It’s Gonna be a Great Year!   Leave a comment

A Look at Some Pretty Big Going-Ons, Refurbs, and Openings in the Parks This Year!

Walt Disney World

Test Track 2.0, April-Fall
It’s happening. Not that we didn’t already know that. Nevertheless, this revamp is much needed, and appreciated. It’ll be very interesting to see what’s done to the attraction and (perhaps even more interesting) the queue.
Big Thunder Refurb, Now-May 27
Chances are that all this refurb will consist of is queue work. That’s nice, since the queue of endless switchbacks can be pretty unbearable. Rumour has it that we’ll see some interactive elements added. Also, I’m sure that the 3rd lift hill scenery will be addressed, as they should look at it after the Paris accident.
Peter Pan Queue/Skyway Removal/New Walkway Project, Now-Unknown
Work began last summer. Skyway building is down, and walls have gone up. The Pet Cemetery is gone, and the Merchandise Cart moved.  The restrooms between Harbour House and the end of Peter Pan’s queue will be removed to add more Pan queue space. And not just any queue space, Interactive Queue Space. Work has already started on Pan’s queue, which will not close for the major additions.
Storybook Circus, opens in March
Dumbo is closed, and elephants removed. On the other side of the park, the new spinner is in place and spinning.
There’s still quite some work to be done, like cement work, the tents, finishing Goofini, finishing Dumbo’s queue, and all of Casey Jr.’s Roundhouse….So really, everything. They’re racing the clock here. Will they get it done in time? Probably not. I expect at least one Dumbo to be open in time. Everything else will probably open in phases.
Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast Realms, opening Late Fall
Maybe the most exciting part of the FLE, aside from the Mine Train Coaster.  Mermaid will be a nice little darkride (as we saw with DCA’s version), and B&tB will be a nice, atmospheric addition.
As much as I love B&tB (saw it in 3D today as of writing!), this area of the expansion is kinda….unneeded. Be Our Guest will be a restaurant, built right next to another restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, both of which are built right next door to an existing restaurant, Village Haus. Even though the Haus can get pretty crowded, I don’t think they needed to put the eatery right there.

Art of Animation, opening in phases starting May 31
Another hotel. I’ve really nothing to say on it. It’ll be okay. Lil’ different from the other value resorts, seeing as the doors don’t face outside. Other than that, it’s nothing special.

Disneyland Resort

Main Street Work, Now-Spring 
This is a big one: nearly a whole block of Main Street is closed down for a restaurant expansion.  This project started with the fantastic-looking Jolly Holiday Bakery, and will end with new seating for Carnation Cafe. Other things going on include the new music loop. The new music loop, though small compared to what else is going on, is pretty significant. It’s completely re-recorded (No more Paragon Ragtime Orchestra), and sounds fantastic. Overall, Main Street is getting quite a bit of love.

Matterhorn Refurb, Now- June
Biggest news here is the new cars. Those old tandem seat cars are a thing of the past now, replaced with a sleek WDW-Space Mountain-like 3 seater. Seeing as I’ve never been to Disneyland to ride the Matterhorn, and have only heard of the uncomfortable the tandem seats cause, I can’t say much on the topic.

Buena Vista Street, Opening  May
Pretty exciting. A whole new kind of Main Street for this troubled park. After seeing things like the Pump House, and Carthay Circle, and concept artwork, I’m sure it’ll be a nice land. With all the Disney references, I’m sure Disney fans will have a blast looking for them.
Personally, I love the 1920s. The Red Cars will be a fantastic piece of theming for the land. All in all, it’s a home run of a land to me.

Cars Land, Opening June
Easily the biggest bit of the DCA expansion, Cars Land has been under our  constant surveillance. Though I, like many others, don’t particularly care for the whole land being themed to the Cars franchise, the land will still be fantastic. The amount of neon going into that land will be stunning to see at night!
Then there’s Radiator Springs Racers. The perfect E-Ticket that combines dark ride and thrill. The sheer size of the rockwork is impressive enough to want to ride it. Then you remember the ride has 2 competing tracks! Awesome.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Fantasy’s Maiden Voyage, March 31
After seeing first-hand how wonderful Disney Cruises and the Disney Dream are, I’m excited to see this new ship. It’ll be fantastic to sail in. Hope I get a chance to sail aboard her.

So while some of those things may seem unimpressive, that’s just all they’ve planned for 2012!  Quite the year, thus far! It’ll be exciting to see everything opening up.

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