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What You Need To Know About ‘Star Wars Land’

Current Disneyland Boundary With Projected Star Wars Land Outline

A long time ago in theme park really, really close…

… Disney CEO Bob Iger unveiled a new ‘Star Wars Land’ for Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In this post, I’ll dive into everything we know about this new Disney ‘Land’ here in California, including a few educated guesses on how it might look.

What Is ‘Star Wars Land’?

The characters and storylines from your favorite sci-fi epic are invading Disneyland. A new 14 acre section full of droids, aliens, and adventures is being carved out from a sleepy corner of the park.

‘Star Wars Land’ will be a completely new ‘Land’ at Disneyland, similar to Frontier ‘Land’ or Adventure ‘Land.’

What Rides Will It Have?

According to the latest from Disney, there will be two ‘signature attractions’ in the new land.

One will be ‘an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.‘ The second will allow you to ‘fly’ the Millennium Falcon on a secret mission.

Without any more details from Disney on exactly what the new rides will look like or how they will function, its hard to form much of a theory.

I will say this – based on the description of the ‘signature attractions’ alone, I think either one could work for a relocated Star Tours. However, the Star Tours debate is a whole other topic and I’m writing a separate article for it. Stay tuned.

What Planet Is It?

'Star Wars Land' Concept Art © Disney
‘Star Wars Land’ Concept Art © Disney

The new ‘Land’ will feel like a remote trading outpost and won’t represent any particular planet we know from Star Wars movies, books, or comics. I think this is a great choice of theme for several reasons.

First, it will be easy to blend the theme of the new ‘Star Wars Land’ land into the existing feel of both Frontierland and Fantasyland from that section of the park.

Also, since the ‘trading outpost’ will be a completely new fictional place, there should be a lot less of the inevitable nit-picking by hard-core Star Wars fans (though this certainly won’t be the case with the Millennium Falcon on display).

Where Will ‘Star Wars Land’ Be Built At Disneyland?

Current Disneyland Boundary With Projected Star Wars Land Outline Zoom
Current Disneyland Boundary With Projected Star Wars Land Outline

The new land will be located at the rear of the park, encompassing Big Thunder Ranch and some areas beyond the berm.

In the image above, I’ve roped off part of the park that fits the area and description of the land provided by Disney. It encompasses 14 acres, overlaying Big Thunder Ranch and a large chunk of the Disneyland backstage. This includes the Pope House and Circle D Ranch.

The horses from the ranch will live off-site, while the Pope House will be relocated elsewhere. In fact, the permits to move it have already been approved.

I have an article taking an in-depth look at everything in the likely site of the new ‘Star Wars Land’. Check it out -‘Where Will ‘Star Wars Land’ Be Built At Disneyland?

What Will ‘Star Wars Land’ Look Like?

'Star Wars Land' Concept Art ©Disney
‘Star Wars Land’ Concept Art ©Disney

Other than concept like the image above, we don’t have a lot to go on when it comes to the design of ‘Star Wars Land.’ However, I’ve given some thought about how the entrance might look.

It will undoubtedly have a sunken entrance that takes you below the Disneyland Railroad, similar to the one for Mickey’s Toontown.

As you approach from the Rivers Of America, I’d expect to see something with a Southwestern/Tatooine feel. You’ll have Big Thunder Mountain on your right and they won’t be able to hide it easily without spoiling the view from both the path and the ride. I’d expect Imagineers to work the feel of the mountain into the entrance theme.

The entrance space should be pretty wide, swallowing up everything from the ‘photo wagon’ by the Rivers of America to the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. I think this should allow enough space to vary the theme slightly across the width of the entrance to accommodate the shifting themes from the adjoining lands.

When approaching from the Fantasyland side, guests will step almost directly from Pinocchio’s Village into a galaxy far, far away. The current transition between the village and BTR is helped by some large, plain, wooden doors, concealing the backstage areas behind Big Thunder BBQ and breaking up the competing themes.

