The blogs are lighting up this week with news that the Magic of Disney Animation will be closing July 12. But this is only one part of the story, and it’s likely we’re going to see drastic closures elsewhere in DHS as the park remakes itself. Here’s the thing: all this pain is a good thing. It’s necessary, and it shows the park isn’t using half measures any more.
DHS as a park has pretty much ALWAYS just used half-measures. Do what’s cheap and simple, seems to be the motto of the park. Some attractions linger long past their freshness date, and others are simple swaps of what’s current. Having stage shows based on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and American Idol are only the most recent examples of this kind of thinking. In a nutshell, the parks has built a career out of applying band-aids to situations that warrant much deeper triage.
There’s a credible rumor that One Man’s Dream will also be closing soon (July 18?), and with Jack Sparrow already gone, you’ve got a lot of land to work with in one building. Throw in the Voyage of the Little Mermaid and we could see a huge build out of PIXAR stuff. Maybe that rumored Monsters Inc doors coaster? Or even a clone of the Crush’s Coaster from Paris? (It’s phenomenal, by the way… I’d be thrilled).
The Backlot Tour has already closed–and we’re expecting a Toy Story playland to pop up there–think flat rides and spinners, themed to Toy Story. This is also something borrowed from Paris.
The move of the Frozen sing-along to the former Idol theater means that the back corner of the park is freed up. The Streets of America are always deserted (except maybe for Christmas lights in that season), and the creaky Lights Motors Action (LMA) show could easily go the way of the dodo…. leaving even more room. Could they be thinking to start the Star Wars Land right there at LMA and extend it up to the Indiana Jones stunt show? That could be a huge Star Wars area.
But wait, there’s more. What if they used the Disney Animation building space for a backstage facility–CM parking? That would free up one quarter of the existing lot. And what if they MOVED the onramp and parking access to Victory Way, away from World Drive? That would open up even MORE backstage room. The fundamental shape of the park could change. Star Wars Land could be half the entire park.
The point is, we aren’t talking band-aids anymore. Sure, it’s distressing to have much of the attractions closed in the meantime. But if it means a fully-realized park, probably with a new name (I’m for Disney’s Hollywood Adventure), then the pain will be worth it. Imagine a tripled PIXAR presence. Imagine four or six new Star Wars attractions and a full immersive land–or even SET of lands (plural)–to come from all this.
Irritating transition? Sure. But worth it. To save the patient, sometimes you’ve got to amputate.