Theme Parks

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With the hype train going strong for Kong: Skull Island, March sure does feel like a long way away. It is bound to be packed all sorts of mythical monsters, dinosaurs and of course, the main attraction himself: King Kong. If you’re like us, you simply cannot wait to get your taste of all the chest-beating, Sam-Jackson-yelling action that awaits you. Fortunately, for those of you looking to get a taste of the action before it hits the big screen, you can get an incredible appetizer on the all-new Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure.

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Disney’s Frozen came out almost a year ago and people are still singing that damn “Let it Go”. It’s starting to become as obnoxious as the “It’s a Small World” tune. That’s actually the perfect example for today’s story. Just like “It’s a Small Word”, Frozen is to be inducted as yet another ride at Disney parks where passengers will be trapped on a log chute while a title track plays on an endless loop (I was once trapped on It’s a Small World for 45 minutes while the song played, so you can imagine my deep rooted horror). Hit the jump to read on more about what classic ride is being updated, as well as Disney World’s plan to transform their castle for Elsa. (more…)

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To be completely honest, every time I read the title to this new ride, all I hear is Tony Soprano calling his son AJ “googootz”. My brain is weird.

Universal Orlando has finally confirmed details regarding the new signature ride at the soon-to-be-opened Diagon Alley expansion of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” (a place I will go simply to gorge myself on butter beer). The Harry Potter and the Escape from Googootz — excuse me, Gringotts — ride will feature vehicles that seat twelve folks and carry visitors “through a Harry Potter story featuring villains, dragons and goblins.” Today, Universal revealed a bunch of new details on the theme park attraction, including Harry Potter and the Escape from Googootz photos and concept art.

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You gotta know Disney is mighty pleased with themselves for acquiring that little comic book company, Marvel. How much money did that little movie, The Avengers, rake in? Oh yeah – A LOT. So how long will you have to wait before you can hang out, pose, and take pictures with The Avengers and all of Marvel’s super heroes in a Disney theme park? It’ll happen sooner, but probably not as soon as you’d think.

Carsland is Disney’s latest attraction and only just opened. Carsland was first announced in 2006. That makes it about six years in between announcement and reality, so any Avenger-themed attractions will still be a ways off. Tom Staggs, chairman of Disney’s parks and resorts division, was recently quoted in Reuters saying,

We were hard at work on attractions using Marvel characters previously, and that work has only intensified given (the film’s) great success.

The setting has to be right, the story has to be right. That takes a fair amount of time.

Also it should be noted that anything Marvel can only happen at Disneyland in California, not Walt Disney World in Florida due to Marvel’s contract with Universal and their theme park. But if any Marvel attractions were to come to Disneyland, what would you like to see?

Source: /Film

There’s an even bigger question hovering over these Disney/Marvel relations, and that’s what kind of role, if any, does Pixar have to play? Collider recently spoke to Pixar founder and Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, John Lasseter at a press junket for Brave and were able to get in some questions about a possible Pixar/Marvel movie. Here’s what Lasseter had to say,

Well, I can’t say anything about that because Marvel just got—[they’ve] been a couple years as part of the Disney company, we’ve been six years as part of the Disney company.  And at Pixar, we stay focused on making original films.  Even our sequels are kind of created internally and we come up with ideas [on our own].  I’m also leading the Walt Disney Animation Studio and all of that.  These studios are filmmaker driven studios, so if a filmmaker comes to me and says, ‘Hey, I wanna do this,’ then I would be really open to it.

Okay, so a Marvel movie made by Pixar may never happen, but one directly from the House of Mouse? That’s a possibility. What Marvel character or story do you think would make a good match for a Disney animated feature?

Above Image Credit: Victor Hugo

Hey Star War fans, have you heard the rumor that Disney Imagineers are looking to convert a section of one of their parks  into a Star Wars themed land complete with updated Star Tours, new stores and Mos Eisley Cantina restaurant? *gasps* how fun, right? Well, here’s a little caveat that may ruin your joy ride. The park in question is… Disneyland Paris. Oi! The French!? Curses!

The rumor first derived  from the Disneyland Paris Forums and has now been written about in detail by the Disney and More Blog. That writer claims to have confirmation that the Imagineers are indeed working on a more expansive Star Wars experience to surround the new Star Tours including a Jedi Academy, and possibly an eatery that looks like Mos Eisley Cantina, just to start. This will all take place in the Discoverland section of the park, taking over the current Captain Eo theater and its surrounding areas.

No disrespect to the French. Hell, I enjoy their fine food and hairy women (don’t judge me). The Eiffel Tower is pretty nice too. But, screw France, open it in our Disneyland!  Seriously, Walt Disneyland in California or Walt Disneyworld in Orlando, should be doing a Star Wars-themed land instead of an Avatar one. It’s more universally loved and provides so many more attraction options.