I’d expect those doors to stay, they grant Cast Members access to the inside of the park and the backstage area of Big Thunder Mountain. However, I would like to see the ‘Fantasyland side’ of the entrance be more whimsical than the other ‘hard-bitten’ Frontierland side, possibly with some characters from the film. Imagine a big BB8 rolling around and checking out the scene?

Will ‘Star Wars Land’ Be It’s Real Name?

Hopefully, Disney Imagineers will come up with a better idea than just tacking ‘Land’ onto the end of a valuable franchise, though you never can tell what they will call things in this modern era.

Welcome To Cars Land Sign In Disney's California Adventure
‘Welcome To Cars Land’ Sign In Disney’s California Adventure

Over in California Adventure, Disney stuck with the “highly imaginative” name ‘Cars Land’ instead of changing it to something more magical like ‘Radiator Springs’ or ‘Route 66.’ Mercifully, they have changed ‘Avatar Land’ in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to the nicer and more mysterious ‘Pandora: The World Of Avatar.’

On the flip side,  Disney has also announced a ‘Toy Story Land’ for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which they may stick with or change slightly to ‘Toy Story Playland’ to match the one in Hong Kong.

I’m hoping Disney will be bold and choose a name like ‘Planet/Outpost What-cha-ma-call-it: Galaxy of Star Wars’ and then 10 years from now, when it’s sunk sufficiently into society’s collective consciousness, drop the last part.

How Will You Get To ‘Star Wars Land’ In The Park?

Access paths to 'Star Wars Land' at Disneyland
Access paths to ‘Star Wars Land’ at Disneyland

If it’s one thing Disney is an expert at, it’s traffic control. So this begs the question- how will they accommodate the increased flow of traffic back into this sleepy, hardly used corner of the park?

One of the many innovations Walt Disney made when constructing Disneyland was to give it a single entry/exit point. Instead of parking on one side, exiting on the other side, and having to walk miles around back to your car, all traffic flows in and out from a single point.

If you look at the location of ‘Star Wars Land,’ it’s actually closer to the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure than it is to the front gate. That make me wonder:

Will Disneyland build a second entry gate for ‘Star Wars Land’?

I’m going to say no for several reasons:

  1. It’s much easier to control traffic from a single entry point.
  2. It’s tradition.
  3. It also will stamp out the complaining from people who won’t be able to use the gate, like the problem Disney has at the DCA gate from the Grand Californian Hotel.
Two Paths To Star Wars Land At Disneyland
Two Paths To Star Wars Land At Disneyland

So, assuming that you’ll have to reach the ‘Star Wars Land’ from the front of the park, there’s only a couple of ways to do it- left or right around Big Thunder Mountain.

  1. Go through sleeping Beauty Castle, past the line for Peter Pan’s Flight, around the King Arthur Carrousel, and on to ‘Star Wars Land,’ or
  2. Turn left at the hub, through Frontierland, and hook right on the path around Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Either path will take you to ‘Star Wars Land’ and it will be interesting to see which one works out better, especially first thing in the morning.

The Fantasyland route is slightly shorter, but it bottlenecks through the castle and area just beyond. There will also be fleets of strollers to contend with going this way.

The Frontierland path, while a bit longer, has a wider path and is far quieter when the park first opens (at least right now). I’m betting it will be overall quicker and more sane to take this route to ‘Star Wars Land’ than to rush through Fantasyland.

There is, of course, a third option, which would involve construction of a new path behind Fantasy Faire in still more backstage area.

Alternate Path To Star Wars Land Through Fantasy Faire Backstage Disneyland
Alternate Path To Star Wars Land Through Fantasy Faire Backstage Disneyland

A new route through Fantasy Faire would only be slightly shorter than the one through Fantasyland, and would also limit Cast Members backstage access, so I find it unlikely that such a route will be built.

When Will ‘Star Wars Land’ Open At Disneyland?

