Update: 10 New Lands Confirmed or Rumored for Disney Theme ParksBy Nick Sim, Friday, May 23, 2014 13:12
Disney's Imagineering teams have multiple projects on the go at any one time. Let's take a look at 10 new lands that are either confirmed or rumored as being on their way to the company's theme parks.
Despite reports that all theme park projects have been put on hold by Disney CEO Bob Iger, in reality several projects are in still in active development. However, it remains unlikely that all 10 of these lands will see the light of day - not just because of the impact of overspending on Walt Disney World's MyMagic+ implementation, but also because changing priorities and budgets always result in the cancellation of some Disney projects.
The development status of these lands varies dramatically. Some exist only on paper, while others are starting active construction. Disney, of course, doesn't always make public what it plans to install at its parks. But we've done our best to provide an update on the status of each land below.
10. Star Wars Land at Disneyland Paris
Even before Disney acquired LucasFilm in 2012 for $4 billion in 2012, there were persistent rumors that a Star Wars-themed land would be on its way to Disneyland Paris. This would be a mini-land within the existing Disoveryland, and its headline ride would be Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (the impoverished Disneyland Paris is the only Disney park still to host the original, 1980s version of Star Tours). Captain EO would reportedly be converted into a version of the Jedi Training Academy at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Buzz Lightyear's Pizza Planet restaurant, meanwhile, would become a recreation of the legendary Mos Eisley Cantina, complete with the unusual band playing in the background.
Status: While it seems inevitable that Star Tours will eventually get an upgrade, don't hold your breath on this one. The original reports gave this land a projected opening date in 2015, but that now looks very unlikely. Expect to wait much longer for Discoveryland to get the attention it deserves.
9. New Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland
The Tokyo Disney Resort is immune from any cutbacks instigated by Disney's own management, given that it is owned by the independent Oriental Land Company. While Tokyo DisneySea features many original attractions, Tokyo Disneyland is largely populated by clones of rides at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. No surprise, then, to hear rumors that the park's Fantasyland will undergo a similar transformation to that of its Florida counterpart, adding versions of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid.
Status: This one's just at the rumor stage at the moment, but it would be surprising if Tokyo Disneyland's management aren't eyeing clones of the Magic Kingdom's latest additions.
8. Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Replacing Camp Minnie-Mickey at Disney's Animal Kingdom, will be a new land themed around James Cameron's Avatar. Anchored by an impressive-looking "floating mountain" centerpiece that will rival the park's existing Tree of Life icon in terms of scale, it will replicate the dense, alien forests of the planet Pandora seen in the movie.
We can expect two main attractions in Pandora when it opens - the first will replicate a flight over the massive and mystifying terrain of the planet, no doubt encountering flying creatures and hovering landscapes. The second will be a boat ride through Pandora's forests.
Status: Camp Minnie-Mickey is now closed and its replacement is set to open in 2017. Check out the latest updates on our Pandora - The World of Avatar page.
7. Monstropolis at Disney California Adventure
The massive overhaul that Disney undertook over the past few years at Disney California Adventure has paid off with huge attendance increases at the park. No surprise, then, that further additions are rumored. Chief among these is a new land based on Monsters, Inc., headlined by a E-Ticket roller coaster and incorporating the existing Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue dark ride.
Status: There's been no official confirmation from Disney that this project even exists. However, the latest reports suggest that it if it does, then it's on hold at present (and quite possibly forever).
6. Star Wars Land at Disneyland
Rumors of a Star Wars makeover for Tomorrowland at Disneyland have been doing the rounds for many months. We take Micechat's reports with a pinch of salt, but the site claims that the land will incorporate a Millenium Falcon walkthrough and a speeder bike ride through an Ewok village.
Status: Bob Iger has strongly hinted that Star Wars in on its way to Disneyland. Speaking to Bloomberg in November 2013, Iger said: "There is a fair amount of development going on at Disney Imagineering right now to expand the Star Wars presence in Disneyland and Walt Disney World and eventually in other Disney theme parks around the world." This is some way short of a nailed-on confirmation of a Star Wars Land, although that hasn't stopped other websites from reporting it as such.