There have been whispers for some time now that Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) at Disney World would get its own Cars Land, and rumors erupted anew last week. There was a different intensity this time, with known insiders on message boards saying it would happen. Lights, Motors, Action (LMA) and presumably the Backlot Tour are on the chopping block if everything really does go forward, but remember that we are very much in the preliminary phase of explorations.

Even if these rumors are true (and I’ve heard nothing directly one way or another myself from inside sources), then we’re dealing with the “blue sky” phase of development, when ideas are freely kicked around and proposed, but no project has been fully greenlit and no budget apart from seed money for explorations will have been approved.

Let’s say that plans do proceed and some version of Radiator Springs Racers (RSR) comes to Florida. Will it be the entire Cars Land, or just RSR? No one knows, but the available acreage at DHS apparently is enough to handle the entire Cars Land as built in DCA (perhaps configuring the main street a bit differently).

Would Team Disney Orlando (TDO) “cheap out” like they often do, and only include a part of the experience? Could that mean just RSR but no Cars Land? Or maybe it will mean RSR but without the entire mountain range. I certainly hope they don’t go that route. That way lies madness. The awesomeness of the ride derives at least in part, maybe even in large part, from the fact that you are driving in front of, around, and through a freaking mountain range that they built by hand. Take that away and the ride is highly neutralized. Not completely, but it would lose something.

Cars Land mountain range
Yes, that's a man-made mountain range in the background. Yes, it's what makes it awesome.

What about the fact that RSR uses the same technology as Test Track? You can’t have two slot car rides in the same resort, right? This argument is used sometimes to explain why Indiana Jones Adventure from Disneyland has never been added to DHS–there is already an attraction at WDW that uses the same ride vehicle system (Dinosaur). But I don’t really buy this argument, for Indy or for RSR. It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean use the same ride design, and there are a whole lot of busbar-type dark rides along the lines of Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland.

More pressing is the issue of Florida weather. I’m sure they can build a mountain range to withstand a hurricane (although maybe not, if the Tree of Life is still falling apart). It’s the rain and lightning I’m thinking about. Test Track closes often in the summers due to lightning, and RSR would have the same problem. Would they enclose the whole ride to avoid this problem? Could be a good solution, but then you won’t see those awesome mountains and the ride becomes more run of the mill than it would have otherwise.

Doc Hudson in RSR
The animatronic cars are admittedly a big draw for the ride.

The show producer for Cars Land in DCA was moved over to WDW about a month ago. There was no announcement about what Kathy Mangum would do at WDW, but the timing certainly seems right if they are exploring a Cars Land or RSR expansion to DHS.

Here’s a hiccup: if they do demolish Lights Motors Action (LMA) for this new ride/land, that would likely mean a bunch of tangled red tape with the LMA sponsor, Brawny. Would they have to pay back the sponsorship money?

And some folks are saying (who knows how accurate this is) that John Lasseter and Disneyland Resort executives are all very much against RSR and Cars Land being cloned at WDW. They feel that the uniqueness of the area is a big draw, and DCA needs a big draw that the other parks can’t replicate. I have to say, I do agree with this logic. Poor DCA can’t catch a break. It finally gets a bona fide breakthrough hit, the sort of thing that makes people want to make the cross-country trek just to see it, and now there is talk about removing that uniqueness.

queue of RSR
It's not Calico ghost town, but it's the next best thing

You can see why WDW and TDO might be very interested in replicating Cars Land. It’s minting money over there in DCA, and it’s driving attendance like never before–reportedly exceeding even very optimistic expectations. And TDO is getting increasingly nervous about Universal. Not only is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter setting records, but there is a Potter expansion happening in the other park, basically doubling the size of the Potter theme park universe. Universal is also building Transformers at the same park, ratcheting this park up to a Magic Kingdom-style level of E-ticket rides.

Disney looks like it’s standing still in comparison. Its Fantasyland expansion looks anemic by comparison, and that vaunted Pandora expansion to DAK is both years away and so quiet that some people wonder if it will ever be built at all. Disney needs a Potter-swatter, and Fantasyland ain’t it.

