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5 Secrets Disney is Keeping From Guests About the Future of its Parks

Big things are happening at Walt Disney World. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is getting two new lands, work continues on Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot’s new Frozen ride will welcome its first guests in just a few months. This past weekend also saw the confirmation that Star Wars Land was on the way for Disneyland park as well (though the announcement wasn't exactly delivered the way we thought it would be...)

Though we now know a lot about what's to come at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, Disney didn’t exactly spill everything at the recent D23 Expo. Here are 5 secrets that Disney is still keeping about the future of its US parks and resorts.

1. A new name for Disney’s Hollywood Studios

While the dual announcements of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land for Disney's Hollywood Studios were definitely thrilling (even if they were expected), one announcement we wanted to hear last week that apparently didn’t make the cut was the new name that has been confirmed to be on the way for this park. 

It seems a little odd that Disney did not use the massive D23 platform to make the formal announcement of this park's new name, especially since Bob Iger himself has confirmed that a name change is on the way. Though we were a little disappointed that Disney didn't fully announce the reboot of this park, there are a number of plausible reasons that could explain Disney's decision to wait on this announcement.

For instance, Disney could be waiting until work has started on its newly-announced expansions before revealing the park's updated name, and could be planning to go through a “transitional” phase while work is underway (in the same way that Downtown Disney is currently “transitioning” into Disney Springs). Another possibility is Disney is still considering names for the park and hasn't quite nailed down the one they want to use yet. 

Whatever the case is, Disney is choosing to keep the next name of this park under wraps for now, which is a bit of a bummer for those of us who have been eagerly waiting for more information on this park's re-launch. 

2. A new theater for Disney’s Hollywood Studios

And speaking of changes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, work has been ongoing at the still unannounced (but very much confirmed) theater down Sunset Boulevard, which is now easily visible from the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster queue. Even though Disney used its most recent event to announce projects that are still in development, this project, which is already under construction (and could actually be completes before the end of the year) is still being strangely ignored. 

Whether this new theater will be a new event space (similar to the Premiere Theater), a new home for the Voyage of the Little Mermaid (which is rumored to be closing very soon due to the impending construction of Toy Story Land), or even something completely different, it would be nice to finally know what is going on with this new construction, and when we can expect to check out this new theater ourselves. 

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There are 8 comments.

They're spending a lot of time renovating Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. It's not a surprise to me that they are waiting on Epcot. Once Avatar or Toy Story is finished (whichever comes first), they'll probably announce and start building cool new stuff (besides frozen) for Epcot. So D23 2018 will probably be pretty big.

If you were listening carefully during Bob Iger's presentation and during the Parks & Resort Presentation respectively, they did refer to Disney's Hollywood Studios with its new name almost every time they talked about it. Every time they said the park's name, they were very careful to leave out the apostrophe s. Much like what happened with Disney California Adventure, they have dropped the apostrophe and called it Disney Hollywood Studios every time. (Listen back if you can)

Additionally I asked the Imagineers in the Pandora - World of AVATAR exhibit, and they advised they were still on track for a Summer 2017 opening and that had not changed.

I certainly hope so. Heading to Disneyworld in 2018, and really looking forward to seeing Pandora.

How can Disneyland get Marvel? That's Universal.

Disney's deal when purchasing Marvel included a clause that Disney could only use the characters west of the Mississippi River, while Universal has the rights to characters east of the Mississippi River. Hence Disneyland gets Marvel and WDW doesn't. Although I believe there is a loophole concerning one character, but I have no idea which character.

I was really hoping for news on the future of the Disneyland Paris resort, possibly the resort most in need of a major addition. Sadly, all they said was more or less "We just added Ratatouille and we're looking forward to the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris".
Don't get me wrong, Ratatouille is a great, and much needed, addition to the Walt Disney Studios Park. However, one would think they had big plans for the 25th anniversary of the resort. Apart from Buzz Lightyear and the Space Mountain redo, the Disneyland Paris park has not had a major new ride in 20 years. I guess they are too busy fixing years of maintenance neglect...

A lot is happening with DLP. Most of it is refurbishments. Check Disney and More for info on DLP.

I know, I read Disney and More weekly. Yes, the Experience Enhancement Plan is a welcome change. However, to me, celebrating a Disney resort's existence for a quarter of a century with something they should have done continuously since opening day (regular maintenance) is not sufficient to make me a return visitor again.
In my view, a major overhaul of the guest service experience is also needed to elevate the resort to the level of its sibling parks around the world.

I am happy that something is finally done to try to save the Paris resort, and I understand that the EEP does not give much room for major new attractions. Hopefully, the plan will bring the resort back on track and build a foundation for future expansions.


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