Disney has confirmed that Mickey's Fun Wheel (previously the Sun Wheel) will open at Disney's California Adventure on May 8.

The wheel has been closed during the winter period to allow it to be re-themed, with the old sun face decoration being replaced by the face of Mickey Mouse. The ride is otherwise unchanged. The re-opening of the wheel is expected to mean that The Orange Stinger closes on around the same date, to be re-themed as Silly Symphony Swings (based on the short film "The Band Concert").

The re-theming of the Sun Wheel is part of a $1.1 billion, multi-year expansion and renovation plan for Disney's California Adventure. This will see the Paradise Pier Area (where the wheel resides) converted into a Victorian-style boardwalk - a transformation started last year with the opening of Toy Story Midway Mania. The Sunshine Plaza at the entrance to the park will be re-themed as Buena Vista Street (based on 1920s Los Angeles), while the Hollywood Pictures Backlot will become Hollywoodland (based on 1930s Hollywood).

The largest addition to the park will be Cars Land, based on the Pixar film of the same name. Among the new attractions in Cars Land will be Radiator Springs Racers, which will use the same technology as Test Track at Epcot. Almost a fifth of Disney's development budget will be splurged on the ride, which has an estimated cost of $200 million.


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