A new name for Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Indiana Jones Land in Walt Disney World? More Muppets? Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark? Once again, we have a news and rumor roundup for Walt Disney World…and this time an item from Disneyland, too.
In this post, we’ll share some thoughts on each Disney news story. When it comes to the rumors, we’re covering a couple this week that do not sound particularly plausible. However, several of you asked about some of these, so we’ll offer some perspective on the veracity of these rumors…at least in our opinion.
First up, the potential new names for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The last I had heard, Disney Hollywood Adventure was the favored name, but that isn’t on the list at all. It’s been a while since I’ve heard that name floated, and perhaps additional changes (such as Great Movie Ride’s closure) have ruled that out. There are some doozies of names on this list…
These names are derived from an ordinary post-vacation survey that was sent to select guests. Here are the options that were presented on the survey:
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney Kaleidoscope Park
Disney Storyverse Park
Disney Hyperia Park
Disney Beyond Park
Disney Cinemagic Park
Disney Legends Park
Disney XL Park
Disney Cinemagine Park
Obviously, some of these names are laughably bad. Disney XL Park? While it’s fun to poke fun at some of these choices or wonder what they’re thinking, the reality is that at least a couple of these are probably not serious contenders. Rather, they’re included to rule out respondents who clearly don’t care.
I’d hazard a guess that something like Kaleidoscope Park wouldn’t be chosen since it’s difficult to spell, with Beyond, Legends, and XL Park being unlikely candidates. Storyverse is one of those names that is perfectly apt, but just seems a bit too on the nose. They might as well call it “Big Bob’s IP Barn Park.”
Maybe re-theme Tower of Terror to an attraction featuring Bob “the Collector” Iger who showcases his various IP acquisitions, with a motley crew of them trying to escape, set to music by various Maker Studios “artists.” On second thought, I don’t want to give anyone, any ideas. Forget I said that.
Joking aside, I’m fine with Disney Cinemagic Park, but I think there might be a better option. It is interesting to me that every option on that survey follows the formulaic ‘Disney ____ Park.’
Conversationally, most people drop “Disney” and “Park” from these names, so choosing a generic middle word–or only one middle word–is an odd choice from a brand awareness perspective. If Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park were instead Disney Animal Park, what would people call it conversationally? Animal? Animal Park? Neither work as well as Animal Kingdom.
To that end, I maintain that Disney Hollywood Adventure–or even Disney Cinemagic Adventure–make more sense than any of these choices. I guess we’ll see what happens. I’d be shocked if the name does not change.
Switching coasts to the other Disney IP Loosely Based on California (And Other Stuff People Like) Adventure Park, where the Disney Parks Blog announced that Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will transform into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort’s evening hours.
The attraction will have a new plot, starting immediately after the conclusion of Mission: BREAKOUT when (spoiler alert!), the Guardians have successfully escaped the Collector’s Fortress. Unfortunately, Groot was accidentally left behind. So now you’re helping him escape, I guess. There’s also a new song, “Monsters After Dark,” created especially for this attraction.
I’m intrigued by this announcement. The ability to essentially flip a switch and have a different show after sunset showcases the flexibility of this attraction, which makes me optimistic that we’ll get regular seasonal overlays and ‘remixes’ when new Marvel films come out. I may not be the biggest Mission: BREAKOUT fan, but this flexibility definitely adds to its re-rideability.
It also reinforces my belief that the goal here was to design something that can be a relatively ‘blank slate’ and re-themed to an entirely different attraction over the course of only a couple months.
Next is a rumor that’s now a couple of weeks old, but I deemed too preposterous to post last week: that Indiana Jones Adventure is replacing DINOSAUR, and the whole land will be re-themed to resemble South America. I find this highly implausible.
People want to believe this rumor because Indiana Jones Adventure is far superior to DINOSAUR. Both use the same ride system, and have similar tracks, so it’s a superficially-plausible rumor. However, that does not make it actually plausible. Indiana Jones Adventure has scenes, effects, etc. that would be very difficult to add to the DINOSAUR show building. This would not be a simple overlay, and would be quite costly and time-consuming to make happen.
Moreover, DINOSAUR is a fairly popular attraction. “Not as popular as Indiana Jones Adventure” is not the right metric to use here, because on that basis, a lot of things would be replaced. When you consider that, plus the expense of making such a significant change, and then also factor in everything that has already been announced for Walt Disney World, this just does not pass the smell test.
What I could see happening is Dino-Rama and the Boneyard area eventually receiving a Lost River Delta type rethinking, perhaps with the long-rumored Excavator coaster being added. I do fear that after so much capex is spent elsewhere at Walt Disney World, the original design for that coaster might be replaced by the design for Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril (Disneyland Paris) or Raging Spirits (Tokyo DisneySea), both of which are short, weak attractions.
Time will tell, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on any of this. If you do…you’re likely to be holding it until after 2021.
Next is a rumor/news mix in the form of a casting call. DisneyAuditions.com has a new listing seeking “comedic actors” to “portray wide-eyed and naïve ‘scientific interns’. Set in a laboratory environment, the warm and friendly ‘intern’ enthusiastically supports various interactive audience experiences. Performers should have experience in interactive improvisational performance and must project a warm and inviting persona.”
Further details about the substance of the show–including its location–are unknown. Tying into a rumor further down this post, I’m hopeful it’s an expansion/relocation of Muppet Mobile Lab.
I could also see it being for Streetmosphere around the Imagination pavilion at Epcot, or in Dinoland at Animal Kingdom. Another possibility is peak-season entertainment in a theater setting. More entertainment is a good thing, so no complaints here!
We’ll end with my favorite type of rumor: one about a greater Muppets presence at Walt Disney World! There are rumblings (via WDWThemeParks.com) that a Muppets show akin to “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History” is being considered for Grand Avenue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The twist would be that the Muppets perform renditions of the various Star Wars movies is in the works.
It makes sense that this would be considered. Grand Avenue is a de facto queue for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, meaning that there’s a huge captive audience that will be congregated there. Entertaining them while in line is a savvy move, and neither interactive games nor on-the-ground Streetmosphere seems viable. Going above the crowd seems like a perfect solution.
I’d think the biggest obstacle to this happening is character integrity and continuity. Will Disney and Lucasfilm really want this right outside of where you step onto a planet from Star Wars? It’s not exactly breaking the fourth wall, but it sounds like it’d necessarily be incongruous with the Star Wars Universe. My take is “so what?” especially given that Star Tours is similarly problematic from that perspective–it’s more important to keep people entertained while in line.
I’m hopeful this happens, but I think it’s still far enough away that it could not come to fruition for a variety of reasons. In the meantime, I’d love to see Muppet Mobile Lab moved over to Grand Avenue once that project is finished this fall. Breathe a little life into that area.
What do you think about these Walt Disney World news? Any of these rumors you hope do or don’t come to fruition? Any questions? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!