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An Orlando Journey Into the Future

Unless you are living under a rock (which would be incredibly uncomfortable), you realize the affect that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has had on the Orlando tourism community. Everyone is filled to the brim with new projects that, they hope can match and/or topple Harry Potter in the themed and immersive environment category… or the bring in millions of people and billions of dollars category too! I thought, you can never look too far into the future… so here is a preview to what will, supposedly, make you travel to the Orlando area in the coming years!

Positive Coming Attractions:

  • This December 6th, the east coast’s Carsland equivalent will finally be unveiled in the Magic Kingdom. New Fantasyland containing: Enchanted Tales with Belle, Gaston’s Tavern, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, and officially, Storybook Circus, will FINALLY open after years of “looking-over-the-wall” photo updates. In 2013, the Princess Fairytale Hall will open, in the former Snow White’s Scary Adventures building. And the expansion will finally be ending (unless they announce a phase 2 with Pixie Hollow…I wish!) with the opening of the Seven Dwarves Mine Coaster. Can you believe that this was all announced back at the first D23 Expo in 2009?! If feels like so long ago!
  • Test Track will re-open at the end of this year after a rather extensive rehab and rethemeing. The concept of being inside of a computer seems like a great fit for an aging Future World attraction that needed a lift (and a nip…and a tuck…). We will see how Tron-y this new Test Track looks this December.
  • Although not at a theme park, I am super excited for Spiltsville to be coming to Downtown Disney. We have one in Tampa and it is an awesome place. This incarnation will be a two story, 36-lane bowling alley version of the usual 1 story, 12-lane concept. The uniqueness of Splitsville comes from two factors, first being that while you bowl, a waiter comes to your table…as it is a sit-down (or play-up?) restaurant as well as a bowling alley (BTW, best chicken tenders anywhere!). The second factor comes from the design of the place, the lanes aren’t set up in the normal long, side-by-side fashion of the old-fashioned alleys, they are scattered throughout the building giving it a much more personal experience. Get ready to bowl your brains out in late fall of this year.
  • Seaworld has also jumped on the immersive environment bandwagon by announcing Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. This will take the place of the former penguin exhibit at the park. Not a lot of details have been announced about the project as of now, but the concept art is astounding. A publicity photo was recently released and has led to speculation that the ride in the land will be using a trackless ride system similar to the one used on Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland. I am really excited to check it out in the spring of 2013.


  • This year, a lot happened at the Universal Studios Resort. The Despicable Me ride, the new nighttime water show, a daily parade and the Spiderman update all opened…while Jaws closed. The rumors are saying that a Part 2 to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be opening at the Universal Studios park sometime in the coming years. Included in the expansion would be a new indoor roller coaster and a train connecting the IOA and US Harry Potter lands. We will see if this ends up being announced sometime this year.

  • Along with that, there is another HUGE rumor revolving around a plot of land at the Studios park. The rumors (and some construction workers) are saying that the popular Transformers ride from the Hollywood park will be cloned on this coast. You may be thinking, “But wait, isn’t the same exact ride over at IOA, just with a Spiderman overlay?!”…and you would be right. The plot thickens as people are saying that they are building Transformers to be the replacement for Spiderman, as they would sell the complete theme park rights for Marvel to Disney and they would completely overhaul the Marvel Superhero Island, leaving only 1 ride with that system at the resort. Confusing, I know….but we just have to wait and see!
  • So the biggest Disney rumor is for the upcoming Avatarland. Rumors are stating that the Imagineers and James Cameron are having major conflicts and since the next 2 movies won’t be coming out until 2014 and 2015…when the expected land should be open by…the idea has been put on the back burner. In its place… Carsland coming to DHS. The land is rumored to be moving into the area currently holding the Backlot Tour and Lights, Motors, Action. This one has a good amount of credibility, especially since Kathy Magnum, the “Goddess of Carsland and all other Pixar Theme Park Projects” has been assigned to WDW. Personally, I would rather see a whole new land on the scope of Carsland (Like a Monsters Inc. Land!), but I am still uberexcited to see if this is true.

What known attraction are you most excited for? Is there any rumor that makes you want to jump for joy? Who is up for a Disney Blog Bowling Tournament at Splitsville?! Let me know in the comments below! Until next time…Have a Magical Day!

12 thoughts on “An Orlando Journey Into the Future”

  1. No interest in Carsland on either coast. So much better material could be drawn from. Glad Avatar seems to have been canned, too.

  2. I got to see a sneak peak of Enchanted Tales with Belle today, and it was awesome! If it’s a sign for the rest of New Fantasyland, the whole place is gonna be absolutely amazing (and have the best in ride technology).

