Bob Chapek had some awesome announcements during the Parks and Resorts Presentation yesterday afternoon. Let’s take a look at all the changes coming to the Disneyland Resort.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will not be the only Marvel attraction at the Disneyland resort. Chapek announced the addition of a Spider-Man themed attraction and an Avengers themed attraction. This will create an immersive experience into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We don’t have any more information, but we expect to hear more details in a just a few weeks at San Diego’s Comic Con.
Since last year, Disney has been met with a lot of complaining about the Guardians of the Galaxy retheme. Their official stance was “We get why you don’t like it, because it is a bit out of place. But just wait a little bit. This is just the beginning of a bigger plan, and if you could see what we’re planning to do, you would get it.” These two attractions will support the Guardians and help them fit the park better.
The official name of what has been dubbed “Star Wars Land” since it’s announcement in 2015 has been revealed. The land will now be known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
When Disney opened Pandora in Animal Kingdom just a few months ago, fans got to see a land with a more immersive experience. Star Wars land will take this to the next level. Everything you do will affect how your visit goes. You’ll be asked to work as a freighter pilot onboard the Millennium Falcon You can do a great job and earn galaxy credits, or you can bring the ship back a little banged up and maybe end up on Harko’s list, a bounty hunter who will probably find you at the local cantina.
There are some fun characters you will be able to meet and see like BB-8, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, and a fan favorite Rex who will become the DJ at the cantina. We can’t wait to enter this remote trading port and get to interact with the Star Wars characters in a new way. Here is a fly-through of just how incredible this land will be.
We also got a little more information about the 3 entrances into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. When you enter from Critter Country, you will be entering through Resistance territory. Don’t be surprised if they try to recruit you to the First Order if you enter through Fantasyland. The third and main entrance will be more neutral.
Halloween is an exciting time at the Disneyland Resort with all the decorations. This year, Radiator Springs Racers will get a Halloween overlay. Rumor is that in the next few years we will seen the Halloween Party moved to DCA. The overlay is the start of this change.
Disney California Adventure has seen a lot of changes in its short history, especially in 2007 when more characters were added to a park that’s focus was celebrating California’s history. We can expect even less focus on California and more focus on Disney/Pixar characters with Bob Chapek’s announcement that Paradise Pier will become Pixar Pier in 2018. We will see more beloved characters in that section of the park including favorites from The Incredibles, Inside Out, and Toy Story.
John Lasseter was there to help with announcement. He was giddy as a school girl as he teased that there could be new rides with the change. To celebrate this change, Pixar Fest! Will be a resort wide celebration. Disneyland will get a brand-new firework show and Pixar Play Parade will be returning across the esplanade into Disneyland. The best part of all of this news is the return of “Paint the Night” to Disney California Adventure. And there might just be a new float coming too.
This will be an interesting change. The shops, the Golden Zephyr, and Jumping Jellyfish could be rethemed easily. We already have concept art for the shops. The Golden Zephyr could become “The Big One” rockets like the rocket Buzz was taped to in Toy Story. Jumping Jellyfish could be Finding Nemo Jellyfish or the Army Man parachute drop that was rumored as a retheme for the MaliBOOMer before it was closed. 10 years ago, there were rumors that California Screamin’ would be converted to a slinky dog coaster, and maybe that idea will be coming back to California.
Silly Symphony Swings and Goofy’s Sky School will be a bit tougher to handle. They aren’t difficult to retheme. The hard question is whether to replace Mickey Mouse and Goofy with Pixar characters.
The hardest question is what to do with all the Little Mermaid theming. Again, the character dining and carousel can be rethemed easily, but what about the dark ride? It’s very unlikely they will close it and build a new Pixar dark ride; it’s too young and too popular. The Little Mermaid dark ride isn’t Pixar, so it would feel out of place if they left it. Maybe Disney will make split was is now Paradise Pier and make a Little Mermaid Land. But it would be small, but the carousel is a bit too far away for it to work well. It will be interesting to see how everything works out.
Change to the parks is always difficult. People like the way things are and are scared of change. But, Imagineering spends hours planning and re-planning before they even announce new things. And the plans are not set in stone yet. They will continue to work and reconfigure things until they make it perfect. If we just trust the Imagineers I think we will all be pleasantly surprised with how it turns out.