There’s plenty of evidence that Disney is looking to update Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom, but exact details on the remodel have been all but absent.
As work at Animal Kingdom winds down and Hollywood Studios moves from planning into construction rumblings of what is in the works for Tomorrowland are ramping up.
The majority of the focus seems to be on the building that houses Stitch’s Great Escape, Auntie Gravity’s, Star Traders, and Cosmic Ray’s. While individual aspects of the building have been updated in a piecemeal approach, the building as a whole hasn’t seen a major update since Magic Kingdom opened in 1971.
Stitch is now on seasonal operations, only opening in the busiest times of the year, with only one of the two theaters in use during this past holiday season. Rumors had pointed to a Wreck-It Ralph VR experience coming to Stitch, but those rumors have died down in recent months with some, like Disney historian Jim Hill, theorizing that this could mean different plans are in the works.
Now we have rumors ramping up that Disney is looking to close the Tomorrowland Speedway. The speedways at both the Tokyo and Hong Kong resorts have closed in recent years while the new Shanghai Disneyland opened without any type of speedway attraction.
Here in Orlando, the speedway is constantly ranked as one of the least popular attractions in Tomorrowland. With slow moving, dated, gas guzzling go-karts the speedway takes up nearly as much land as the rest of Tomorrowland combined. In a park where crowd levels are at all-time highs, and land is a premium, a smelly, dated attraction with minimal reviews is an obvious place to look for new expansion.
Multiple industry insiders have confirmed that major new experiences are coming to Magic Kingdom. This is one of the only Disneyland-style parks without a large theater in it. Other rumors point to Cosmic Ray’s being moved there or another dining option opening.
On a recent episode of The E-Ticket Report, a theme park news and rumor podcast, industry insider Tim Grassey mentioned that the Tomorrowland update could mean a major overhaul the building which houses Stitch, possibly even expanding the sidewalk that currently is rather narrow in this Tomorrowland entrance pathway. With the speedway now in the mix, it would be easy for Disney to shift many of the uses including the retail, restrooms, and food.
We should know something by 2021, the 50th Anniversary of Magic Kingdom, but if the scale of the update that some indicate is true this new Tomorrowland won’t likely open until at least the mid-2020s. This is Disney after all.