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Monday Mouse Watch : Get ready for WDW's monstrous new coaster

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Monday Mouse Watch : Get ready for WDW's monstrous new coaster

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Judging by the long lines at "Toy Story Mania" as well as the brisk business that "Hey Howdy Hey!" & the gift shop across the way have been doing, it would appear that Pixar Place has already proven to be a very popular addition to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The only problem with the studio theme park's new "land" is ... Well, it's only got one ride. Sure, once they've finished firing virtual cannonballs at TSM's CG targets, tourists typically linger for a little while in this part of DHS. But that's only because they want to have their photo taken with Woody & Buzz in the Picture Takin' Corral. Once that's done ... These WDW Guests quickly head off for other sections of the Studio.

Which doesn't fly with the guys at WDI. They really want you to loiter in their highly stylized recreation of Pixar's Emeryville campus. Which is why Walt Disney Imagineering has decided to add a new attraction to Pixar Place. Something that will come on line by the Fall of 2011. Just in time for Disney World's 40th anniversary.

"So what's it going to be?," you ask. That long-rumored clone of Walt Disney Studios' "Crush's Coaster" ? Or -- better yet -- some "Ratatouille" -themed restaurant that will feature regular appearances by that new Living Character Initiative version of Remy ?

Nope. Disney's Hollywood Studios is actually getting the attraction that theme park enthusiasts have been itching for ever since "Monsters, Inc." opened back in November of 2001. DHS will be soon be home to an inverted coaster that recreates the Door Hangar sequence from that Pete Docter film.

Copyright 2001 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

This family-friendly attraction will be housed inside of Soundstage One. Though -- in order to queue up for this ride -- WDW Guests will first have to go around to the backside of this building and then enter through the old Jim Henson Creature Shop.

Here, they'll find an elaborate recreation of the Monsters, Inc. lobby. With Ceilia (You know? Mike Wazowski's one-eyed, snake-haired girlfriend?) working behind the reception desk. Given that this attraction will be set in the post-film world (After monsters have learned that laughter is 10 times more powerful than screams), Monsters, Inc. is holding an open house today. Actually inviting humans in the Monster world to come tour their energy-gathering facility.

Speaking of energy-gathering ... As they make their way through the queue, Disney World visitors will periodically encounter scream / laugh cannisters with funnels sticking up out of them. These Guests will then be encouraged to scream / laugh into these funnels. Which will cause the sides of these cannisters to light up and reveal how much energy was just gathered.

As they make their way up to the attraction's load area, these WDW visitors will learn that this Open House is all Mike Wazowski's idea. That -- along the route that their coaster is supposed to travel through the Door Hangar -- this wiley one-eyed monster has placed even more scream / laugh cannisters. Which will then collect all of the energy that these humans produce as they scream & laugh their way through this attraction.

These Guests will then board a train that's two seats wide and eight-to-ten cars long. After chugging up the lifthill past show scenes where Mike & Sulley will quickly recap the backstory of this attraction, these WDW visitors will drop down into the Door Hangar building. Where they then quickly whip past various comic tableaus featuring some of the more memorable characters from the "Monsters, Inc." film. Not to mention some far-too-close encounters with huge scare / laugh cannisters (Whose sides -- once again reinforcing this attraction's interactive aspect -- will light up depending on how loudly the Guests on board that particular coaster train scream).

Copyright 2001 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

As for the finale of this two-minute-long attraction ... Well, it seems that these Disney World visitors will produce so much energy with all of their screams & laughter that the cannisters in the Door Hangar just can't contain it all. So there's this huge explosion near the end with bright lights & smoke. And just before their train rolls back into the station, these Guests will see a slightly charred versions of Mike & Sulley. With Wazowski telling his big blue friend "I think we need to get some bigger cannisters."

Now please keep in mind that this is a very bare-bones description of DHS's new "Monsters, Inc." ride. As for the attraction itself ... WDI's looking to spend some serious dough here. Even the exterior of this show building will be reworked so that it then closely resembles the exterior of the Door Hangar building that we all saw in the movie.

Mind you, Mike, Sulley & Ceilia aren't the only Pixar characters who will be moving into this soon-to-be-Super-sized version of Pixar Place. The Imagineers are also getting ready to retheme the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure" around "A Bug's Life."

