So, Ratatouille and Diagon Alley will open officially in the next two weeks, and then, what's next coming soon at Disney or Universal theme parks? Well, nothing. No new ride really great will come soon and not before a long time so Disney fans better be patient. Okay, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open this summer at Universal Studios Japan ( but not before 2016 at Universal Hollywood ) and the new Disney Paint the Night night parade will debut at HKDL this fall but in terms of new attractions you can't expect anything before the opening of Shanghaî Disneyland at the very end of 2015 and not before 2016 in the U.S when they will introduce the new Soarin' movie at DCA and Epcot.
Sure, there will be new parades and new shows here and there but for the most it will be "business as usual" with Halloween Season, Christmas Holiday season, Spring or Summer season at DLP, etc... Disney fans in SoCal will be more lucky with Disneyland 60th Anniversary and the upgrades of Peter Pan's Flight, Mr Toad Wild Ride and Alice in Wonderland in which the new faces projection system used in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train audio-Animatronics will be introduced - you can expect a Queen of Heart in the Alice ride looking more angry than ever - and may be a new interactive night parade similar to the one coming at HKDL. But except if WDI Imagineers succeed to transform Epcot Maelstrom in a Frozen ride before 2016 i'm afraid we might have to wait at least 18 months to see new exciting rides. And this will be for the lucky ones who will go to Shanghaî Disneyland...
In the meantime the creatives guys of Universal Orlando who succeed to build new rides in less time than it takes me to write it should have in stock new surprises for us, starting by the rumored King Kong Skull Island at Islands of Adventure. But here too it should be a ride similar to the one that guests can currently enjoy at Universal Hollywood, so nothing really really new.
SO, in terms of timing here is what we can expect in Disney Parks:
Fall 2014: HKDL: Disney Paint the Night Parade
2015: Disneyland California: Peter Pan, Mr Toad and Alice in Wonderland Dark Rides Upgrades
2015: Tokyo Disney Sea Mermaid Lagoon Theater: New Mermaid show
End 2015: Shanghai Disneyland Park Opening
2016: DCA - Epcot: Soarin' over the World
2016: HKDL: Iron Man Experience
2017: Disney's Animal kingdom: Pandora, the Land of Avatar
To this you can add the rumor of Star Wars : The Adventure Continues for DLP Discoveryland in 2016 ( but it definitely need to be confirmed ) and another rumored small addition for HKDL Fantasyland in 2015, also to be confirmed. Basically it means that you'll have to wait until 2016 to enjoy attractions that you've never seen before, or to purchase a return flight ticket to Shanghaî to be "wowed" by rides you won't see anywhere else.
And Star Wars land, you ask? Well, as Mice Age announced months ago Star Wars land is for now in stand-by. The development cost of My Magic + was supposed to be the reason why but from what i've been told it seems that there is another reason. Apparently Disney suddenly realized that the first Star Wars trilogy, the one which founded the SW mythology was released 30 years ago, meaning that the fans are now in their 40's or 50's and Disney prefer to wait for the release of the new trilogy to see how today's new generations react. And then they will choose the rides to be include in Star Wars land. It means that you might have attractions that would be related to the upcoming trilogy instead than the old ones. Which also might mean to say goodbye to the rumored SW speeder bikes ride.
But may be there is another reason in the delay of Star Wars land - previously scheduled in the 2013 WDC 10 years plan to open in 2017 and 2018 at DL and WDW DHS - and this could be that they keep it for the long rumored third park at Anaheim. We'll see what happen but it would be a good idea if they could remember that it's not young kids who pay for the park tickets but their parents, and these are the ones of the first SW fans generations who grew up with the first trilogy. So a mix of rides inspired by both the old and new trilogies might be a good idea to satisfy everyone, if you see what i mean...
As for a Marvel land, you've got plenty of time to grow up, as in the same 2013 WDC 10 years plan it was scheduled for 2020 and so far, at the exception of HKDL Iron Man Experience it seems that no changes were done for the opening date.
That's all for today's look at the future, and tomorrow we'll talk about Shanghaî Disneyland and something that looks strange to me, so don't miss it!
Note: The picture at the top is of course coming from the beloved and now extinct Horizons attraction and is here only to illustrate this article about the "future". Meaning that no ride looking like this or a Horizons resurrection can be expected.
Picture: copyright Disney