Monday, December 24, 2007

Will a " Soarin' " attraction be build at the Walt Disney Studios in the future ?

The Walt Disney Studios Hollywood Tower Hotel is now open to everybody since last saturday, and every guest who board inside the TOT elevator enjoy a spectacular view over the WDS for a few seconds when the doors of the "13th floor" open.
I mean, this kind of view.

Now, there is ANOTHER elevator at Disneyland Resort Paris which leads you to experience another kind of stunning view , and you don't even have to enter the park to enjoy it! It's totally free, perfectly legal, and it also leads to a floor where nobody lives...It is the elevator of the parking lot located near the WDS. Hundreds of people take it every day, but none of them stop at the "third" floor.
Not because it is a "cursed" floor, but simply because no car can park - for now - at this third floor. But if you get inside the elevator, and push on the "3" button, you will arrive - in less time than it took me to write it - to this 3rd floor, and then, all you have to do, is to push the door that lead to the 3rd floor parking lot. No car, nobody...a whole parking floor for you only. And one of the best view over the WDS.

Not only it's one of the best spot to take photos of the Tower of terror , whether it is by day like this one...

Or by night like this one...

But you also have a great view of the Disneyland Hotel, Sleeping Beauty castle, Space Mountain and the Walt Disney Studios entrance...

And also over the WDS Front lot , a view that includes the normally out-of-view backstage.

Now, where is the relation of all this with an eventual "Soarin'" attraction at the WDS? Well, since years, french forum DLP fans talk about a WDI map of the WDS where one can see clearly that a "Soarin over the world" attraction is planned to be built between the Cinemagique attraction and the former Disney channel - soon "Stitch encounter" building.
That's right, you've read well: a "Soarin "over the world" , not "over California". Which means very clearly that a future movie for this beloved attraction taking the guests for a flight over the world should appear in the future. After all, California is quite far from France, and there is a logic that a new movie will be done for european guests...and, too, for a version "2.0" at DCA or Epcot.

Now, when french forums DLP fans talk about it , there is always a big debate. " Do they have enough room to built it in that location?" Most of them generally think that there is not enough room to built it, and this is where i make the link with this 3rd floor parking lot.

You see, if you go near the west wall of this 3rd floor parking lot, you will have a perfect view over this "planned" location for a future Soarin' attraction - click the image below to make it bigger - and you will realize that they DO have the room to built it, even with two theatres.

The other question, of course, is : will they build it? Personnally, i still think that they will, and here is why. Some years ago, some attractions projects were proposed to another french theme park, the Futuroscope. One of them was a kind of "Soarin' " like concept - of course with a different movie , and the cost of it - without the cost of the building but including the cost of the shooting of the movie - was around 10 millions euros, not more. With only one theater, not two like in DCA or Epcot.
Add 5 millions euros for the building, and, for 15-16 millions euros, it was possible to build an attraction using the same technology than "Soarin'". For many reasons, the Futuroscope didn't choose to do it for now, but this means what? It means that, even with the usual WDI costs and another theatre, the price of a Soarin attraction is probably around 60-70 millions euros, much much less than the TOT. And for that price you have a 5 minutes "E" ticket ride that most of the guests will enjoy very much.
You don't have the spectacular outside architecture of the TOT, but you have a very popular attraction for a "reasonable" price.

So, why the park will miss an opportunity like this? A real good-popular five minutes long "E" ticket for much less than the cost of the two minutes ride of the TOT?

Also, there is another reason why we can expect a Soarin' attraction at the WDS. This part of the park is the last - with another one between the Rock and roller coaster and the stunt show - where there is still some room available to build new attractions. Once it will be done, the park will need a major expansion on the land located over the Tram tour station. Which will mean an expansion of the Hollywood Boulevard, new decors, and lot of money. Before they arrive to this point, they will undoubtedly try to use the empty spaces available in the first "part" of the WDS.

You see, there is a logic everywhere in life, even in Disney theme parks! So, believe me, they will build "Soarin'". May be not before the 2012 twentieth anniversary, as they will "capitalize" on the success of the Tower of terror during the next 2-3 years like they did when they opened Space Mountain, but they will.

Photos: copyright Disney , Alain Littaye and Alexandre Rosa


Anonymous said...

Nice article alain, but can you publish this WDI-parkplan with Soarin' on it?!

Alain Littaye said...

I wish i could!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. That proposed spot look so tiny. Are you sure Soarin' would fit into it?

Alain Littaye said...

It may looks tiny, but it's not. Also, if the imagineers have design a map including Soarin' at this place, i think we can trust them. Generally, they know what they do!

Honor Hunter said...

Not in the next year or two, but if you look past 2010 or so... it will become clearer. Expect a lot of construction in the early part of next decade. The 15th has shown the Suits that if you do something right, with good theming people come. Imagine that.

Anonymous said...

The spot you're talking about was always reservated for a Soundstudio attraction, not for soarin. But with the years, and the bad times, the need to build something spectaculair. So I hope very much it will be Soarin, but it's not clear yet