Don't believe me? Okay. Then click on over to the official Disney World website. Then access the DHS "Attractions" listings section on that site. Please note this 17-year-old Backlot attraction is now just called "Movie Set Adventure." That -- in preparation for the coming retheming -- the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" portion of this attraction's name has already quietly been dropped.

Come 2012 ... Don't be too surprised if elements of "Cars 2" (Which will send Lightning McQueen and his friends from Radiator Springs off to Europe for a all-new racing adventure) start popping up in the "Lights, Motors, Action! Stunt Show." And beyond that ... There's even talk of pulling out DHS's Studio Backlot Tour. Flattening everything from the "Harbor Attack" tank show on back to Catastrophe Canyon in order to make room for a WDW version of DCA's "Carsland."

Copyright 2007 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

But that's some real Blue Sky stuff right there (And -- to be honest -- that particular proposed DHS addition will only happen if Disneyland Resort Guests go truly nuts for the "Radiators Springs Racers" ride. And given that this California Adventure thrill ride is rumored to cost more than $200 million ... WDW execs will have to think long & hard before they finally agree to spend that much money on a single attraction). For now ... Let's just concentrate on the monstrous new ride that will be opening at the Studios just in time for Disney World's 40th anniversary celebration.

Just so you know, though ... Disney's Hollywood Studios isn't the only WDW theme park that's slated to have a brand-new attraction up & running by the Fall of 2011. Magic Kingdom managers have just been informed that their park will also be receiving a significant new addition. A ride that will send that park's Guests "Under the Sea" to spend a little quality time with a certain Disney Princess. But that's a tail ... er ... tale for another time.

But what do you folks think? Are you ready to fill up a few scream cannisters for the nice folks back in Monstropolis?

Your thoughts?

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  • About bloody time.  How about Star Tours 2 as well Jim? (Which the cynic in me wants to know if Wall-E will be in.)  This could all make DHS the number 2 park at the resort.  Epcot better up the game!

  • Also, the addition of The Little Mermaid dark ride being built for DCA was reported weeks ago on BlueSkyDisney and reported again a couple days ago along with the additional rumor that a Seven Dwarfs mine cart roller coaster might be coming as well to Fantasyland.  Way to keep with things.

    Also don't get me wrong, I'm excited that they finally settled on Monster's Inc. for Pixar Place coaster but talk about striking while the iron is COLD.  Plus, doesn't this make the Laugh Floor redundant?

  • Will we see any Incredibles themed attractions coming to DHS's Pixar Place?  It seems a shame to have all these great Pixar based attractions and nothing related to it's most entertaining property!

  • I'm curious how much of this is a reaction to Harry Potter opening at IOA?

    It makes me happy that Universal got Harry Potter instead of Disney...now Disney can't slack...they have to keep up!

    Sue in Texas

  • I like the idea of PIXAR Place because the canon is so rich with possibilities.  Like Tuckenie is wonder about the Laugh Floor in MK and I could only hope that is would lead to it's closure when the Monster's Inc coaster becomes a reality.

    On a side riff, Disney has got to get these things in the timeline/budget for every one of their parks whether they come to fruition of not.  With the sale of Anheuser Busch to InBev that potentially puts Seaworld/Aquatica/Discovey Cove/Busch Gardens Tampa into play.  If NBC Universal, with a deep pocketed partner (think Dubai), could swoop in and bundle all of these parks together with more theme hotels, interpark shuttles, etc. then that would really put Disney in a position that they would need to come out blazing with new D and E quality attractions.

  • I was excited about this up until the very last paragraph, Jim. Why would would anyone ever want to visit Disney's California Adventure when all the unique and exciting attractions slated to be built there are going to be built in Florida as well? First, the Little Mermaid dark ride at Magic Kingdom, now Carsland at Disney's Hollywood Studios (not to mention Midway Mania). If Florida is going to get all the love, then DCA should at least get Rock N' Roller Coaster (or some variation) in the abandoned building between Monsters Inc. and the Hyperion.  

  • Yeti, the reality is that current management (Rasulo) wants the most from their/his buck and that means that they are into big time cloning.  Good or bad (mostly bad), that means we will continue to see extreme sameness in the worldwide parks.  It's not a new phenomena, heck every worldwide park has a castle, so it will continue.  I for one an not opposed to RnR being added to DCA.  There is certainly a way to at least use that technology and still maintain the current placemaking policy.