At the most recent D23 Expo, it was announced that construction on the new land wouldn’t begin until 2017. In reality, construction has already been announced to begin on January 11, 2016.

This is another massive topic for discussion, so check out my post When Will ‘Star Wars Land’ Open at Disneyland for more information.

How Will ‘Star Wars Land’ Compare To The Rest Of Disneyland?

Nine 'Lands' Of Disneyland Including 'Star Wars Land'
Nine ‘Lands’ Of Disneyland Including ‘Star Wars Land’

According to Bob Iger, the new land will fill up about 14 acres. While I’m sure at least part of the area will be new backstage area (off-limits to guests), I thought it would be interesting to compare that number with the rest of the Disney ‘Lands’ to get a mental picture of just how large the new land will be.

Original Disney ‘Lands’

When Disneyland was first built, there were five original ‘lands.’ All of these areas have grown in one way or another in 1955, leaving us with the existing boundaries we know today.

In this table, you’ll find the current size of the original ‘Disney lands.’ These numbers are based on what I call ‘guest areas,’ or the section of the park that we can all enjoy and not including backstage or support areas.

LandCurrent Size (acres)
Main Street, USA6.3
Adventureland6.7
Frontierland15
Fantasyland13.3
Tomorrowland14.2

As you can see, ‘Star Wars Land’ will be around the size of Frontierland, Fantasyland, or Tomorrowland. It’s hard to picture the size it just with these areas as a reference though.

The size of Frontierland includes much of the Rivers of America, most of which you can’t see from any one place. The main section of Fantasyland behind the castle is easy to imagine, but then it hooks around the Matterhorn and all the way back to It’s A Small World and the Fantasyland Theater.

Tomorrowland can feel massive, but like its western brother across the hub, you can’t see half of it with Autopia winding out into the trees beyond.

The concept art we have of ‘Star Wars Land’ shows a more open layout. If so, I’m sure it will feel huge and otherworldly, no doubt what Imagineers have in mind.

Added Disney ‘Lands’

LandCurrent Size (acres)
New Orleans Square6.4
Critter Country3.7
Mickey’s Toontown3

The size of later ‘Land’ additions to Disneyland hardly compares to the first ones. ‘Star Wars Land’ will be roughly twice the size of New Orleans Square. This is good news to me, because NOS feels massive when you’re in it.

A lot of the reason behind this is through the use of forced perspective in the streets and back alleys of NOS. I’m sure Disney Imagineers will utilize this concept with ‘Star Wars Land’ to its utmost potential.

Conclusion

What we don’t know about the new ‘Star Wars Land’ far outweighs what we do.

  1. Location: Back, left corner of Disneyland
  2. Size: Approximately 14 acres
  3. Rides: At least two
  4. Construction Timeline:
    1. Demolition: Begins 1/11/16
    2. Completion: Who knows?

Disney has so much construction going on around the world that it feels like the first half of Michael Eisner’s reign as CEO, when theme parks and resorts were popping up like daisies and there wasn’t anything that couldn’t be accomplished.

I’m going to keep a close eye on this new ‘Star Wars Land’ and write more as new details are revealed. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute news about this and all of information on everything in the Disney universe.

Are you as pumped as I am about ‘Star Wars Land’? What excites you the most? Leave me a comment below. As always, thanks for reading and we’ll see ya’ real soon!

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Finding Nemo Submarines Still Running Dry at Disneyland

Finding Nemo Submarines with Space Mountain in the background at Disneyland.

Finding Nemo Submarines with Space Mountain in the background at Disneyland.
Finding Nemo Submarines with Space Mountain in the background at Disneyland.

The once mighty subs of ‘Liquid Space‘ still sit docked and dry at the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. While it stinks that we can’t go on the ride, it does give us an opportunity to see what really lies beneath the waters of the old mermaid hangout.

Let’s dive in and take a look.

Nemo Submarines Are Boxes Underwater

The Neptune and Mariner subs sit in dry dock in the Disneyland submarine lagoon.
The Neptune and Mariner subs sit in dry dock in the Disneyland submarine lagoon.

