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Rumor: Guardians of the Galaxy is Coming to Epcot


Guardians of the Galaxy Meet

A few months ago, there was a crazy rumor that the brain trust at Disney had decided to retheme one of its signature theme park attractions, The Tower of Terror.  Since its debut in 1994, the ride has tied in to the classic TV show, The Twilight Zone.  But in an effort to save a few bucks on an intellectual property Disney doesn’t own as well as promoting a property it does, management was seriously considering ditching the existing theme for Guardians of the Galaxy – the popular Marvel franchise which has nothing whatsoever to do with a haunted hotel.

WDW1974, the insider who posted the original rumor, has provided an update.  According to him, Orlando’s tower has been spared.  The one in Anaheim may still become the home of a talking tree and gun-totting raccoon.  But that’s a West Coast problem.  Sorry, Disneylanders.  That doesn’t mean Disney has given up on putting Star-Lord and Gamora in Orlando either.

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Disney World to Charge More for Less in 2016


cinderella-castle-disney-world

I wanted my next Disney World article to be a positive story.  I really did.  The last several Disney World updates I have done have been critical of Disney’s management of the Orlando resort.  There have been some managerial shake-ups which should lead to some positive developments down the line.  But those are going to take time.  The news for 2016 is unfortunately pretty grim.  Made worse by events halfway around the world.  If you are planning a trip to Disney World this year, expect to pay more than ever for a greatly diminished product.

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What’s Coming to Disney World: Star Wars, Toy Story, Avatar and Frozen


Star Wars Launch Bay Concept Art

It’s been a while since I have discussed new projects at Walt Disney World because frankly, there hasn’t been much to discuss.  It seems like ages since we were scrutinizing concept art for the New Fantasyland Project which is understandable since that expansion was initially announced six years ago.  To put that into perspective, my first-grader was an infant when the last major Disney World project was announced.  Last summer, we visited the Magic Kingdom just as the project was completed.  Things move slowly at Disney World in the 21st century.

For the last several years while New Fantasyland was being built, Hyperion Wharf was announced and then replaced with Disney Springs and Magic Bands became a thing, there haven’t been a lot of new developments that Disney fans could get excited about.  The announcement of an Avatar-themed expansion went over like a fart in church.  And the Frozen-themed make-over over Maelstrom at Epcot has been controversial to say the least.  There were rumors of good things to come, but for several frustrating years they remained only rumors.

This year at Disney’s D23 convention, those rumors were finally confirmed.  Details were few and far between.  But coupled with the projects which had already been announced, we’ve got a pretty good idea of where Disney World is headed over the next several years.  So it seems like as good a time as any to assess the up-coming projects and rank them in terms of their overall potential and my personal excitement level.

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Epcot World Showcase Bracket Game: France vs. Germany


Flag-Pins-France-Germany

In the beginning, EPCOT was designed by Walt Disney as the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow”, a futurist’s dream, what was to be a showcase of ingenuity and innovation. The idea of an entire showcase metropolis to be built in the orange groves of Central Florida passed away along with Walt, but his vision remained, albeit tweaked.

With the Magic Kingdom having been a major success, plans for a followup park were set in motion. Imagineers were conflicted on the park’s unifying theme, however. Some wanted to solely exhibit the showcase of Tomorrow that Walt had pictured, others wanted a World’s Fair-style display of the world’s nations and cultures.

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Disney in the Seventies


Disney on Parade Lunchbox

The seventies are considered by many to be one of the greatest decades in movie history.  But among Disney fans, the 70’s are regarded as a dark period.  Walt Disney, the creative visionary who founded the company, died in 1966.  In the wake of his passing, the company struggled with how to move on without their leader.  The company did some great things in the seventies.  But the lack of leadership was evident in many ways.

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Disney’s $2 Billion Dollar Boondoggle


Magic Band

Previously, I examined the capacity issues at Walt Disney World Resort.  Despite increased attendance and ever-increasing prices, Disney has been reluctant to invest heavily in new attractions.  The end result is that the parks – the Magic Kingdom in particular – are more crowded (and expensive) than ever.  The value of a day at Disney World is less than it once was.

As we saw in the previous article, Disney has been reinvesting less money into its domestic parks than it used to.  But what is even more frustrating is the way in which Disney has chosen to reinvest in the parks.  At Disney World, that has meant spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion dollars on the “Next Gen” project while making only modest investments in attractions.

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Disney World War Z


Disney World War Z

Regular readers of Le Blog know that I am nothing if not a compulsive planner.  This is especially true of my semi-regular trips to Walt Disney World.  I try to plan for every eventuality.  What do we do if it rains?  What’s our back-up plan if a ride breaks down?  Where do we go in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

There’s a lot of Disney World planning tools out there that will help you with the first two questions.  But there are surprisingly few resources available to help you out in the event of a zombie attack at Disney World.  Until now.

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Disney Rumors: Hollywood Studios Makeover a Go!


dhs hat

As the Fantasyland Expansion project neared completion, speculation ran rampant regarding Disney’s next big project in Orlando.  When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, that speculation turned to Hollywood Studios.  Specifically, fans wanted a Star Wars Land.  Over the last couple of years, rumors of a California Adventure-style make-over have been percolating.  But budget-conscious Disney has been slow to pull the trigger.

At long last, that appears to have changed.

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Disney World Rumor Round-Up: Hollywood Studios Changes


Backlot Tour

It’s been a while since I posted any Disney World rumors around here.  Partially, that’s because there hasn’t been much worth reporting.  But also, I have been a bit gun shy since I jumped on the bandwagon regarding the rumors that Star Wars and/or Carsland was coming to Hollywood Studios.  That rumor was all the rage in June of 2013, but nothing ever came of it.  Why not?

Supposedly, there there really was something to that rumor.  Disney has plans for Star Wars projects for all of its properties.  All they have to do is green-light the funding.  That was close to happening in 2013, but obviously Disney got cold feet.  Now here we are over a year later and something is clearly going on at Hollywood Studios.  But what it is exactly isn’t clear.

Let’s look at some of the possibilities.

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Tips and Strategies For Using FastPass+ at Disney World


FastPass + entrance

For the last few years, Disney has been rolling out its latest ride reservation system called FastPass+.  The system is similar to the previous FastPass system with a few key differences.  Although Disney continues to tweak the system, what we have now is likely to be pretty close to the final version of the product.  In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to use the new system and use it efficiently.

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New Fantasyland Review: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train


seven dwarfs concept art

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: Festival of Fantasy Parade


Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Coming to Magic Kingdom in 2014

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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New Fantasyland Review: Tangled and Princess Fairytale Hall



Princess Fairytale Hall Concept Art

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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