During last month’s D23 Expo, we learned a lot about several projects that Disney has been working on for the past few years. From the Mickey Mouse ride replacing the Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to confirmation that the Guardians of the Galaxy would be moving in to the Universe of Energy building aand even the surprise news that the France pavilion was getting a clone of a Disneyland Paris favorite at Epcot, there was certainly plenty of information shared at last month's event.
However, while we got some solid details on these projects, there were a few things that Disney technically confirmed during this event but didn’t provide many details on. From a big new addition at the Magic Kingdom, to a potential half dozen (or more!) closures coming to Epcot, here are the projects we can’t wait to hear more about!
A new theater comes to Main Street USA
While live theater is a big part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom (and Epcot, to a lesser extent), the Magic Kingdom has historically been a little lacking in this area, with only the castle forecourt stage being used for regular performances during the day. However, this will be changing in the very near future, as Disney unveiled plans last month to build a brand new entertainment venue on Main Street USA.
This new venue will be based on the iconic Willis Wood theater that existed in 1920s Kansas City, where Walt Disney lived after he left his hometown of Marceline. This historic recreation will be built in what is currently the backstage bypass area between Main Street U.S.A. and Tomorrowland, which will now presumably stay open once this venue opens.
However, though we know what this new location will look like and (roughly) where it will be located, Disney has not given us any details about this project. Construction has not begun yet, and Disney has not provided any updates about when they are planning to get this project underway, or more importantly, when this new theater might open. If we had to take a guess, we would say that construction probably won't start until after the holidays since this venue is used extensively for both Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, which means we're (likely) looking at a 2018 start date for construction, and potentially a late 2018 or 2019 opening for this venue. However, Disney hasn't said anything confirming or denying this timeline, so really this is all just an educated guess.
And of course, there’s an even bigger question fans likely have regarding this project: what kind of show Disney might debut here. While fans might hope for an original show, given the fact that Disney has been on a roll lately bringing rides and attractions from other parks to Orlando, we'd guess that they'd do the same here. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing! Disney California Adventure has had great success with its Broadway-style shows, including Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular and most recently Frozen: Live at the Hyperion. And looking beyond the parks, Disney Cruise Line has had many successful shows including Tangled: The Musical and even the Villains Tonight show.
While we're quite excited to see what Disney has planned for this new entertainment space, this isn't the only mysterious project Disney has been less-than-forthcoming about...