Use the Farce

One idea often touted as the only real possible Potter swatter is a Star Wars land. If done right, it could put us Star Wars geeks on cloud nine… of Bespin. We’d be over the Endor moon! Imagine visiting the Mos Eisley cantina for real and drinking bubbling blue alcoholic drinks–who could resist? Every biosphere imaginable (forest, desert, ice, cloud, water, city) has its own planet in the Star Wars universe–could anything be MORE perfect for a theme park?

For the longest time, I assumed the problem was money. I figured that Lucas wanted more than Disney was willing to pay (who to blame in that equation would be hard to ascertain, though, absent actually being a fly on the wall during those negotiations).

But I realized this month that I’ve been wrong all this time. I have a new answer. Namely, George Lucas has turned to the dark side. By that, I don’t mean he’s become greedy. Ironically, greed would be good, since at least there’s a magic number that would satisfy such a person. Instead, what I mean is that Lucas has turned to satire.

Satire has long been a part of the Star Wars universe, but it’s always been on the periphery. Troops, the knockoff of the Cops TV show, was made without Lucas’s blessing (he apparently loved it). Robot Chicken, the pre-eminent satire of all things culture (especially science fiction and especially Star Wars), has been around since 2005, and its stop-motion gags captured the zeitgeist of the country. People seemed to like their Star Wars with a helping of irony.

Or maybe with a helping of cheese. Witness the increasing success of Star Wars Weekends at DHS in general, and the cheesy Hyperspace Hoopla in particular. The show doesn’t take Star Wars seriously; it lampoons it (lovingly, carefully, and always with reverence and fun). Disney has been doing this for some time. Did you see the hilarious ads showing an impatient Darth Vader waiting out his day at Disneyland until Star Tours was open? Because it’s FUNNY to see iconic Star Wars characters do anything mundane and everyday.

That’s all fine and good, but none of it was canon. The satirists often said plainly and visibly that they hoped George Lucas wouldn’t sue them. Well, they can rest easy. Lucas has joined them. The new show coming this fall called Star Wars Detours was previewed at the recent Celebration VI convention, and it’s very much like Robot Chicken, even made by the same people. It’s not stop-motion, but CGI animation, but otherwise the tone and irreverence is the same. And this time, it’s sanctioned by Lucas.

If you looked around the Orlando convention hall that weekend, you would have seen lots and lots of people dressed up as their favorite Star Wars character. But you’d also have seen oodles of people dressed up in some kind of mashup: Star Wars plus Muppets, Star Wars plus Ghostbusters, Star Wars plus disco. It’s irony they’re after, obviously, and the post-modern mentality means by necessity that they aren’t taking the real thing that seriously anymore.

I never heard this stormtrooper exclaim "WOMAN!" ... but I kept expecting it
Staying alive!
Themed to local university, UCF
Inspired by the Disney-Star Wars mashup advertising used for Star Wars Weekends
Ghostbusters? Look at what he's carrying: It's a trap!
"I see your Schwarz is as big as mine"
It's the Burger King! Sort of.

Here’s an irony: the most “pure” Star Wars stuff is now coming out of the fans, such as the famous 501st Legion of costume-players. If you put the 501st in charge of making a Star Wars land in DHS, you’d have something immersive, awesome, and realistic looking. But to judge by Detours (if not the various cosplay at the convention), Lucas himself would deliver a Star Wars land that lampoons the series rather than celebrates (let alone expand) it. That would spell trouble indeed for DHS. That would be no Potter-swatter.

Air Cooling?

Cousin Orville rigged up a contraption in Carousel of Progress he called “air cooling” that involved a desk fan and a block of ice. We know it better as air conditioning nowadays, and it’s a real requirement here in Central Florida. The place is a sweltering swamp left to its own devices, and it’s definitely so bad that no one would come here if they had to endure its natural temperatures.

So it’s pure folly that Disney appears to be tinkering with the air conditioning. In an attempt to expend less energy (and save money?), the company has been making some indoor areas less air conditioned. I noticed this some time ago on Spaceship Earth, when it got really bad, but a few years ago it leveled off at a tolerable level. Not as cold as before, but not as hot as they experimented with.

