After closing the version of the ride in Florida, Disney’s CEO was noticeably silent regarding the fate of the one found at Disneyland.
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There are so many things happening and changing at the Disney Parks and Resorts. From new rides and attractions to brand-new snacks and treats, the biggest obstacle ina Disney vacation (besides the price) is planning exactly what to do during your stay. Here’s a quick reminder of everything happening at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”
Changes at Disney World
There’s so much happening at the Disney Parks and Resorts right now that it can be hard to keep up, especially if you have your eye on more than one at a time. At Walt Disney World, things have been moving along very steadily, with EPCOT receiving the largest refurbishment and renovation of any Disney Park in recent memory.
This transformation involves renaming and retheming several lands as well as adding new rides and attractions featuring some of your favorite Disney and Marvel characters and properties like Guardians of the Galaxy and Moana.
Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), Drax (Dave Bautista), and Groot (Vin Diesel) all made their Walt Disney World debut last year when Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened at EPCOT, making it the first-ever roller coaster to open at the Park.
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This attraction utilizes new ride technology for Disney, allowing Guests to not only experience the thrills of a typical roller coaster but allowing them to spin as well. The ride features a unique soundtrack in that Guests are randomly given one of six different songs to accompany their journey.
The ride has been a big success for Disney, with many Guests likening it to a combination of Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Speaking of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, the infamous thrill ride featuring the legendary band Aerosmith will be closing for an extended refurbishment later this year.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios will still feature incredible rides and attractions like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash, and Toy Story Mania in Toy Story Land, and of course, everything there is to discover within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Things are heating up at Magic Kingdom, too, with the grand opening of TRON Lightcycle/Run just on the horizon. The coaster is set to officially open on April 4, 2023, after being announced all the way back in 2017. This infamous attraction has been the bane of many Disney World Guests, especially those who were fans of the classic Walt Disney World Railroad, as construction for TRON forced DIsney to close it for years.
The first version of this ride can be found at Shanghai Disney, and it’s quite an exciting, if not short, ride. However, Guests who think Disney needs to limit its usage of intellectual property within the Parks will not be too thrilled by the attraction’s massive footprint in Tomorrowland.
Video footage of the ride and its queue leaked last year, showing us that the ride looks ready to go any day. Guests have to store all of their personal belongings in a locker before riding this attraction, something that is new for Disney.
Based on the popular film franchise, TRON Lightcycle/Run in Orlando will be heavily influenced by the TRON Lightcycle Power Run coaster at Shanghai Disneyland. This ride’s official description reads:
Experience high-speed thrills and chills as the Grid comes alive in a heart-pounding race for survival. Created as a friendly way for “Programs” and “Users” to interact, the Power Run pits team against team in the quintessential quest to capture 8 Energy Gates and triumph over opponents.
Prepare for digitization after entering the portal—this is your access into the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe. As you leave the real world behind, you’ll proceed to the games as a member of Team Blue, ready to compete against some of the Grid’s most menacing Programs.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has the least going on currently, but with the addition of Avatar – The World of Pandora in 2017, we have to admit the Park feels very complete as is. Sure, there may not be as many rides or attractions to enjoy as the other three Walt Disney World Parks, but Animal Kindom feels distinctly special and unique and arguably stays the truest to its core theme.
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Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger did reveal that there are plans to bring experiences based on James Cameron’s Avatar franchise to the Disneyland Resort recently, but we don’t expect them to match the level of creativity and immersion found at the Orlando Resort.
For those that don’t know, the Walt Disney Company held its Q1 2023 earnings call Wednesday, which detailed quite a few impressive achievements and new things for fans to look forward to. From the previously mentioned Avatar experience at Disneyland to new sequels to some of our favorite Disney film franchises, Iger shared a lot of exciting information regarding the future of the Walt Disney Company.
However, Disney’s leading man Bob Iger was noticeably silent on the fate of Splash Mountain on the West Coast.
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Splash Mountain’s Troubled History
Disney has quite a history with Splash Mountain and Song of the South, the 1946 film that the ride is based on. We wouldn’t blame you if you had no idea Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and the rest of the theming of Splash Mountain actually came from a film due to it being essentially erased from the “Disney Vault.”
Of course, you can easily watch the film using other online sources, but you will not find Disney promoting the movie anywhere, nor will you find it streaming on Disney Plus. This is due to many criticizing the film and Disney for its portrayal of African Americans.
After many years of backlash, Disney finally decided to do something about it, revealing that the iconic log flume ride would be transformed into a new adventure inspired by The Princess and the Frog (2009). This was announced in 2020, with the new ride, called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, set to open in the Magic Kingdom in 2024.
Splash Mountain officially closed at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, back in January, leaving many wondering when, or if, Disneyland’s version would be getting the same treatment anytime soon.
There is a third version operating at the Tokyo Disney Resort, which will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. This ride at Tokyo Disneyland features all of the original theming and characters like Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear.
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During the call, Disney CEO Bob Iger did mention several exciting things Disney fans can look forward to. First, Iger revealed that sequels are being worked on for several fan-favorite Disney film franchises like Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia, something that was a shock to us here at Inside the Magic.
As we stated earlier, Iger also announced that Disney is planning on bringing Pandora – The World of Avatar to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. This jaw-dropping land first opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017 and has allowed Guests to get lost in the world of Pandora.
This news is very exciting, though not much was shared, with Iger claiming more information is “coming soon.” But Inside the Magic was surprised not to hear any mention of Splash Mountain or Tiana’s Bayou Adventure during the call, considering how much attention the overhaul has gotten both within Disney communities and the public at large.
While Iger did not mention Splash Mountain’s final days at the Anaheim, California Resort, we estimate that Guests probably don’t have much time left if they want to take one last ride with Br’er Rabbit, Bre’er Fox, and Br’er Bear.
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With Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opening in 2024 at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, we expected to hear more about the overhaul at the Disneyland Resort. Crews have already dismantled and destroyed parts of the attraction in Orlando, Florida, showing how eager Disney is to get this project done.
Construction walls have surrounded the once-popular Splash Mountain in Walt Disney World, with the attraction being erased entirely from Disney World’s attraction website. We assume Splash Mountain will be closing sometime this spring at the Disneyland Resort, but with no official statement being made by Disney or Bob Iger during the Q1 earnings call, we’re still in the dark for now.
However, we could not be more excited to embark on this new adventure alongside Princess Tiana.
The Disneyland Resort has gotten a few upgrades recently, most notably with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opening at the Disneyland Park. The ride, a copy of the one found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, is an adorable projection-based experience, complete with a trackless ride system, similar to the one found on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
In other Disneyland news, the Indiana Jones Adventure is closed for an extensive refurbishment at the Disneyland Park. This classic dark ride has entertained Guests for years, taking them on an epic adventure side-by-side with Indiana Jones himself. DINOSAUR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom shares an identical track layout as well as ride vehicle, though the theming is obviously entirely different.
It’s rumored that this closure could bring in new elements and theming to coincide with the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the upcoming fifth film in the Indiana Jones franchise starring none other than Harrison Ford as the beloved Henry Jones Jr., a.k.a Indiana Jones.
Nothing is confirmed, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a few references to the new film being added to this classic Disney ride. In the meantime, stay here at Inside the Magic to keep up to date on everything Disney!
Will you miss Splash Mountain? Are you excited about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!