7 Walt Disney World Upgrades I would like to see.

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There’s a lot of talk about a major upgrade coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom is getting a whole land based on James Cameron’s Avatar. Both big projects that will help Disney stay relevant for another generation. But there are some smaller projects Disney could implement on a shorter timescale that would also have a big Impact.

1. Night time parade at the Magic Kingdom – With “Festival of Fantasy,” the Magic Kingdom finally has a modern day parade, now it’s time to re-light the night. It’s time to ditch the 70s era tech of the Electrical Parade and paint the street and sky with a parade as-yet unseen in the states. There are a couple candidates out there in Asian parks, but I’d also be happy to see something original.

2. Rivers of America – First, Disney needs to bring back more boats to the river, something like a steamboat from “The Princess and the Frog” would do nicely. Then they need to upgrade existing show scenes and add more to make a cohesive story. Ideally, the River would transform at night into a dinner or dessert cruise with a Jazz Band aboard the new ship.

3. Conservation station/ Rafiki’s Planet Watch – Update the animal care message, include more success stories (Disney has a ton of them), remove train and add more up close animal encounters with new-to-the-park animals. I suggest animals from Polynesia / Australia to capitalize on upcoming movies and Finding Nemo.

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4. Chester & Hester’s Dinorama – With that area of the park about to receive a night show in River’s of Light, it’s time to get ride of the road side eyesore that is Chester & Hester’s Dinorama once and for all. Instead it should be the very nature theme oriented area with elements from Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life.” This will add more kid friendly rides, much needed shade, and help make the park an all-day experience for all sorts of families.

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5. At EPCOT it’s almost easier to name the attractions that don’t need an update. But we’ll try to pick just two. American Adventure is perfect as it is, if you’re stuck in 1993 when it was last modified. (Yes, they added 45 seconds to the montage in 2007, but that hardly counts.) It deserves new scenes and a new ending montage, but keep the song. Maybe bring in that 3rd narrator, someone who can take America well into the future – may I suggest – Oprah or John Stewart.

6. France pavilion – This one is easy. Ditch the outdated movie, bring on the Rat. Add Remy and palls with the Ratatouille ride. The whole pavilion doesn’t need a makeover (keep the restaurants as they are, in other words), but add a new attraction to the World Showcase, please.

7. ESPN WWOS – For millions of pro & amateur athletes who visit each year, this already is Disney’s 5th gate. But there needs to be more reasons for the day guests to visit. Finally, build that bowling alley, add an ESPN production studio that films a live show with regular sports celebrities as guests and a live audience, and add a pro-team caliber workout facility (weights, lap pool, treadmills, etc ) for APs and resort guests.

I left some major projects off the list (for instance a fix to the transportation problems) but I think the above would be a great start. What other upgrades would you like to see at Walt Disney World?

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25 thoughts on “7 Walt Disney World Upgrades I would like to see.

  1. Hank Scorpio

    Epcot must have more rides if they want FP+ to work at the park. As it stands now, FP+ just does not work there. With so few attractions worthy of FP+ reservations, people are making reservations for rides/attractions that should not have FP in the first place. Which increases lines and waits at those rides.

    I would turn the Outpost section of World Showcase into a real pavilion. South America is not currently represented in WS so my choice would be Brazil with a ride down the Amazon.

    I’m on board with the suggestion from the blog about adding a ride in France.

    Maybe something in Germany or Italy with the Alps. A coaster perhaps. Or a simulator.

    Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios suffer from the same basic thing but it appears Disney is already deep into plans to address both.

  2. Robert

    I agree with the aforementioned upgrades. I would also like Disney to remove the alien ride (stitch) from the MK. Then move any Pixar rides or shows from MK to HS (eg. The laugh floor).

  3. Dan Heaton

    I’m with you on most of these, but I have to disagree on the France movie. I think it’s the one example of a film that doesn’t seem outdated and feels timeless. I can’t say the same about a lot of Future World.

  4. Mark P.

    The France movie is one of my favorite Epcot attractions. The music is awesome and powerful! Too bad they can’t upgrade the film to hi-def without loosing its character.

    1. Jim Robinson

      I totally agree with your comment, But, it can be upgraded. Remastering the original film is easy to do and has already been done with classics like Gone with the Wind, Casablanca and countless others that were shot on film originally. They have all been digitally restored from the original master, and are now on Blue ray in better quality. They can easily to this in the France movie and not only would you keep the character of the film, but the color vibrancy and clarity would be much better than it is now.

  5. juliet

    I really agree with most everything mentioned on the blog. Would love to see a Ratatouille ride in France and the River boat idea! Also love the parades, day and night, and would love to see new upgrades but not necessarily taking away the favorites we love.

  6. Marshal Knight

    Having actually gone to WWOS for my first time in May, it is a crazy nice complex, so adding some activities for day guests would be great.

  7. Monorail

    Perhaps WDW can purchase the dilapidated Mark Twain from DLP and two it over for a reubild.

    The problem with nighttime dessert / dinner cruises on the ROA is that the cruise would have to be exceptionall slow or would have to circle the river multiple times–neither particularly inviting.

    <>

    No, no, no, you may not.

  8. Monorail

    OK. That didn’t work. *Tow, not two. *Exceptionally, not exceptionall. The quote I tried to insert but failed at was:

    “may I suggest – Oprah or John Stewart.”