  • Cloning spreads out the production costs. I just have to wonder, though, how much is saved by completely cloning an attractions versus using the same ride system on two different attractions like with Indy and the Dinosaurs? You're certainly spreading out the cost of creating the ride system by implementing it in 2 places but each coast has a different experience on it- becoming an exclusive experience to draw in visitors who don't have that in their local/semi-local Disney park.

  • YAY!!!  I've always wanted a ride based on the doors sequence in "Monsters, Inc."!!!  I'm so thrilled!!!

    On the subject of cloning, I like Tomoyo's idea- use the same ride system, but have different theming- I think that that's a terrific idea.  I'm going to Disneyland and DCA for the first time in a couple months, and I'm definitely mostly excited for the rides and shows that we don't have here at WDW.  

  • Interesting that it took WDI seven years to come up with this attraction.  My then (2001) 10 year old daughter did a very basic design of this attraction right after the movie came out.

  • Jim Hill has a story up this morning about how the success of Toy Story Mania at Disney World has loosened the purse strings for a brand-new Pixar-themed roller coaster that would open in 2011: "So what's it going to be?," you ask. That long-rumored clone

  • Sorry, but I'm a naysayer here, and there's a reason.

    This just depresses me to no end.  Can Jay Rasulo's thinktank, led by John Lasster, think of nothing but ways to "leverage existing properties"?  It's sad that Disney parks have become about shilling the movies -- way more than they ever were in Walt's Day through the mid-1990s.  They've become predictable and boring.

    I couldn't really explain this even to myself properly until a trip just recently to Japan, where I went to Tokyo DisneySea with some friends.  As we walked around this extraordinary, unbelievable and remarkably popular park, which seems to have a fantastic reputation among locals, two of them started saying, "I'm a little depressed being here, because Disney should be ASHAMED of this place."

    I asked them to explain themselves a little further, and what they said opened my eyes.  Tokyo DisneySea celebrates the imagination.  It is the park of a Disney fan's dreams -- a place where you can see what Imagineering is capable of doing when they aren't led by finance managers but by creative developers.  It is a rich and sumptuous park, where there is virtually no "Disney" -- the "Disney" in the park comes from defining Disney as a place where anything is possible, where the only limit is the imagination, where fantasy is real.  Tokyo DisneySea showcases the kind of theme park that defines Disney as peerless in its class.  It is beautiful, it is thrilling, it is adventurous, it is magical.

    Every ride, every show, every attraction doesn't scream out DISNEY and MICKEY and PIXAR ... but WONDER and BEAUTY and VISION.  From the remarkably improved and lovely Sindbad ride to Journey to the Center of the Earth to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to the awesomely detailed Tower of Terror, every turn in this park is a joy to behold.  It is Disney at its absolute best, and with the exception of The Little Mermaid area (and Indiana Jones, though not a Disney film), it's not about glorifying known commodities ... it's about creating a NEW KIND of Disney entertainment, about making NEW classics.

    And then, back at home, we get a Monsters Inc. roller coaster.


    Next time you wonder what Disney is really capable of doing, splurge a bit and visit Tokyo DisneySea.  It will make you cry when you get back home.

  • I don't see how this terrific-sounding "Monsters Inc." ride would make the Laugh Floor redundant. That's an interactive, audience-participation show while the aforementioned ride would be like a dark-ride roller coaster. The Laugh Floor rocks, BTW. One of my favorites of the newer attractions. I think this "Monsters" ride sounds awesome. And I am REALLY pleased to read about new attractions for Fantasyland at WDW. I was a little surprised by how little there is to do there. The Dwarf's Mine Trains sounds wonderful, and the Mermaid ride too. The Imagineers ought to think about a Narnia ride also. All in all this news is exciting. Thanks, Jim!

  • Tokyo DisneySea is not a Disney Park.

    It's an OLC park, built by Imagineering, with Disney licenses.  

    If OLC and Disney part ways, all they have to do is remove the characters and Disney signage and verbiage.  It will go on as an independent park.

    Now, THAT's depressing.

  • What's depressing is that OLC believes more in Walt's vision and philosophy than the Walt Disney Company does.

    That said, I think the original Disney/OLC contract back in 1979 was for 45 years.  That would take it to 2024.  Not sure if it was changed/extended when DisneySea opened.  

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