As indicated in our post at the end of June, (Is Star Wars Land Coming to WDW?) the timing could not be better to build the rumored Star Wars Land in Disney World. So the question becomes, where will they build it? Avatar Land is already in development at the Animal Kingdom, so we can cross that much maligned park off the list. Magic Kingdom recently unveiled the Fantasyland expansion, which will conclude with the opening of the Seven Dwarves Mine Train Ride in 2014, so we can safely assume that Star Wars Land is
not being built in Disney's most popular park. Although Epcot could use some new additions, Star Wars Land would really not fit the theming of Disney World's second oldest park. The remaining park already hosts a Star Wars attraction and an annual Star Wars themed event, is themed toward movies, and seems like the most obvious park in which to develop it. Hollywood Studios, get ready for a Star Wars Land!
As mentioned in our last post, Hollywood Studios was the first Disney park to feature an attraction themed after a movie not released by Disney, so the recently updated Star Tours: The Adventure Continues would provide the perfect anchor for this rumored Star Wars Land. But where in the park would Disney plan this expansion? With many citing that the Indiana Jones Stunt Show has seen its better days, it is possible that the expansion could extend to the left of the current Star Tours and include the site of this show’s theater, performance stage, and backstage areas. The Indy show was (almost) an original attraction (opening a few months after the park's official opening) and it is one the most
entertaining of Disney's shows, so it would be sad to see it go. However, in the fourteen years since its debut, the show has remained essentially the same and there are those detractors who say it is out of date and needs to go. In addition, the fact that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did little to revitalize the franchise leads one to believe that Indy's best days may be behind him.
Situated between the Indy site and Star Tours is the Backlot Express counter service restaurant, which would also have to be replaced or reconfigured as a Star Wars themed restaurant if this area is to become part of the new Star Wars land. While the footprint of the Indy Stunt Show and the Backlot Express make up a significant portion of Hollywood Studios, one wonders if it is enough space on which to develop an entire “land.” Some internet rumors speculate that the
expansion could extend in the other direction (to the right of Star Tours’s Tatooine Traders merchandise shop, where it would displace Muppet Vision 3D, which has also been accused of having seen its better days, and perhaps the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, which is certainly not a must see attraction for anyone over the age of ten.
Could a possible expansion go further than those boundaries? Would Disney expand beyond the current guest accessible areas and not replace one or both of these attractions? It's possible, and it could be a combination of replacement and expansion beyond the current boundaries. Although, if the decision is to remove one attraction, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure is the more likely choice.
There have also been numerous internet rumblings about an Orlando version of Cars Land, the expansion that has revitalized a fizzling Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim. Where would Carsland be situated if it too is an eminent reality in the House That Walt Built? Rumors have it replacing the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show (click the link for our post on this attraction Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Disney Hollwood Studios ) and the Studio Backlot Tour. While the Backlot Tour may not be a can’t miss attraction at the Studios as is it is currently constituted, portions of it, do have their appeal, These attractions consume a significant amount of park space, so it easy to imagine that there is room to build Cars Land on their current footprint.
So it seems that the 2010's will be a period of growth and expansion not only for Disney's film releases (with Disney, Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel all tripping over each other at the box office in the coming years), but also at the Disney Parks, particularly Walt Disney World. There are a lot of great projects on the horizon (if the rumors are to be believed) and that is great news for WDW fans. On the flip side, for WDW veterans, it may be time to part with some attractions that they grew up loving and are as comfortable now as an old broken in shoe.
Which of the attractions that we referenced above as possibly being replaced would you be most upset to see go? Leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you.
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