    No, no, no, you may not. Blech.

    1. Tony

      “may I suggest – Oprah or John Stewart.”

      No, no, no, you may not. Blech.

      Surely he was joking about that.

    2. Charles

      “may I suggest – Oprah or John Stewart.”

      Really? Two of the loudest pro-socialist voices out there? No. How about someone who truly understood and embraced free market enterprise … like say Walt Disney.

      Also, if Disney ever gets rid of the Main Street Electrical parade, I will scream.

      1. Monorail

        Don’t scream. Just reminisce fondly. They’ve gotten rid of it several times before (I still own a lightbulb that surely never was in the parade). :O) Hope for the best that if it goes away, it will be replaced by something better.

  9. Geoff

    Robert says:
    move any Pixar rides or shows from MK to HS (eg. The laugh floor).

    ————–

    Excellent idea. Those are two large buildings in Tomorrowland that could then be changed into something more tomorrowy land.

    Actually, kill the Stitch show once and for all, and move laugh floor to Pixar Place. They have a large open building next to TSM that could probably be re-purposed quickly and cheaply.

  10. Jim Robinson

    All of the film in all the parks need to be redone in digital video like in every movie theater in the country. Hall of presidents is a great example of how it CAN be restored in GREAT quality. They need to duplicate what they did there everywhere else. The massive offenders are China and Canada circlevisions, France theater (disagree about being reshot, just needs to be remastered) and the two WORST of all, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and Captain Eo! Have imagineers gone and seen a 3D movie in the theater lately? They were ahead of their time when they opened, but they are embarrassing now.

    1. Monorail

      Everyone seems to forget that film projection has a higher resolution than any digital projection. Fading, scratching, dust . . . OK, there are drawbacks. But resolution is not one of them.

  11. Maureen

    Agree about all 3D movies. Muppetvision 3D and Philharmagic are no longer cutting edge or modern. You can see better effects at the local multiplex. And good grief, dump that horrible Stich attraction. The worst.

  12. Peter

    I would like to see more 3rd part involvement in Epcot’s future world–like Disneyland was in the beginning (without the 3rd party problems of the 1950s). Imagine major tech fairs at innoventions, instead of the filler that’s there now. Technology is moving much faster now than in 1980. There is no shortage of new ideas to showcase.

    It doesn’t look like the imagination pavilion will ever return to any glory it had before. Imagine (no pun intended) a new imagination pavilion, perhaps dedicated to imagineering or Pixar tech?

    1. John Frost Post author

      Unfortunately, companies just don’t want to pay for space at EPCOT anymore. Any ideas one how to make them drop a million or two a year to sponsor an pavilion, not to mention the initial funds to build out the exhibit?

      1. Bailers

        Tie it in to Avengers, but play up the Agents of Shield part instead of the actual Avengers. Like using Google Maps to help search for superheroes, or Verizon 4G LTE technology to communicate with teams around the world.

        Gives them that Marvel tie in that they otherwise couldn’t have at Disney World.

      2. Bailers

        Bah, I should have said search for Hydra agents.

        And of course, many of the screens on consoles could be replaced by Samsung Galaxy Tablets built in.

  13. Jessi

    Having just watched the American Adventure for the first time in a number of years, we were surprised to see Lance Armstrong still featured – it is definitely time for an upgrade on the montage, if not the whole thing. However, having witnessed the adorable elementary school girl behind me squeal and go “Mommy, we learned that in class” or “That’s the Mayflower!”, etc every time she saw something she knew – it makes it more apparent that there is something to be said for history and trying not to modernize everything.

    Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Electrical Parade as is, synthesized music and all. It’s charming and cute, and for kids it’s up close and fun. Just because super fancy technology exists doesn’t mean every parade and show has to use it.

    On the other hand, yes, Disney’s 3D shows need makeovers, and EO just needs to go!

    And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring back Dreamfinder and the original Figment ride. And let us back into the top of the pavilion to play in the rainbow tunnel!!!!

  14. Brian Geraghty

    I generally try to be nice but honestly you’re wrong on about half of these. In general you’re right that many, many things need updating in WDW, but your top picks aren’t the best. As many people have already pointed out the movie on France is timeless and should remain. WWOS was never meant to be and never will be a draw beyond the the people who have to go there for events. While its true AK needs A LOT OF HELP the first thing they need to do is figure out a way to improve the Kilimanjaro Safari. They’ve dropped the most of “we were going on a safari schtick” but after at least a half a dozen trip I’ve yet to see a lion. I’ve even got there first thing in the morning on a extra magic hour day and still saw nothing. For the most part all I’ve ever seen is some type of deer, whether they’re called impalas, gazels, or antelope. The carny rides are better than the marque attractions so unless they come up with something off the charts I believe they should stay. As for EPCOT the American Adventure is something that will never be truly up to date. Like TomorrowLand and Future World as soon as you build it it will be out of date, sure it can be brought a little more up to date but forget Jon Stewart and Oprah. Believe it of not there are a lot of people who have no use for either of them. As for a new nighttime parade in MK I’m open to that and I thought the Princess and the Frog riverboat promo was excellent so if they can come up with something else like that I’m game.

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