Disney World Reality Versus Rumor October 2015

Welcome to the October 2015 edition of Disney World Reality versus Rumor where we’ll take a look at the stories that are currently circulating to see which ones are confirmed and which ones are purely speculation.

Disney World Reality

  • Disney has announced that a new restaurant will be opening in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom by the end of this year. The brand new Jungle Skipper Canteen will be staffed by Jungle Cruise Skippers and will feature several unique dining rooms including a once-hidden secret meeting room of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.
  • Disney has shared more information and concept art for the new “Frozen Ever After” attraction opening in Epcot in Spring of 2016. We now know that guests will visit Arendelle for the Winter in Summer Celebration and that the attraction will feature favorite Frozen characters including the adorable Snowgies made famous in the animated short Frozen Fever.
  • Disney has also released the first details about the new Anna and Elsa meet and greet that will be opening in Spring 2016 in Epcot. The royal sisters will be holding court in the “Royal Sommerhus”; a charming greeting area that will reflect the interior design, architecture, and arts of Norway.
  • During the D23 Expo in August, we got our first peek into the highly anticipated Star Wars Land that will be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We know that Disney has planned a 14-acre themed land with retail, dining, and two new attractions. The first will be an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climatic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. The second attraction will put guests behind the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, as they take on a customized secret mission.
  • To get us geared up for the new Star Wars Land, Disney announced that they will be adding a few new Star Wars enhancements in the near future. First up is the Star Wars Launch Bay which is set to open later this year and will feature an interactive experience that will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Also coming up before the end of 2015, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.
  • Coming up in early 2016, a brand new event called Season of the Force will kick off at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. During this fan celebration, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.
  • Also in the works is the new Toy Story Land coming to Hollywood Studios. This themed 11 acre land is planned to include two new attractions: a slinky dog family friendly coaster and a little green alien spinning saucer ride.
  • Disney has also shared more details about Pandora – The World of AVATAR coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The new E-ticket attraction centerpiece of Pandora, AVATAR Flight of Passage, will allow guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

Disney World Rumor

  • There are rumors that Disney has plans in the works to redevelop the old River Country Water Park into another DVC property called Wilderness Junction. This resort would have an old west theme and would include a rodeo-type show like Disneyland Paris’ “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show”. Not only that but there is even gossip that the old Fort Wilderness train would be brought back into service with stops at Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Junction and Wilderness Lodge. And the best part of all? River Country would be reworked into a specially themed pool area similar to Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort for exclusive use by guests of Wilderness Junction.
  • Over the last few years, Disney has quietly been buying up over 3000 acres of land on the Westside of the Walt Disney World property. Flamingo Crossings is currently being built in this area and when complete will include seven hotels, retail shops, restaurants, and entertainment. In fact, two of the hotels a Springhill Suites and a TownePlace Suites are scheduled to open early next year. There are rumors that a new 300 acre Disney theme park will also be built in the Flamingo Crossings area. This park is rumored to have a villain theme and is to be called “Disney’s Dark Kingdom”. Attractions may even include a copy of Hong Kong’s incredibly popular Mystic Manor. When would the new park open, you ask? October 1, 2021 on Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
  • There has been gossip that Toy Story Land is just the first phase of Pixar expansion we will see at Hollywood Studios. Also rumored to be coming our way is a Monsters Inc. land where we’ll see the Streets of America reworked to be Monstropolis as well as a brand new coaster. Also in the works is a smaller design of California Adventure’s Carsland that will include an indoor version of Radiator Springs Racers and a Flo’s V-8 Café themed restaurant.
  • If you’re a fan of figment, Fear, or the Haunted Mansion wallpaper, you’ll be happy to know that a prototype of the new deep purple Disney World MagicBand has been spotted. Rumors are that it may not be added to the current lineup of free options, but instead will be sold online and in the parks for $12.95 like some of the other specialty bands.
  • So if you’ve been following the gossip about Hollywood Studios for awhile, you’ve probably already heard about the possible closure of Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. For the past few years, there have been many rumors about this long-time favorite being replaced by something new. It has often been speculated that a Tangled musical similar to what is now running on the Disney Magic cruise ship was on the way. The latest rumors are that the Beauty and the Beast show will be replaced by an all new Villain show! That’s right villain fans, it looks like a new musical featuring our evil favorites will be coming our way. Disney currently has casting calls for several villain-types that can sing and have a strong sense of comedic wit and timing. If you remember, in August 2014, Hollywood Studios hosted the one-night only Villains Unleashed party that was a huge success. Hopefully, this is a sign of more things to come.
  • While not many official announcements have been made about Season of the Force coming to Hollywood Studios, the current scoop is that it will run for approximately six weeks during January and February 2016. The event will be similar in style to Frozen Summer Fun with themed merchandise, food, and souvenirs. A new fireworks show is definitely in the plans so be on the lookout for a Star Wars dessert party to pop up, too. Will Season of the Force replace everyone’s favorite Star Wars weekends? Well, while rumors are currently flying that last year was it for the popular event, don’t panic yet. Walt Disney World’s official website is still promoting Star Wars Weekends in all their glory coming in summer 2016.

Look for another edition of Disney World Reality vs. Rumor in December 2015!

Need more Disney gossip?

Be sure to check out the Behind The Magic Podcast where you’ll find me as the resident Disney “Gossip Girl” dishing on all of the latest dirt on my weekly “Mouse Whispers” segment. Please check us out here!

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Are you excited about any of these changes – real or rumored?
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