This was beginning to be discussed in the "work halts" thread, but deserves its own thread since it's separate news.
If true, the Lutz-dropped rumor that the Park is being reduced to 3 lands from 5 lands (on opening day) sounds like bad news to theme park enthusiasts following its development - incomprehensibly repeating the "half-built" strategy that has been a proven money-loser for years.
One thing that comes to mind is how much it costs WDI to build things. For example, the FLE is supposedly costing Disney $450 million (while Potterland cost around $330m with its groundbreaking E+ticket ride), the Mater flat ride is supposedly costing $100m according to Al, the Mermaid ride with its static plastic figures (in addition to a handful of very nice AAs) costing north of $100m. It's been said by insiders and ex-Imagineers that WDI has become a fairly bloated organization, where it costs much more to do things than it should... and by outside accounts this appears to be the case.
Then there is this rumor about the PotC attraction for Shanghai:
"Screamscape sources tell us that while Shanghai Disneyland will have an Adventureland, the new Pirates ride and themed surrounding area will actually become it’s own designated land tentatively called Pirates Cove. Speaking of the unique high-end version of Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s been said again that it will be themed entirely on the movies and not based on the other rides. One juicy detail of the new ride system claims that the mostly slow moving boat ride may include some exciting new technology on-board, that will use a magnetic linear-induction (LIM) system to control the speed of the boats through certain portions of the dark ride. Not only will this “supernatural” force be used to push the boats around, but apparently it may cause the boats to “tailspin” at one point and get pulled “backwards” in another."
Sounds fantastic, and I sure hope it gets built, but can you imagine what it would cost the current WDI to build this (with lots of modern AAs)... $400 mil? $500 mil? If the park's budget is set (which I believe it is) at $3.7 billion, and WDI's operational costs have ballooned like they have, it would seem to follow that they can't build everything they thought they could at that budget.
But isn't it the case that a new model is being employed (more shopping out to third parties) in order to bring down operational costs. If this rumor is true, it looks like it might not be working.