One interesting thing you can see in these construction pictures is the real shape of the submarines themselves. I always pictured the subs having a completely rounded vessel for a body, like a traditional sub has.

Side-view diagram of real submarine. Notice the rounded, tube-like shape of the entire body, allowing the vessel to slip through the water.
Side-view diagram of a real submarine. Notice the rounded, tube-like shape of the entire body, allowing the vessel to slip through the water.

But right below the waterline, you can see that the smooth curve changes to an angular box, which is what you actually sit in during the ride. Score one for the Imagineers who designed the subs. They really drew me into the story.

Construction bridges cross the dock of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
Construction bridges cross the dock of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

The boxy underside of the Finding Nemo Subs is revealed below the water line.
The boxy underside of the Finding Nemo Subs revealed below the water line.

Maintenance walkways lock the Finding Nemo Subs into their dry dock.
Maintenance walkways lock the Finding Nemo Subs into their dry dock.

Subs Are More Like A Trains Than Boats

The track and switching mechanism for the Finding Nemo Subs at Disneyland.
The track and switching mechanism for the Finding Nemo Subs at Disneyland.

Not only are the subs not shaped like the real thing, they don’t move like it either. You can see the track system hat guides each sub on its voyage to the ‘briny depths’. You can also see the switching mechanism that shunts the vehicles between the main and standby tracks.

Colorful strands of plastic seaweed sits on the dry floor of the Disneyland submarine lagoon.
Colorful strands of plastic seaweed sits on the dry floor of the Disneyland submarine lagoon.

Even though I know the subs are on a track, like the Mark Twain and Columbia, I still like to pretend that they’re floating free and independent; masters of their own destiny that will take me on great new adventures.

Dry lagoon and ride tracks for the Finding Nemo Subs.
Dry lagoon and ride tracks for the Finding Nemo Subs.

All of the exterior ride animatronics, like the seagulls, crabs, and scuba divers have been removed and are probably being refurbished backstage. The seaweed is still in place though, looking very much like clumps of plastic party leis strewn across the rocks.

The Finding Nemo Submarine track winds through rocks and seaweed.
The Finding Nemo Submarine track winds through rocks and seaweed.

You can see some black plastic garbage bags full of yellow kelp, presumably waiting to be installed.

A dry submarine lagoon in Disneyland.
A dry submarine lagoon in Disneyland.

Bags of neon colored seaweed and a popup tent sit in a dry submarine lagoon.
Bags of neon colored seaweed and a pop up tent sit in a dry submarine lagoon.

Conclusion

A sign on the construction wall of the Finding Nemo Subs.
A sign on the construction wall of the Finding Nemo Subs.

The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is scheduled to reopen September 27, 2014. It will have been closed for almost ten months, starting January 6th.

There have been a lot of rumors about the fate of Submarine Voyage, the most popular of which had it being re-themed to a Star Wars themed ride. How would you like a Jar-Jar-Binks styled Gungan ride through the oceans of Naboo? Count me out.

As you can see from the images above, the Star Wars rumor is definitely false, at least for now. All of the tiki statues and multi-colored kelp patches are still very much in place. I say let’s bring back Nemo and friends, but this time add something other than LCD screens and static models with flashing lights. Hopefully the Imagineers will pull a out a few exciting tricks that capture the magic the original ride had.

The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage still sits behind construction walls.
The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage still sits behind construction walls.

It took two days to drain the 5 million gallon submarine lagoon last January, so if the reverse is true you can expect to see it filling back up around September 25th. Even with the weakly themed Nemo parts of the ride, this attraction is still pretty awesome and I look forward to seeing what the next version has to offer.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see ya’ real soon!

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Breakfast Burrito from Tomorrowland Terrace | Food Friday

Mom-in-Chief Jamie enjoying one of her favorite meals at Disneyland, the Breakfast Burrito from Tomorrowland Terrace.