Two weekends ago I felt another “experiment” in ImageWorks, the post-show area of Imagination. It was stuffy and almost hot in there, and definitely unpleasant. Was it a broken air conditioner? I doubt it–I checked again seven days later, and it was still largely warm there rather than pleasant (the area under the glass pyramid was even worse). A colleague with me said he had heard Cast Members discussing this trend of reduced air conditioning recently, so I think it’s a fair bet they are seeing what they can get away it.

Make no bones about it: this stinks. It reeks of executives making decisions based on REPORTS rather than experience. If they live life in a cubicle at 75 degrees, I’m sure they wonder why the thermostats at ImageWorks have to be set all the way down to 70 degrees. “Why not bring them up to 75? Why not 77?” they must be asking themselves. After all, they feel chilly after a whole day at 75, so surely we can realize cost savings and environment savings by adjusting the thermostats out in the parks, too. I have a message for such executives: GO VISIT YOUR PARK LIKE THE VISITORS! If you stumble around Epcot during September (let alone August or July) all day, the last thing you want is a room chilled to 77 degrees. You want colder. Seventy-seven might cut it when you’re sitting in a cubicle all day, but it’s not what tourists need when they are in the parks all day. The executives who actually visit the parks on their days off already know this.

I suppose if they make it unpleasant enough, I can always wait a few months and then go have a cold butterbeer while I wait in line for the Gringott’s roller coaster. Since they have so many ex-Imagineers working to design and build the rides for Universal Creative now, the quality is top-notch. And I’ve seen no attempt by Universal to ratchet down their air conditioning.

Star Wars Celebration VI

The aforementioned Star Wars Celebration VI was a great enough event on its own (disclosure: I attended  with a provided media badge, but my wife bought her own four-day pass). There’s a little bit of everything here. You can get signatures and/or photographs from the stars (headliners this time were Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher), browse the vendors’ booths, attend panels and screenings, ogle props or fan-created droids, and a million other activities in between. Costume play (cosplay) was and remains a big part of the experience. Those aren’t dressed up seem preoccupied with photographing those who are, and there is a startling lack of personal barriers on this front. Many people flash skin (surprising) and they seem to turn exhibitionist at this event, willing to let strangers photograph them (even more surprising). Slave Leia is the mother prototype here, but there are all sorts of variations on this theme. It occurred to me that to a large extent, what we’re witnessing here is a fan event, where fans dress up to impress other fans.

Disney doesn’t have an exact clone of this model, though a few celebrity podcasters do attract a fan base big enough to warrant a comparison. There’s no cosplay, of course (though it WOULD be rather droll to see which women – and men – could pull off a Slave Leia look). But there is the same practice of fans interacting with other fans – call it “inter-fandom.” At the end of the day, that’s what becomes the focus for many fans: connections and personal relationships. Like Star Wars, Disney breeds fans worthy of the name “fanatic”, and I’m glad there are D23 Expos and Destination D conventions to provide a venue for the fandom, and “inter-fandom” that inevitably arises. We may not see as much cosplay yet in the Disney universe, but the Star Wars universe is showing us the way. I suspect more is coming.

Hey, uh, there's a wampa behind you!
Will the real Artoo please stand up - please stand up - please stand up
Try as we might, GONK didn't actually accept our Premier Pass or spit out any FastPasses


We’d like to invite you to just us for a FREE fun-filled scavenger hunt game celebrating Epcot’s 30th Anniversary.  The Quest, designed by Kevin Yee, is fun for the whole family and will take place on the Mexico side of World Showcase from 3:30pm until 6:30pm on September 29th, 2012.  Create a team of 1-4 people, and compete for the title of biggest Epcot geek. Fun prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.

While this event is free, we are asking that you register here so we can prepare your team materials in advance. This helps us run a smooth event. We appreciate your help in sharing the news about this free and fun tribute to Epcot. Invite your friends and family and have them sign up here!

More information and updates

Readers are invited to connect with Kevin online and face to face at the following locations:

  • Anonymouse

    Here’s the thing about Cars Land. Its not that great.

