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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Return Of The Tomorrowland Money Pit

Tomorrowland - Where the Future Is Now
So wherever MiceChat gets their information from (and its usually pretty good sources), their current report (rumor) now is that the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction is closing for extended refurbishment after the first of the year.  And that refurbishment could possibly be indefinite.

The closure is not unexpected, as Al Lutz reported on its closure several months ago (even though the ride is still extremely popular).  The problem with the Nemo Subs is that it is also the most expensive attraction in the park to keep in running operation.  The decision a few years ago to convert the classic diesel propelled subs to environmentally friendly battery operated subs was met by green types with rousing appreciation. The only problem is that those expensive batteries have a notoriously short lifespan, and the batteries get very hot which causes them to occasionally, eh, - catch fire.  Yep, the photogenic subs are fraught with technical issues.

Al's bigger point is that the subs (most of which are in an underground show building) and Autopia running on top of it while residing next to the adjoining Innoventions building, occupies a massive amount of Disneyland Tomorrowland real estate.  The real estate was once thought to be the launching place of Marvel attractions, then Star Wars attractions, and finally, the no one really knows attractions.

The one thing that is known is whatever is done with Tomorrowland, (whether it be Marvel based, Star Wars based, or a combination of both franchises), the price tag will be very, very expensive. Expensive to the point that Disney seems content to continue to bring in Cars Land profits which is already paid for and turning a handsome profit.

The other thing that can cause Disney to wait things out is the construction of Shanghai Disneyland. This is one of those partnerships (similar to the Tokyo Disney Parks) where the Disney Company is only part owner. They license the rides, characters, and attractions (which they also build) but, the company is not on the hook for picking up the whole tab. Great arrangement here which is why people speak glowingly of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney SEA.  Most of the development costs are funded by the Japanese owners.

Tomorrowland is a Disney money pit waiting to happen, but I'm not sure during whose lifetime it will take place. It's also Disneyland's right armpit if you count the poorly conceived Frontierland as the left armpit. There's work to be done here people!

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