Rumor round-up for September 6, 2013: Seuss Landing expansion, Disney axing FastPasses, Terminator, CityWalk, Starbucks & #NothingTaller

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Project 301 at Islands of Adventure

It may seem like Jurassic Park has been getting all the attention with its long-awaited new ride, but Universal Creative hasn’t forgotten about the other land at Islands of Adventure that is in desperate need of an expansion: Seuss Landing.

Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure.
Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure.

While details are very limited, Screamscape tells us that Project 301 has just been greenlit, will be based off of The Lorax, and will be located behind One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. While we don’t know whether it’ll be a traditional dark ride (like the Cat in the Hat) or something with a little more kick, we do know that it’ll contain 3D elements. Best of all, the new attraction comes with “an aggressive plan to get it up and open in time for the 2015 holiday season.” This is particularly exciting, given that’s when the new Jurassic Park ride should debut, as well; Seuss and JP may prove to be the one-two punch that perfectly follows up Diagon Alley’s grand opening next summer.

Of course, none of this should come as a shocker to faithful Rumor Round-Up readers, as we’ve been following the Lorax speculation for the past three months now. It’s very satisfying, though, to see all the pieces finally falling into place.

UPDATE: (Yes, rumors like these can move so fast that we need to post updates in articles that are just getting published!) The prolific @hatetofly has echoed Screamscape — or is it the other way around? — and stated that a Lorax attraction has been approved. He adds, “Lorax RVs are rumored to be themed scooters that will utilize a motion base along a track with 4KHD3D media, AAs, large sets, and live FX.”

 

Say goodbye to FastPasses, and say it soon

You may have heard of a little $1 billion-plus program the Disney Company has been working on for the past two years called NextGen, and how the paperless FastPass+ – which would be accessible from your smartphone or computer at home – will eventually replace the current FastPass system. Given NextGen’s constant stream of delays, we all thought that day would still be a few years away. According to Chip and Company, however, it may be coming sooner than we all thought – as in at the end of the month!

Say goodbye to the classic FastPass kiosks.
Bye bye.

Here’s the gist of the report: all standard FastPasses will be discontinued except for those who are staying on-site at one of Disney’s countless resorts, and, even then, those guests will be strictly limited to just three FastPasses per day, and only at one park. This means that if you want to park hop from, say, Magic Kingdom to Epcot, you’ll have to brave the lines at FutureWorld with no little, time-saving slips of paper at your disposal. This also means that if you’re an Annual passholder, you’re completely out of luck, although Vacation Club members are still allowed FastPass access, given that they already have a Key to the World (read: hotel) card in their possession.

Why would Disney do this? Two reasons, really. First and foremost, it pushes more people to stay on property, which is, after all, the bread-and-butter of any theme park enterprise. Secondly, it forces the adoption rate of FastPass+ to skyrocket, getting many more people on-board with the NextGen initiative in a much more timely manner; with two years already wasted on glitches, delays, and all sorts of misinformation, Disney wants to see its mammoth investment pay off sooner rather than later.

Do you question this timeline? We understand, and that’s why we include a friendly disclaimer at the bottom of our RRU posts now.

 

Quick hits: T2, CityWalk, Starbucks & #NothingTaller

Think that Terminator 2 3D: Battle across Time is in desperate need of replacement? So do we – especially with all this talk of brand-new attractions arriving at Islands of Adventure (and, just maybe, at Universal Studios Florida, too). Unfortunately, Parkscope is here to let us know that not only is T2 staying right where it is for the next several years, it’s getting some long-overdue updates, to boot, mainly with its audio-visual equipment and its smoke/fog effects.

Inside Terminator 2: 3-D at Universal Studios Florida.
Inside Terminator 2: 3-D at Universal Studios Florida.

 

In the same post, Parkscope goes on to quickly detail yet another demolition/construction job at CityWalk: Project 248, which will have both the interior gutted and the exterior razed, just as with Latin Quarter. Which restaurant will be getting the axe now? We’re not quite certain, but if the other CityWalk developments are any indication, we’ll be getting the answer literally any day now…

Latin Quarter's current specials.
Latin Quarter’s current specials. See more CityWalk construction

 

If you’re of the opinion that two Starbucks franchises at Walt Disney World – in both Magic Kingdom and Epcot – is two too much, then WDW Magic is about to send you to your therapist’s couch. Although a new Starbucks location was already announced to be part of Disney Springs once it finishes construction within the next few years, it turns out that the Seattle-based company just couldn’t wait and is placing a new franchise in Downtown Disney’s West Side, kicking out Wetzel’s Pretzels and Haagen Dazs to do so. (Don’t fret – both of the older establishments will be getting kiosks just outside of Disney Quest.)

Downtown Disney.
Downtown Disney.

And just because one Downtown location just isn’t enough, a second Starbucks is heading to the Marketplace area, next to the World of Disney store. When combined with the future spots picked out in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, there will be a whopping six Starbucks in Disney World.

Disney fans, I’m sure, are rejoicing.

 

To take this week’s RRU over the top: just this morning, after a pretty successful #NothingTaller Twitter campaign, SeaWorld announced that they are building a new attraction at Aquatica, its popular water park. “It will be the tallest water thrill ride of its type in Orlando,” claims the park in their press release. They were mum about additional details, but did offer this photo of a height-test balloon:

Aquatica at SeaWorld #NothingTaller
Aquatica at SeaWorld #NothingTaller

 

DISCLAIMER FROM THE EDITOR

It is tough to imagine that we need to put a disclaimer at the bottom of a blog post called Rumor Round-Up, but the growing popularity of our articles seems to have raised concern in some camps that our rumor reporting is not a 100% accurate forecast of things to come. So here goes nothing: Please remember when viewing this post that a rumor is a piece of unverified information of uncertain origin; a statement whose veracity is not quickly or ever confirmed.

