As Walt Disney himself once said, “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” As our curiosity grows, it leads us down into new paths, new doors, new horizons; there never is a time in today’s culture where we will slow down as we are always in the ‘new.’ Curiosity is like a spark; it ignites a dream inside of us that then becomes reality. Once we have an idea, it floods our minds until we are so consumed by it that it simply changes the culture around us in ways for the better. It brings about new advancements in medicine, advancements in technology, advancements in science, and advancements in so many other things.
Just as curiosity “opens up new doors” in the real world, the same is definitely true for the Disney Parks themselves. When it comes to the Disney Parks, Imagineers are always looking to new horizons. They look at the current incarnation of the parks and ask themselves, “How can we make the park better? What can we do to change and make people’s vacations more magical, more memorable?” The answer to that is simple; they imagine new ideas and the way to do that is by using Walt’s Philosophy of “moving forward” and “opening up new doors.”
Star Wars Hotel
Perhaps one of the most ambitious things Disney has ever done, or well, will be doing, is the planned ‘Star Wars Hotel.’ As of right now, we do not know much about this new hotel but we do know a few things. For starters, this brand-new hotel will be situated at Walt Disney World, not Disneyland. One of the main reasons the hotel is situated at Disney World instead of Disneyland has to do with land, as Disneyland is short for land while Disney World has many, many acres. Where at Disney World will the Star Wars themed hotel be located? Well, according to Disney, it will be located “east of World Drive, on the south side of Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.” To put that into perspective, the location of the hotel will be very close by to Hollywood Studios but not directly in the park itself.
To get from the hotel to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land), it has been long rumored, not confirmed just yet, that you will board a ‘starship’ to journey to the land. Other than the actual location of the hotel, we do know some other things. We know that this hotel will be unlike any hotel you have ever seen, nor unlike anything Disney has ever done before. This hotel will be completely immersive and tell a story all around you. You will be boarding and sleeping on a ‘Starship and each room will have a view into outer space. Once this hotel opens, people will be lining up to make reservations as this is sure to become an instant hit and make tons of cash for Disney. Right now we just have to suffice with looking at concept art of the hotel as there has been no official confirmed opening date, but, based pure estimation and rumors floating around, it has been suggested it will not be open until after Galaxy’s Edge has opened in 2019.
Star Wars Land (Galaxy’s Edge)
What if you could live your very own Star Wars adventure, choosing to be a part of the Rebel Alliance, take part in the First Order, become a Jedi, or even be a Bounty Hunter? Well, in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort and in Disneyland at the Disneyland Resort, you can just do that in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge! If you have not yet heard, Galaxy’s Edge is the official land name given by Disney Imagineers. This land coming to both coasts is again, unlike anything Disney has ever done before. In fact, this is the largest, single-land expansion they have ever done which makes the completed land at 14 acres long! The land will consist of two rides: the “Battle Escape” and the “Millennium Falcon.” In the Millennium Falcon attraction, you get to take the controls of the famous ship and quite literally fly it yourself across the galaxy. If you fly the ship left, it will go left. If you fly it right, you will go right. If you crash the ship, well, you will then just have to make sure Chewie doesn’t find out as you may just end up in some ‘galactic debt’ if you do.
As for the other attraction, the ‘Battle Escape’, not much is known about the ride except that this ride is their most technologically advanced ride they have ever created in a Disney Park. We also know that we will be put into the middle of ‘a battle in between the First Order.” Other than that, you may just be wondering what else lies in store for Galaxy’s Edge? Well, the land will be completely immersive enveloping you in the Star Wars Galaxy like never before. YOU will get to live your own adventure, choosing what you do and do not do. There will be restaurants and even multiple vendors in a street market esque area. If you are just as excited about this new land as we are and cannot wait, we will have to suffice with looking at the concept art as the land at Disneyland does not open until Summer 2019, and Late Fall 2019 at Disney World!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Hollywood Studios is currently in a process to bring back the pizazz the park once had. If you go there now, they do not have many rides. It almost, to some people, seems dead. That will all change though once Hollywood Studios is restored and one of the things that is coming to this ‘restoration’ is a brand-new ride dedicated to the one and only Mickey Mouse! Now, this ride is replacing the Great Movie Ride that was inside the Chinese Theater. It is a shame it must leave, but again, as Walt said, “Keep Moving Forward!” Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the first ever ride created with Mickey Mouse in it. Again, we know very little about this ride, but we do know that it is going to be very epic and place you right into the middle of a Mickey Mouse cartoon.
