In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- Movie Park Germany is getting a Star Trek ride.
- The Muppets are supposedly getting a new show at Walt Disney World.
- Construction on Universal’s new Fast and Furious ride is ongoing.
- The Florida Tower of Terror gets a special event…
- …while the California version prepared to get re-themed into Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Watch Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean stunt show.
- Updates on new attractions coming to Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland.
- And more!
The bulk of today’s Theme Part Bits is dedicated to Disney park news, so let’s get everything else out of the way first. Thankfully, one of the few pieces of non-Disney news is very interesting indeed: Movie Park Germany is building a new roller coaster themed around the Star Trek franchise. Details are scarce, but it will be the second highest attraction in the park, will be located near the entrance, and will be a launch coaster, which means it will be able to hit enormous speeds without the assist of an initial lift hill. If a roller coaster needed to simulate warp drive, that would be the way to do it.
Meanwhile, construction is underway on Universal Studios Florida’s new Fast and Furious attraction, which remains unnamed and mysterious. With the brand new Skull Island: Reign of Kong taking a segment from Universal Studios Hollywood’s tram tour and expanding it into a full ride, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this attraction be an expansion of the Fast and Furious: Supercharged experience that originated on the West Coast. Then again, they could be planning something completely different, which would be refreshing. In any case, it looks like this thing will open in 2018.
Although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, the internet has been awash in rumors that Walt Disney World is planning to bring a new Muppets-themed attraction to the Magic Kingdom theme park. Specifically, the attraction would be part of Liberty Square (the land that houses The Haunted Mansion and The Hall of Presidents) and would feature those iconic felt creatures teaching visitors about American history. In addition to sounding like a great Sam the Eagle showcase, this is really a wonderful idea that sounds like it will make tremendous use of these characters while acting as a throwback to the educational attractions that used to have a larger role in Disney theme parks. Between this and the Hollywood Studios park getting a full-fledged “Muppet Plaza” section around the MuppetVision 3D attraction and a brand new Muppet-themed restaurant, Disney is doubling down on Kermit and Piggy and the gang despite canceling their ABC sitcom. Canny? Foolish? I don’t know. But it’s a delightful choice.
Meanwhile, Epcot has added new attractions to their “Extra Magic Hours” program, which allows guests staying in hotels on Disney property to experience the parks before and after they are closed to the general public. This announcement is fairly standard stuff and most the attractions that are now available during these time aren’t especially major…except for the one that is major. Frozen Ever After is now an Extra Magic Hours ride, which is a smart move by Disney. The ride is as popular as expected (lines have been hours long) and this will allow guests to see it early (and possibly alleviate lines at opening) and will encourage Frozen-obsessed families to stay on property. Well played.
By now, you’ve probably seen footage from Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure attraction, a water ride that looks to be seriously reinventing what water rides can do. But it’s not the only Pirates of the Caribbean-themed piece of entertainment at the young park. Eye of the Storm: Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular is also up and running and good, close footage of the show has arrived online. Even if you don’t speak Chinese, you can watch this and get the basic gist of the whole thing.
— Universal Core (@Universal__Core) July 5, 2016
A few days ago, construction on Disneyland’s Star Wars Land officially went vertical. Now, new footage from the active site has arrived online. It’s astonishing to consider what this big pile of dirt will soon look like…