I barely blinked and it was 2016. Each December seems to go by faster than the last. Luckily, with every new year, us Disney fans can count on the fact that some pretty amazing stuff is just around the corner with our favorite mouse.
Whether it's park additions, movie releases, or a cute new design on those Dooney and Burke purses, something magical is always giving us reason to smile. I did some digging and found the new additions I am most excited about for 2016 and beyond.
The Jungle Book (April 15th)
I haven't been this stoked about a Disney movie that was not an animated feature in a while. This new version of our beloved Jungle Book should be unlike any fairytale remake Disney has done in the past few years. Almost everything is animated with CGI technology but it's still considered a live action film. The movie is supposed to represent the original, more "dark" side of the Jungle Book fables, and I am honestly not sure how they are going to mix (Director Jon Favreau said this was the hardest part of creating the film). Either way, I am so excited to see this one. Who's coming with me?!
Soarin' Around the World (TBA)
One of my all-time favorite rides at California Adventures is getting a massive makeover. No longer will we only experience the beauties of California, now we will get to fly over majestic parts of the world very few of us have gotten to personally experience. Though Disney officials have not yet released when this ride will officially reopen (they are telling us "early this year"), this video shows a short behind-the-scenes making of the ride. I was always wondering how they did it...
Star Wars Land (in a galaxy far away)
We won't get to fully experience this land for some time, but we should begin to see updates on the Imagineers progress all throughout 2016. During CES in Vegas this past week, Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering let slip some specific details of the new land. He mentioned the possibility of a "boat ride" with choreographed motion (similar to Indiana Jones but on the water) being a part of the land. But fans are taking this with a grain of salt since there had been no previous mentions of this, and because plans do change.
However, Bob Iger has mentioned that the two signature attractions of this land will include "the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.”
Though I am incredibly sad to see some of my favorite attractions permanently close (Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo) and temporarily close for at least a year's time (Fantasmic), HUGE changes are coming. Today, Imagineering released concept art of what the Rivers of America will look like once Star Wars land is in place. Elevated railroad tracks over beautiful waterfalls is just part of the new design pictured below.
Spanning even larger than the expansion of Cars Land (12 acres- Star Wars is at least 14), we are definitely in for a major change. Concept art for Cars land was released in 2006 with the official announcement of the $1.1 billion dollar project coming in late 2007. The finished product opened 5 years later in June 2012. If Star Wars land follows that timeline, we certainly have some waiting to do. Thankfully, those like me will get plenty of time to catch up on all the films.