2014 may be drawing to a close, but the rumour mill has kept on going and boy do we have some great new speculation to sink our teeth into. We have effective confirmation of Space Mountain’s update, which is nothing particularly new, but now we’ve also had Nautilus and the Jedi Training Academy thrown into the mix for closure and re-opening all at the same time! Clearly we’ve got some big goings-on in Discoveryland, so keep on reading and we’ll delve 20,000 leagues into the rumours…
Let’s not beat around the bush – this is what we’re really excited about. A major E-Ticket attraction getting a half-a-year refurbishment. This has got to mean something truly awesome, right? Well I certainly hope so because, as anyone who has listened to our Space Mountain Podcast episode will know, Space Mountain is my favourite attraction. The big news we’ve had this month is the real (though still notably only implicit) confirmation that something big is going down, because Space Mountain: Mission 2 has been officially announced to close on 12th January for the rest of January, February and March. That’s as far as Disneyland Paris’ official schedule announces, but the rumour mill seems to conclusively suggest that the attraction will be reopening in June/July 2015.
Disneyland Paris are notoriously tight-lipped about telling us what’s going on, so I’m not anticipating any real word on what the update/refurbishment/changes will entail until at least May. Maybe even June to be quite frank, seeing as the attraction closes seemingly indefinitely in less than a month and Disneyland Paris have made no official suggestion at all of why. What we might see in January is some vague concept art of what the changes will entail – but that’s only if we’re lucky! Of course we don’t really know how to categorise what will happen to Space Mountain as of yet: will it be merely a TLC-style refurbishment? Could it be a major update like Mission 2 was from De la Terre à la Lune? Nobody knows!
The rumour mill does of course have a few suggestions. According to @Disneylandberry the attraction will reopen on 26th June, with its name becoming simply: ‘Space Mountain’. @Disneylandberry also stated in another tweet that new trains would be coming to help improve the ride quality of the [sometimes painfully rough] space adventure, but also added that there would be no new music for the attraction. It’s as near to a no-brainer as possible that the trains will be finally changed, though the notion of there being no new music could be taken in one of two ways. Either – as I would follow – it could be seen that Michael Giacchino’s futuristic score could be conserved, or that the original orchestral score from Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune could make a fan-pleasing return. Personally I would also guess that a six month closure would contain more than just a change of train, so I would expect some new effects within the attraction. There have been an ominous lack of rumours in this field, but if I had to put my money on any new effects to enter Space Mountain I would guess that we’ll probably see some projection mapping being used – that is, the technology used in Disney Dreams! which allows projection onto 3D surfaces.
Les Mystères du Nautilus
I’m going to need to make an apology here, because when the January closure schedule was revealed I made a big song and dance about Space Mountain closing on January 12th for the rest of the month while ignorantly missing that Les Mystères du Nautilus also was slated to close on the same day. Indeed Les Mystères du Nautilus will remain closed, alongside Space Mountain, for at least February and March too. Here’s the thing though, there have been no rumours about this attraction getting a refurbishment at all. So your guess of what’s going on is as good as mine! Most likely this is just Disneyland Paris taking the opportunity to have a little time and space around Nautilus to give it some TLC while Space Mountain is also closed, meaning that they’ll probably close off a whole chunk of the park in Discoveryland. Expect some repainting, some upgrades to some of the effects and a general tidy-up of the ‘show’ as a whole, though that will probably be it for this one. Of course I could be totally wrong! I’ll keep you informed whenever some juicy information finally trickles out…
Jedi Training Academy
Though the Jedi Training Academy is still unconfirmed by Disneyland Paris, this new addition to Discoveryland is widely regarded to be just a matter of time. @DisneylandBerry stated this month on Twitter that “The Jedi Training Academy will begin at Disneyland Paris, on the Videopolis stage, early July 2015.” As you can tell from this, this means that the stage sets from the old Lion King show in the Videopolis theatre will be cleared out to make way for this new Star Wars themed interactive show.
Well, show is perhaps not the best term for it – it certainly isn’t a show in the sense of the Lion King. The idea comes from the American parks and sees kids being dressed as Jedis and taught to fight with lightsabers before taking on a real battle with a Sith adversary. Just to reiterate – this is an interactive show just for the kids. I know, I’m gutted about that too. I would have made a great padawan.
Recent small-scale rumours have also suggested that the show might only be temporary: closing in 2017. This wouldn’t be a big surprise because shows aren’t really designed to run forever, though it would potentially leave another empty theatre stage. Rumours are suggesting that this closure could be to tie in with an opening of a Star Wars mini-land in 2017, but this has little grounding, sadly.
Anyway… It’s most likely that to gear up the stage for the Jedi Training Academy, Café Hyperion will need to be shut for a fair while to allow for space to work. With @DisneylandBerry suggesting that the show will begin operation in July we can only guess that Hyperion would need to shut a few months before had to accommodate the changes. So Discoveryland really will become very empty for a while!
The big rumour: The 10 + 2 Updates rumour
And for the last time in 2014 we’ll recap on the 10 + 2 Updates rumour. If you’ve not heard of this rumour before now, then you’re really missing out! The 10 + 2 Updates rumour is a well backed rumour which claims that in the run up to Disneyland Paris’ 25th birthday in 2017 the Disneyland Park will receive 10 attraction updates, while the Walt Disney Studios Park will receive an additional 2. By updates, we’re assuming this means a proper refurbishment with major changes.
Walt Disney Studios Park:
– 2015: Tower of Terror (Source – @DisneylandBerry) A potential repair job on the exterior of the show building.
– [No conclusive rumour yet]* (This was previously suggested to be a replacement for Animagique, though that hasn’t closed this year as was rumoured.)
– 2015: Space Mountain (@DisneylandBerry) A major upgrade including new trains.
– 2015: Frozen Show at the Chapperal Theatre.
– 2015: Videopolis to host Jedi Training Academy.
– 2015: Unknown changes to Les Mystères du Nautilus.
– 2016: Big Thunder Mountain (@DisneylandBerry) “full refurbishment with surprises”.
– 2017: Phantom Manor (@InsideDLP) possible retheme.
– [Confirmed] 2017: Star Tours upgrade to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.
– [Unknown date]: Update to Adventure Isle area?
– [Unknown date]: Autopia to use hybrid engines.
– [Unknown date]: Parade update.
– [No conclusive rumour yet]*
*You do hear bucket-loads of rumours which could go here, but I’m only interested in the ones that seem to have some sort of grounding.
And that draws this year’s final Rumour Mill to a close. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these rumours so feel free to leave a comment below, contact us on Facebook or on Twitter @MagicalDLP (& author: @SIMCITYWEST).