    Yes, I know that upsets people but hear me out. I feel that Cars Land does deserve all the praise, but I also feel that we are all a bit deceived about what makes Cars Land so awesome. Its not the Cars Franchise that has everyone so enamored, its the amazing Imagineers.

    Radiator Springs was never a destination anyone (other than Lasseter) actually said they wanted to go visit in real life. Yet the fact that it exists in such a highly detailed environment makes it somewhere that we now want to go. But for how long? As an AP and RSR fan then I’m going to Cars Land an awful lot and all that amazing Imagineer work is a wonder to behold the first time through but its not something that attracts you long term or for repeat visits because in the end the franchise is still a problematic one that is filled with very shallow characters in a locale that is only nostalgic to people who’s era is aging. Everyone I see now runs through those DCA gates and straight to RSR’s queue or FP line and bypasses all that amazing theming because in the end Luigi’s stack of tires or Flo’s V8 Cafe was never really a beloved place made real. Its just a well done front of somewhere few people care about.

    So while you may think I’m just being a jerk here, my point is this. Imagineers need to put their amazing talents towards a franchise people actually like. I know it upsets some people to hear this again, but Star Wars is the ultimate example. Unlike Avatar which has lost many of its biggest die-hard fans, Star Wars has managed to stay relavant despite being nearly 40 years old and having a series of prequels that severely underwhelmed its biggest fans. So if a universe like that has the staying power, the characters, the amazing locales and an existing partnership with Disney then why not get those Imagineers to really show us what they could do when they work on a project people actually want to exist in real life?

    (This post was too long. Sorry.) 😀

    • Johnny

      I, too, am not a fan of the Cars franchise but I realize it is quite popular. The larger issue is that a carbon copy of the west coast attraction does not fit in the environment of a movie studios themed park (other than being based on a movie, which is everything Disney does in the parks these days). In fact, based on the current offerings at Hollywood Studios, they should simply re-theme (and rename) the park to something more appropriate. The concept of a working studio is a joke at this point.

    • StevenW

      If Carsland was such a disappointment, they won’t be able to do a better job with Star Wars.

      Hey, the rock work and the town look terrific. They are perfect. They reached a pinnacle. To say they will do even better is an insult.

      The correct thing to say is Carsland is great, and they should do even better in Disney Studios. It’s really hard to go from terrible to great. The leap is much to high to jump.

  • KingEric

    Awesome article Kevin! I really want WDW and DLR to be separate experiences, independent of one another, not simply interchangeable experiences.

  • Gregg Condon

    I disagree that the people in charge of Star Wars Detours would bring a Star Wars land that “lampoons” the franchise.

    Quite the contrary. I think they are absolute lovers of the franchise. Lucas is so overly protective of the “Canon” that the lampooned versions are pretty much anybody else can do right now. And sadly, they are all infinitely better than the official Lucas Prequels.

    Sadly I don’t think any kind of Star Wars Land will happen until Lucas is gone.

  • SueinSac

    What about supporting all that weight in a Carsland in Florida? In DL, the bedrock is not that far down. In Florida, it’s all swampy. It must cost a lot more to stabilize something as heavy as a mountainous rockwall in Florida than it did in CA.

  • PSUMark

    I tend to agree with Gregg Condon. I think it’s a pretty flimsy argument to say that based on Celebration 6 CosPlay and a TV series that Lucas would lampoon things at DHS. Look at the prequels – if anything, they took themselves too seriously. Look at both incarnations of Star Tours – neither one was a parody at all; nor have any of the other Lucas/WDI collaborations resulted in satire. If there ever was a Star Wars section of DHS, it would be a joint effort between Lucas and WDI and if it received appropriate funding, it would surely be awesome. I think you were correct in your previous judgment – the issue is the funding. Whether or not Lucas wants $x amount of royalties, I think the bigger issue is TDO being willing to spend enough to design and build the land, and do it right.

  • airick75

    Anonymouse: I love “Cars,” and I’m thrilled to visit Radiator Springs BECAUSE of the MOVIE! I’m a picky movie fan, but I saw the original Cars before knowing the critics reaction and without expectations. Just sort of put it on one day on the dvd player, and, guess what? I loved it! I thought it was right up there with the best of Pixar’s movies. So, when I heard all the negative reactions, I was really surprised. Nonetheless, I think it’s awesome I can actually go to Radiator Springs, and I think Cars is a fantastic move. You didn’t like it – that’s cool, I respect your opinion. But I’m positive I’m not alone.