Disney has made no official announcement regarding a Star Wars themed land in its Paris park. It’s likely this is just rumor which sprouted from the parks plans to update it’s Star Tours ride (the last in Disney parks to do so). Regardless, a Star Wars theme park is way overdue. I really don’t care which park gets it, just make it happen.

Source: SlashFilm

 

As we reported yesterday James Cameron is teaming up with Disney to become even richer by turning the highest grossing movie of all time in to just something gross. A theme park.

Today, we have more details for you!

Here’s the short form, what initially looked like a dumb idea now really looks like a dumb idea. Tom Staggs, the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman (hands up if you think he should wear a ranger hat) blogged in the official Disney Parks blog to answer the questions on Pandorapaloza that no one asked.

Apparently they are going to toss it into Disney’s Animal Kingdom (’cause, that makes sense.) The unholy union of Cameron and Disney and its mission to bring Avatar into the theme park game is because the basic philosophic core of the movie fits with the mission of Disney, “With its spectacular settings, intriguing characters, imaginative creatures and strong themes of family and loyalty”. It’s going to be placed with the sad lions and emotionally depressed giraffes in Disney’s Animal Kingdom because it “gives guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in whole new ways” (So, its like a Mexican donkey show? go on…) Stagg nicely avoids giving anything even remotely clear on what the Avatar theme park would contain other than saying “multiple attractions, entertainment, merchandise locations, restaurants and other immersive elements.” GENIUS! A theme park that contains the basic elements of theme parks, that kid Stagg is gonna go far in the Parks and Resorts Biz!

Construction is set to begin in 2013 (right after they burn out the flora and fauna currently inhabiting the area without noticing the irony, I assume.) If you start saving now, you might be able to afford to see it when it opens in in 2016 or 2017. Till then, you’ll just have to settle on making James Cameron richer by seeing the up coming sequel and threequel for Avatar (2014 and 2015 respectively), buying the happy meals, playing the video games, or by helping him avoid paying Linda Hamilton alimony.

 

Sources: Disney Parks and /Film

 

Disney Theme Parks To Be Avatarded

So, If you spend a lot of time worried that James Cameron isn’t rich enough, I am here to set your mind at ease. /Film is reporting [via the LA Times] that Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox is in cahoots with Walt Disney Co. to make “Dances with Blue Cat Elf Pocahontas: The Theme Park”. If the mind numbing eye strain causing 3D didn’t make you ill in the theatre, then try standing in line for 3 hours in the hot sun after packing back a $19 dollar chilli-dog. I’m sorry a “Hexapede tube meal”.

Ok, maybe I am being a bit harsh. I know, I know, tonnes of Avatards are currently communing with the Tree of Souls in their backyard and trying to book a flight on Expedia for this earth bound Pandora. So, I’ll play nice and make with some more details. It’ll be in Orlando first (the Mouse plans to build similar attractions at it’s other theme parks) and Cameron is heavily involved. That’s it. No word on what it will really be in terms of rides, shops, tours, cash grabs, etc. No real time frame either, so its a safe guess you’re going to have to wait a while to plug your ponytail/usb into the Great Leonopteryx or a Direhorse.

The film made 2.8 billion worldwide and is the highest grossing movie of all time. It had a whole weird world designed for it. It had action scenes that basically WERE amusement park rides. I guess this is a natural progression.

Maybe I am just bitter I won’t get the ride *I* want when its built. Giant space marine mechas playing scorched earth on the blue cat elves. Hoorah.

Hey, a boy can dream, can’t he?

Source: /Film

Could Something MARVEL-ous Come to Disneyland?

There’s been some rumors floating around concerning Disney‘s acquisition of the Marvel characters and their placement in Disney’s amusement parks. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Marvel is hott right now (note the double t’s), their films are pulling in millions of dollars and The Avengers is right around the corner, so why wouldn’t Disney want a Marvel presence in their parks. Apparently it’s not as simple as we fans would like to think.

Nathan M. Rose and Jim Hill recently discussed the rumors, in hefty detail, on their podcast, The Magical Definition Podcast. First off, the most pressing rumor is a Stark Expo added to Tomorrowland, here’s what Hill had to say on this,

Problem is they don’t entirely fit Tomorrowland which is sort of where the Tony Stark name came up, the Expo thing. Here’s the thing: what was initially being looked at was something that would tie to next summer and Joss Whedon‘s Avengers movie with the notion that it would be a catch-all movie prop kind of exhibit. Let’s be honest here, the thing of Innoventions in its current state is that it’s a trade show and kind of a carryover from the [former Disney CEO Michael] Eisner era and [current Disney CEO Bob] Iger would like to do something different there and given that they spent this $4 billion on the Marvel characters, they’d like to get them in the park.

