Welcome to the first edition of Disney Rumor Round Up for 2019! You can check out the December 2018 wrap up installment here. There are bound to be lots of exciting rumors this year with a D23 expo and the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Disclaimer: Any rumors mentioned in this article are not confirmed by Disney and may not ever happen.
According to a rumor on WDWmagic.com Disney has ordered 50 new parade float chassis. This could be for several rumored projects. Most notably, the long-rumored return of a nighttime parade. It was noted that Spectromagic had roughly 36 chassis. That means this could be for more than one parade. A new nighttime parade is still heavily rumored for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.
Structure steel is now vertical on the “Space 220” dining venue that is coming to Epcot; it is expected to open at some point later this year. This dining location will be attached to Mission:SPACE. As for the rest of Future World, Disney still seems to be deciding on what exactly they want to do. The plans shown at the D23 Expo in 2017 were blue sky and reportedly things have changed several times since then. Don’t expect any major overhaul of Future World to be complete for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.
Back in December the Disney community was bursting with news about the animatronic Buzzy from Cranium Command at the old Wonders of Life pavilion. A police report noted that the clothes of the animatronic were stolen by a former Disney employee who in turn created a backstage Twitter account posting several images from backstage areas. Outside of that, the animatronic itself had gone missing. It was reported by sources that park operations and security did not know where the animatronic went and pictures from backstage showed it gone. Most recently, a poster on WDWmagic said that Walt Disney Imagineering was the one who removed the animatronic and did not alert park operations about this. Details are still unclear, and more may come about in the future months.
Finally for Epcot, any plans for a ride in the U.K. pavilion are still in flux. Latest rumors from WDWmagic say Disney is looking at Brave again for the attraction instead of Mary Poppins. Also France is looking at an update to Impressions de France in 2020, much like all of the other updates to World Showcase films coming in the next year or so.
Hollywood Studios is rather quiet right now as they prep to open several major additions this year for the park’s 30th anniversary. The new Lightning McQueen Racing Academy will open March 31st in the Sunset Showcase flex theater next to Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. In May, the new Disney animation nighttime show will debut, and then of course this fall Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open.
Rise of the Resistance as part of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will reportedly be an incredible experience for guests. The ride will have multiple pre-shows gearing guests up for the trackless ride as well as a ride experience in the queue/pre-show area itself. The trackless vehicles will also travel on a multi-level experience using elevators to move up and down — something new for trackless rides. Guests will also encounter dozens of animatronics, including Kylo Ren himself. This new ride is being touted as the best attraction Disney has ever built.
WDWNT is reporting that Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will have a single rider line to help the attraction load more efficiently. Each pod is supposed to have six riders and with several odd number configurations a single rider line will help increase hourly throughput.
No new major rumors for Animal Kingdom at the moment. Joe Rohde has been noted on Instagram flying back and forth between Orlando and California, so something could be in the works for the park in the coming years. While no date has been announced, Rafiki’s Planet Watch is supposed to reopen early this year as well. Some suggest a Zootopia area would work well here especially now that a new land has been officially announced for Shanghai Disneyland. According to WDWMagic sources expansion and additions are being heavily considered for Animal Kingdom but they do not involve Zootopia at the moment.
Walt Disney World Resort
Riviera Resort — the new Disney Vacation Club property next to Caribbean Beach — is getting ready to start selling rooms for both cash and DVC as more and more promotional materials are being sent out. This European-style resort is said to have views of fireworks at Epcot.
Skyliner tests continue as cabins have been spotted at the Hollywood Studios station as well as the Pop Century/Art of Animation station. Disney has said fall as the opening season but it could be late summer if all goes well. Also in transportation news, monorails are still reportedly on the docket coming as an incremental change beginning in 2020 through 2021 — again, barring any major changes in plans.
Reported by a few sources now Disneyland park is expected to receive a clone of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in the Toontown area of the park. This would not replace any existing attractions in that land. WDWNT reported that the attraction would be announced at last year’s Destination D event however it was not. Sources indicate it is still going to happen for the park.