  • Kevin

    Wow Kevin. Good call on this Cars Land stuff for DHS. I completely feel the same about DCA. California Adventure is actually my favorite Disney Park and seeing that it finally has something unique that no other Disney Park has makes me feel a little pride in ownership (I don’t actually own the park but you get the idea). I understand that it makes sense to bring over an E-ticket attraction with a guaranteed success, but how does it fit into Hollywood Studios? Even with an attraction like Star Tours the story, as I believe, is that the guests start out on a Star Wars movie set. As the queue proceeds the set pieces start to blend into a much more immersive area that makes the guests feel as if they are in the movies. DHS is much like Universal Studios in Hollywood. The park draws attention to the fact that everything is film and film is fake. With a realistic place like Carsland I don’t see how DHS can pull off bringing the “Studio” aspect into the area and attraction. How do you think this would work if they were to bring RSR or even all of Carsland into DHS?

  • jcruise86

    I really want to take my family across the country to WDW, but the more it’s like Disneyland, the less likely we are to go there. Viva la difference! There’re already a RS presence in the At of Animation resort. Maybe the MK should make Autopia (or whatever it’s called out there) Cars themed.

  • Longaway

    While I don’t agree that the experiences between Florida and California need to be different to attract visitors, I can understand and respect that mind set. (I’ve wanted to see the Matterhorn and Alice in Wonderland since I was a small child, yet I’ve never gone to a Disney park outside of Florida.)

    That said, it’s time to be blunt; If John Lassetter wants the experiences to be different, then it’s time he paid some real attention to Florida.

    The “Avatar Land” deal was completely moronic. A single movie that has been shown to have no lasting impression on the general populace that cost them how much?

    If it was a Potter killer they wanted, Star Wars should have been the deal that was made. Maybe Lord of the Rings.

    Spending the money to buy out Universal’s Marvel rights wouldn’t be/have been a bad idea, either.

    If it was just a new land for Animal Kingdom, they should have saved the licensing money and started work on Beastly Kingdom.

    Being a Floridian, it’s feels so…slap in the face[?]…that after all the needed attention to Disneyland to revert from the Pressler/Harriss decade, Disney World has yet to receive any true loving care. Just because it’s not “Walt’s Park” doesn’t mean that it should be left to nickel and dime bean counters. Doesn’t “Walt’s Dream” deserve a little spit and polish and leadership that cares beyond the dollar?

    • PSUMark

      This. This to infinity.

    • Bronco21

      I don’t blame TDA and WDI for TDO’s stupid decision making and cheapness. If TDO wanted to spend the money to fix their parks than John Lasseter, WDI, ect would be more than happy to make it happen, the fact is that they don’t. That is why “New” Fantasyland is actually just rides cloned from other parks (at least I have heard that Seven dwarves coaster was being developed for Shanghai before TDO even thought of putting it in).

  • I’d love to see WDW build something on the scale of Cars Land or Wizarding World, but I don’t want it to be a clone.

    There are many wonderful properties Disney could tap into, OR they could be creative and build something original.

    I DO think they should press forward on a Star Wars land. But it scares me for them to do it at WDW because they are notorious for cutting projects back to their bare bones.

    Whatever they do, they need to start on it quickly. Universal will have doubled the size of Wizarding World and SeaWorld will have a trackless hybrid dark ride open soon.

    Disney needs BIG plans to show that they are still in the game. Clones and meet and greets just aren’t going to do it.

    • Susan Hughes

      Cars Land is a huge success. That’s a fact. But to copy it in Florida just screams out, “We can’t think of anything on our own” about the Orlando Imagineers. Credibility goes out the window.

      • Food_and_Wine_Fan

        I believe most of the imagineers involved in creating new attractions are actually based in Glendale, no matter what park is getting the attraction. But as for Orlando not getting anything original, i would submit that everything in Animal Kingdom was original (the last park built in WDW). The last park built in DLR featured Muppets 3D (DHS), Bug’s Life (AK), and the Tower of Terror (DHS).

