Disney Parks News & Rumor Roundup: August 8, 2019

We are back with another news and rumor roundup around the world of Disney parks. It’s been a couple weeks since our last roundup as there wasn’t much to report on last week. Fortunately, the Disney news front never stays quiet for long and there is much to dig into this week! Let’s begin…

Reservations are now open for multiple experiences within the WDW version of Galaxy’s Edge. Guests can now book time slots for Oga’s Cantina, Savi’s Workshop (Build a Lightsaber) and the Droid Depot. Having a reservation will guarantee you entrance to the land during your time slot.

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Reservations can be booked up to 180 days in advance. Prepayment is not required, however if you fail to show up without canceling you will be charged the full cost of the experience at both Savi’s ($200) and Droid Depot ($100). Oga’s will follow the typical $10 per person charge for no shows like most other WDW restaurants. We already booked our times for each of these and can’t wait to experience all that Galaxy’s Edge has to offer!

 

Disney announced it’s third quarter financial results yesterday and it was a bit ugly as expected. Don’t worry, they are still making a TON of money! They just didn’t make as much as they wanted to / projected. Bob Iger mentioned drops in attendance were due to fear of Galaxy’s Edge crowds, as well as Disney parks price increases (unfortunately this will NOT get them to lower any of their pricing).

There is a lot of talk on Dis Twitter about Galaxy’s Edge being a failure… we do not agree with this at all! There are a lot of factors in play when it comes to Disneyland’s lower attendance this summer. It’s no doubt that a lot of folks likely postponed trips due to fear of crowds, but that will not effect the long term success of the land! We believe the land is an absolute triumph and hope with all our hearts that Disney continues to build big budget lands like this in the future!

 

The summer long phased refurbishment of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is finally wrapping up! The work has been done in phases in order to keep the ride open throughout the duration of the project. Due to the ride operating at half capacity, wait times have regularly exceeded 100 minutes and (the limited quantity of) fastpasses became one of the hardest to snag.

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This work needed to be done prior to Galaxy’s Edge. It’s definitely been a bit frustrating over the past few months due to high wait times and not enough fastpasses to go around, but Disney needed this ride 100% once the Galaxy’s Edge crowds arrive. Unlike Disneyland, Hollywood Studios does not have tons of other attractions to eat up potential crowds. In addition to that, Tower of Terror is one of Disney’s very best rides anywhere and it deserves to be kept working at the highest standards! It will be great to see it running back at full capacity, and hopefully looking good as new.

 

Tom over at Disney Tourist Blog has another post on the upcoming Disney Skyliner Gondola’s, and what needs to be done prior to their official opening at the end of September.

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We are still cautiously optimistic when it comes to the Skyliner. Many others seem much more skeptical with concerns regarding the frequent thunder storms of central Florida, as well as the lack of air conditioning in the cabins. While both of these seem logical on paper, I don’t know enough about the gondolas to really comment as to whether or not these worries are valid or not. What I do know, is that gondolas similar to these are used in many places around the world, many of which with hot climates and thunderstorms, without issue. Time will tell, but I don’t think Disney would have invested all the money they have in the Skyliner system without doing their research first.

 

In what has become a weekly staple of these news / rumor reports, Primeval Whirl remains closed at Animal Kingdom, and will do so for the foreseeable future. Guests with fastpasses booked for as far out as early October are being informed that the attraction will not be operating and provided with replacement fastpasses.

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I don’t even know what to say at this point. The attraction, which is essentially little more than a wild mouse coaster, has now been closed for 2 months with no end in site. I wouldn’t even include it in these reports any longer, however I feel like we are invested by now. Personally, I think its time to just raze all of Dino-Rama, remake Dinosaur to Indy and give us all the South American themed land we deserve! (Spoiler: this won’t happen).

 

Everyone’s favorite blogger, Josh over at Easywdw, provides us with an update on the Epcot entrance construction. Find out what type of a death march you can expect as you arrive, as well as what kind of security lines to expect. Josh also rope drops Test Track in this post, a strategy we strongly suggest for efficient touring!

Epcot in general, is a sea of construction walls right now. There isn’t a whole lot magical about the current state of Future World, but we think it will be worth it in the long run! The entrance redesign is what we are most excited about as the half with the leave a legacy tombstones removed already looks fantastic! We are less enthused about the central spine re imagining, mostly because we are losing the Fountain of Nations to a beer garden which is just a straight up travesty!

 

Disney Parks Blog has launched a new site focusing on the crafting of the upcoming Riviera Resort. The site features a 17 minute video on the making of new resort, as well as a contest to win a 5 night stay.

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We are admittedly not particularly excited for this new tower resort. While we’re sure it will be beautiful (on the inside at least, the exterior is fairly generic looking), the rooms are crazy expensive for its location. Unlike other Disney deluxe resorts, Riviera is not really close to anything, nor does it have a unique draw like Animal Kingdom Lodge does. This tower will likely be comparable to the new Gran Destino tower at Coronado, which we really liked, but Riviera will be significantly more expensive for non DVC members.

 

Finally, we end with some great news! Ample Hills will be opening a 2nd location within WDW at the West Side of Disney Springs.

An ice cream parlor with an intricately patterned iron and wood railing to control customer flow in the waiting area, a freezer and display cases to one side, 2 long ice cream serving counters with tile and glass fronts and signage featuring their menu hanging from the ceiling

For those unaware, Ample Hills is located at Disney’s Boardwalk and is far and away the best ice cream in Walt Disney World! A second, more easily accessed location is a welcome addition! Plus, it will finally give an acceptable reason to park in the Orange garage every now and then!

 

Well that will do it for this installment of Disney parks news and rumors. Until next time, thanks for reading and bye for now.

Bye for now!

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