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All the changes to Disney Theme Parks!

D23 is the place to be if you’re a Disney-holic like the Two Gay Geeks are. Sadly we could not attend (Attending both D23 and San Diego Comic Con is a bit too much for us to handle!), but we kept our eyes open and ears low to the ground to catch any of the most exciting bit of news that would come up, and boy have we got a plethora of news for you! Are you comfortable? Do you have your “no-whip Frappuccino” all ready? Then let’s get started!

Official name for “Star Wars Land” is “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge”

While we have been referring to the new land as “Star Wars Land” for some time, it was already known that it was going to go by a different name, and at D23 that name was revealed. The name of the new land will be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and along with the new name, the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Bob Chapek, took to the stage at D23 to share all of the fun details about this new land.

The land will actually be an isolated trading post on a planet where the First Order and the Resistance are in constant battle. Some of the attractions include a chance to ride inside a Star Destroyer as part of an escape (this looks to be a dark ride), as well as coming face to face with an Imperial Walker. There will also be a Millennium Falcon simulator attraction that will place the park guest in the cockpit of the spaceship. What sets this apart is a report that guests will be able to actually determine the outcome of the attraction by how it is piloted, but if you do too badly you might get an unwelcome visit from a bounty hunter.

What is uncertain still is a story that we reported on two years ago from the last D23 where Bob Iger told audiences that if guests could receive a deeper, more immersive experience if so desired, including working for the Resistance, or being recruited to Join the First Order. It would be an opportunity to live the world of Star Wars. Now whether or not this is still being developed for the theme parks is uncertain. Construction on parks for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have already begun, but the Disneyland Park is expected to open before Walt Disney World’s does.

New Attractions for EPCOT

When EPCOT first opened it was touted as a showcase for many of the world’s nations. Guests could go there and enjoy an authentic cultural meal and learn more about the country they were visiting. However, times are changing. When it was decided that Norway Pavilion’s Maelstrom ride was to be replaced with a Frozen Ever After, many Disney purists turned their collective noses up at the decision, feeling it was removing the original spirit of the attraction. Regardless of what they thought however, from a business standpoint it was a success so now Disney is looking to see what else it can do.

Bringing in the Ratatouille ride from Disneyland Parks seems like a no-brainer, and would serve as a perfect fit for the French Pavilion. There is plenty of land around that themed area that very little, if anything, will have to be removed or remodeled to make this new attraction fit.

epcot ratatouille

The other new ride, and something of a surprise, is The Guardians of the Galaxy ride, and this will no resemblance to the new attraction over at Disneyland California Adventure. Instead this is suppose to be a hybrid of a dark ride and roller coaster, but what is confirmed is that it will take the place of Universe of Energy in the front Futureworld portion of EPCOT. What is known is that a young Peter Quill apparently visited EPCOT as a child, which means that this Marvel attraction might get quite a bit “meta,” if you know what I mean!

Lastly Mission: Space will be re-opening soon after a refurbishment, and with a new mission for riders to complete. While specifics were not provided, it was announced that “guests are going to blast off for an orbital adventure around the planet.” And if you happen to be one of those tough individuals who can take the rigors of the attraction you can then head on next door to a new restaurant that is being built that lets diners enjoy their meals while in outer space.

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TRON is coming to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Just a quick Monorail ride from EPCOT guests will see a new attraction coming all the way from Shanghai Disneyland, that being the Tron attraction!

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It will be placed next to Space Mountain and is a neon-lit ride that goes indoors and outdoors, taking riders on seats that resemble the lightcycles seen in both Tron and Tron: Legacy. There are plenty of visual effects as well as sudden speed boosts that will make this a ride like no other.

If you want to have an idea of what the attraction is like, just watch the first-person perspective of the attraction from Shanghai Disneyland below.

There currently isn’t any projected date for the new attraction, but with all of the excitement and work being put forth for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, it’s a strong likelihood that Tron will make its grand debut sometime in 2021, just in time for the resort’s 50th Anniversary.

Marvel Land coming to Disney California Adventure

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout Easter eggs

Not all of the fun is happening over in Orlando as the Anaheim Resort will see some further expansion on what started with Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!, the attraction that replaced Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror.

For those eagle-eyed guests visiting DCA, they will remember how Disney teased them with a mysterious hatch that featured the Avengers logo. It was at D23 that it was revealed that Marvel Land will be coming to this park, and it will most likely be replacing A Bug’s Land. While details of the new land are now revealed, the big question on everyone’s lips is how will Disney be able to negotiate a land of themed attractions based on Marvel Characters, when Universal Studios presently has the rights to those? One possible answer is that this will be solely for the Disneyland Resort as Universal in Orlando is the only park with the Marvel properties. Since Universal Studios in California doesn’t have an exclusive right to the Marvel characters, it is possible that this will give Disney California Adventure the opportunity to claim a piece of the very pie that the Disney company already owns. However, at the present time, no firm announcement has been made as to when this new land will open.

Forget Westworld… How about Star Wars World?

Back in April of this year we reported a story where Disney had started surveying guests about a possible Star Wars resort hotel to be built at Walt Disney World, and that it would allow guests to take a vacation on an “actual” starship from that universe. Well we here at TG2 Studios were convinced that if such a survey were being taken seriously by Disney that the overwhelming demand for such a resort hotel would force Disney to take action, and so they did!

Coming to Walt Disney World will be the first of hotel resorts that, according to Chapek, will offer “revolutionary vacation experiences” that will immerse guests in the world of their favorite universe. Starting with Star Wars, the hotel “combines a luxury resort with an immersion in an authentic Star Wars environment.”

Among some of the features include multi-day adventures in space, as well as planets that feature prominently in the universe of Star Wars, and much like the rumored guest experience that attendees might experience at Galaxy’s Edge, the guests at the resort will be actual citizens of the galaxy, along with the “proper attire” that will be provided to them. If anything this might take cosplay to a totally new level!

As a guest you will board the starship filled with storylines and ever-changing adventures.

Pictured below is some of the concept artwork for the resort, including windows that imitate outer space (much like the new restaurant adjoining Mission: Space), there will be costumed aliens walking around the resort, and rooms are reportedly inspired by the design of BB-8.

Star Wars Hotel

However, if Star Wars isn’t exactly your cup of blue milk, and if you have the money for it you can always jet over to Disneyland Paris and stay at the former Hotel New York that is to be re-imagined into New York: The Art of Marvel. Chapek announced that once there, the hotel “will transport our guests to the inspiring world of superheroes including Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider-Man among others!” There will be plenty of displays of costumes (think Tony Stark’s home) and other displays, all in a contemporary art gallery.

The intended goal of these revolutionary resorts is subject to much conversation. On one hand, they will provide guests with a completely new level of immersive entertainment, but on the other hand if overall Walt Disney World Resort goal is to have guests visit the theme parks, then having a resort like the Star Wars hotel might prove to be a disservice as guests may not choose to leave. On the other hand, having a resort might prove to be a great way to help take some of the crowds out of the park, as well as providing engaging entertainment to guests of all ages in a setting that might not necessarily be overrun with crowds, like Galaxy’s Edge might be when it finally opens in both Anaheim and Orlando.
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With all of the new announcements that Disney has just announced, do you think this is something that the resorts can actually achieve, or have they merely bitten off more than they can chew? What about costs? Do you think that this will increase hotel and ticket prices to a point where only a small percentage of the vacationing public might actually be able to enjoy it? By raising the bar for quality vacations, have they priced themselves “out of the market?”
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