Sunday, June 29, 2014

What's Next For The Future ?

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


Colin said...

Totally true, they should have planned something major for every year. I still hear a lot of different rumors for the disney and universal parks though. Like Lorax ride, krustyland area, ministry of magic and Jurassic park jeeps for Universal for example and many different ones for the disney parks. I do think they're both working on a new generation of rides and that's good. Some theme park need this cough cough Walt Disney Studio park couh cough Hong Kong Disneyland cough cough Hollywood studios cough cough Animal Kingdom cough cough California Adventure. Can't wait to see the things to come. Great idea to update the Fantasyland dark rides for example. I heard Captain Hook and Peter Pan will fight the way, the audio animatronic swordfighters do in Paris. Wish I was an Imagineer to show them my ideas. Oh and btw great blog

Anonymous said...

DON'T expect a Queen of Heart in Alice to look any better. The improvements were cut.

Alain Littaye said...

If that's true that's a good news. And it also confirms what i've heard saying that Imagineers hated how the Queen of heart looked with the rear face projection technology.

Colin said...

I heard completely something else... I've heard they are still doing this. They want to do this more often you know

Anonymous said...

What about the rumour Ratatouille is a testcase. If it is a proven success in terms of a increase of visitors a plan for investments is to be greenlit?

Alain Littaye said...

I suppose that the rumor is still valid, but if there is a massive plan of investment for DLP there won't be anything new anyway before 2016. The purpose of this article was to have a look at what's coming next at the SHORT term ( in case it was not clear enough ). And what i am saying is that there won't be anything really new and really exciting before 2016, except Shanghaî Disneyland, end 2015.

Alain Littaye said...

Yes Colin, they want to do these rear face projection Audio-animatronics more often, but it's especially Disney who wants it, because they save a lot of money in the making and maintenance with this. But WDI Imagineers have apparently a different feeling about this, considering it must not be done each time, or on each AA character. Personally i think it works well on non human or cartoonish characters, the seven dwarfs are probably the limit, because although they're human their design is somewhat cartoonish. They would have use this rear face projection on Snow White it would have been terrible. And you'll notice they didn't did it, as well as on the witch, at the end.

mr.Lime said...

About the massive investment plan for DLP ... let's assume the big IF is true and Disney will invest ...
I think for DLP it will depend on what your definition of NEW exactly is (for both short and long term plans).

In 2015 DLP will (almost certainly) get Space Mountain "mission 3" which will contain new ride vehicles and a re-theme (probably a return to the moon). And in 2016 the new Star Tours will (finally) come to Paris. But how "new" are these two upgrades really? And yes, I do know both upgrades haven't been officially confirmed yet.

The same for WDS when the next couple of years the Backlot will get a superheroes theme (Marvel + the Incredibles). It will be a re-theme of existing attractions / restaurants ... so how "new" is all this? And yes, again I do know this re-theming hasn't been officially confirmed yet.

But even DLP's long term (rumoured) plans are not really "new" ... TSMania for WDS and Soarin' for Adventureland. Surely both are very new for DLP, but not really new in Disney's themepark universe.

So for DLP, I think the marvelous Ratatouille ride will be the only completely NEW attraction for quite a lot of years. Of course, all the upgrades, re-theming and new attractions mentioned above are absolutely necessary (!!!!!) to keep DLP relevant for future generations. So no complaining if they succeed in completing all these (rumoured) plans.

David N said...

Well, I'd say the fact that there is nothing big planned for DLP isn't such a bad news. It finally frees resources for long needed refurbishments and upgrades E.g. the new Star Tours, or new cars for Space Mountain, or the rumoured BTM-upgrade (+1 car). And lets not forget the Hotel and Disney-Village Update/Refurbishments and the Village Nature-Project. So after all, its not that bad, isn't it?