ESPN Wide World of Sports Opens New Arena…Are Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular’s Days Numbered?

On Friday Walt Disney World opened The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports, a new multi-purpose arena at the sports complex, further expanding the 220-acre sports venue that is widely regarded as the leading facility for youth sports in America.

The new 300,000 square-foot venue will host a variety of sports for girls and boys, such as basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and, in particular, cheerleading and dance competitions. The use of the space started with the prestigious UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship that took place this past weekend. In fact, the 8,000-seat arena is one of the largest in the country designed specifically for cheer and dance events.

This is indeed a wonderful addition to the facilities at ESPN Wide World of Sports, but I have to wonder what this means for the future of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.

While not an opening day attraction for the then Disney-MGM Studios, it did open a few months later on August 25th of 1989.  Despite a six-month rehab in 2000 and the change out of Nazi Swastikas for stylized Greek Crosses on vehicles, aircraft and uniforms in 2004 the attraction has existed pretty much unaltered for nearly 30 years.

The attraction is still extremely popular, with shows being full or nearly full, yet the show is showing its age.  With the re-imagineering of the park which includes the addition Galaxy’s Edge, known to many as “Star Wars Land,” could this space be better used for newer and possibly Star Wars related shows or attractions?

Undoubtably one of the reasons this show has remained, essentially untouched for as long it has, is because of its popularity and its ability to “eat people” or occupy the attention of a lot of people.

One of the other reasons that Indy has remained, according to some sources is that Disney has needed the space for the above mentioned cheer and dance competitions.  According to the same sources, the space has been booked out for years.  Without another venue for these competitions Disney has been forced to keep Indy around.

With the opening of The Arena, does Disney still need Indy to stay?  My guess is that Indy probably sticks around until at least when the opening of Galaxy’s Edge.  With all of the construction going on and the limited amount of attractions available, Indy needs to stay so guests have something to do especially families with kids.  After Galaxy’s Edge opens I say all bets are off.  Could this area be used for a Phase 2 of Galaxy’s Edge?  Or maybe a new Indiana Jones area will use the space.

How about you, what do you think?


Star Tours Gives Guests First Peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Planet

Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, released a statement in the Disney Parks Blog regarding the new Star Tours sequence that is debuting today at both Walt Disney’s World and Disneyland….

“This morning, guests on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue boarded Starspeeders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park to discover a thrilling new journey to the farthest reaches of space and found themselves landing unexpectedly on a planet in the outer rim of the Star Wars galaxy – a planet known to C-3PO, and now to us, as Batuu.

This remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe haven for those intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order. While Batuu may be new to us, it is clearly already familiar to many characters from the Star Wars saga as a stepping off point for epic adventures.

As the Creative Executive on these projects working alongside so many talented Imagineers and Lucasfilm partners, I look forward to sharing more updates from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as we further explore the stories and adventures you’ll be invited to discover when our new lands open in 2019.”

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge & Toy Story Land Models to Preview at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

With Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the park is truly in the middle of an exciting transformation.

The One Man’s Dream attraction is currently being reimagined into Walt Disney Presents, which like its predecessor, will continue showcasing historic items from Walt Disney’s history, such as sketches, photos and storyboards. But wait – Walt Disney Presents will also act as a preview center where guests explore what’s next for the park. Starting in mid-September, you’ll be able to view concept art, ride vehicle maquettes and a never-before-seen model for Toy Story Land. A portion of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge model also will be on display, as well as concept art for the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction.

The attraction will also continue to host greetings with characters like Star-Lord and baby Groot, plus special sneak previews of upcoming Disney films.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Announced as Name for Star Wars Lands

On Saturday at D23 Expo 2017, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, revealed the official name of the Star Wars-inspired lands that are currently under construction at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and shared details on the immersive experiences guests will be able to enjoy when the lands open in 2019

The lands, both called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, will allow guests to visit a remote trading port on the edge of wild space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action.

The lands will feature two major attractions that put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Each attraction – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.

One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. It’s an attraction built on a scale we’ve never done before.

The second attraction will give guests the opportunity to fly the Millenium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina!

Guests will also encounter many familiar faces inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and – among many others – Rex, the troublesome pilot you may remember from the previous version of a certain Disney attraction who takes on a new role in this land as the DJ at the cantina.

And speaking of the cantina, here guests will be able to try unique concoctions like blue milk. Nearby, they’ll also be able to acquire trinkets and treasures from across the galaxy.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, first at the Disneyland Resort and later in the year at the Walt Disney World Resort. (No further opening dates have been announced yet.)