        Attractions have been getting copied in other locations since MK first opened. In fact, Walt really didn’t care that much about the details of MK and told the imagineers they already knew how to design this stuff. He was more interested in creating E.P.C.O.T. So you have precedent from Walt himself back to the origins of WDW.

        My preference as a fan who visits both DLR and WDW would be that we would get unique attractions in both parks. But I understand that I am in a very small minority. I would bet that 95% of the people that visit Disney Parks usually just visit one of the two US resorts. (Actually the number is probably higher). And Disney is a business, so why not make use of all the imagineering investment to create a new attraction and put it into more than one park? (As a DIS shareholder, this certainly appeals to me). A lot of the visitors even expect it. When MK originally opened, it didn’t have pirates, and they got a lot of complaints that it was missing. Heck, I go to WDW much more than DL and I wish they would get an Indiana Jones ride (sorry Dinosaur just doesn’t measure up despite being the same track system).

        So should Disney build a copy of Cars Land in DHS? Maybe. I haven’t had a chance to go to DCA and check it out yet (summer of 2013 probably) but it sounds like a big hit and it might help the competition with Hogwarts over at Universal. I haven’t bothered doing the backlot tour in years and Lights, Motors, Action doesn’t have a high repeatability factor. DHS could certainly use another E-ticket. I think a Star Wars land would be fantastic, but I’m sure Cars Land would be pretty good too.

    • Erica

      I completely agree. I am a huge Disney fan but, even more, I am a theme park fan. If Disney doesn’t try to keep up, it will be easier and easier for me to get my theme park fix elsewhere and enjoy the great design done by talented people at other companies.

      • Erica

        To clarify, I was agreeing with Dusty’s comment.

        Susan: Decisions like these aren’t necessarily made by the Imagineers themselves. I doubt it is that they can’t think of new ideas. Considering the number of great ideas I see on forums and blogs, there must be a much bigger factor holding developments back. Bob Gurr made a great point recently when I heard him talk: it isn’t like the old days. There are politics in the way of building new theme elements & rides that just weren’t there before. Things take longer and great ideas sometimes never make it. It used to be that Walt wanted something and the first person who said ‘yes’ would make it happen. Now, there are many people in charge and they each have their own agenda.

        I see that many of the comments on the original post say that ride copies, like the Cars rumors suggest, would keep some of you from visiting the other parks. I hope that you reconsider and give them a chance. Once you’ve visited, then make a judgement. I am often surprised by how a similar ride at another Disney park still has a different feel to it. That said, I will always support the creation of unique experiences and hope to see Disney try to better compete with some of the great attractions showing up at other theme parks.

  • Monorailred

    Kevin – thanks for exposing the cheapness of the air conditioning. What is wrong with these suits? My goodness, I thought the days of Eisner’s penny-pinching were in the rear-view mirror, but each time I go to WDW I see it alive and well.

    I thought I was imagining the warm stores and attractions when I was there in August. My wife and I commented quite frequently on how warm the interior spaces were.

    Keep trying to hold their feet to the fire!

  • SpectroMan

    Anonymouse is RIGHT! Cars Land is nice but it’s not the best thing Disney has ever done. The neon is great – some of the food is great – RSR is great – but then you have 2 other small rides that are fun but no better than anything 50 years old across the Esplanade. I didn’t care for the movie at all and am still blown away that they chose it to market a whole new land. Duplicating this in DHS would be great for the average day guest there but horrible for the Imagineers who put their unique stamp on DCA’s version. Come on people, surely you can dream up something new for the Studios, Star Wars-related or not.

  • richboi117

    I love WDW, but NO to carsland being built there! Like everyone else has stated: the parks will lose their uniqueness. It’s already lost control in the 2000s where everything great from the parks made their way across the country. They need need new ideas and concepts. Then more people will flock to the opposite sides of the nation to see the different attractions. Thus more visitors and more money 😉 just like Disney loves!

