Disney World is currently undergoing a fairly radical Fantasyland makeover over in Florida, with the final piece – a Snow White Mine Coaster – coming in 2014. And Avatar Land is coming to Animal Kingdom in Florida as well. So it’s about time Disney started work on expansions for Disneyland and California Adventure.
Yes, they just launched Cars Land and Buena Vista Street last year, but in the world of theme parks you have to consistently add new things. Plus, any potential additions wouldn’t be live until 2015 at the earliest. Last month, we learned that Disney was asking park-goers whether they would like to see a Star Wars Land.
While that is still likely to happen at California Adventure, the reliable MiceChat says that Disney has some more immediate plans for their LA-based theme parks, and both have been in the works for quite a while. That’s the difference between the Star Wars plans and these plans by the way.
The first is a Monsters Inc Door Coaster, based on the famous door scene from Monsters Inc.
Taking a concept originally cooked up a few years ago for Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida, there’s now a very serious proposal to tear out the MuppetVision and Stage 17 buildings in the back of DCA’s HollywoodLand area and build a Monsters Inc. mini-land there. An all new roller coaster thrill ride would be installed in that corner, themed to the cavernous Door Hangar scene in the Monsters Inc. movie. The popular Monsters Inc. dark ride nearby would remain, although the façade of that building would get a dramatic upgrade as that entire area would be transformed into a fully realized Monstropolis environment. The open space in front of these two Monster Inc. rides, the family dark ride and the thrill ride Door Coaster, would remain to be used as the location for DCA’s popular evening dance parties. The cheap “studio backlot” theme of this area would be removed entirely, and the backside of the Hollywood Blvd. facades would be built out and repurposed as new dining and merchandise locations. The old Hollywood and Dine food court in the eastern corner would be totally reworked as an indoor “flex space” to replace the loss of the Stage 17 building currently used for special events.
That area is especially barren, so it makes some sense. Plus, a big new ride like a Door Coaster would do well to ease the stress that Radiator Springs Racers is always under. It’s so damned popular that the lines are always over an hour long and it breaks down every couple hours.
A new Monstropolis area would also be welcome as that place is boring, currently. It’s not boring at night, but during the day it’s like walking around a parking lot.
Also on the cards, apparently, is a refresh to Tomorrowland featuring a Tron Cycle ride and more.
While the big-budget required to build Monstropolis in DCA will require additional funding to be pulled from Disneyland’s expansion money, there is still a realization that Disneyland needs additional ride capacity as well. The expansion of Frontierland is pushed to the back burner for now, while attention turns to Tomorrowland. Borrowing a new ride system and theme to be used in Shanghai’s Tomorrowland, the second project in the pipeline for Anaheim is a Tron themed speeder bike ride using much of the old PeopleMover route. This is an idea that has been thrown around in the past, but in recent months it’s gained serious steam and is quickly nearing a green light from Burbank.
I last went to Disneyland last year, and it was kind of surprising how boring it was to be in Tomorrowland. The rides are mostly great, with Space Mountain and Star Tours and more, but walking around is a bore. There’s nothing interesting to look at. In fact, everything looks like the 70’s version of the future, which is way outdated.
So it makes sense to refresh Tomorrowland a bit, and that’s already kind of started with Disney announcing the Tony Stark Hall of Armor exhibit.
Of course, there’s a chance MiceChat is wrong. Disney throws around so many ride plans for so many different movies that it seems it’s hard for them to narrow down on something. If Monsters University is a huge hit, however, I can’t see the Door Coaster not happening. Disney is also hellbent on making the Tron franchise work, so a Tron ride could definitely help that. [MiceChat]