Monday, September 14, 2015

Theme Parking: Out With The Old

  • A couple of very interesting news items dropped during our vacation last week to the Disneyland Resort (trip report coming soon). Of course I was nowhere near a computer, so I'm writing about them today.

  • First up, the Orange County Register reported that a very optimistic Tom Scaggs, COO of Walt Disney Company, announced a groundbreaking timeframe for the new Star Wars Land. According to Scaggs, both he and CEO Bob Iger are pushing to start development in 2016. A lot of the scuttlebutt online assumed a 2017 start date. Those estimates were based on the assumption either that at least two years of planning would be necessary post-announcement or that Disney would delay until 2017 to meet the letter of their agreement with the City of Anaheim. Considering the competition that Disneyland is expecting from Universal's Harry Potter land, Star Wars Land can't open soon enough. Of course, I initially estimated an open date of June 15, 2018, so a 2016 groundbreaking is way too late for my taste, but I suppose Disney knows what they are doing.

  • The other big news of the week was more bittersweet (or just bitter) for some. The long running musical, Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular, will finally draw to a close January 10, 2016. Taking its place will be a new musical based on the massive hit movie, Frozen. Several people online were losing their minds over the announcement. Some will genuinely miss the show, or, more likely, the Genie. Others seem to loathe Frozen so thoroughly that they decry any further incursion of the property into the parks. I agree in the sense that running three separate shows plus a meet-and-greet at the same time would be insane. So insane in fact that there is no way Disney is actually going to do that. My hope is that Disneyland will sunset the other, smaller shows to focus more on their new musical, while freeing up the other theaters for new productions. That would be the smart thing to do, right?

  • Right, Disneyland?

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