Possible plans for gondolas and Star Wars resort at Disney

- New and exciting things could be headed to Walt Disney World.  Gondolas and a Star Wars-themed resort are rumored to be in the works, according to those who follow developments at the Florida resort, though Disney has not made any official announcements to date.

WDW Radio host Lou Mongello says a gondola lift system is something that could greatly enhance transportation around the resort.

"This is definitely not official from Disney, but it has been rumored it is going to connect guests in the Epcot and Epcot resort areas with Caribbean Beach Resort," said Mongello. "I think the handwriting is on the wall. The timing is appropriate, with a lot of the construction."

Mongello is tracking another hot rumor of an immersive and all-inclusive Stars Wars resort.  He said Disney has sent out a survey to guests to gauge interest in a possible hotel resort inside Disney World. 

"Not only are the rooms themed to Star Wars, but the entire resort is as if you were inside a giant space ship -- light saber training and as much Star Wars as you would like," he said. 

In February, Disney CEO Bob Iger says the company will open its Star Wars-themed lands at California's Disneyland and Florida's Walt Disney World in 2019.

The 14-acre attractions were announced in 2015 and are under construction at the parks. Disney says the lands will include attractions and entertainment alongside aliens and droids. The attractions represent the parks' largest single themed land expansion ever.

Disney theme parks have a big summer ahead of them with major new attractions opening May 27 based on two movies, one about the Marvel Comics superheroes from "Guardians of the Galaxy" and the other about the lush alien world of Pandora from the James Cameron film "Avatar."

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT! attraction opens at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California.

Pandora - The World of Avatar is a 12-acre land opening at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

But the creative designer behind the attractions says you don't need to know anything about either movie to enjoy them.

"This is not a revisitation of a plot line of a film you already saw," said Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde at an event Monday in New York City previewing the attractions. "This is your opportunity to go to an amazing world and have adventures of your own. ... The story is about you."

The premise of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride is that the Guardian superheroes have been captured and riders must participate in an adventure with a character called Rocket Raccoon to free them. "It is a prison breakout story," Rohde said. The ride incorporates multiple scenarios for resolving the story line so that riders have a slightly different experience each time they go through it.

Guardians of the Galaxy is located in a redesigned drop tower structure that once housed the Twilight Zone of Terror.

At Pandora, there are two rides plus retail and dining components. Riders on Avatar Flight of Passage fly through the forest on the backs of creatures called banshees to participate in a tribal coming of age ceremony. Riders on the Na'vi River Journey move through the bioluminescent forest on a boat, guided by a mystical singing figure.

Rohde described Pandora as an "obsessively real" environment that "reacts to the change of day on its own." The sounds of creatures in the forest change from day to night, and the Pandoran plants glow by night, Rohde said. Rohde took his team on field trips to Hawaii, Bali and China for design inspiration from real landscapes and cultural touchstones.

 

Some information taken from the Associated Press. 


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