The Breakfast Burrito from the Tomorrowland Terrace is served with fresh fruit.
The Breakfast Burrito from the Tomorrowland Terrace is served with fresh fruit.

Start your day with a protein packed Breakfast Burrito from the Tomorrowland Terrace at Disneyland. This tasty, filling morning selection will satisfy your hunger and keep you fueled for your adventures around the park.

Food Facts

  • Dish: Breakfast Burrito
  • Location: Tomorrowland Terrace, Tomorrowland, Disneyland, California
  • Price: $7.49 USD
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Breakfast
  • Seasonality: Year-round
  • Ease of Eating: Cautiously mobile, Preferably Sit-down with Knife-and-Fork
  • Allergy Considerations: Eggs
  • Jamie’s Opinion: Savory and Filling
  • Mom-in-Chief Scale: 4 out of 5
  • Envaluator Scale: 3.3 out of 5

What’s It Taste Like?

You can see the red tomatoes from the pico de gallo as well as the green tomatillo sauce.
You can see the red tomatoes from the pico de gallo as well as the green tomatillo sauce.

The Breakfast Burrito starts with a warm flour tortilla, filled with scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, black beans, queso fresco and chorizo sausage, along with pico de gallo and a green tomatillo salsa. Though my husband disagrees, I think all the ingredients blend together will into a tasty, flavor-packed, mobile breakfast.

People who love spicy food probably won’t find it so, but to me the chorizo sausage and tomatillo salsa have a bit of a kick to them. It doesn’t really hit you at first, but by the time you get to the bottom of the burrito you’ll be feeling it.

A fresh fruit cup is served with the burrito and has blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and pineapple.

Is It Easy To Eat?

The Breakfast Burrito comes in a healthy size and can be a mouthful. Grab some napkins because it can get messy.
The Breakfast Burrito comes in a healthy size and can be a mouthful. Grab some napkins because it can get messy.

At first, the Breakfast Burrito is very easy to walk around with and eat single-handed. It comes wrapped in wax paper for easy handling.

However, this burrito is pretty juicy. The wax paper helps keep the fluids in for a while, but eventually it will start to leak. Also, about halfway down the paper sticks to the tortilla, leaving you with messy, shredded paper, like with the Harbour Galley Barbecue Chicken and Slaw Baked Potato.

Be careful when removing the wax paper from the burrito, or you’ll dump all the ingredients into your lap. I decided to let them fall on the plate and eat the rest with a knife and fork.

If you are lucky enough to keep yours intact, it will still probably need two hands to keep the burrito together.

An unwrapped Breakfast Burrito on a plate. Make sure you grab a knife and fork from the condiment stand.
An unwrapped Breakfast Burrito on a plate. Make sure you grab a knife and fork from the condiment stand.

The way that this burrito is wrapped leaves a thick bundle when you get to the bottom as you can see in the image below. My husband doesn’t like this but I do for two different reasons. One, it helps to keep the stuffing and juices in the burrito and off of my lap. Two, it helps to tame the heat that has built up on my tongue from the chili spices.

The wad of leftover tortilla from the bottom of a Breakfast Burrito.
The wad of leftover tortilla from the bottom of a Breakfast Burrito.

Mom-in-Chief Jamie’s Opinion

Mom-in-Chief Jamie enjoying one of her favorite meals at Disneyland, the Breakfast Burrito from Tomorrowland Terrace.
Mom-in-Chief Jamie enjoying one of her favorite meals at Disneyland, the Breakfast Burrito from Tomorrowland Terrace.

The Breakfast Burrito is one of my favorite breakfast dishes in the park. I love the way it tastes and how easy it can be to eat. The ingredients are healthy too and I feel good feeding this to my kid.

The burrito is bland enough and filling enough to feed to a child. In fact, half the time my son Jack won’t eat anything but scrambled eggs, so it’s easy enough to feed him little bits or put them on a plate. If your kid can eat and walk at the same time, you can carefully move towards the next ride while eating.

