In case you haven't already heard, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is going down for refurbishment on October 27, 2016. And ever since this temporary closure was confirmed several weeks ago, fans have been going crazy as rumors of a re-theme have run rampant online.
Though Disney has not yet confirmed that the ride’s theme and/or soundtrack is being changed during this downtime, there are some interesting changes that seem to hint that something beyond just regular maintenance could be going on here....
Closing more than just an attraction
When an attraction closes, typically Disney puts up a sign, closes the door, puts an apologetic Cast Member out front and that’s it. However, it looks like the upcoming refurbishment of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will be a little bit different, as it was confirmed earlier this week that during this closure, it won’t just be the ride that is roped off, but also the larger Coaster Courtyard as well.
Now, while this could be a practical decision to prevent guests going into an area that will functionally be a dead end during this closure, we know that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has made use of these types of closed off spaces before (for instance, the end of Pixar Place has been transformed into a temporary dining area) and it seems curious that Disney would be taking this extra step during this refurbishment, especially since it could keep the Coaster Courtyard open to sell food and merchandise during the closure. And that isn’t the only weird thing that is raising questions about what is actually happening during this refurbishment…
The merchandise issue
Back in August we noticed that Disney removed all of the Aerosmith-branded merchandise for the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, even changing the name of this attraction on said merchandise to just the "Mickey Mouse Rock 'n Roller Coaster", which is curious indeed (you can check out the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster merchandise here for yourself). While it has been more than three months since we first noticed this change, the Aerosmith merchandise has yet to return to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and we can't help but wonder if this subtle shift was an early indication that change is indeed coming to this attraction.
Not enough time?
Although the preceeding developments hint at a potential re-theme, there is one big factor that contradicts this idea almost entirely: this current refurbishment is scheduled to end November 10, 2016, only two weeks after it kicks off. This means that unless extensive work is going on behind the scenes while the attraction is still open (which could be happening, but is unlikely), the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith will probably be keeping its current theme (at least for now). Given Disney's silence on the issue and the length of the refurbishment, we'd be really surprised if the ride re-opens with substantial changes, despite some of the weirdness happening with this attraction.
Do you think the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith will be getting a new theme as part of this refurbishment? Should it? Let us know what you think in the comments!