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Post Fire Mountain? Fiend Mountain? What happened? Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:59 am
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After years of interest in Disney himself I've started reading more about the history of the parks. As a 4 year old I rode the Sub Adventure at Disneyland, but somehow, in my mind, it was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Memory replacement I suppose. As that ride had the biggest impact on me as a kid, I really wanted to look it up and read about it and possibly ride it at WDW when I visit for the first time this Oct (at the time I guess I just assumed the same rides were in both parks).

That led to absorbing all the content on this site as well as a few others and becoming completely enamored with the legacy of 20k. After reading so many anecdotes and stories from previous crew members, it almost feels like a place I've been before.

I noticed the site sort of existed in a vacuum though, with most articles and posts ending with an ominous "nobody knows what will happen to the area" vibe. Of course there is the section about Fire and Fiend Mountain, which sounded amazing - and yet the reality of it is all Magic Kingdom got was a fairly hokey dark ride through the Little Mermaid and a restaurant based on Beauty and the Beast. While I haven't been to either yet, every thing I've read about the Little Mermaid attraction is that it offers nothing new that every single other dark ride hasn't already introduced us to.

I suppose also on this list should be the new Seven Dwarves mine cart ride... but again, reviews out of the gate suggest this is not all that innovative.

Considering the length of time it took them to develop these rides... and considering how bland they appear to be, it really makes me wonder how much politics have crippled Disney. The perpetually in development "Avatar Land" over at Animal Kingdom is another example of this. Not to mention the recent announcement to pull Maelstrom and replace it with a Frozen ride. Considering the timeline they have put forth (early 2016), and the time it takes them to develop new rides, it sounds like they are simply going to re-skin Maelstrom with some frozen animatronics, rather than actually develop something worthy of one of their highest grossing movies of all time.

Disney has become overly safe. All they seem to want to do these days is put people in acart and push them through a room with robots based on technology from 50 years ago.

Meanwhile, Universal built Hogsmeade and Hogwarts castle in 2.5 years (a fraction of the time it took them to develop a dark ride based on Ariel at Disney). Then, after another 2 years, Universal turned around and opened a gigantic expansion in their other park, connected the two, and yet again have driven their attendance numbers through the roof. And while all this was being built, new rides based on Transformers, Despicable Me, an entirely new area themed after the Simpsons Springfield, and a new resort were built.

Long rant short, the two mountains hinted at in those rumors are what I would expect from the company that built Disney World all those years ago. The Disney of today however has become complacent, and Universal is overtaking it's market share. People are booking harry potter vacations and maybe deciding to pop into disney for a day, where as before people booked disney vacations and maybe checked out universal on an extra day.

With Skull Island being built now at Universal (with a rumored animatronic Kong that is capable of running after the safari vehicle) and the rumored Volcano Bay water park (Universal acquired all of the land under Wet N' Wild), and a promise to open at least one new ride every single year, Universal is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. The most intriguing rumor is Universal opening a third theme park by 2020. It you count animal Kingdom, that would be the first new theme park in 20 years in North America. I don't really count Animal Kingdom however, as it does not hold its own to the big boys, which would make it the first new theme park in 30 years, with IoA being the last.

Disney had better start doing more than developing dark rides and a Avatar area (which will be based on a movie nearly 10 years old by the time it opens).
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