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We’ve all heard the myth about Walt Disney having his body preserved in cryonic storage. In some tellings, it’s just his disembodied head that gets cryonically frozen. If you came of age in the 1990s, during the Disney Renaissance, you might also be familiar with how a bevy of inappropriate Easter eggs are said to be laced throughout the animated features of that period.

But Disney urban legends go deeper than that. If you go looking for urban legends, prepare to be sucked into stories of scary abandoned theme park islands and mayhem aboard mountain rides, including bared breasts and decapitations. You might also encounter a few fascinating fan theories that will change the way you look at certain Disney films.

Let’s unlock the proverbial Disney Vault and start raiding it for riches in the form of some of the most intriguing apocryphal stories that have grown up in and around the Happiest Place on Earth. This is where The X-Files meets Mickey Mouse.

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In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Get details on a real-life battle at sea involving Marvel movie characters.
  • See what some of Universal’s new theme-park-inspired emojis look like.
  • T2 3-D: Battle Across Time has closed at Universal Studios Florida.
  • The last remaining version of Disney’s classic Star Jets has also closed.
  • Watch cartoons of Disney characters meeting Haunted Mansion ghosts.
  • And more!

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star wars secrets of the empire

Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and The VOID are giving you the chance to truly travel to a galaxy far, far away with the Star Wars Secrets of the Empire virtual reality experience, debuting at Walt Disney World Resort in December and at the Disneyland Resort in January.

Dubbed a “hyper-reality” experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire takes users on a risky mission going undercover as stormtroopers to retrieve Imperial intelligence. Not sold? Lucasfilm has just released a trailer for the experience and has opened ticket sales.

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Disney Spider-Man Ride

Is Disneyland working on a new Spider-Man ride? A new patent hints that we could see an attraction in Disney California Adventure’s upcoming Marvel-themed land that would allow guests to swing through the skyscrapers of Marvel Studios’ Manhattan. See details of the potentially new Disney Spider-Man ride below.

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(Welcome to The Disney Discourse, a recurring feature where Josh Spiegel discusses the latest in Disney news. He goes deep on everything from the animated classics to the theme parks to live-action franchises. In this edition: on its 35th birthday, Walt Disney World’s Epcot remains inspiring and frustrating.)

“EPCOT Center is inspired by Walt Disney’s creative genius. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, the wonders of enterprise, and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.”  This dedication, provided by E. Cardon Walker in October of 1982, was both grandiose and utterly appropriate to what the second theme park in Orlando’s Walt Disney World resort strived to be. Yesterday, the park celebrated its 35th anniversary, so there’s no better time to look at the park as it is now, and wonder why it’s altered quite so much.

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shangahi-disneyland-halloween

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Hear a lifesize Donald Duck and Mickey and Minnie Mouse talk.
  • See a new exclusive Guardians of the Galaxy collectible only available at Disney Parks.
  • What does the Day of the Dead look like at a Disney park?
  • See video of a couple of the mazes inside Knott’s Scary Farm.
  • Epcot is celebrating its 35th anniversary on October 1.
  • Shanghai Disneyland’s inaugural Halloween event has begun.
  • And more!

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john wick

Lionsgate is teaming with Parques Reunidos to bring a Lionsgate-branded indoor entertainment center to New York City’s Times Square in 2019. Lionsgate Entertainment City will feature 13 different attractions aimed at teens and young adults.

Among the offerings featured, there will be:

  • Mad Men themed “dining and lounge experience.”
  • a Hunger Games flying simulator attraction
  • a Divergent-themed obstacle course
  • John Wick: Chapter Two shooting ride where fans will fire fake guns at a series of assailants
  • a 4D film and live theater (which I’m assuming could be easily switched out with new content)
  • a Lionsgate Café
  • a Hunger Games-inspired Peeta’s Bakery and The Capitol Confectionery
  • the first-ever Lionsgate Studio Store
  • and virtual reality entertainment, including a Nerve VR motorcycle experience.

Find out more about Lionsgate Entertainment City, after the jump.

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max landis Space Mountain script

With the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it’s a wonder that Disney hasn’t forced movie adaptations of every single one of their theme park rides into existence. On the other hand, 2015’s Tomorrowland (not to mention 2003’s The Haunted Mansion) was a sign that not every theme park adaptation is a guaranteed hit, so it’s unsurprising that Disney would tread cautiously.

Enter: Space Mountain, one of Disney’s most popular and long-running rides and the subject of a screenplay by Max Landis. Unfortunately, Landis never got his movie off the ground, and the Max Landis Space Mountain script remains unseen. Well, for the most part — Landis is still pretty chatty about his long-dead project.

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In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • See what a Nightmare Before Christmas ride might have looked like, as envisioned by one Imagineer
  • Cars characters get into the Halloween spirit by dressing up at Disney’s California Adventure
  • The Star Wars: Galactic Nights event is returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Get details on how Universal Studios and Legoland are incorporating VR worldwide
  • The parent company of Louis Vuitton is bringing a steampunk theme park to Paris
  • Details for Tokyo Disneyland’s 35th-anniversary celebration have been announced
  • And more!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Guardians of the Galaxy Monsters After Dark ride

We’ve written about how Disneyland’s new Guardians of the Galaxy ride is getting a new look for the Halloween season in the form of an overlay called Monsters After Dark, and late last week we told you about how it features a look at the fire dragon Surtur from the upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok. Now a video of the updated attraction has found its way online, and you can check out the whole thing for yourselves below.
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