Interesting "Speculations" from Jim Hill

In the course of this podcast, Jim Hill discusses “the plans” for Star Wars Land (as well as other WDW developments), and some future plans at UOR

A few “highlights” for those who don’t want to spend the 72 minutes listening to the podcast…

-Echo Lake will be filled in and will become Tatooine
-Probably no new “e-ticket” rides in SWL, an X-Wing “spinner” will be added
-Interactive “using the Force” spots (similar to wands at Diagon Alley)
-Intial SW construction will likely begin in January
-GMR will eventually close to make way for “something really cool” - probably using Mystic Manor technology
-Indy, H&V and 50s will all be staying
-SoA will be staying
-Osborne Lights will remain, but rethemed to “Christmas Light Fight” (leveraging off of the ABC TV show)
-JTA may move indoors to the Premier Theater
-Tangled may replace BatB live show
-Frozen Sing-a-long may become permanent and move to the AI theater
-Estimated $700 million budget for DHS rework
-New lagoon show IS being designed for WS
-The Maelstrom-to-Frozen rebuild will be 18 months in length
-Land of Avatar, especially at night, will be the most amazingly themed land in any Disney park - may be opening in phases (a la NFL)
-Large portions of WL (main building) will be converted to DVC
-UOR planning on building a $250 million dollar WP that will be bigger than TL and BB combined
-UOR’s Kong will be the most advanced ride ever built with HUGE AA, full sets, and 3D projections
-Additional “super-headliners” being planned for both US and IoA
-UOR possibly getting closer to getting theme park rights to LOTR IP from Peter Jackson
-At least one more major hotel planned for UOR

Of course, considering the source, all of these must be taken with a pillar of salt…


I’m 1/3 of the way through this one… I have a lot of opinions but will endeavor to not FREAK OUT as most of this will probably end up not happening. If they take away GMR though, SO HELP ME!!! I have never understood why they take away beloved attractions to build new things… there is SO much un/underused real estate in each of the parks. Its totally unnecessary!


Thanks for the highlights, so now to wait for the inverse of all of the above

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Also, I’ve been surprised for years that they haven’t rebranded the Osborne lights. It’s a confusing name as most people (myself included) didn’t know who the Osborne family were. Names like ‘Candlelight Processional’ and ‘Wishes’ and other things that are unique to Disney and Disney-branded make more sense… simple names. Memorable names. So, I wont be surprised at all if in a year or two its Disney’s Spectacle of Dancing Lights or Disney Holiday Lights, I HIGHLY doubt they would rebrand based on a show that most people have never heard of thats only been around for a year. They are smarter with the longevity of their branding than that.

As for the Star Wars stuff, it makes sense. Adding a spinner makes sense (they do it everywhere else anyway). And if NFL taught us anything, we are likely to see a dining experience, a character meet, and a couple of small rides and then maybe one thing worth some minor wow factor ala 7DMT.

The change to illuminations (while welcome by me because I dont care for illuminations) seems like such a mistake. SOOOOOO many people list is as their favorite WDW nighttime show. If it ain’t broke, why not spend the money to… I dont know… put an attraction in the empty FW pavilion!?


For what it’s worth, this podcast is getting hammered BADLY in the not always “genteel” WDWMagic forum…

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OK, now I know what is probably NOT going to happen at WDW and UOR… :wink:


Enjoying the Podcast myself. Take all w a grain of salt but interesting stuff to think about nonetheless. Agree that DHS needs work and hope that Avatar turns out to be cool. Also, wish a World of Color-esque thing would replace my beloved but aging (IMHO) Illuminations.

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Very interesting! I’m a “believe it when I see it” person, but I love reading speculation and rumors on stuff like this. Thanks for summarizing @bswan26.

If SWL then I will be even less interested in visiting DHS than I am now… sigh… I think I am the only person alive who is not a fan.

Oh! I cannot wait! This is the podcast I have lined up for my ride to work tomorrow!

I’m actually kind of ambivalent to the whole SW thing. I loved the movies (at least the original 3), and it might be fun to see a fully realized SW land, but it’s not something “I can’t wait for”. Now if UOR gets the LOTR rights…

Downloaded, need to listen to.

One interesting take-home which was obvious the day I walked into DA is that WDW needs to put a lot of pep in its step…especially with UOR’s DA, rumored (?) plans for more hotels, rumored plans for a mega water park, etc. Very strangely, I found myself getting a little nervous for WDW. Hard to say if I’m a DIS fan or theme park fan first. But, hopefully, all that great stuff at UOR will drive WDW to incredible things. I’m imagining a kind of theme park arms race. A fully immersive land a la Cars in DCA (wonder if UOR learded something about immersion at DCA?) or DA in Universal would be awesome. Seems SW Land- love SW or not it’s a mega, growing franchise with guessing more public appeal than the stunted (ie no more movies) boy wizzard- could fit the bill. Still ambibilanet about Avatar but am open to a pleasant surprise. It’s past time for WDI to show what they can do!

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Count me on your team for that one.

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The Maelstrom to Frozen think is probably true. I got my coworker to give her brother, an architect that works for a firm that contracts with WDW, the third degree about it. He wouldn’t “say” anything, just nod his head yes and no while she “wondered out loud what the possibilities could be for that ride”. Too bad, I really feel it goes against the idea of WS. His firm didn’t get the contract for it. It did get the one for TSMM…

Can we start some sort of betting pool for which, if any, of these things come to being?


That would be fun! Got any ideas on how to do it?

Think it’s a safe bet that WDW will go big as they must. My money is on SW Land.

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Might as well tack on still more UOR rumors:

I would love to see them do LOTR at Univeral!