Collin’s Disney Parks Wish List for the Next Two Years!
The Disney Parks are in a period of construction unlike anything we’ve really ever experienced before. For the guest, that means two things. First, expect construction and “not so pretty” scenery at times. Second, new and amazing things are coming and coming sooner that you may realize! In about a year we’ll have Star Wars Land and Epcot will be in the heart of it’s largest update in history! It’s a great time to be a Disney fan.
At the same time, it’s going to be a time of changes and expansions that may or may not all be positive for those of us “stuck in the past” and those that are the nostalgic Disney fans. Almost ironically, I’m falling in between both opinions at this point in time and truthfully look forward to the changes but also remain a bit skeptical of what could be next and what could change along the way. Over the last few years my trust in Imagineering and it’s design concepts has changed rather aggressively. At one point I was a skeptic of Pandora and that changed drastically after the project debuted. The main lesson learned in all of this was to trust Imagineering even despite whatever IP may be tied to the project that is announced or has been announced. Imagineering will exceed expectations. They’ve been shocking us for years and hopefully these changes will be no different.
On the other end of the spectrum there’s always been and likely always will be things that I would love to see arrive in the parks or changes that I would make if given the opportunity (which will never happen lol). That’s what today is all about. I want to share some thoughts on what I’d like to see in the next two years at Walt Disney World both in a literal sense and in a “wishful thinking” perspective. Some of these are going to be personal goals, but for the most part these are what I’d like to see unfold in the foreseeable future.
1. Let There Be More to The Tron Expansion
There’s no doubt that many of us are looking forward to the debut of the Tron Lightcycle coaster which is officially coming to Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World, but I’d love to see more arrive that what has been announced. Personally, I believe Tomorrowland is way overdue for a table service restaurant and this could potentially be an incredible fit or opportunity to slide an addition into the mix without it being overly obvious during construction. Will it happen? I have no idea!
I could just imagine a futuristic glowing layout, reminiscent of the original attraction and the detail you could pump into the experience would be a near perfect incorporation to give Tomorrowland that needed boost or slight refresh that it’s starting to need in select areas. Even if Tron isn’t the entire theming basis, a new restaurant would be outstanding. Either way, I have a good feeling some rather serious, yet to be announced changes, could be rolling out for Tomorrowland in the next two years.
2. Find A Way to Disneyland
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I have never been out to Disneyland. From our part of the country, there are not to many budget friendly options to make the journey cost effective. At the same time, I’ve always wanted to find a way to “walk where Walt walked” and to take the time to experience the park with the greatest history of the Walt Disney parks and resorts world wide. This has been a goal of mine for around a year at this point and with new flights rolling out of neighboring airports, the dream may eventually become a reality. Put that one on the list for the next two years!
3. Announce A New Pavilion For Epcot
Epcot fans have been waiting in eager anticipation for years on end for a new pavilion in the World Showcase. After adding pavilions was essentially scrapped just a year after the park first opened, the World Showcase has remained rather untouched (with a few exceptions for attractions, etc.). For all intensive purposes, with the exception of Frozen and the Norway overhaul, not much has changed and the area itself would largely be recognizable to someone who hasn’t been to the parks in many years. Over the next two years, this should be changing with the announced plans for an overhaul of the Epcot experience. The details claim to be remaining true to the parks legacy and roots. Sadly, with the exception of some very early concept renderings, that’s about all we know regarding this project.
Do I anticipate a pavilion announcement? If you asked me 4 months ago I would have responded with an astounding yes. Today (August of 2018), I have to say a pavilion would fall in the maybe category. We’re getting a new Ratatouille attraction, a new space themed restaurant, and a Guardians themed coaster. I don’t think Disney will be taking on any more projects or announcing anymore changes until at least the end of the year. Could it be sooner? Absolutely. I would love to be wrong about this one! Either way, I don’t think it would be (or will be) completed within the next two years.
4. Figure Out What is Happening With Figment
Sticking with Epcot, I want to see an answer about Figment and Journey Into Imagination by this time next year, if not sooner. For the last three years I expected Journey Into Imagination to announce it’s final ride date. It hasn’t happened yet and personally I don’t want it to happen anytime soon. In a perfect world, it would be incredible if they would go back and rebrand the experience to it’s original iteration while adding technological improvements to further redevelop the experience.
ImageWorks desperately needs an overhaul. The entertainment is hopeless at this point. Half of the 1990’s computers don’t work and it’s no longer impressive to send an email to a family member back home with your picture on it… That’s why we have iPhones! lol. As with anything nostalgic, I certainly have fond memories of the experience as a kid, but when things start to break and in turn gets abandoned, it’s time for a change! If Disney could accept a sponsor for this area in the tech realm that would showcase new technologies or even their latest products, you could really bring this space back! If you want to stick with the “Image” title, invite Sony, Nikon, or even Canon in and have them showcase the latest and greatest cameras, We are stepping into the age of Mirrorless cameras and the technology that could be exhibited in this space would really exceed expectations. I’m typically not a proponent of “branding” in the parks but since Kodak is essentially a thing of the past, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to bring in a newer brand to revitalize the area even temporarily.
