Disney Themeparks, what’s next?

Disney issued a press release today outlining the upcoming changes and attractions at Disney’s world wide theme parks. Now, normally when you release some news on a Friday you’re hoping to bury it over the weekend. But this being a holiday weekend they may be hoping to pick up on some slow news time for extended coverage. Who knows.

No big news was announced. But here’s the roundup if you’re interested:

At Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort, a massive recreation of the Himalayas is the setting for a thrilling adventure called Expedition Everest, scheduled to open in April 2006 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In their quest to bring authenticity to this new attraction, Walt Disney Imagineers partnered with Discovery Networks and Conservation International in a scientific expedition to the Himalayas for a first-hand exploration of the legend of the mysterious Yeti.

"Our passion for bringing great stories to life has taken Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to amazing places over the last 50 years," said Rasulo. "Over the next 50 years, we will continue to scale new heights in our ongoing quest to create great experiences for our Guests."

In California, the Disneyland Resort is bringing to life a popular creative franchise with Monsters Inc: Mike & Sully to the Rescue, which will open at Disney’s California Adventure on January 23, 2006. And in 2007, new technology will take Disney storytelling to the next level as the "subs" return to Disneyland in Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. In this all-new adventure, Guests will travel to the undersea world of "Finding Nemo," where they’ll see and interact with characters that appear exactly as they do in the Disney/Pixar Animated Studios film.

At Hong Kong Disneyland, Autopia, a classic Disney favorite, will let Guests of all ages drive along futuristic highways through surreal, out-of-this world landscapes. It will be the first Autopia with electric powered vehicles — and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2006.

Disneyland Resort Paris also plans several major new attractions to open over the next three years. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, based on the highly popular attractions at other Disney parks around the world, will open at the Disneyland Park in 2006. In 2007, Walt Disney Studios Park will add a new land called Toon Studios, which will immerse Guests in the magical world of Disney’s animated movies. And in 2008, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will come to Disney Studios — plunging Guests into a thrilling experience based on the iconic attraction at other Disney parks.

In the fall of 2006, Tokyo DisneySea also will open its own Tower of Terror.

Disney Cruise Line will offer Guests new experiences as well in 2006. In May, a new seven-night itinerary will be available that includes two stops at Disney’s private-island getaway, Castaway Cay. The itinerary will also include a stop at Cozumel and a new port of call — Costa Maya. Additionally, in September the Disney Wonder will embark on two extended itineraries — one 10-night and one 11-night cruise to Southern Caribbean ports, including Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, Antigua and Castaway Cay.

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