  3. While Cars Land was cool, I think it’s something that should be unique to Disneyland Resort. With Epcot having Test Track, I don’t think that WDW needs another attraction featuring the same type of ride vehicle. I’m all for the backlot and Lights, Motors, Action being replaced, but replace it with something new and fresh. Maybe they can theme it to just “Pixar Place” and open a few new attractions based off of different Pixar characters, as opposed to a “Cars Land” or “Monster’s Inc. Land”, etc.

  4. I agree in that I hope they don’t just clone Cars Land into Hollywood Studios. I’d like them to enhance/expand Pixar Place by possibly adding something original or Radiator Springs Racers, Crushs Coaster, or Ratatouille Ride, as a E- ticket and one or two small D or C ticket attractions. There’s tons of room for an expansion of Pixar Place and there’s lots they can do.

    1. AddItionay, I truly hope Avatar Land gets canned. Or at the very least, only ends up being a single attraction – ala Star Tours, Indiana Jones

  5. I love that Avatar is being tabled ( hopefully canned) I thought it was a bad idea from the beginning. I have been to Carsland. It’s amazing! I loved it. And have voiced my thoughts that we needed an east coast version. ( an East coast west coast throw down car event?)
    If Festival of the Lion King or Lights Camera and The backlot tours have to go, sorry but Festival wins in my book. Oh nd the new Fantasyland is coming along nicely, I saw it yesterday.
    Sign me up for the Splitsville event!

  6. Disney needs to get the Theme park rights for the Marvel heroes and put them in Hollywood studios.
    No Carsland in DW. Keep that a DL thing. I like the fact that the different parks have different sections. A monsters Inc. land would be a great idea though!!

  7. James Cameron revealed in the MTV News an Avatar 4 should finally be done, except that it would be a PREQUEL to the Avatar 1.
    If we add to this news the last report from Screamscape about the Avatar Land saying: “Despite the rumor from IGN claiming that the Avatar project may have hit a speed bump, local sources say that the early prep work projects are moving full steam ahead, with deadlines to keep” , it seems that finally everything goes pretty well for all Avatar projects whether it is the movies or the the new land at Animal Kingdom.

  8. To begin with Disney can’t use Marvel inside their parks in Florida because of the contract between Universal Studios and Marvel. Universal had the rights to use these for Marvel characters in a theme park setting within a 250 mile radius of Universal’s Islands of Adventure
    If Universal would sell the complete theme park rights for Marvel to Disney…
    It would be great..Disney could be building Marvel Theme Park in Orlando…
    on the other hand…there’s a rumor that Cirque du Soleil might be dropping for La Nouba for a Marvel themed show.
    What has happened with the redevelopment of Pleasure Island will bring us Hyperion Wharf??
    I mean, if you take into consideration the primo location that the now-basically abandoned Pleasure Island complex occupies at Downtown Disney (i.e. between the West Side and the original WDW Shopping Village), it’s like having a smile where the front teeth have been knocked out. (In Jim Hill words)

  9. I have a few griefs with New Fantasyland that I could go on with, but those are for another day.
    Test Track refurb, appears to be the same old attraction I never cared much for in the first place, but with a half-assed Tron overlay. Looks extremely corporate driven, as well, like a giant Chevrolet commercial.
    I’m pretty sure that Splitsville has an age limit to play there after a certain time. If that is true, and particularly if they don’t make an exception for their Downtown Disney location, then what an incredibly stupid, ignorant, adultist load of a business strategy, especially for a location such as Disney World which caters to so many families.
    Sea World Antarctica, I saw the penguins exhibit last time I was there and a trackless ride system would be a significant improvement. I’ve wanted to see a TRS attraction for awhile, but I’ve yet to make the pilgrimage to TDL and ride Pooh’s Hunny Hunt.
    Harry Potter Part 2 sounds to be an incredibly interesting and promising concept if its rumors are true, connecting the two parks and all. A shame it came at the cost of Jaws, though. I’m still not entirely convinced of the necessity of that.
    I’d love to see the theme park rights to Marvel be sold to Disney (so long as they actually do something interesting with them). Transformers would be a suitable replacement to Spider-Man, I’d imagine. I enjoy Spider-Man, though.
    I find that one of Cars Land at DCA’s few redeeming qualities is the fact that it’s exclusive to the park. I’d hate to see this ruined with an east coast clone. We’ve had enough of clones, let’s actually try and bring back some uniqueness to each park. I could also imagine the land being watered down and not as grand as the original if they cloned it in DHS, probably to save money or some nonsense.
    Avatarland needs to drop dead and stay dead. I cannot imagine the nitwit who OK’d that project to start. The relevance to AK is minimal at best and, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the movie or not but, it’s not exactly the most “family friendly” film for Disney to be basing an entire land out of. Disney has too many characters of their own that they’re not making use of already, they don’t need to be borrowing anyone else’s. I still say Beastly Kingdom FTW, but oh well.

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