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Rumor round-up for October 4, 2013: World of Warcraft coming to Universal, new infrared tech coming to Disney, construction projects around Orlando


Welcome to Azeroth, the newest Island of Adventure?

Ever hear of a little videogame series called Warcraft? It started as a real-time strategy game for the PC all the way back in 1994, though most people are probably familiar with its latest incarnation, World of Warcraft (November 2004). This long-running installment is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, and it’s (in)famously managed to suck in so many thousands of hours of people’s lives, it’s referred to in most circles as digital crack.

It turns out that Universal just may be hoping that this hopelessly immersive and addictive environment will work just as well in a theme park setting.

World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft. Source

Screamscape came out this week with just this scenario, referencing the recent announcement that Universal will be helping to bring a (long-in-development) big-budget movie adaptation of WOW to theaters on December 18, 2015. This would ordinarily be a somewhat tenuous hypothesis, but given the previous news of Universal’s new partnership with Legendary Pictures, and given that part of that business deal was the possibility of mining Legendary’s film properties for themed attractions, the idea doesn’t seem out of hand at all. And, besides, as the site notes, “it goes without saying that World of Warcraft has been a fairly global phenomenon. Bringing the game’s distinct visual style to the big screen will launch the IP from the PC gaming crowd into the mainstream, for sure.”

Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that, if true, Universal will also be bringing the now-classic WOW episode from South Park, “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” somehow into the mix.


Disney to introduce new infrared imaging technology

Disney seems to be in the anti-“piracy” mood. Disney Research has recently applied for a patent for a new type of infrared imaging projector, which would prevent guests from using their smartphones or digital cameras to sneak pictures of the after-ride photos that are available at a number of resort-wide attractions; “countermeasures are needed to prevent the capturing of an image from a display monitor using an imaging device to obtain quality images of high-value content,” the application reads.

How would this be accomplished? WDW for Grown-ups has the scoop: the new tech would “either flood the digital camera sensor with infrared light or, perhaps, project a copyright notice that would only be seen by the camera.”

Possible result of this new technology.
Possible result of this new technology. Source

There are other uses for the new projector, including some pretty interesting entertainment applications. An individual may “carry, wear, or otherwise be co-located with one or more solid state imaging devices,” meaning that a scavenger hunt, for instance, could be had, making guests hunt for infrared images or receive instructions for the next step in the trail directly from the images themselves. Since the patent specifically references “’ghosts’ and ‘tombstones,’ we could imagine it might be used in the Haunted Mansion,” the site states.


Photo tours of your favorite parks

“After years of neglect and, frankly, mismanagement, Downtown Disney has new hope in the form of Disney Springs,” Da Mouse writes this week. “It’s set to include massive improvements, from multi-level parking garages to alleviate the parking issues of old to the inclusion of upscale shopping options that will help Disney Springs better compete with the higher-end malls of the area, namely the Mall at Millenia.” The site has a treasure trove of pictures of the construction currently going on at the spot. Go ahead and check it out.

Disney Springs construction.
Disney Springs construction. Source

DaMouse also managed to stop by the new Spice Road Table being built at Epcot, adding a second photo-update. “The bright colors used on the new doors of the building pop amongst the more muted colors of the pavilion, and the general scope of the pavilion feels grander with this new addition,” the site says. “It adds some weight that balances out the Morocco Pavilion and surrounds you from the moment you first step towards it.”


Now on to Universal CityWalk, where an Orlando Informer fan shared the photo below. Just as reported here in the Rumor Round-Up previously, the Endangered Species store has been closed in order to make room for… Starbucks, which is changing locations.

Endangered Species store is now extinct.
Endangered Species store is now extinct.

Why is Starbucks moving? We have it on good authority that the old Pastamore quick-service renovation is turning the space into a brick oven pizzeria, and that the pizzeria will be a two-story venue. Since the current Starbucks location at CityWalk sits right above Pastamore, it needs to move for a two-story venue to be built.


