Our live chat with former Disney Imagineer Josh Steadman about his experience at WDI, and about his work on Shanghai Disneyland! We’ll also cover the grand openings of Pandora: The World Of AVATAR, Volcano Bay, and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Plus, news and rumors from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Disneyland Resort.
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DISCLAIMER: We had an audio issue tonight where our recording software defaulted to my Mac’s internal mic, instead of our mixer and studio mics . The result is that the entire room was being picked up by one microphone. While the interview wasn’t lost, the quality is not to the standard which we are used to producing here at the No Midnight Podcast. Please accept my apologies and know that we won’t make this mistake again. Enjoy the show.
Last weekend was the week of grand openings in the theme park community starting with Universal Orlando’s new water/theme park Volcano Bay. The company pulled off a beautiful grand opening and streamed the whole thing live. The crowds were so large that the virtual queue’s for the attractions got up to three plus hours, and the gates had to be closed early due to the park reaching capacity.
Up next was Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom! James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver were on hand along with Imagineer Joe Rohde, and Disney CEO (and future US President?) Bob Iger for the opening that drew record crowds. At one point, the wait was 2+ hours just to enter the land, and the wait time for the two attractions inside Pandora were near 5 hours.
Of course, this weekend I popped down to Disneyland for the grand opening of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! If the wait times were to be believed, there were upwards of 10,000 people in line with me before the park opened, and by the time I got to the entrance, 2 hours and 40 mins later, the attraction’s posted wait time was 5 hours.
Disney Debuts New Nighttime Show, Tells No One!
Disney managed to pull off a very difficult feat this weekend, debuting a new nighttime show without anyone leaking the information!
WDWInfo reports, “Guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Friday, May 26, 2017, were in for a real treat as a brand new nighttime projection show titled, “Disney Movie Magic” made its unannounced debut just before Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.
This brand new show will transform the park’s iconic Chinese Theater with state-of-the-art projection mapping technology to place Guests in the middle of a celebration of films from the Disney family of studios.”
Disneyland’s Space Mountain Turns 40.
This weekend while I was at Disneyland I discovered that Disneyland’s version of Space Mountain turned 40 years old! The park was celebrating with commemorative merchandise and a card marking the anniversary of Tomorrowland’s E-Ticket attraction.
WDWNT has pictures of the commemorative t-shirts, and a picture of the cards is below.
Roller Coaster Tracks Installed At Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Star Wars Land, and Toy Story Land are under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, and photos were taken this week that show the Slinky Dog Coaster being installed. As expected, it is definitely looking like a scaled down version of the one in the original artist’s renderings.
WDWNT has the photos here.
Tron Lightcycle Headed To Epcot?
Our friends at Attractions Magazine tend to stay out of the rumor mill, unless they have a pretty reliable source backing up the information. This week they reported that they are hearing from their sources that Epcot’s Universe of Energy will indeed close soon, and that the attraction replacing it is indeed Tron Lightcyle, the popular attraction from Shanghai Disneyland.
We reported last week that Disney has filed documents allowing them to fill in a canal, and perform construction in a large wooded area behind the current Universe of Energy attraction. No confirmation from Disney, but D23 is coming up, for now we’ll have to wait.
Avengers Headed For Disney California Adventure?
Disney placed a little easter egg next to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, but it was so well hidden that no one noticed it until late this weekend.
A hatch was placed in the ground on the trolley stop side of the attraction that had the Avengers logo on it. The rumor is that Disney is teasing an Avengers E-Ticket attraction to be a part of the Marvel-Land expansion behind Mission Breakout. Confirmation is expected at the D23 Expo next month in Anaheim.
Mario Kart Headed To Super Mario World?
Nerdist perused a trademark request filed by Universal Parks & Resorts that seems to hint at a Mario Kart attraction coming to the company’s international parks!
Their post say, in short, “the document includes “organization, management or arrangement of kart racing.” If that doesn’t scream, “OH MY GOD WE’RE GETTING MARIO KART IRL,” we’re not sure what does.”
As always, no confirmation from Universal…but this is very interesting.
Former Disney Imagineer Josh Steadman
Josh Steadman is a former Disney Imagineer, he worked specifically on Shanghai Disneyland as the Production Designer for the Enchanted Storybook Castle, show designer for it’s attraction as well as the Gardens of Imagination. He also worked on several pieces of three of Shanghai Disneyland’s themed lands.
Josh mentioned his work on the Enchanted Storybook Castle Walkthrough:
…and that his favorite theme park attraction is Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disney:
…he also mentioned the mirror effect in Enchanted Tales with Belle:
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Opens
Kory had the pleasure of attending opening day of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure this weekend. While was there I recorded a video:
and a podcast:
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