TRON 3

As D23 Expo creeps up on us later this week (and Comic Con’s shadow waits nearby), the Disney theme park rumor mill is going crazy about the possible new announcements that may be made in the next two weeks. This includes the official announcement of a Marvel-themed land in Disney California Adventure, the fate of A Bug’s Land, the plan to restrict Star Wars Land rides to the new MaxPass system, a Halloween overlay of DCA rides including Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout, the Paint The Night parade’s new home, Tron Lightcycle Power Run coming stateside, and more Star Wars Land rumblings.

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Marvel Land Will Kill Off at Least Part of a Bug’s Land

Expected at D23 Expo or San Diego Comic Con is the official announcement of the Marvel-themed land coming to Disney California Adventure. There have been conflicting reports as to where the land will be constructed (due to the multiple plans that were developed by WDI), but the latest from MiceChat is that at least part of A Bug’s Land will be removed as part of the new addition. This includes the It’s Tough To Be A Bug 4D movie theater and Tuck N’ Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies, but the rest of Flik’s Fun Fair is apparently up in the air.

According to the report, Imagineering has “proposed keeping the three different rides and re-theming them to Marvel” while “TDA has offered to kill them off entirely to allow WDI to expand the dark ride concept and add a retail and dining location into the mix as well.” The problem is that the Bug’s Land attractions are a majority of the young child-friendly rides offered in California Adventure park.

And we still don’t know what the name of the Marvel-themed land will be, but the Marvel brand will probably not be mentioned. Even though Disney has the rights to produce Marvel themed attractions West of the Mississippi, they still aren’t allowed to use the Marvel brand in advertising for the Anaheim theme parks. That’s why the Marvel logo is completely absent from the Summer of Heroes event currently happening in California Adventure.

We’ve previously told you about a Captain America or Avengers roller coaster dark ride that will be the E-Ticket focus of the land. The new report says that the attraction will supposedly feature “high-speed launches, onboard audio, 3D visuals, animatronics and endless special effects.” We had originally heard that the ride would be something like what Universal Studios Florida did with Harry Potter and Escape From Gringotts, but with the inclusion of “high-speed launches,” this is sounding like more of a thrill ride. The coaster will be constructed south of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout and will take about three years to create. Three years is typical for these large scale new theme park lands.

Star Wars Land concept art - The Star Wars Experience

Will Star Wars Land Fastpass be Restricted to MaxPass Upcharges?

Disneyland Resort is about to launch their MaxPass upgrade ticket, which allows guests to book Fastpasses throughout the two parks via their phones. The company has said that the $10 a day uncharge is only the introductory price for the feature, and we can anticipate it being two or three times that price by the time Star Wars Land officially opens.

MiceChat claims that the MaxPass technology platform will be “used in early 2019 to ensure that Fastpasses to the two Star Wars E-Tickets, both with low hourly capacity in the 1500 to 1800 per hour range, will be distributed only to those who have paid an upcharge.” I think it would be a mistake to only allow park guests who pay the MaxPass upcharge to ride these new attractions.

Right now, there is no announced plan for annual pass holders like myself and it would be a shame to be shut out of some of the newest attractions. The report also claims that the new Fantasmic and Star Wars Land will not offer AP previews, and instead they will be doing a sneak preview premiere event, as they did for Guardians of the Galaxy, that is another full ticket price. That’s also a shame. I’m certainly not an entitled-feeling annual passholder, but it does seem that those of us paying nearly $1000 a year to enter the park shouldn’t be completely given the shaft.

star wars land concept art

Star Wars Land Might Feature No Corporate Signage

At D23 Expo, the Imagineering pavilion will be showing off a large model of the upcoming Star Wars Land. But will they finally announce a name for the future theme park land or the two rides, codenamed Alcatraz/Mission Escape and Big Bird (AKA the Millenium Falcon experience)?

The new MiceChat report mentions that the hyper-themed land won’t have any standard theme park signage, including no entry marquees and wait time signs, and guests will be expected to navigate the land using an App. That was partially the plan over at Pandora in Orlando, but they’ve already begun adding signs into that Animal Kingdom land to help confused guests find things easier.

They also claim that companies like Coke and Visa will not be allowed to display their logos since they don’t exist in a galaxy far away. I imagine I won’t be able to buy a coke from a Star Wars alien street vender, but I’m not sure it’s possible not to display credit card logos. How do you even pay for your blue milk at this former bustling trading port at the edge of the galaxy?

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout Easter eggs

California Adventure Attractions Will Get Halloween Rethemes

Crowds flock to Disneyland every Halloween to ride the festive options added to the park, including the Nightmare Before Christmas retheme of The Haunted Mansion and the Space Mountain retheme Ghost Galaxy (which sorely needs an update). According to this latest report, Walt Disney Imagineering is planning to bring some of the Halloween Holiday magic to Disney California Adventure. It’s unknown which attractions will get Halloween overlays, but they are apparently working on Halloween version of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout.

It seems a bit soon to be putting a seasonal retheme on that new attraction, and also a bit ironic that they would put a seasonal horror theme on a ride that used to be based on the Twilight Zone television series. MiceChat says its unclear if this will be announced at D23 Expo or not. It’s possible the announcement could come later in the year. What other rides in DCA could get a Halloween makeover? Soarin’ Around The World would be as easy as changing out the ride film, but the production of a new ride film could be costly. I’m betting it will be as much as simply decorating Grizzly River Run.

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Paint the Night Parade’s Future Home?

Disney is also considering moving the nighttime Paint the Night parade over to Disney California Adventure by this Thanksgiving, but that would require the removal of the fake overhead red car trolley wires as the floats are too big. Also, this would require Disney to re-think their Holiday food and wine festival concept, The Festival of Holidays, which was a huge hit last year.

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Tron Lightcycle Power Run Coming to Magic Kingdom?

WDWNewsToday is claiming that the popular Tron Lightcycle Power Run attraction, which opened last year at Shanghai Disneyland, will be coming stateside to Walt Disney World Resort. It has been rumored for some time now that the Tron rollercoaster could be part of the upcoming Epcot remodel, but this new report claims that the coaster will be officially announced at the Parks and Resorts presentation at D23 Expo. The report claims that the new ride will open at the Magic Kingdom just before the park’s 50th birthday, replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway attraction which opened in 1971 as the Grand Prix Raceway. They predict that the Tomorrowland Speedway will close sometime in 2018 to make way for the construction and that the new coaster could open in 2020 or 2021.

Of course, this isn’t confirmed until it’s announced on stage at D23 Expo. A Tron coaster would be a great addition to Tomorrowland and it may piss off fewer Disney park fanatics than building it in Epcot’s Futureworld. Personally, I wish that they would bring this ride to Disneyland and replace Autopia, which is an okay kid’s attraction that takes up way too much land. And right now, it just doesn’t make much sense inside Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.

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