  • jedited

    To Anonymouse and SpectroMan: you don’t like Cars and you didn’t want to go to Radiators Springs, BUT most little boys (4-10) DID.
    This is one of things that bothers me the most about a number of Disneyana fans. They don’t have kids. Disney’s bread and butter (read where MOST of their dollars come from) are families with kids. Before you complain about something that Disney does (Carsland, adding characters to Small World, shows on the Disney channel, etc), find a little kid and ask them what they think. YOU probably don’t like it, but THEY do (and they get their parents to spend ALOT of money).
    Plus Cars is in the TOP 5 franchises that Disney owns. Cars is a BILLION dollar franchise. It makes an ENOURMOUS amount of money for Disney. I happen to really like Cars. Wall*e was probably a better movie, but Disney isn’t making ANY money off of it now.
    I like Star Wars (as you can tell from my username), BUT Disney doesn’t OWN the franchise. They don’t get the merchandising renevue AND they have to pay Lucasfilm for the rights.

    • StevenW

      Disney fans get too technical about what is Disney and what it should do. Disney needs to do what it does best, which is create great attractions to visit.

  • StevenW

    My first choice would be the Star Wars Land. I agree that Irony hurts the franchise. They need to stop it before further ruining the property, but maybe it is too late. The first trilogy (4,5,6) was a classic. The newer trilogy sucked. They need to take it seriously.

    A Cars Land as a full clone will definitely help the park. I’m not fully against it if done right. They can build the desert landscape. Blend the desert landscape with Tatoonie with the alien cantina near Star Tours. That would be a transition worth waiting for.

  • martinjbell1986

    I like Longaway’s idea of a Lord of the Rings / Hobbit land 🙂

    • KingEric

      Only if Universal hasn’t snatched it up first… because… they might have.

  • KENfromOC

    My take on upcoming new areas at WDW is hope they never do an “Avatar” or “Star Wars” land. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit I was never much of a Star Wars fan (other than the original films amazing special effects) and I have never seen, nor have the desire to see Avatar. But my point is this: Regardless of how popular these entities were (and too Harry Potter) they are niche markets that are only drooled over by “Avatar geeks”..etc. In reality there are far more people out there like me, who could careless – especially because these were originally non-Disney properties. They have limited appeal, whereas at least with Cars Land, which too may be limited, it is a Disney (Pixar) product from the start and should have lasting appeal. I wonder how popular the Harry Potter area will be ten years from now? Maybe Disney should concentrate on totally original ideas for a new
    areas as they used to. Don’t forget… Pirates of the Caribbean was an original attraction long before it became blockbuster movies. Now it seems everything has to be based on an already proven product. Too bad….

  • Timekeeper

    Hmmm, I think if Cars does come to DHS, the area should be themed from one of the world locales in Cars 2, the Tokyo, Japan springs to my mind as an area that would balance between the Streets of America and the Pixar Place.
    RSR (ride wise) would begin in the garage before we head on to the streets of Tokyo indoors to simulate the nighttime atmosphere, then we in and around Mt. Fuji and we come to Monte Carlo, racing through it’s cliffs and entering a casino; while dodging the mafia, we race into a room, and it’s one of the rooms from the royal palace of England and we know we are in London, we go, stop the villain and we save queen, become heroes and we come back to the garage and exit.


    • Erica

      I have never seen Cars 2 because I was not a big fan of Cars (it is the only Pixar movie I have skipped seeing/owning). However, I think your idea is really cool. Although I’d love to see a different franchise or original story idea, I think using the world of Cars 2 would be a smart way for them to capitalize on the success of DCA without taking away its special-ness.

      One of my biggest annoyances is when people say: “Well, I don’t need to go to WDW/TDL/DLP because I’ve been to Disneyland and they are all the same.” I’ve been to every Disney park except Hong Kong and they all have different feels. I really hope Disney increases the individuality of the parks by not just coping rides/areas.

  • Kritter

    If WDW brings Cars Land to DHS. I will have no desire EVER to visit the East Coast parks. This just shows how unoriginal and tasteless TDO truely is by building multiple things that were supposed to be exclusive to the west coast. “Oh! It’s doing well in California?! We don’t have any ideas?! Build it here!”