Everything always comes down to money and not pissing people off, doesn’t it? Who might be pissed about a last minute push to include Marvel in the parks? Only the ones who’d be responsible to make it happen, the Imagineers,

Based on what I’ve been hearing – in fact this is one of those situations where it kind of aggravates the Imagineers – my understanding is that it’s a deliberate leak. That it was sort of a trial balloon to see what the reaction is from the fan community so they can go forward and have additional meetings about this with the notion if that there’s a strong enough response after Labor Day, the Pavilion would suddenly shut down for 8 to 10 months of very hurried construction and overhauling and then this would open in May when Avengers is coming out.

Will Marvel characters come to Disneyland before The Avengers premiere? Who knows! But it does sounds like Disney would be more inclined to confirm or deny if we fans wanted it. If you want, tweet it, blog it, write letters in your own or someone else’s blood, whatever works. But this would only be for Disneyland, not Walt Disney World in Florida because it’s too close to Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure. Which has their own Marvel attractions.

Ugh! This is complicated! To listen to Hill and Rose’s discussion is it’s entirety check out their podcast here, Disney/Marvel discussion begins around the 12:30 mark. Also, if you’d like to really engross yourself in the details a transcript is available below the cut.

But, what are your thoughts about Marvel characters in Disney theme parks? I’m kind of surprised they are only maybe in a preliminary stage of discussion as I would have thought they’d jump on this opportunity once they won the rights. They sure had those poor actors in terribly ventilated PIXAR costumes pretty quickly. But if they can’t bring in Marvel character because Universal already has claim to Marvel as theme parks attractions, well, yeah, then there’s that. See what I mean about being terribly complicated? We need a legal correspondent to make sense of this mess.

source: ComicBookMovie

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July 27th 2010 was a very sad day for Star Wars fans. Disney Parks in Florida and California closed it’s enduring and beloved Star Tours ride. The motion simulator which took fans through a thrilling space adventure was decommissioned to make way for a new, enhanced version. While many are sad to see it go it’s fair to say the ride was a little behind on the times. It did need a bit of a facelift.

So, Disney is planning to relaunch the Star Wars ride Star Tours with a new 3D version officially titled Star Tours: The Adventures Continue on May 10th 2011 in Disneyland in Anaheim and May 17th 2011 in Walt Disney World in Orlando. Details have be vague and unconfirmed, but from what we can gather the new ride will include locations and characters from both the original trilogy (Chewbacca, c-3PO, R2-D2, Aqualish. Bith, Rodians, etc) and prequel trilogy (like Naboo citizens and Geonosians) as it takes place after the events of Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. It’s also been rumored that one action sequence will feature the Star Tours being chased by Boba Fett. Admiral Ackbar will also make an appearance as he will (supposedly) holographically communicates with the passengers.

While these details remain unofficial we do have a report from Disney regarding the new pilot of the StarSpeeder 1000 series spacecraft, the vehicle guests embark on. As a quick history lesson, the old pilot was REX, a bumbling robot (voiced Paul Reubens) who, through a series of mistakes and miscalculations sent guests through various dangers, like a comet cluster, getting trapped in a Star Destroyer tractor beam and even getting caught up in the attack on the Death Star.  OK, so Disney imagineers have done away with REX (well, he’ll be placed else where in the attraction, but it hasn’t been revealed where) and will be replaced with a new pilot? Who? It was originally announced that the StarSpeeder 1000 series spacecraft would be flown using one of the latest AC-series Tour Droids, a new character named Ace. It seems Disney is scratching this idea and are going to go with a more recognizable robot.

DisneyBlogs reports that while Ace was originally designed to pilot the Starspeeder 100, Imagineers “decided to take the story in a very different direction” after having “discussions with George Lucas” during the course of production. We don’t know exactly how this will play out, but C-3PO will appear as the pilot of the new ride, replacing the AC-38 droid better known as Ace. Here is the photo they have released:

Slashfilm also reports a inadvertent slip from Disneyland Resort President George Kalorgridis who, at D23’s “Destination D” Event (whatever that is) that the new ride will feature 54 possible different experiences.

Well, I gotta say that it tears me up that the original ride is gone, but  the more I hear about this revamp the more fun it sounds.I am pretty pissed off that the new ride will include Prequel crap, but it seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Perhaps something from Lucas that doesn’t suck.

Tell us what you think of the new Star Tours ride!

CLICK AFTER THE JUMP for released images and videos of Star Tours: The Adventure Continues

We like to thank slashfilm for providing the latest details on this. We love you slash!

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