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Disney announces opening date for Pandora – The World of Avatar, other new lands

Today was the quarterly earnings call for The Wat Disney Company. There is always a little bit of news of interest to theme park fans, but today was a bonanza.

Shanghai Disneyland has welcomed 7 million guests and is on track to greet 10 million guests in its first 365 days. It is also expected to pay off its debt later in 2017. Not too shabby. Paris Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland are reported to be doing better despite obstacles faced by both.

We knew Disneyland’s version of the Star Wars themed Land would open in 2019, but now we also know that Walt Disney World’s version is opening in 2019 as well. My guess is not the same date though as construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is months behind the work at Disneyland. No mention of Toy Story Land, but it had been scheduled for a 2018 opening.

Pandora – The World of Avatar was scheduled to open in Spring of 2017, now we know that the grand opening will be on May 27th. It’s likely there will be preview days, possibly ticketed events before that.

The social media moms convention had a sneak preview of Rivers of Light tonight, but no official opening of the show was mentioned on the call. Rumors are that it will open this weekend or next.

Overall Disney’s theme park audience diminished by about 5%. Disney blames last year’s 60th Anniversary at Disneyland, Hurricane Matthew, and the timing of New Year’s Eve. But the good news is that those who are there are staying on property (hotel occupancy was at 91%, which is high) and people are generally spending more on food and other items while at the parks.

If you’re interested in listening to the whole call and Q&A session. Head to Disney’s Investor Relations page.

How do you feel about the direction Disney’s theme parks are going?