– Reported by Theme Park Tourist
By Amanda Kondolojy, Tuesday, September 6, 2016 20:33
In today’s world of whispers, leaks and rumors, it seems some form of gossip precedes pretty much every Walt Disney World ride announcement. Almost nothing is a surprise anymore. We knew all about the plan to turn Maelstorm into Frozen almost half a year before it was announced, and though it seemed ridiculous at the time, rumors about the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure turning into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction actually turned out to be true (much to the chagrin of pretty much everyone)
Though it’s true that anything can change in a moment, (even after it is announced) here are some of the biggest rumored (but still unconfirmed) rides that are currently in development for Walt Disney World.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster at Epcot
Though we initially reported on the rumor that a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction of some sort would be moving into Epcot’s Future World several weeks ago, more information has come to light in recent weeks that seems to imply that the current Universe of Energy building will actually be demolished to make way for a new roller coaster that is themed to this franchise.
This would be a very interesting development indeed for this project, as it would be the first roller coaster ever constructed at Epcot, and will be the third thrill ride in Future World (we’re counting Test Track and Mission: Space as thrill rides, and not Sum of all Thrills, as the latter is slated to close in just a few weeks).
However, the downside to what could be a very ambitious project at Epcot is that, like almost anything at Disney, this rumored new attraction could take several years to develop and construct. Though we’d welcome the creation of a new, original ride that isn’t just an overlay of an existing attraction, if this rumor does prove to be true, it could be 2018 or even 2019 before this new attraction sees the light of day. And by this time, who knows whether the Guardians of the Galaxy will be as relevant as it is today? Many have criticized Disney for not looking forward with the Avatar franchise (which is barely in the public lexicon these days, even though it is getting its own land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), and sinking a lot of time, money and resources into an elaborate thrill ride themed to this highly-specific franchise could be a similar mis-step.
2. Wreck-It Ralph VR experience at the Magic Kingdom
While Virtual Reality may not have made the big splash yet that many are expecting it to among regular consumers, it looks like the future of this technology may actually lie outside the home, inside theme parks. And interestingly, if rumors are to be believed, Disney could be leading the charge here with a full VR-based attraction that is rumored to be coming to Tomorrowland based on the world of Wreck-It Ralph.
According to those with knowledge of the situation, Disney is currently developing plans to create an interactive attraction that would allow guests to strap on a headset and then digitally enter the world of the Sugar Rush video game that is presented in the film. Once there, guests would be able to use controls onboard an individual simulator to virtually “race” against other guests.
This new experience is reportedly being designed to take over the space currently occupied by everyone’s least favorite attraction, Stitch’s Great Escape, which could be closing as early as this fall to make way for this untitled experience. However, it could be some time before this new attraction opens as rumors indicate that the two theaters inside Stitch’s Great Escape will need to be extensively remodeled to make way for a new seating style that would include both the simulators as well as the virtual reality technology needed for this new attraction. Now while this all sounds good in theory, this ride configuration would only allow for about two dozen guests to experience the ride per five minute cycle, which would result in a pretty low hourly capacity and could drive up wait times if this rumored new experience proves to be popular.
3. A new dark ride at the center of Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Several weeks ago we reported how sources posting on the WDWMagic forums, have said that Disney has informed TCM that their sponsorship of The Great Movie Ride will come to not be up for renewal in 2018. Following this, Disney will remove the existing ride, leave the existing show building, and replace it with another dark ride-style attraction (in the same show building), possibly for launch in 2018.
This rumor seemed especially strange when it first surfaced, as Disney just came off of a lengthy refurbishment for this ride that brought TCM branding to the attraction, new narration by TCM personality Robert Osborne, and an updated pre- and post-show. And unlike other recent rumors, no new details have surfaced about what might be happening with this ride, which makes it seem potentially less likely. Adding complications to this rumor is the fact that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is already suffering with a lack of attractions, and it wouldn’t make sense to shut down yet another ride before the opening of Star Wars Land or Toy Story Land. Still, some well-placed sources are insisting this project is still moving forward at this moment, which is why this potential new attraction is still on our list.
Right now, all three of these projects remain completely unconfirmed, and as we’ve seen in the past, plans can change at any time. However, rumors surrounding these three attractions have continued to swirl in recent weeks, and could hint at a very IP-driven future for Walt Disney World parks. What do you think about these potential new projects? Which one would you be most interested in experiencing?
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