Theme Park Bits: Goodbye To Rock 'N' Roller Coaster, A Lion King Celebration, And More

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • A musically charged roller coaster is going the way of the dodo in Paris.
  • Epcot's space-themed restaurant may have a name.
  • Disneyland will celebrate The Lion King this summer.
  • And more!
  • The Rock 'N' Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith is one of only a handful of thrill-ride-style roller coasters in the Disney parks, but it's going away at Disneyland Paris. On September 1, the attraction will shut down for good to make room for a new Iron Man-themed attraction. Rock 'N' Roller Coaster isn't my favorite ride — yours truly is not a fan of upside-down coasters — and Aerosmith's relevance is...minimal now. But if you're a fan, don't delay — head to Paris before the fall to get in one last ride.

    The Lion King Remake

    With the upcoming animated remake of The Lion King, it's no surprise that the Disney Parks Blog just announced that the Disney California Adventure park will feature a film-themed celebration this summer. Details are sparse at this point, but they note that "a traveling troupe of storytellers" will celebrate the film with song and dance. DCA is mostly lacking in parade-style entertainment, so even if this is limited, it's an encouraging addition to the park's repertoire.

    As mentioned in a recent column, Disneyland is undergoing general improvements in Project Stardust, meant to plus up the park in advance of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. A major part of Project Stardust involves the park's visual icon, Sleeping Beauty Castle. The castle is currently shut down to go through some long-overdue refurbishment, and to fix general wear and tear. Though it's never ideal to experience the parks under construction, the product is likely going to be well worth the wait.

    So you love the Disney theme-park experience, right down to the food, but you want to have that experience at home. Well, for at least one food item, you may be in luck. As the picture above suggests, Mickey ice cream bars are now indeed being sold in grocery stores to celebrate his 90th birthday. The price for six bars is $6.99, which is a bit expensive. But having seen my son's delighted face when I bought him a box of these, it's...well, it might be worth it.

    Epcot is going through a major overhaul, with new attractions themed to Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy on the way. One of its additions will be a space-themed restaurant located in Future World, between the Test Track and Mission: Space pavilions. Few details are confirmed about the restaurant, but a recent help-wanted ad suggests the restaurant's name may be...Space 220. (The number refers to the average number of miles between Earth and the International Space Station.) The restaurant is recruiting an international set of cast members, and generally sounds like the most exciting addition to the nearly 40-year old park.

    I'm a big fan of the Disneyland YouTube series on its cast members, "Every Role A Starring Role". The show highlights different cast members in each video, all of whom have odd jobs around the park that have a great impact on your experience whether you know it or not. The latest video highlights a construction manager at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, offering a cool sneak peek from behind the scenes that emphasizes how much work is going into this massive new land. The only downside is how short the video is, but it's still worth a watch.