Kids will probably like the tortilla itself as well, so make good use of the excess at the bottom of the burrito and part it out to your kids.

Grandma-in-Chief Debbie enjoying the Breakfast Burrito in Disneyland.
Grandma-in-Chief Debbie enjoying the Breakfast Burrito in Disneyland.

Chief Envaluator Alex’s Opinion

The Breakfast Burrito has scrambled eggs, potatoes, black beans, and chorizo sausage.
The Breakfast Burrito has scrambled eggs, potatoes, black beans, and chorizo sausage.

I’ll be real honest- the Breakfast Burrito doesn’t really thrill me. The portion is great but to me it’s bland. I think it needs some Tapatio.

And it just so happens that the Tomorrowland Terrace has partially prepared for people like me, stocking La Victoria hot sauce packets in the condiment stand. The sauce isn’t hot, but at least it adds some flavor to the burrito.

However, the burrito does pretty well on price, coming in a dollar cheaper than the Breakfast Platter with probably the same portion size. It’s way more of a deal than the ‘Build Your Own’ Yogurt Parfait, another $7.49 breakfast dish at the River Belle Terrace.

While you can add sauce to it and also not feel like you got ripped off, the place this dish falls short is Theme. Try as I might, I can’t figure any way that a Breakfast Burrito qualifies the food of tomorrow or at all relates to a futuristic view of humanity.

I suppose it could be re-themed as an astronaut space burrito, replicated or reconstituted from ships supplies. Or how about a futuristic of some sort, with a crazy colored tortilla? Let’s a dig a little deeper into the theme bucket next time.

Conclusion

The Breakfast Burrito is a great early morning dish at Disneyland. It will fill the hungriest guest and satisfy everyone’s palate, even if some people go reaching for the hot sauce.

Have you tried the burrito at the Tomorrowland Terrace? Let me know what you think in the comments below and sign up for our free weekly newsletter so you won’t miss future Food Friday posts (or any of our other great content). See ya’ real soon!

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Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland 4/14 | Monday MapDay

3D side view of Tomorrowland at SDL.

Tomorrowland is one of possibly seven opening-day lands at Shanghai Disneyland.
Tomorrowland is one of possibly seven opening-day lands at Shanghai Disneyland.

Every Disneyland-style theme park has a some version of a Tomorrowland and, when it opens in 2015/16, so will Shanghai Disneyland (SDL). However, like so many details at this second Chinese park, the SDL version of this area will have more than a few differences from the others. Let’s take a look.

Shanghai’s Tomorrowland Is In The Wrong Place

Tomorrowland sits in the Southeastern corner of Shanghai Disneyland.
Tomorrowland sits in the Southeastern corner of Shanghai Disneyland.

The first thing that sets Shanghai’s Tomorrowland apart is its physical location in the park.

Every other Tomorrowland lies on the right side of the park, to the right as you enter the hub at the end of Main Street. Shanghai Disneyland’s sits on the left side of the park, immediately left as you enter the Garden of the Twelve Friends at the end of Mickey Avenue.

I’ve included a picture from the original Disneyland from reference. Tomorrowland is circled in green.

Tomorrowland at the original Disneyland sits immediately to the right of Main Street, USA.
Tomorrowland at the original Disneyland sits to the right of Main Street, USA.

Tomorrowland Has A Mix Of Old And New Attractions

The Jet Packs, Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, and Stitch Encounter attractions in Tomorrowland.
The Jet Packs, Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, and Stitch Encounter attractions in Tomorrowland.

Other than its singular location, the SDL version of Tomorrowland will have a mix of classic and unique attractions come opening day.

The first ride you’ll see will be the Jet Packs, which will be an updated version of the Rocket Jets ride that has existed in one form or another in Disneyland-style parks since 1955. Guests will probably ride in rocket-themed cars that fly through the air, attached via long arms to a spinning base in the middle. Look at the Disneyland Astro Oribtor to get the general idea.