Thanks to Marc for researching the latest rumor buzz from sources across the Internet and condensing it down into a single post for us each and every week!

 

[sws_author_bio user=”msunyata@yahoo.com” size=”105″ authorposts=”More OI posts by Marc” name_format=”About the author”] [/sws_author_bio]

Marc N. Kleinhenz Marc N. Kleinhenz’s first dream in life was to be an astronaut. His second was an Imagineer. While neither completely worked out, he now works exclusively for Orlando Informer as a writer, editor, and podcast co-host. He’s also written for 32 other sites (including Screen Rant, IGN, The Escapist, and California Informer [OI's sister site]), has had his fiction featured in several publications, and has even taught English in Japan. Imagineering school won’t be too far behind.

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23 Comments on "Rumor round-up for September 6, 2013: Seuss Landing expansion, Disney axing FastPasses, Terminator, CityWalk, Starbucks & #NothingTaller"

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Anthony Casalino
Guest

Ok so what’s happening at JP ? What’s going on there

Tommy Erwin
Guest

Will be there in the morning

Joshua Aaron Cornelson
Guest
Joshua Aaron Cornelson

About fastpass+, from what I understand people who are passholders, cast members, or guest that just buy a one day ticket without staying on staying on site can still use fastpass+…..the only difference is those who stay on site can book them far in advance…where others would only have a week or so to reserve their times. Also for those who dont reserve them in advance can get the left overs the day of at park.

Steven Van Neste
Guest

Most persistent JP rumor is an amber mine roller coaster, rumored to be build by the Gravity Group. Would be interesting really, a wooden roller coaster that is mainly indoors and with some outdoors parts going through ‘the jungle’ …

Doug Jenkins
Guest

Was at IOA yesterday around 4 – 6 PM ALL rides were walk on or 5 minute waits including Harry Potter. Great time to be there.

Steven Van Neste
Guest

And apparently the river adventure might get a touch up … I know that the dinosaur that jumps out of the water to the right (just before the boat goes into the raptor area) looks bad, you can see where the ‘skin’ ends and then you see the metal skeleton. The T-rex at the end likewise needs an update and better fog effects, sometimes you can see that he is not even standing on something, a flying t-rex 🙂

Camila Regina Baeza
Guest

So how will the new fast pass work for those who won’t stay on Disney hotels? For instance, I live in Brazil, and I usually buy my tickets here before my trip, where will I get a bracelet thingy? How will this work? My next trip will be in May 2014. Tks!

Hayley Pollington
Guest

Ok so was coming in October 2013 but will now put it on hold until 2015 because of new rides won’t be able to donut twice!

Anthony Casalino
Guest

Okay read it but not much on it what’s being build

OrlandoInformer.com
Guest

Hayley Pollington – Just remember in 2015 there will be a whole new set of attractions rumored to open in 2017 🙂

OrlandoInformer.com
Guest

Anthony Casalino – See the comments Steven Van Neste wrote for a little more info. That’s about all we know so far.

OrlandoInformer.com
Guest

Camila Regina Baeza – Our site focuses more on Universal, so unfortunately I don’t know many specifics about Disney’s transition from traditional FastPasses to the FastPass+ system. But here’s where you can start to learn a little more: http://bit.ly/17psIdC.

Shabeli Molina
Guest

So happy that Seuss landing is getting an update! I was starting to feel like UO didn’t care about the land!

Perla Montiel
Guest

So the new ride of jp n the lorex won’t be open until 2015, when is the ride for harry p is going to be open?

susie
Guest

Starbucks is just so common these days, they are everywhere, so boring!!

TiagoSeiler
Guest

@susie  Yeah, but that “hot cocoa” they used to serve at the Main Street Bakery was a shot to the nuts. Disgusting thing that was. I’m glad I can get a proper hot cocoa at MK now when I’m leaving the park on a cold February night…

Cassy
Guest
I know this is a rumor post, but I would like to touch on your Fastpass+ Rumor. It is practically impossible that the regular fastpasses will be gone by this month. Disney is still adding “test” resorts to try the new system out. They are definitely going to make this available to Annual Passholders. However, the passholder will have to have a reservation at a participating resort in order to get added during this “test” phase. My understanding is that after this initial stay, the passholder will be able to make fastpass reservations without a stay. You can still parkhop… Read more »
Maxine Brewster
Guest

T2 3d is so ready to be done up again first saw it 22 years ago and it hasn’t changed

Jim Bedford-Forbes
Guest

Wow great news that the thrills keep coming Whoop Whoop

MichelleSnow
Guest

Terminator is probably staying so they can capitalize on the upcoming movie reboot due in 2015.  As for “Project 248” – I’ve heard rumors from several sources of a WWE Hall of Fame & restaurant going in where NBA City is.

squeaky19
Guest

I’d like to argue with you about APs and not FP+. It seems that once APs get their Magic Bands they will then have access to FP+ going forward. We are going up this weekend and get our magic bands for that trip. If anyone is interested I can report back on our next trip which will be soon after that.

OrlandoInformer
Guest

squeaky19 Feedback is always appreciated. Let us know what you find out 🙂

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