by: guide4wdw – Collin

As many of you certainly know, Disney just unveiled a huge series of upgrades coming to the Disney parks over the next few years. However, Disney’s reveal left a lot of questions unanswered and likely for a variety of good reasons. So, instead of repeating everything they have shared in their quite all inclusive articles over on the Disney Parks Blog, we’re taking a look at some of the questions these reveals have brought up. I do want to mention, before I really get into some details, that this is in no way intended as a criticism of the new additions. Everything looks truly outstanding, we just want to share some interesting items we picked up on throughout the presentation.  

First and foremost, while looking at the new concept art for Epcot’s Future World (which is interestingly the only concept image Disney has yet to release) a few distinct things are missing. The most striking elements left out of the image are the current wings housing Mouse Gear, potentially Electric Umbrella, Club Cool, and possibly the Fountain of Nations.
Of course, this very well could be a rough concept for the redesign, it would be quite interesting to see how a Future World with only one counter service location (Sunshine Seasons) and the loss of it’s largest retail location would operate. These things may get relocated, but to me it doesn’t quite add up to remove that particular area and not replace it with something other that the trees and walkways of the conceptual rendering. 
Also worth noting about the area is that a few things remain that we didn’t quite expect. For example, did anyone else notice the big yellow dome which was the Wonders of Life Pavilion at one point? For some reason it is still in the picture, which makes me think an attraction could go there in time that has yet to be announced (of course, that is blue sky speculation). Many believe the Imagination Pavilion will be getting a reboot along the way, but it is also cut off from the image, possibly intentionally. 

As you get closer to the World Showcase area of the park, the layout gets a bit interesting. First, it looks like a new or modified variation of the Fountain of Nations could be in the works. Also, the fountains surrounding the paths could point to a new nighttime spectacular as has been expected for quite some time to replace Illuminations. Again, simply speculation. 

Perhaps the most intriguing piece of the design is the round shaped building in the lower left of the image (near the monorail tracks). My personal guess is that this could be the new space themed restaurant. Of course, this is simply concept renderings, so things could definitely change and likely will do so over time as the project progresses.   

Moving beyond Epcot, another question arises. As Disney announced, a new DVC resort is being built and is said to have a roof top area that views both Epcot and Hollywood Studios nighttime entertainment. In all reality, that really leaves a few select places for the hotel to be located. However, based on the viewing opportunities for fireworks and other shows as described, it really lends itself to the space between Caribbean Beach and Hollywood Studios. We’ll just have to wait and see what they do! 

Moving over to Magic Kingdom, we now officially know that Tron will not encroach upon the “lifespan” of the Tomorrowland Speedway. Interestingly though, the image features a steam engine rolling down the same track structure that is already in place, despite it’s path running directly through the Tron Light cycle Coaster. My guess is that they’ll work around this similarly to how they do over at Splash Mountain. Either way, it’ll be neat to see how they avoid compromising the theming clash between the two concepts of completely different eras. Also arriving in the park is a new theatre which appears to be an addition rather that a redesign of current Main Street. If that’s the case, where will it go? In my own opinion, it appears from the image that it would be along the left hand side of Main Street, potentially in the area behind the fire station where the current backstage buildings are. Another possibility could be in the space directly behind Tony’s. Currently, the area is a parking lot and there is more that enough room for a fairly large theatre. If that is the case, an expansion of Main Street would be all but inevitable. While the backstage area is themed due to currently being used to alleviate exit traffic, I don’t see it as a permanent solution.  

Last, but not least, we haven’t quite been told how this new Star Wars “hotel” experience is going to develop. In my own opinion I see it operating similarly to how the cruises currently work. As a guest, everything would be included in the cost of your stay, and it very well could be on a per person rate rather that a room by room basis based on how they briefly described the experience.

There you have it. These are the top unanswered questions we have after the parks and resorts presentation at the D23 Expo. With all things considered, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens as it slowly but surely plays out. We’re truly looking forward to all of these expansions, but do have a lot of questions! Either way, things change and the parks will always be developing over time as Walt originally intended them to. As I’ve shared many times, Imagineering has never let me down, and I certainly don’t expect this to be the first time!

As always, thatks for reading and please SHARE this article with friends! What questions do you have about the new projects? Did we miss anything? Be sure to share your thoughts with us as well! Thanks!  

(Concept Art: Disney)

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