We also know that the ride will feature something brand new in terms of technology to the Disney parks as the ride will be in 3D but not require the use of 3D glasses. Disney Imagineers are dubbing this ideal “2 ½ D.” How they will pull this off, we may never know until the ride opens, which has been confirmed by Disney to be open by 2019. The very last thing we know is an official statement made by the Disney Parks Blog that says, “On the attraction, the fun begins when you see the premiere of a new cartoon short with Mickey and Minnie getting ready for a picnic. As they head out, they drive alongside a train and find out that the engineer is Goofy. Then, one magical moment lets you step into the movie and on Goofy’s train for a wacky, wild ride. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen.” At least we do not have to wait too long for this zany adventure as it is opening sometime in 2019!
Guardians of The Galaxy Roller Coaster
What does energy, Epcot, and the Guardians of the Galaxy all have in common? No idea, but we are going to find out once the Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster is built at Epcot! We have very little information on this attraction. The only things we know are it is going to be at Epcot replacing Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and will be featuring all of the Guardians in an ‘out of this Galaxy Adventure!’ There have been some other rumors surrounding this ride in which it will be about 13-14 stories high and feature a completely brand-new innovative ride system, but that has yet to be confirmed officially by Disney. The ride will be opening sometime in 2021 by Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary, but it is in construction as you read this. When it does open, it is sure to bring about some whole new fun to Future World!
If you were to ask what the most popular ride was at Disneyland Paris, the answer to that would be Ratatouille: The Ride! The ride is a trackless, dark-ride based off of the hit Pixar film from 2007. The ride opened at Disneyland Paris in 2014 and became an instant hit with guests of all ages. In 2021, that very same ride will be making its’ debut at Epcot in the back of the France pavilion. The ride will shrink guests of all sizes down to a rat and go on a “flavorful” adventure with Remy and his friends!
‘New Horizons’ At Epcot
Epcot in its’ current incarnation needs some work. If you look around, the theming is outdated and looks as if you are stuck inside this nostalgic 80’s/90’s era. For some, that is great, but for others, people are looking towards the horizon at what Disney is going to do to make Epcot better. Unfortunately, Epcot will never be the vision and dream it was supposed to be, but with the current state of Epcot we do have, it really could be so much more. As the park is in dire need of some major help, Imagineers have looked to the horizon and have dreamt up new ideas for this re-imaging. According to Bob Chapek who is the Chairman of Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products, Epcot Imagineers were told to “dream big” when it comes to the future of Epcot. He has also stated that, “Epcot will be more timeless, more Disney, and more family-friendly.” When looking at the blue-sky concept art for Epcot’s Future, it really looks amazing and one can only dream of when Epcot will finally be restored!
Magic Kingdom’s BIG 50th Celebration
October 1st, 1971, people celebrated the grand opening of Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. With the opening of the park, the Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, and the Wilderness Resort & Campground also opened to the public. Fast forward to October 1st, 2021, and the resort will be celebrating a very big milestone. The resort will be celebrating its’ 50th anniversary that day and the celebration will be nothing but pure amazement. The whole party will last for about one year in length in bring about all kinds of things which include new rides such as the Tron Lightcycle Power Run, the Guardians of the Galaxy Rollercoaster, new shows, parades, and of course merchandise! When Disney throws a big party, they do not mess around and this is something you definitely do not want to miss!
Toy Story Land
Beginning June 29th, 2018, you will be able to shrink down to the size of a toy and play right inside of Andy’s backyard! Where is Andy’s backyard? It is inside of Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort! The land will feature two brand-new attractions (Alien Swirling Saucers, and Slinky Dog Dash), a quick-service dining location (Woody’s Lunchbox), and even a place to do some shopping as well as a place to meet your favorite Toy Story characters such as Woody, Jessie, and Buzz! On Slinky Dog Dash, you will be taking a ride aboard Slinky Dog on a family-friendly roller coaster that has twists, turns, and even drops that the whole family will enjoy, while Alien Swirling Saucers is a ride that is very similar to the likes of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at California Adventure!
These things are just some of the really awesome magical experiences coming soon to Disney Parks, and just as Walt himself once said, “Disneyland (Disney) will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world” so who knows what may lie in store over the next 50 years at Disney!