Next to the Jet Packs will be a large building housing two attractions: Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue and the Stitch Encounter. I would expect these rides to be mostly clones as well, though heavily themed and influenced to mainland Chinese taste.

Every Disney resort, other than the original in California, has a Stitch Encounter type of ride and no doubt the one in Shanghai will be very similar.

The same can also be said for the Buzz Lightyear ride, except that even the original Disneyland has a copy of that ride. Rumor has it that the Shanghai version of the now classic ride will use different technology than its forebears.

While I’m sure it will be a point-and-shoot style of ride like the others, perhaps the Imagineers are using the ‘local positioning system‘ style of ride navigation (like in Pooh’s Hunny Hunt) instead of the traditional omnimover system (like in the Haunted Mansion). It would be neat to have the ablity to steer your space vehicle all over the place on your way through the ride, instead of being locked into a single course of action.

I’d also expect the Buzz attraction to be more heavily themed, with a better story line within the ride itself, than it’s predecessors, which kind of resemble modern-day carnival attractions.

The Tron Lightcycles Power Run ride fills up about half of Tomorrowland at SDL.
The Tron Lightcycles Power Run ride fills up about half of Tomorrowland at SDL.

Arena E will be your standard stage and performance venue. They’ll probably have a series of daily themed shows, bands, and acts playing this area, like the Tomorrowland Stage at Disneyland.

3D side view of Tomorrowland at SDL.
3D side view of Tomorrowland at SDL.

The real gem of Shanghai’s Tomorrowland is the TRON Lightcycle Power Run attraction. Unique to SDL (to my dismay), the ride will be an indoor/outdoor roller coaster themed to the grid-world of the movie TRON.

I absolutely can’t wait to ride it and this single attraction is probably the main reason I’ll have to visit Shanghai Disneyland someday (unless they build one closer to home). There aren’t many details out yet about this coaster, but I’d expect it to be similar in feel to Space Mountain and the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, mixed with the angular simplicity of the newly themed interior to Test Track at EPCOT.

Imagine riding a dark, indoor roller coaster, blasting through the game grid as programs buzz all around you in their lightcycles, all to the awesome Daft Punk score from TRON:Legacy.

It gives me goosebumps! We do know that the ride is being built by Vekoma, a Dutch company that makes a bunch of different types of ride systems. One rumor in particular says the TRON Lightcycle ride will be a version of Vekoma’s Motor Bike Launch Coaster, where you are actually strapped into a group of motorcycles sitting on top of a steel track. This looks and sound awesome!

Tomorrowland Sits In The Shadow Of Storybook Castle

3D side view of Tomorrowland at SDL from the Garden of the Twelve Friends.
3D side view of Tomorrowland at SDL from the Garden of the Twelve Friends.

These last few pictures give you a perspective of where Tomorrowland sits in relation to the front of Shanghai Disneyland, particularly Mickey Avenue and the Garden of the Twelve Friends.

You can see how Storybook Castle will really dwarf everything around it and I wonder how this will affect the theming of the rest of the park, with Tomorrowland in particular. I’m afraid Imagineers will go to a bunch of trouble to place you in a far off world or digital frontier and then you’ll look over and see this totally out-of-place fairy tale castle, ruining the illusion. Only time will tell if I’m right.

Entire front area of Shanghai Disneyland, including Tomorrowland, Mickey Avenue, and the Garden of the Twelve Friends, with 3D buildings.
Entire front area of Shanghai Disneyland, including Tomorrowland, Mickey Avenue, and the Garden of the Twelve Friends, with 3D buildings.

Conclusion

While Shanghai’s Tomorrowland will start with a few standard clone rides, the new TRON Lightcycle attraction will definitely make it worth visiting. I’m sure Disney will add more a bunch of regional touches to the land as well, so it won’t feel like a direct copy of Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and we’ll see ya’ real soon!

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