And, finally, rounding out the photo tours is Animal Kingdom. Orlando Park News has updates on several projects, including construction of the new Festival of the Lion King theater and the purported spot where the new World of Color-esque show (from California Adventure in Anaheim) will go, including its brand-new amphitheater.

Festival of the Lion King theater construction.
Festival of the Lion King theater construction. Source



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. So even though we try our best to present solid speculation, there’s no way to guarantee any rumor will come true (then it wouldn’t be a rumor anyway).

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!

View all of our Rumor Round-Ups


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Dana Trivino
Dana Trivino
October 4, 2013 2:21 pm

Omg please NO…WoW would be a disgrace to the universal theme park…id really like to see universal stick to classics

Anthony Casalino
Anthony Casalino
October 4, 2013 2:22 pm

Watch it be a HHN house next year hahaha

Emma Garwood
Emma Garwood
October 4, 2013 2:39 pm

Just come back from my Orlando holiday (sad times..) and Disney already pretty much block the on-ride photos anyway. They put a load of text directing you to buy the photo over the image.

Melissa Crawford
Melissa Crawford
October 4, 2013 3:06 pm

I hope they relocate Endangered Species-that store was a personal favorite of mine 🙁 🙁 🙁

Roxanne DeJean Romero
Roxanne DeJean Romero
October 4, 2013 7:03 pm

let’s hope not!

Jeannette AngelGirl Gonzalez
Jeannette AngelGirl Gonzalez
October 4, 2013 8:19 pm

I would love to see WOW at Universal Studios Florida

October 5, 2013 12:32 pm

UPDATE: I was told last night by a Universal team member that the second floor build out next to Starbucks current CityWalk location will not be part of the pizzeria, but instead it will be a patio for a new venue taking StarBucks’ place. What that new venue will be is anyone’s guess at this point.

October 5, 2013 8:34 pm

Better shot of the new upstairs patio under construction:

October 5, 2013 7:50 pm

betting its a new restaurant concept and not a two story pizza restaurant

October 5, 2013 8:10 pm
Reply to  RobMorris1

Did you see my last UPDATE comment? 🙂

October 5, 2013 8:43 pm

Watch out Universal!
WDW has infrared to keep guests from taking a picture, vacation bands which lock in all your plans for you, computer chip mugs which keep guests from stealing a sip of soda they may not deserve, and AAVAATAAARRR!
It’s all for the guests at WDW!

October 7, 2013 8:02 pm
Reply to  CaptainAction

CaptainAction Seriously, CaptainAction? Did your mother never teach you that “if you can’t say anthing nice, not to say anything at all”?  I’m starting to think that you must be a disgruntled former employee of Disney. The only things that you post bash Disney.
You say that you love Universal so much. Why don’t you talk about the possible new Island? You remind me of a school girl trying to prop themselves up by tearing someone else down.

October 10, 2013 6:18 pm
Reply to  Cassy

Actually, my mom is in the WWF, so she pretty much just taught us to take no prisoners. It’s obvious where Universal is spending it’s money – you can see all the cool new rides, lands, and resorts going up at the same time. It takes articles like this one to show us where WDW is spending it’s money because you can’t see infrared, chips in mugs, armbands, etc. As well as you could see some great new E ticket attractions. If WDW ever themes ANYTHING as well as WWOHP or Diagon Alley, Nocturn Alley, London, etc. Then you can… Read more »

Melissa McLaughlin
Melissa McLaughlin
October 5, 2013 12:02 am

One of 100000000000000000 rumors.

Shawnna Harland
Shawnna Harland
October 5, 2013 12:47 am

Yes please, you can have any future paychecks whenever you actually make a WoW attraction. ^.^
October 5, 2013 12:32 pm

UPDATE: I was told last night by a Universal team member that the second floor build out next to Starbucks current CityWalk location will not be part of the pizzeria, but instead it will be a patio for a new venue taking StarBucks’ place. What that new venue will be is anyone’s guess at this point.

About Marc N. Kleinhenz

Marc N. Kleinhenz is the former editor of Orlando Informer.

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