Another option, and personally the one I think is more wishful thinking, would be to create a space for true nostalgia. Polaroid cameras are a hit right now, classic toys would take guests back to their childhood days, and guests could get hands on with things of the past. Bring back classic aspects of the pavilion like a new and improved rainbow corridor and reopen the second floor to everyone! The view and experience from the glass “pyramid” is one of the most underutilized spaces in Epcot. The sky is the limit for this one, but I wish Disney would finally give a definitive answer of what’s next.
It doesn’t look like Figment is going anywhere with his newfound presence as the “mascot” for the Epcot festivals, and truthfully I think we’ll see a day when “festival times” are all the time at Epcot!
5. The Replacement for Illuminations
I have strongly mixed feeling about even adding this to the list. It is inevitable that Illuminations or at least the current version of Illuminations is on it’s way out. When the final show will be, we really have no definitive idea at this point. We’ve made it through the summer without an announcement but it could arrive any day now. Documents were filed last month for some modification that likely relates to the show, and rumors exploded back in March about what was going to happen. So far, nothing has become of either piece of information/rumor but the announcement will happen at some point before the end of the year if I had to guess right at this moment.
What’s next? Again, if I had to guess, I have four expectations for this show. 1. Drones will likely be a part of the show. Intel has released videos with scaled performances that could astound guests over the World Showcase Lagoon. After the small scale test at Disney Springs around Christmas (a while ago) was so well received, I see it as an inevitable addition.
2. Water elements should be a part of the experience. Disney has done spectacularly well with World of Color in California. Personally, a World of Color scale performance was what I excepted of Rivers of Life, but this is actually a more fitting option. 3. Obviously we’ll see fireworks. The fireworks, in my opinion, will be something next level. Pyrotechnic technologies have come a long way in the last few years and I would love to see them implemented here. Additionally, I expect and hope for a show with multiple launch sites to surround the showcase in a new way. 4. Projection mapping should arrive! Epcot is the only park we’ve yet to see a real use of projection mapping in and to me it would be the ideal location. Light up the countries with projections and every single country presents a slightly different fireworks experience. It would be spectacular and rather that one main event there would be 11 different perspectives! Again, likely wishful thinking. Disney has to do something big with the show. It’s been a staple and a part of guests lives for nearly 20 years and it will be tough to replace it in so many different ways.
6. Experience the Skyliner
Sticking with the conceptualization of what’s next, I am beyond looking forward to this transportation concept. It has a lot of skeptics following it’s development and construction, but this could vastly improvement transport at Disney. More that anything, I want to ride these things and regain that perspective we lost when the Skyway was removed from Magic Kingdom. It’s in a new location and the technology behind it is vastly different but the views from above the parks and seeing the parks in a whole new way should be wonderful.
My only concern with this is the effects it may have on the International Gateway entrance to the World Showcase at Epcot. The current “hidden gem” entrance may be flooded with higher crowds and defeat that near ideal entrance to Epcot to avoid the crowds and slip away to the Boardwalk or anywhere else around Crescent Lake. It may not make that much of a difference if they make adjustments to handle the crowds, but only time will tell!
7. Update Carousel of Progress
This has been the common gripe from Disney fans for years. For the most part, guests really love the nostalgic nature of the attraction and repeat visitors have grown to love the attraction over the years. Among life long Disney fans, it’s obvious that this attraction needs a refurb and a slight update. The story is great but if they could or would alter that final scene or a few effects that have been neglected for quite some time, a lot more life could be added back into the attraction experience.
8. Fix the Peoplemover
I’m not entirely sure if this is just my bad luck or if it’s a growing trend, but inevitably the PeopleMover has broken down, stopped, or had issues nearly every time I’ve ridden it in the last year. On top of that, the line is getting more and more bogged down, likely due to the functionality issues. This attraction really needs some TLC. Don’t change anything, but get it back to a more reliable form like it once was.
This list only scratches the surface of what I’d like to see next and truthfully I may have to do a “part 2” of this article to cover a few more details and things I’d like to see unfold in the parks in the coming years.
If you were calling the shots, what would be the one thing you’d try to develop in the next 2 years? Inevitably Star Wars is on our list but at this point we know a good deal about what is going to be debuted with that project. I’m really looking forward to the Cantina, but more that anything I’m looking forward to the things that have yet to be announced. Here’s to the next two years and all that those two years could debut!
As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you’re there, and we’ll keep the conversation going in the future. We’re not the largest Disney community, but we’re one that’s there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!
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A few short years ago, I was sitting in a college apartment trying to figure out what was "next" and came up with this idea to share my accumulated knowledge of the Disney Parks and Resorts with others. The end goal was to help others make the most of their Disney experience and it's been quite the journey!