Theme Park Bits: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ at Walt Disney World, a New Disney Water Ride, and a Slew of Disneyland Updates
Posted on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- Disney reveals a new interactive theme park game based on Star Wars Rebels.
- A new water ride is coming to Walt Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon.
- Disneyland’s Rivers of America attractions will reopen next summer.
- Live music is returning to Tomorrowland Terrace.
- Disney California Adventure is retiring their World of Color – Celebrate! show.
- The Paint the Night parade at Disneyland is coming to an end.
- Disney has patented a very strange new piece of technology for park visitors.
Disney has spent the past few years looking into new ways to keep easily distracted youths engaged while on their family vacations and the result has been various interactive experiences that “gamify” the theme park process (I’m old enough to consider a theme park trip enough of a game already, thank you very much). Since Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom has been a hit, it makes sense that Disney would introduce the Star Wars Rebels Interactive Adventure at their Hollywood Studios theme park, which allows visitors to “go undercover” and embark on a secret mission for the Rebel Alliance as they go about their business. While the bulk of the experience is powered by an app, users will get to utilize props and costumes and even win a medal upon completing all of their assigned tasks.
It can’t be a coincidence that Walt Disney World has announced a slew of improvements and new attractions for their waterparks at the same time that Universal Orlando is charging toward the opening date of their ambitious Volcano Bay project. Disney has announced Miss Fortune Falls, a new water raft ride at their Typhoon Lagoon park that they describe thusly:
Miss Fortune Falls will be a family-style raft attraction that takes guests on a splashing journey through the fabled Captain Mary Oceaneer’s past. Legend has it that Captain Oceanear, a treasure-hunting heroine, traveled across the sea collecting unique artifacts before she became stranded at Typhoon Lagoon many years ago by a rogue storm.
The way I look at it, competition between Disney and Universal on the waterpark front is ultimately going to be good for everyone, especially the guests who get to reap the benefits of both companies trying to one-up the other.
The construction of Star Wars Land at Disneyland has required some radical alterations to the park, specifically the re-routing of the Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad. And while the new area based on the most popular movie franchise of all time is still a few years away, it sounds like construction on these older areas will finish up in less than a year. The official Disney parks blog has announced that the railroad and all of the attractions associated with the Rivers of the America will reopen in the summer of 2017, including Fantasmic!, the Mark Twain Riverboat, Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island, and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. Interestingly, this post celebrates their return to the attraction line-up without even mentioning the reason for their closing in the first place. Star Wars Land is really under lock and key at the moment…