(Update: Some sources now say Rafiki’s Planet Watch will not be closed permanently. It is only going down for a refurbishment. I cannot find a good source to confirm or deny this but we can hope it is not going away.)
According to the Orlando Sentinel Rafiki’s Planet Watch will be closing soon! There have been rumors for a while and now it is happening. Disney has not announced any replacement yet but animal care facilities will remain open (for animal care not to the public.)
I hate to see (almost) anything closed at Walt Disney World but it happens. Sometimes for a very good reason and sometimes for a less good one. So why is Disney doing this? And what will become of the land? I can only speculate but read on for my thoughts (and share yours too!) Continue reading Rafiki’s Planet Watch Closing In October→
Even though Pandora just opened there are still Animal Kingdom rumors. According to separate rumors there are two new expansions under consideration. Those two new expansions are Indiana Jones and Zootopia.
Both expansions are based on popular Disney movie properties. This means Disney is keeping the synergy alive. But what are the chances that either of both of these will actually be built? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons and you can decide for yourself. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you think they will happen or if you even want them to happen. Continue reading Two Animal Kingdom Rumors Indiana Jones and Zootopia→
When Shanghai Disney opened in 2016 one of the biggest attractions was a Tron roller coaster. To be honest when I saw the videos I was more than a little jealous . When rumors started floating around I got a excited. But rumors are just that which leaves us with the question, is Tron coming to Walt Disney World? I cannot give you a definite answer. Bob Iger won’t return my calls but we can look at what the Tron coaster is, how likely it might show up in the States and where it might fit.
Disney recently sent out a survey to annual pass holders for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The questions focused on whether pass holders would pay more for high traffic days. Such days would include summer, spring break and holidays like Christmas. Different days of the week could even have different prices. (Disney already charges higher rates to stay at its resorts for weekends.)
It should be noted this was only a survey. Nothing is set in stone (and Grumpy hopes they just set it in the trashcan where this proposal belongs.)
The proposal was a three tiered system. The tiers would be bronze, silver and gold. To add to the frustration of another possible price increase is the fact that you could end up paying three different prices for your tickets!
And to top it off, there is no savings for the bronze ticket. It would cost just as much to go on a slow day as it does now but busier days would cost more.
Disney has not offered a reason for the survey but it could be a way to reduce crowding. Or it could just be a way to squeeze more money out of the guests.
If you have been to Hollywood Studios you have no doubt noticed the big dinosaur. She is in Echo lake just chilling . If you an ice cream fan you know exactly where she. This dinosaur is home to Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction.
But the dinosaur, named Gertie as you might have guessed from the ice cream shop, seems a little out of place in Hollywood Studios. In fact Grumpy finally broke down and did a little research to find out exactly what this dinosaur is doing at Hollywood Studios. Turns out there is a good reason!
What Is This Dinosaur
Getie looks very cartoonish. In fact she looks neglected and in need of a good coat of paint, preferably in some more vibrant colors. But when you understand her history and the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios you will find she is perfect.
Gertie is a tribute to one of the original cartoon superstars, named Gertie of course. She was created to prove that animation really worked. When she was created, in 1914, people were skeptical about animation and moving pictures in general. So Winsor McCay created Gertie. You can see the original Gertie short below. Keep in mind this was in the era of silent films and before “talkies.”
So that explains who Gertie is but why is she at Hollywood Studios? When Hollywood Studios was Disney’s MGM Studios the park was dedicated to more than just fun rides and shows. It was a place to learn about how movies were made. It was also a place to pay tribute to the great movies of the past, which is why Gertie is perfect just where she is.
As for the paint job, well she is consistent with the era of movies she represents. Nothing too fancy.
Is Gertie headed for extinction?
Rumors abound that Hollywood Studios is going to be getting a major expansion soon. Bog Iger, the big cheese over all Walt Disney companies and subsidiaries, has all but confirmed that Star Wars is coming to Hollywood Studios. A Carsland or Pixarland may also be coming.
While more is certainly better in this case the question is where will this expansion go? As much as Grumpy would love to say they will increase the size of the park it is highly unlikely that Disney will expand the park that much. In fact they may not expand it all.
That means somethings will have to go away. The Backlot Studio Tour and the American Idol Experience are already gone. Rumors say that The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Lights, Motor Action! are soon to follow. And unfortunately for Gertie, rumors are circulating that Echo Lake and Gertie are on their way out too.
But rumors are just rumors we can still hope that Hollywood Studios Gertie the dinosaur gets a reprieve and escapes extinction.
Want to learn more about Gertie? Click here for an excellent article.
Disney knows the worst part of visiting a theme park is waiting in line for rides. Guests waiting in line for hours for a two to three minute ride are not happy (or spending money on food and souvenirs.) So Disney introduced the Fastpass system in 1999 to get people out of line (and back to spending money?) In 2014 Disney eliminated the paper Fastpasses (seen below) and replaced them with a RFID system. But are the old paper Fastpasses returning?
Ever since the announcement that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 people have been asking, guessing and dreaming about Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios. Rumors have ranged from there will be a new Star Wars attraction to there will be an entirely new theme parks. The most accepted rumor has been that it will be more than a single attraction and less than a a new park. That means a new land similar to Carsland at Disney’s California Adventure. Continue reading Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios→