This month’s rumours are a mixed bag of the sad loss of a niche-favourite attraction, together with more exciting news about updates to some attractions at the Walt Disney Studios Park and the long awaited upgrade of Star Tours in Discoveryland.
Goodbye Captain EO
It’s best to get the sad news out of the way first. Last month on the Rumour Mill it was suggested that Captain EO could be closing very imminently; it was a sad proposal and I said that I didn’t think it would actually happen. I appear to have been wrong. @DisneylandBerry has now confirmed an earlier report by ED92 that Captain EO will be closing permanently on 12 April this year. As of the publication of this article, that’s sadly just a couple of weeks away.
Captain EO has been on scheduled openings for years now, often only opening on certain days of the week. When it did open it was never a particularly popular attraction with crowds at Disneyland Paris, but was still well regarded as a piece of Disneyland history and, of course, a great tribute to the late Michael Jackson – the reason it returned to replace Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. As such, it isn’t really a surprise that the attraction’s final number will soon be upon us.
There are no conclusive rumours as to what will replace Captain EO. ED92 suggests that the auditorium will be used as a cinema to trail Disney films, with long-term rumours suggesting that it will eventually become part of a larger Star Wars Land to be built after 2017.
Walt Disney Studios Park
When word of refurbishments until Disneyland Paris’ 25th birthday first broke, it included not just refurbishments to the Disneyland Park, but also to the Walt Disney Studios Park. That had gone quiet though, until now.
We had previously heard from @DisneylandBerry that Animagique would be closing at the end of 2014 – that of course didn’t happen – but now @InsideDLParis has suggested that we can expect changes to Animagique in the run up to 2017. There was no exact word on what these changes would be, but it is likely that the could include the addition of Pixar characters and story sequences to make the attraction more fitting to its Toon Studio surroundings.
@InsideDLParis also suggested that the much-messed-about Studio Tram Tour would also see changes made to it within the same time frame. The refurbishment to this attraction is said to be changes rather than any new scenes being added, though what these changes might be are unknown. Wider rumours would seem to suggest that the changes may involve more current film franchises such as Star Wars or Marvel – both of which the Walt Disney Company own.
As a quick reminder of earlier rumours from the Walt Disney Studios Park: it was also suggested last year that The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror would also have a refurbishment to repair the exterior of the show building, which is in deteriorating condition. No dates have been given for this refurbishment, but it is still said to be in the works.
As a quick update on the Star Tours update expected in 2017, @InsideDLP has stated that the whole Star Tours 2 project, including the shop, is scheduled for opening on 24 February 2017. This would mean the current Star Tours attraction closing in mid-to-late 2016. Rumours also suggest that the area at the current exit of the ride, L’Astroport Services Interstellaires, could become additional shop space or a Star Wars meet ‘n’ greet after the refurbishment.
25th Anniversary Refurbishment Calender
Disneyland Paris has officially stated that it wants to be fresh and rejuvenated for its 25th Anniversary. Primarily this means refurbishment work on the Disneyland Park to ensure that all is operating as planned and has that Disney level of quality. The dates listed below are estimated opening times for the refurbished attraction, click on the links to visit articles which will contain more details on the dates and refurbishments themselves.
– [Confirmed] Summer 2015: Space Mountain (A ‘behind the scenes’ update with show feature refreshes)
– [Confirmed] Summer 2015: Les Mystères du Nautilus refurbishment
– [Confirmed] Summer 2015: Frozen Sing-A-Long at the Chapperal Theatre + Frozen at Cottonwood Creek Ranch
– 2015: Jedi Training Academy hosted in Videopolis
–Winter 2015: It’s a Small World
–Spring 2016: Accessibility improvements to Adventure Isle area
– Winter 2016: Big Thunder Mountain
– [Confirmed] 2017: Star Tours upgrade to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
– 2017: Phantom Manor
– 2017: Pirates of the Caribbean
That rounds-up March’s rumours. Sad to loose Captain EO? Excited for changes to Walt Disney Studios Park? Let us know in the comments below, on Facebook, or join in the discussion on Twitter @MagicalDLP.