Commentary: What should play in this theater?

Nerdist of all sites had a speculation post on Facebook this morning about the new theater under construction behind Main Street USA. They suggested Frozen (based on its success at DHS/DCA), The Lion King (which just finished a year-long run at Shanghai Disneyland), Mary Poppins (from the popular Broadway/touring productions), Moana (from the popular movie and upcoming show at Shanghai DL) and Aladdin (as the previous occupant of DCA’s Hyperion Theater) as possible choices.

From that list, there are only two that seem even vaguely plausible: Moana and Aladdin. As the story suggests, Moana has popular songs by the current “it” songwriter… but Aladdin spent 13 years at the Hyperion – that’s a damn good track record! As for the others, Frozen is already well represented in both DHS and Epcot, whereas The Lion King already has a show at DAK. Mary Poppins, despite her new movie and upcoming addition to the UK pavilion at Epcot, is simply too much of a dark horse for such a high-profile location.

While Aladdin or Moana are two of the most likely candidates, we cannot forget about other shows that could resurrect from their theme park graves like: Tarzan Rocks (DAK, 1999-2006), Pocahontas (DAK, 1998-2008), Tangled (Disney cruise line, 2017-) or even moving Finding Nemo: The Musical to a presumably larger, more prestigious venue.

But while Nerdist wants to see MP, I feel like it’s bit of a reach. There is nothing stopping them from reaching so why not Big Hero 6: The Musical (yes, I know, they have problems with the Baymax suit, but a story focused on Hiro/Tadeshi could work) or even Treasure Planet as that film, like The Emperor’s New Groove, has developed somewhat of a cult following over the years.

Personally, I think they’d be better off rotating the shows on a regular basis with special shows at night to help draw crowds AWAY from the castle, like how they repurposed Theater of the Stars for a “Pixar symphony” over the summer, but they could also do special Disney Villians show for Halloween or a Frozen Holiday Celebration, etc.

I agree with other Mouse watchers that it will likely be Aladdin, Frozen or Moana, but what shows would YOU like to see?


Opinion: Goodbye, Ellen and TGMR

So today, Sunday, August 13th, is the last day to ride both “The Great Movie Ride” (an opening day attraction) and “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” …to be replaced by a Mickey Mouse dark ride and Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster respectively.

I’m open for change at Disney parks, but getting rid of either of these rides makes ZERO sense timing wise. September is the beginning of the Food & Wine Festival – the busiest time of year for Epcot, and the WORST possible time to close an attraction in the so-called “Future World.” Whereas, closing TGMR now is an even worse idea because that brings the park down to FOUR rides (Tower of Terror, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania and Star Tours).

I have no real deep emotional connection to either ride because the TCM update basically killed TGMR for me and Ellen’s ride was so laughably outdated that it burns any good will it may have accumulated in its notoriously bloated run time, and yet both of which could be easily fixed with half the effort or expense of starting fresh.

Seriously, how hard could it be to get Bill and Ellen back on that soundstage or if they really want something new retheme it to BH6 or Meet the Robinsons – anything but GOTG… and this link goes over some quick and easy fixes to TGMR.

I was hoping to spend this week trying to get some new shots of the new Grand Avenue section peeking up beyond the soon to be taken down construction walls… but, sadly, I can’t afford to stay on property right now as I’m still paying off my Knoebels trip (with a two day “layover” in Miami) from last month…

Opinion: Epcot updates from D23

Everyone else is talking about the new Guardians of the Galaxy (which I’d rather see in either Tomorrowland or DHS) and Tron rides, but I’m probably the only person on the internet excited about the recently announced restaurant at the newly expanded Mission Space attraction and the new upgraded film at the China pavilion (the French pavilion needs it more as their new ride will apparently be in a separate, newly constructed show building).

I love the Coral Reef Restaurant and The Skippers’ Canteen, but I really love the idea of dining on a space station overlooking Earth and the other planets. I can’t speak for the food, but if the other two are any indication, the prices will be “out of this world.”

GotG is being installed in the Universe of Energy pavilion which isn’t necessarily the best idea as there are better ways to update the tired “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” (closing August 13th) than turning it into a roller coaster and/or dark ride. My idea was to have Tadeshi educate Hiro about energy – this works for TWO reasons: 1) the characters are super popular at Epcot, and 2) they fit with the educational theme of the park. Bonus, 3) they could keep the dinosaurs! Kids love dinosaurs!

I’ve been calling for an import of the Ratatouille ride for years and while I’m super excited to finally ride it stateside, there’s not much new I can add at this point that I haven’t said 100x before either here or on any of the various Disney forums I subscribe to.

Memorial Day Weekend Update

Saturday is the official opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar at DAK. I was in the park when they were filming The View previewing it’s opening, but while it looks pretty when it isn’t crowded, this weekend isn’t going to be one of them. In fact, I will not set foot in the park until at least October or even December and, even then, it will probably still be packed.

Another place that will be packed is Universal’s Volcano Bay. It’s a brand-new water park and it’s walking distance to two of their main hotels (the others will offer a free shuttle service). Everything I’ve seen or heard about it makes it sound awesome…but I’m not sold on buying an expensive “3-park pass” to enter it (which is cool if you haven’t been to the other parks in a while, but for a park photog like me, it isn’t much of a deal).

Of course, LEGO Land Florida is opened it’s newest theme area (such as they are) “Ninjago” last month and their 2nd hotel The LEGO Land Beach Resort back in January. However, this weekend, is the opening of their water park.

I’m sure SeaWorld Orlando is doing something special, but I’m not sure what. However, as it is the “Last Sunday of the month,” expect Animal Rights Florida to be outside their main gate for at least most of the day.