Star Wars Land

It’s been a while since the last Theme Park Bits, and I have a lot of bits saved up to discuss, including the following:

  • Universal Studios Hollywood launches a virtual tour of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  • FastPass+-style tests being conducted at Space Mountain in Disneyland.
  • Watch a multi-angle perspective video of Fast & Furious: Supercharged.
  • Captain America will be leaving Disneyland next week.
  • Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land permit maps reveal Disney Hollywood Studios changes.
  • Could Disney World’s Star Wars Land open in time for Christmas 2018?
  • Marvel teases a new Haunted Mansion comic book series.
  • Disney World’s Hollywood Studios will launch a Disney villain-only dinner event called Club Villain.
  • New details on Animal Kingdom’s upcoming “Rivers of Light” show.

All that and more, in today’s Theme Park Bits. Hit the jump to board the ride.

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Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim)

This hasn’t been a terrible week for Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth). A few days ago he had his newest picture, Crimson Peak, warmly received at Fantastic Fest, and, apparently, he’s currently hard at work on another film at the moment. Little is known about project, but we think we have an idea for what this del Toro indie might be. Read more about it after the jump.

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Pacific Rim 2 characters

When Guillermo del Toro said that Charlie Day and Burn Gorman’s scientists were the main characters of Pacific Rim 2, it suggested a drastic shift in focus from the Jaeger pilots who lead the first film, such as the one played by Charlie Hunnam.

Today del Toro was on a Television Critics Association panel for the second season of his FX series The Strain. After the panel I asked del Toro to clarify whether Hunnam would return, and/or take a backseat to Pacific Rim 2 characters played by Day and Gorman. Read More »

haunted mansion doug jones hat box ghost

At Comic Con 2010, Guillermo del Toro surprised the crowd at Disney’s Hall H panel by publicly announcing that he would be producing (and probably directing) a new big screen adaptation of the classic Disneyland attraction The Haunted Mansion.  Its been almost four years since that announcement, and development is still on going. Del Toro offered a new update on the project during his Reddit AMA. Find out what the filmmaker said about the development of the Haunted Mansion movie adaptation including details of new screenwriters and Doug Jones Hat Box Ghost development art, after the jump.

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Disney Star Wars gift cards

There’s something for everyone in this edition of Theme Park Bits. From Back to the Future, to Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Little Mermaid, read about the following:

  • Is Back to the Future returning to Universal Studios Hollywood?
  • FastPass + is available to meet Mark Hamill and others at Star Wars Weekends.
  • You can own an original car from the Walt Disney World monorail.
  • Check out the new theater inside Animal Kingdom.
  • See original concept art from Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride.
  • What’s next for the Frozen franchise in the Disney theme parks?
  • Watch a video combining Darth Vader and cupcakes.
  • The Millennium Falcon takes center stage in a Star Wars Weekend promo.
  • The California Adventure Little Mermaid ride got a quiet upgrade.
  • Steven Spielberg speaks Japanese in new Universal Studios ad.
  • Video and images from the Hogwarts Express ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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Haunted Mansion Disney website

Things are always kind of mysterious in the world of Theme Parks. Whether it be a return to The Haunted Mansion or a curious $800 million investment, there’s always something to discuss. In this edition of Theme Park Bits, read about the following:

  • Disney just invested $800 million more into Shanghai Disney, could it be for Star Wars?
  • New changes have been made to the virtual Fastpass + technology.
  • Look at the new cell phone charging lockers.
  • A new video exploring the Ratatouille ride has been released by Disney.
  • The Hatbox Ghost could return to The Haunted Mansion for the 45th Anniversary
  • A fun rumor links a new Soarin’ and Indiana Jones.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:


Lots of cool little happenings in the movie-based theme park world, so we figured it was time for another edition of Theme Park Bits. Read about the following below:

  • Follow the progress of a new Ratatouille ride in Paris.
  • Check out a new Monsters University float.
  • A viral campaign for Transformers: The Ride has begun in Orlando.
  • Disney might soon offered rooms based on the Haunted Mansion, check out some images.
  • Roger Rabbit has gone missing, kind of, at Disney Hollywood Studios.

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Disney fanatics have been patiently waiting for an update on Guillermo Del Toro‘s live-action take on the classic ride, The Haunted Mansion. Most recently they got a not-so-welcome tease when Disney removed the film from their website, starting a huge round of rumors that the film had been shelved. This is not true, says Del Toro, who offered an update on the film in a new interview with Collider. Read, and watch what he had to say below. Read More »

Disney fans, and /Film readers, are likely aware that major Hollywood stars have been dressing up like Disney characters. It’s not as bad as it sounds. In the past few years we’ve seen Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Scarlett Johansson as Cinderella, Jessica Biel as Pocahontas and many others dressing up to help promote the Disney brand.

The trend now continues. Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz has done her 2012 Disney Dream portraits and they feature Russell Brand as Captain Hook from Peter Pan, and Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Jason Segel as Phineas, Ezra and Gus, the Hitchhiking Ghosts from The Haunted Mansion. It’s the first time the series has featured characters who originated in a theme park and not in a movie. Check them out below. Read More »