Guide2WDW isn’t exactly a rumor site, but the Disney World rumors have been coming in so hot lately that I couldn’t resist weighing in on some of the juiciest rumblings coming out of the WDW Rumor Mill. There are three rumors that would have huge implications for Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Tomorrowland.
As with all online Disney World rumors, take all of these with a Space Mountain-sized grain of salt until they are announced by Disney. Even if the rumors are true, Disney could still change their mind and cancel the project before it’s publicly confirmed.
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Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster coming to Epcot
This rumor coming out of WDWNT.com is a bit of a head-scratcher: After skipping the Tower of Terror on the East Coast, it appears that the Guardians of the Galaxy will be landing in Epcot’s Future World. This rumor has been circling for awhile, with it being unclear if the Guardians ride will be replacing Ellen’s Energy Adventure or Mission: SPACE. The newest information implies that Ellen will be going the way of the dinosaurs in favor of a highly-themed indoor roller coaster, featuring elaborate scenes mixed with a long thrill ride portion. This sounds like something similar to what they did with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with mixing coaster and dark ride, but on a bigger thrill level.
This rumor frustrates me a bit, and not just because it seems like Disney is missing the opportunity to have a Guardians ride with “Mission: CAPITAL LETTERS” on each coast. What frustrates me is that a Guardians of the Galaxy ride just doesn’t fit the spirit of Future World. I don’t hate the idea of a roller coaster in Epcot, as it could be the spoonful of thrillride sugar that could help the edutainment medicine go down. By doing a Guardians of the Galaxy ride in Epcot, Disney would be putting a pure science fantasy property in a park that’s been about science fact. That’s not to say Imagineering won’t be clever about it: WDI’s team is full of extremely smart people who have a reverence for the mission of Epcot. I could think of a few ways to creatively incorporated the Guardian’s characters into Future World without losing the spirit, but it’s still a stretch.
From a pure logistics point of view, this move makes sense. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the few Marvel properties that they can actually use inside Walt Disney World; naturally, Disney would very much want to make an E-Ticket attraction themed to this very popular Marvel property. So, where would you put a Guardians coaster? Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom fits thematically, but there’s already a coaster in the land and there isn’t much space unless you get rid of Tomorrowland Speedway. Hollywood Studios would be a thematic fit as well, but they already have a popular indoor roller coaster, as well as a ton of investment already sunk in to Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land. You could even make a (somewhat terrible) argument that, with a raccoon and a tree as part of the team, Guardians could belong in Animal Kingdom. However, the cons are similar to Hollywood Studios: there’s already a popular coaster in the park, and Disney has sunk a lot of investment into Pandora, which opens next year. Epcot is the only park without a coaster, and Ellen’s Energy Adventure is a 45-minute long attraction that is about as popular today as high-emission fossil fuels.
Here’s an idea that Walt Disney Imagineering can use for free (I’m also available for hire… just saying). There’s another box-office hit Marvel property that you can use inside Disney World that has much stronger ties to technology and science: Big Hero 6. Baymax is a state of the art robot and AI. Hiro and the rest of the gang are a bunch of science nerds and engineers. You could easily make a pavilion about technology, robotics, or even keep it about energy tech, and incorporate the characters from Big Hero 6. The attraction could still be a roller coaster, and I bet a flying Baymax animatronic would be killer. Take it or leave it, but I think this idea could hit a sweet spot for Epcot.
Great Mickey Ride replacing Great Movie Ride
Here’s another head-scratcher coming from WDWNT, but like a fine cheese or wine, this idea is aging well for me. WDWNT reports that once the 3-year contract between Turner Classic Movies and Disney is up in late 2017, Disney would close the Great Movie Ride and replace it with a Mickey Mouse-themed attraction called The Great Mickey Ride. The attraction would be trackless (which sounds like a rumor I heard Jim Hill talking about a couple of years ago), and this could potentially go to Disneyland as well.
What do I think of this concept? While I’m not 100% thrilled, I actually kind of like it. Considering Disney has never had a Mickey Mouse ride, it seems like it’s time, and I’m a huge proponent of WDI putting in more trackless attractions into the stateside parks. All of my warm feelings for the Great Movie Ride are driven by nostalgia at this point. I think the attraction is neat, but it’s long lost its “must-ride” status for me.
Hollywood Studios is currently undergoing a massive identity transplant with the addition of Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land. When it opened, MGM Studios was a celebration of the making of movies and TV. Now, it seems like DHS will be a celebration of the movies and TV that Disney produces. Because Great Movie Ride is a so-called thesis attraction, it would only make sense to alter the ride to become Disney-centric, and Mickey is a great headliner for a family friendly attraction.
See ya, Stitch: Wreck-It Ralph coming to Tomorrowland
Now, for a rumor that I have no conflicted feelings about: The Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill and Len Testa reports that one of the least popular attractions at Walt Disney World will be replaced with a Wreck-It Ralph-themed ride. That’s right, Stitch’s Great Escape (aka my great nightmare) will be returning to its home planet, and a Sugar Rush VR-Racing game will be put in its place.
It seems like each race car will be a motion simulator, and guests will be racing against each other. Personally, I love this idea. Wreck-It Ralph is one of my favorite recent Disney movies, and I am a big fan of interactive competitive attractions. The VR and motion simulator combination could really help elevate this attraction above playing Mario Kart at home.
What do you think?
That’s it for this rendition of the WDW Rumor Mill. What do you think about these Disney World rumors? Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments below!