Company has done a fantastic job of keeping their parks fresh. They’ve added new attractions and updated older ones. Plus, they’ve added some shows that should excite all Disney fans. Let’s take a look at six of the latest rides and shows at Disney theme parks!
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle!
The most exciting non-Star Wars attraction of the year isn’t available in the United States. It’s hosted at Hong Kong Disneyland. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle! is based on the Marvel characters and fits into the universe that Disney has created in Hong Kong. It’s something of a companion ride to Iron Man Experience, and Iron Man even appears during this attraction.
Both rides are located in Tomorrowland at a special area called Stark Expo. It’s Hong Kong Disneyland’s equivalent to the Marvel sections currently under development at Disneyland Paris (specifically Walt Disney Studios Park) and Disney California Adventure.
You can’t really tell it from the video, but this attraction is an updated version of Buzz Lightyear rides. Disney closed the Hong Kong one, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and built this instead. It works the same in that you ride an Omnimover and shoot at enemies. It just looks shinier because it’s fresh and new and Marvel.
Disney Villains After Hours – Maleficent at Night
Magic Kingdom just hosted the first ticketed event ever that stars Disney villains. It’s the same premise as Disney After Hours, only it comes with a special show and parade. Nobody was quite sure what to expect from such an unprecedented event. As always, Disney exceeded expectations with a thrilling affair filled with countless highlights.
One of the two that we’ll discuss is a Maleficent parade of sorts. Okay, calling it a parade is a bit of a stretch. It’s really just the magnificent Maleficent dragon parade float modified to look as intimidating as possible. The dragon’s eyes light up, it breathes fire, and it’s accompanied by a heavy metal soundtrack that is decidedly un-Disney.
A few gothic dancers who look like extras from a Mad Max movie escort Maleficent through the park. Imagineers really took a chance on this one, and the payoff is tremendous. You’re just waiting for someone to shout, “Dracarys!”
Disney Villains After Hours – Villains Unite the Night
Something that frequent theme park visitors covet is an element of surprise. They love the feeling of the unknown since so much of Walt Disney World and Disneyland are based on familiarity. Disney Villains After Hours thrilled its first batch of guests with several unique features, only one of which was advertised.
Villains Unite the Night is a stage show starring some of your favorite Disney baddies. Hades and Megara take center stage here, joined by several other deplorables like Dr. Facilier, Jafar, and the Evil Queen. When you watch the clip, you’ll see that some surprises are in store. Ax juggling is a thing now at Magic Kingdom! Who knew?
Overall, this 22-minute show is wildly entertaining and wholly original. The audience response to it is rapturous, too. Overall, Disney Villains After Hours comes across as a clever way to extend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party into the summer.
The similarities are unmistakable, but park officials wisely gave the villainous ticketed event this show as a signature event. It’s brilliant. As a final touch, it’s followed by an extended dance party hosted by DJ Spinny Spinny.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
Disney’s Hollywood Studios does shows better than any other Disney theme park. It’s their calling card, and they’ve sustained excellence in this genre for 30 years now. Anytime the park introduces a new show, it’s a huge deal. The new attraction faces lofty expectations as well.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is a grand slam. This show ostensibly teaches the audience how to drive fast enough to win the big race. In reality, it’s a cute Cars short film disguised as a show. Lightning McQueen hosts, and Imagineers have gone all out in creating a spectacularly detailed audio-animatronic. You may forget that you’re watching a talking car due to the level of immersion here. The entire presentation only lasts about 12 minutes, but it’s quite charming and oh so shiny.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Clearly the most exciting entry on this list, the new Millennium Falcon ride is the crown jewel of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at least for now. Later this year, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open. Unbelievably, park officials have indicated that it’s the better ride, which is difficult to believe since the wow factor on Smuggler’s Run is off the charts.
While watching the video, pay attention to what’s happening in the cockpit as well as onscreen. Disnehttps://mickeyblog.com/2019/06/05/ultimate-tourist-guide-flying-millennium-falcon/y’s built a believable workspace where things light up and alarms ring when you do poorly. You’ll get a soft green color on your displays when things go well. I’d recommend watching the video twice to match the in-cockpit performances with the reactions “in space.”
At its core, Smuggler’s Run is a modernized version of Star Tours. You’re in a motion simulator where the visuals in front of you impact the sensations you feel in your seat. The main difference is the gaming element, as what you do during the ride impacts what you see onscreen. Otherwise, you’re looking at a different kind of digital display that does the same thing as Star Tours. It lets you enter the Star Wars universe for a time and have a grand adventure. In other words, it allows you to live out one of your fondest dreams. What could be better than that?
Pro tip: Head to YouTube and watch several different ride videos for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. You’ll see how strong/poor performance impacts the scenes, dialogue, and other aspects. I suspect that this ride harbors some Easter eggs that people won’t discover until they get MUCH better at piloting the ship.
While all of the other videos here are from new attractions, Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris falls into a different category. Imagineers spent more than a year plussing this ride, the Parisian equivalent of Haunted Mansion. The new version clarifies some of the ambiguities from the original one that debuted all the way back in 1992.
In fact, Disney changed so much that I’m including a second video you may find enlightening. This behind-the-scenes documentary reveals the thought process that went into altering aspects of Phantom Manor. Much of the footage is in French, but Disney thoughtfully added English closed captioning so that American fans can follow along.
The gothic characteristics of Phantom Manor differentiate it from other Haunted Mansion rides around the world. It’s the spookiest one with the most terrifying backstory. Thanks to the 2019 changes, we now know that an obsessive, possessive father is responsible for all of the horrors that occurred in this part of Frontierland.
The beauty of Disney is that something’s always just around the corner. Over the next year, we’ll get new rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind. New shows and presentations like Epcot Forever, A Lion King Celebration, and Rivers of Light: We Are One are coming soon, too.
Keep reading MickeyBlog to stay current on what’s coming to Disney parks around the world! Also, contact a MickeyTravels agent to plan a trip and be one of the first to enjoy one of these exciting new attractions!