With a record (probably) number of construction projects currently underway around the world, there’s no shortage of Disney Parks updates right about now. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about any of those, but we have the next best thing: parking rumors.
We also take a look at a variety of Disney news and rumors, none of which merit their own blog post, so we thought we’d share those, too. From the ground-breaking on the Marvel and Frozen lands to the future of runDisney at Disneyland, there’s a lot to cover. We also offer a quick housekeeping note on our new comment policy at the end of the post.
We’ll start with the parking rumors, as those are obviously the most exciting thing for any Disney fan. (Oh, you thought we were joking about the parking rumors?) If you’ve followed the ongoing saga of the Eastern Gateway Project or you read our recent post “The End of Disneyland as a ‘Local’s Park’” you know I’m not saying this in jest…at least with regard to me. (I know few others care, so bear with me…)
A source recently indicated to me that work is underway on a plan (dubbed “Project Cleo”) to nearly double the size of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, with a new, adjacent structure taking over the existing Pinocchio surface lot.
The parking trams would be rerouted so the security and tram loading would be on the ground level of the new structure, and new escalators would be added. All of this is interesting from a space-saving perspective, as it would allow the footprint of this new structure to be significantly-larger than it’d be if it occupied the Pinocchio lot alone. Above is a graphic illustrating how this would look.
No word yet on whether this design has been greenlit yet by Disney, or whether the proposal has been discussed with the Anaheim City Council. Given that, it appears questionable as to whether this could be ready in time for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. If this were to happen, it should take considerably less time to build than the Eastern Gateway, but construction would likely need to commence by early 2018 at the absolute latest to have it ready on time–and that’s even with a fairly condensed timeframe.
From our perspective, this project makes a ton of sense, and would seem to be the best solution with the Eastern Gateway Project at an impasse, and that likely remaining the case until Fall 2018. It would behoove both Anaheim and Disney to pursue this course of action, but then again, it would’ve behooved both to get Eastern Gateway built, so who really knows anymore?
On a tangentially-related note, it appears that runDisney and Disneyland are on poised to cancel all future events on an indefinite basis. WDWNT is reporting on this rumor, attributing it to construction. We’d expect an official confirmation from Disney–citing this same rationale–in the very near future. The actual rationale for these cancellations is more complicated.
While it’s probably not huge news to most people reading this, one of Disney’s biggest construction projects started with week, with the commencement of Hong Kong Disneyland’s Marvel and Frozen expansion (that will also bring the park a new castle).
This construction makes the start of six years full of new attractions and entertainment, with experiences opening almost every year between 2018 and 2023. The first thing to open will be a “Moana-themed entertainment venue in Adventureland” next year. Oddly, this is not referred to as a Moana stage show, but we assume that film will feature heavily into this.
After that, it’s expected that the Ant-Man shooter attraction (replacing Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters) will open in 2019. With Buzz already closed, it’s not inconceivable that this attraction could open in late 2018.
The Marvel and Frozen centerpieces of the expansion will be in the later stages, but with Hong Kong Disneyland needing a shot in the arm in terms of attendance, we would not expect this project to be any more prolonged than necessary.
Over in Paris, it has been confirmed that Phantom Manor will close for a 9-month refurbishment beginning on January 7, 2018. We are quite optimistic about this, as there are no obvious ways to screw-up this attraction (absent adding Eddie Murphy in a terribly ill-advised movie tie-in), but a number of ways it could be nicely plussed.
At Walt Disney Studios Park, rumors still swirl about how Marvel will be added to that park. Its (former) parent company already revealed the skeleton of a 10-year plan that calls for over $2 billion of capex investment, with the main expenditures being Marvel attractions and entertainment, so it’s really a matter of what not if at this point.
In other news & notes, BaseLine Tap House opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. EasyWDW has a review of what should be a nice waiting area for getting properly liquored up before dealing with the hordes in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Frozen Fantasy and Duffy’s Heartwarming Days for Winter 2018 at Tokyo Disney Resort, along with the rather unfortunate-looking Pixar Playtime event at Tokyo DisneySea. Here’s hoping that’s a colossal failure and the Pixarification of Disney’s best theme park comes to an end.
Finally, a housekeeping note on our commenting policy. Up until now, we haven’t really had one. I’ve taken a fairly laissez faire attitude towards reader comments. I’ve felt this approach has been a necessary counterweight to my blog posts. I’m unabashedly and unapologetically opinionated about pretty much everything (perhaps you’ve noticed? ), and having a robust comments section with articulated positions that disagree with me is something that I view as a strong asset to the site.
Unfortunately, in the last several months, I’ve noticed a rise of comments that include personal attacks or lack appropriate decorum. This should come as no surprise, as the level of public discourse has continued to drop during that time. We have higher standards than that. We will no longer tolerate personal attacks or hostile comments without merit; we will be deleting any such comments by marking them as spam. As always, following Wheaton’s Law is a good practice, as is not saying anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.
This is very unlikely to impact anyone reading this. No comments will be deleted on the basis of the expression of their substantive opinions with regard to Disney. This is an issue of personal attacks and insults. Nasty comments are still a very small minority of all comments, and of those few that are posted, 95%+ are from “readers” with no comment history. By and large, the regular group of commenters is a strong group. I hope spirited debate will continue in the comments, as I think this site has one of the best comment sections of any Disney site. (Of course, I’m obviously biased.)
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Have any comments about this update? Any thoughts on the various news and rumors? Do you find the topic of Disneyland parking as downright exhilarating as I do? Any questions? Last-minute personal attacks to share before we roll out our new comment policy? Leave your thoughts in the comments!