Great read. The Pirates rehab sounds great, if it happens, and like some of what was proposed by Marty Sklar/WDI in their original pitch for DL's 50th. Plussing attractions is what Disney used to be known for. It's nice to see them getting back to that ... at least in Anaheim. At WDW, it's more a case of minusing and letting attractions go to hell (I wonder what Al would say if he took rides on the MK's Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Mansion, Pirates and CoP right now ... at least they did recently do a lavish cleaning/sprucing up on Small World so maybe there is hope.)
To refresh Space Mountain, ToT AND Pirates for DL's 'second summer of the 50th' is a very smart marketing strategy. Especially with Monsters Inc. opening this winter at DCA ... and Nemo on the way ... there'll be a constant buzz that started this spring (no lightyear pun intended) that will just keep flowing into 2006 and beyond.
As to HKDL, I don't think this place is going to make folks unhappy the way DSP and DCA have. This park will make guests unhappy because there isn't enough for them to do. I'm pretty sure this park will be a huge hit from Day 1 and those complaints will be more along the lines of "where are all the big attractions.''
It's good to hear that Autopia, Small World and an uber-kewl new version of Pirates are in the pipeline (although I believe nothing until construction begins), but they all should have been there from Day 1. Just those three with what's already there would have been enough to start the park on a real high ... now ... well, this is a half-day park at absolute best, it appears. Pirates really should have been HKDL's signature attraction from Opening Day.
Finally, any word on the media gathering at DL for 7/17? Just one day? Or are they doing something for Space and Turtle Talk? Anyone know?