A few months ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that Walt Disney Imagineering is actively developing theme park attractions based on ‘Star Wars,’ but specifically the upcoming ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.‘ At the time of the announcement, no timetable was given for when we’d know exactly what’s coming, but there were hints that we could discover what parts of the galaxy far, far away would be coming to the Happiest Place On Earth as early as this year. However, things have been relatively quiet on that front since then. But now a new report about the closing of an iconic Disneyland attraction has stirred up these talks once again.
According to The Orange County Register, Innoventions is set to close on March 31, 2015. Occupying the building that originally housed the Carousel of Progress before it moved to Walt Disney World in 1973, the attraction came to Disneyland as part of the New Tomorrowland initiative in 1998 and featured a number of interactive exhibits spotlighting cutting-edge technology from partners like Microsoft, HP, and Taylor Morrison that could enhance people’s every day lives. In 2013, after largely abandoning memorable aspects like the Tom Morrow animatronics voiced by Nathan Lane and the rotating mechanism on the outer portion of the first floor, the Tomorrowland staple was reinvigorated by the addition of meet and greets with Marvel superheroes Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. Although regardless of its new relevance, Innoventions is still suddenly closing it’s doors. When asked for a comment about the closure, a Disney rep delivered this vague statement to the local newspaper:
“As part of our continuing efforts to offer our guests new magic, we regularly make modifications and enhancements throughout the Disneyland Resort. We have nothing further to announce at this time.”
So what could this mean for the future of Tomorrowland? Well, the leading theory is that whatever ‘Star Wars’ attractions are in the works could occupy the sizable real estate of Innoventions. Plus, it would make sense for additions to the park from that franchise to stay in Tomorrowland near Star Tours rather than have them takeover Toontown, which is a popular theory at the moment.
But don’t get too set on more ‘Star Wars’ just yet. Because of the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the existing Marvel exhibits in Innoventions, what if Marvel just took over the whole building? With things like the Marvel Experience and Marvel Universe Live in existence and traveling the country, there’s no shortage of fun, interactive things that could occupy that space from the MCU.
Finally, with Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ hitting theaters this year, it’s very possible that the film makes it’s presence felt in the place that inspired it’s creation. Though rumors say that a preview of the movie could set up shop in the Captain EO theater next door, it’s possible that Disney has bigger plans in store for the movie starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie.
No matter what Disneyland has in store for Innoventions after it’s closure, with the park’s 60th anniversary approaching in May, I hope that something epic replaces it, even if it’s temporary. And while we wait to hear what exactly is happening over there in Anaheim, what do you think about Innoventions closing? Do you think that this bodes well for more ‘Star Wars’ attractions coming to the west coast? Or do you think that Disney has something else entirely in mind for the space? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments.