rumor

Origins of Walt Disney is Frozen Urban Legend

One of the enduring urban legends surrounding Walt Disney was that after he died from lung cancer in 1966 his body (just his head in some versions) was cryogenically preserved so that future generations could enjoy his genius once the technology to reanimate the dead… Read More »Origins of Walt Disney is Frozen Urban Legend

Disney Springs Construction Underway in Earnest

The first signs of serious construction on the announced Disney Springs makeover of Downtown Disney has begun. Disney recently announced a plan for the limited parking the construction is expected to create and now video of Pleasure Island’s Comedy Warehouse being dismantled was aired on… Read More »Disney Springs Construction Underway in Earnest

Return of the Orlando Theme Park Wars?

Concept art for Star Wars mini-park planned for Disneyland Paris

Concept art for Star Wars mini-park planned for Disneyland Paris

Orlando in the 1990’s was bookended by stiff competition between Disney and its rival Universal Studios. When Michael Eisner got wind that Disneyland’s cross-town rival Universal Studios was preparing to open in Orlando as well, he rushed the mouse’s plans for its own studio theme park into production, even opening a whole year ahead of Universal. Universal returned the favor by firing back with Islands of Adventure, which contained rethemed versions of the Beastly Kingdom attractions Disney had cut from its Animal Kingdom project just a year earlier. Universal even hired a lot of the Imagineers Disney had just laid off to help make IOA a quality theme park.

And then things calmed down for nearly a decade. Disney kept churning out new attractions (Expedition Everest, Toy Story Midway Mania to name two) while Universal Studios was the forgotten step-child in a larger corporation that was dealing with ownership and financial problems. Eventually that got all sorted out and two things happened that turned around the fortunes at Universal Orlando Resort.

First, Universal got the theme park rights to use the Kuka robotic arm roller coaster that everyone was excited about at IAAPA in 2004. Second, it was able to convince Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling that they would be better caretakers for her story than Disney. The Kuka robocoaster win had something to do with that, but Universal was also willing to give Rowling final approval on nearly every detail. Disney would not.

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Avatar Model

Avatar On Track for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Three years ago today Avatar debuted on the big screen and changed the way cinema was experienced forever. It might take 3 more years before it opens, but we did get confirmation that a project that would build Avatar’s Pandora is still on track for… Read More »Avatar On Track for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Believe in Fantasy Speculation

The official opening of New Fantasyland is just around the corner. As Disney is wont to do, they have arranged a press event around the opening and announced a special look at what’s next for the Walt Disney World Resort coming toward the end that… Read More »Believe in Fantasy Speculation

LaSalle

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Update

Pirates of the Caribbean

Map for Fountain of Youth covers outside of Pirates exhibit

The Magic Kingdom is getting all the attention now with the New Fantasyland soft-openings and Disney’s Animal Kingdom is lined up for the next major expansion with the addition of Avatar-land to the park. The next park due for a major announcement is Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the rumor is that something big is, in fact, coming. I snuck out for a tour of the park on a windy afternoon (thanks Sandy) and found out that there is plenty of change occurring already, even without an official announcement.
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Leaked Avatar Plans

Avatar Plans for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Leaked

Your typical HVAC plan for a building isn’t all that exciting. There are color overlays showing which rooms will be cooled or heated by which unit. But when the building will be home to one of the most anticipated, not to mention heavily debated, new… Read More »Avatar Plans for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Leaked