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In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • The much-maligned Stitch’s Great Escape attraction goes seasonal.
  • Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents will shut down in January to prepare for the next audio-animatorinc commander-in-chief.
  • A new proposal sheds more light on the original version of Epcot.
  • Go behind-the-scenes of Disneyland’s new Halloween attractions.
  • Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are getting new attractions based on Finding Nemo and Zootopia.
  • Updates on season pass information for Disneyland and Walt Disney World visitors.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood adds more characters from The Simpsons.

As is tradition, the Hall of Presidents attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World will close for six months following the upcoming election. When it re-opens, there will either be an audio-animatronic Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump joining the other robots onstage. Traditionally, the current President is also given the chance to address the audience, which means that either Clinton or Trump will be called in to record a brief speech to fill the mouth of their audio-animatronic counterpart. Insert your own bitter political commentary here.

Speaking of changes coming to The Magic Kingdom, the much-maligned Stitch’s Great Escape is shifting to a seasonal schedule. The show, which initially opened in 2004, closed down on October 1, but will re-open from November 19 through November 26 and from December 17 through January 2 (presumably to help handle the park’s absurd holiday crowds). Stitch’s Great Escape was the replacement for the fantastic and completely horrifying ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, but this show still upset children while offering nothing of value for older visitors. With the rumor mill churning out stories of a Wreck-It Ralph VR ride being eyed for this space, this change of schedule certainly suggests that a full closure is due in the near future. This is the rare Disney theme park ride no one will miss.

epcot

It’s common knowledge that Walt Disney originally intended for Epcot to be an actual city built on Walt Disney World property, a place where futurist ideas would flourish and citizens could live in a world of tomorrow. Everyone also agrees that it was a fairly insane notion, which is why Epcot was ultimately built as a theme park. However, Disney Avenue (via Paleofuture) has uncovered a booklet created by RCA as a pitch to the the Disney corporation, emphasizing how they could build the technologically advanced city Walt wanted. The most interesting tidbit? The city would operate on a cash-less monetary system:

WEDCOMM will function as an integral part of EPCOT’s monetary system. This will encompass electronic banking, credit card operations, credit card transfer and insurance.

Purchase transactions will be accomplished through automatic debiting of bank accounts. On line remote terminals at the point of purchase will handle the transactions. The checkless/cashless society.)

Credit card operations will be expanded to include transportation and entertainment.

You can explore more of RCA’s proposals at the links above.

As always, the Disney theme parks have undergone a transformation for the season, with new Fall and Halloween-themed decorations springing up all over Disneyland and Walt Disney World while special events and parades begin taking over the evening schedule (for a separate admission cost, of course). At Disneyland, this means the return of Mickey’s Halloween Party and the debut of the Frightfully Fun Parade, which spotlights some of the creepier and spookier characters in the Disney canon. For example, there’s now an entire float dedicated to villains and the Disney Parks Blog has shared the above video, which details what went in to building it.

Speaking of Disneyland Halloween makeovers, a new video offering a look at the new Sally audio-animatronic built for this year’s Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay has arrived online.

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