I hope you'll forgive me, I've been on night shift lately so the updates are going to be coming about this time for the next two weeks. Sometimes it's not great when the boss goes on vacation but at least the pay is good!
Wow! Today has been overloaded with rumors, most of them focusing on Disney World. It seems like rumors always hit on Tuesdays, perhaps I'll have to start a new piece that is "Rumor Tuesday" or something! Anyway, let's get down to the meat of this dish! It seems all the theme parks have rumors following them around right now, this is just a small sampling of what I've found floating about!
Again, please keep in mind these are rumors only right now! They come from various internet sources and until confirmed to the public, will always be rumors!
1. When the Grand Floridan Spa reopens, the spa at Saratoga Springs will be closing for a similar refurb.
2. The "glow ears" from World of Color will be incorporated into MK's nighttime entertainment.
3. Avatar Land WILL make DAK a full-day park and feature a nighttime spectacular.
4. Avatar Land will feature a "flex" restaurant similar to "Be Our Guest" that is quick-service by day, table service by night.
5. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom will be "locked" on easy mode until September at the earliest. This is due to overcrowding of the portals, not technical issues.
6. The next "articulated character" to be developed is Beast. The "core" characters have articulated heads at Dream Along With Mickey and other stage shows. Baloo and King Louie also have articulated heads on the cruise ships.
7. River Country/Ft. Wilderness DVC has been cancelled.
8. Major changes coming to DHS sooner rather than later. Details are fuzzy but some old blueprints have risen from the ash heap of WDI.
9. Decisions HAVE been made regarding Downtown Disney. I don't know what those decisions are, but I'm told an announcement won't be far off.
Universal Studios Orlando:
Odd things are afoot at Universal Studios Florida this past week, especially where Soundstage 44 is concerned. SS#44 is otherwise known as the former home to the short-lived Hercules / Xena attraction, and Murder She Wrote before that. The closed building has served a number of behind the scenes purposes over the years, but I believe was last used for guests as a haunt for The Director several years ago.
Previously work permits were issued for Halloween Horror Nights in seven locations for this year’s haunts. As in past years, it looks like they were reusing the old locations from the past once again, with the exception of the old Jaws queue house being dropped due to demolition, and the new Parade Building structure was also left off the list. As you can see as posted at HHNRumors.com, added to the list was a work order to include “BLD44 HERC&XENA” for a temporary haunt for HHN 2012.
This week things got weird… as a demolition permit was suddenly issued for Building 44. This was followed by the quick setup of heavy duty construction barrier walls surrounding the building and digging machines have already begun to tear up a few large holes in the ground behind the walls. If that wasn’t enough, there are also rumors claiming that Universal Creative performed some kind of balloon test on the site, floating up the balloons fairly high into the sky extending from the corners of Building 44, which could indicate we could be looking at a 50-75 foot structure being planned for the site.
Of course the internet is in a complete tizzy over this already because something is coming… and whatever it is, it looks to be something not only just approved at the last second, but something they are in a big hurry to fast-track into reality. Perhaps something to act as a stop-gap attraction in the off-years while we wait for the London side of the Potterverse. Along this same line of thought… if they are going to fast-track something there is a good chance it could be a copy of another attraction built or under construction elsewhere. ParkRumors has their own thoughts on some of this as well, along with details about the permits that report that these are attached to Universal Creative and not the park, which also is a good indication that this is for a new attraction.
It wont be the new Sesame ride rumored to be on the way to Singapore since the SeaWorld/ Busch parks have the rights to Sesame in the USA. Most of the attractions in the other Universal parks are already in place in Orlando as well with few exceptions. The site is really too small for a King Kong 3-D 360 style attraction… which has left everyone to wonder if there was a change of heart about bringing Transformers to Orlando after all. The ride has been an enormous hit for both the Singapore and Hollywood parks, which has caused some increased guests demand for it to come to Orlando. I’m not saying it is Transformers yet… but mearly something to keep in mind while we dig a little deeper. Stay tuned while we wait for our spies to report in.
Busch Gardens Tampa:
On May 2nd, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the owners/operators of Busch Gardens Tampa, filed a new trademark application for the name Desert Dive and registered the domain name DesertDive.com. Since the park’s new drop tower planned for 2013 will be going into the Timbuktu section of the park, it would only seem logical that these registrations are for the new attraction.
However, just because the park has trademarked the name doesn’t mean it’s the final name they’ve chosen for the attraction. We saw an excellent example of this back in 2010 when SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment registered the name “Cheetaka“. This was widely believed to be the final name for Busch Garden’s new Cheetah themed roller coaster, but it was changed at the last minute to “Cheetah Hunt“.
Below is a screenshot of the trademark application. What do you think of the name? Do you think it should change, or will this be the name of the 2013 drop tower? Let us know in the comments below, or on our forums!