In a surprise move over the Easter weekend, Disney finally confirmed that new Hollywood Studios attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad had been delayed until Spring 2020, but that wasn’t such a surprise as there had been no word on an opening date for the ride. The surprise was, that alongside this confirmation, was the long rumoured copying of the attraction going to Toontown in Disneyland.
This had long been talked about, but no confirmation was made until Good Friday. Our Friends over at Fresh Baked had talked at length over the rumours over multiple videos. Whether this delay was caused by one of the theories that David talked about, and that was that they weren’t sure where it was going in the parks. While the Towntown plot was talked about, it was believed that Imagineering also looked at the Backlot area of California Adventure as a possible landing spot for Mickey & Minnie.But Toontown it is.
This may seem great for Disneyland fans, but this worries me. See this isn’t the only rumour doing the rounds regarding this attraction. See with my involvement in Discover DLP, a Disneyland Paris podcast, we have been fed another rumour. Yes, that’s right, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will also be making it’s way to Europe. An expansion pad is currently available situated to the left of It’s A Small World on a pathway that leads to Discoveryland.
While Paris is obviously in need of new attractions and the love of Imagineering, do we need a version of a ride that is opening in two different parks in just over 2 years?
And this isn’t the only thing that is worrying me… this isn’t the only thing that this is happening with. We have Galaxy’s Edge, opening in both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios within a couple of months of each other with it to follow in Paris by 2023.
We will also be seeing clones of the new Superhero lands in the progress of being built in California Adventure and Walt Disney Studios, both featuring a next generation Spider-Man ride
We are also seeing a ride from Paris making it’s way to Epcot, with the Ratatouille attraction from Walt Disney Studios due to open in 2021. While I understand that wasn’t a cheap attraction for WDI to create, in all honesty it isn’t the greatest achievement of the Imagineers in Burbank and seems like a wasted opportunity.
And it isn’t just limited to the Western World parks either. With the expansion announcement at Disneyland Paris, comes a Frozen land, which is currently being built in Hong Kong Disneyland, with rumours swirling that Disneyland will follow suit.
And on top of that, Disneyland is rumoured to be receiving the new Beauty and the Beast attraction from Tokyo as well. (which I have long speculated will also end up in the next phase of expansion around the new lake at Walt Disney Studios)
While I understand these attractions are very expensive and having them in multiple parks cuts back on costs. I also understand that The Walt Disney Company have just spent billions of dollars on buying 21st Century Fox, but it smacks of laziness and a lack of, yes the word that influences their job, imagination.
I get that they want stuff based on intellectual property, but there are so many other properties that they could mine. We saw California Adventure be given an overhaul of Paradise Pier, to become Pixar Pier, but really that was just existing attractions being given new skins.
Of the current imagineers, how many of their names do we actually know because of the work they are producing? I would say Joe Rohde would be the only one most people could name, because of the work he has put in to Animal Kingdom.
Other than that, the imagination seems to be lacking. We still look to the likes of Bob Gurr or Tony Baxter for the inspiration as a Disney fan
So my question to you are WDI being stifled by lack of funds or the prospect of having to use IP? Or is it a lack of thinking outside the box on the imagineers parts???