    • Susan Hughes

      Totally agree. Orlando Imagineers ripping off Cars Land just screams out, “We suck! We can’t come up with anything on our own!”

  • TheRottenOnes

    If Florida must get RCR, I’d rather them not get a clone per-se but utilize the existing studio backlot tour, and do more of a World Grand Prix theme. It can be a RCR style ride, but I prefer originality.

  • wild01ride

    Regarding Carsland/WDW/Kathy Mangum:
    Would it make sense if Kathy was being sent out to Florida to work on Avatar-Land at AK? If I’m not mistaken, she played a big part in AK’s initial development, and it seems to make sense that she would go back to work on the biggest expansion since the park opened.

    As for the A/C, I TOTALLY noticed that they were dialing it WAY back on my trip in June/July. Both inside the attractions as well as walking by the open doors on Main Street, etc., it was clear that there was a distinct reduction in the A/C (and the resultant comfortability).
    This is one area where I really hope they don’t continue to be cheap. I am particularly sensitive to humidity with my breathing and it quickly becomes uncomfortable for me when A/C isn’t kept at a reasonable level.

    Thanks for the great commentary, as always!

  • ralzap

    West vs. East. Keep Disnelyland. Disnelyland, and Make WDW a destination the company can be proud of. Nothing more, nothing less. Kevin, your doing a great job. Keep it up.

  • r1hert2

    Cars Land is great looking but it needs to stay in CA. Why cant the FL gang see that Uni and Seaworld are going to kick there buts. Fantasyland expansion looks nice but after seeing some video of Bells place looks good but not something I’d rush to florida for as it all seems to be geared to Kids only! Make something new and original for Florida parks ONLY!! You have imaginations down there, NOW use them!!!

    • Susan Hughes

      Totally agree. Why pay the Orlando Imagineers so much money when they can’t come up with something on their own. Hell, it doesn’t take a genius to simply rip something off. If that’s all it takes to be an Orlando Imagineer, I could do it.
      And Kathy Magnus being shipped out to Florida doesn’t necessarily mean she’s going to duplicate Cars Land either. It’s important to keep in mind that Cars Land is John Lassiter’s project, not hers. And Lassiter has a lot of power with Disney beyond the theme parks. If the stories are true, and that he doesn’t want it there, it’s not going to happen.
      I’m with the whole Star Wars Land idea. It’s got the proven staying power with the public, unlike Avatar. And much more exciting than a Fantasyland expansion, which really isn’t doing anything new. And a Star Wars Land would be a huge draw in Florida.

  • SueinSac

    Avatar has one thing neither Harry Potter nor Star Wars have…at least two more movies coming. I’m curious what people will say 20 years from now about these properties. My 10 year old already tells me that “Harry Potter is over” – as in, not popular with the kids coming up now. She’s read all 7 books, seen all the movies and loved IOA, but feeling a little lonely in her age group.

    Any why the hate between DL and WDW? We’re all on the same team here…we’re all Disney park fans. Seems stupid to me to begrudge one coast from having something just because the other one already has it. I live in Texas, and I bet there’s not that much duplication between who goes to DL and who goes to WDW, except in the fan-atic base. I just want them both to be awesome.

    • KingEric

      it isn’t about the same team, it is about having different experiences that we can spend money on.

  • Klutch

    I think everyone is viewing this purely from a “Disney-Head” perspective. While I would likely fall into that category, the vast majority of Disney Park visitors do not.

    I grew up in Orange County, CA. Then I lived in the southeast for almost twenty years. The vast majority of people on the East Coast don’t even consider visiting Disneyland. Heck, many are convinced the “Florida Disney” is the original!

    Thus, cloned attractions actually work well for everyone except Disney-Heads who visit parks in California and Florida.

    The trend has been for one version of a ride to be much more elaborate in one location, while the other location is not so elaborate. Examples would include the elaborate Tower of Terror at DHS with a less elborate version at DCA, an elaborate Pirates of the Caribbean with a less elaborate version at MK. Of course, there are differences with Splash Mountain rides as well.

    Thus, based on past trends, since the Radiator Springs Racers at DCA is very elaborate, I would expect a much cheaper, smaller and less elaborate version at DHS; if it happens at all.

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