The recent flurry of discussion about future expansion of the new Pixar Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has borne some fruit. Message threads on prominent discussion boards have resulted in some very reliable sources confirming that WDI is, in fact, working on a new indoor coaster attraction themed to Monsters, Inc. Work seems to have progressed beyond the mere “Blue Sky” phase, with some saying that Disney has already started to contact contractors.
The above image, produced by Disney documentarian extraordinaire Martin Smith, shows the expansion area available to WDI for Pixar Place’s Phase 2. At the top of the image, in white, is the track layout for the recently opened Toy Story Mania! The area outlined in yellow is the current Pixar Place, and the area outlined in red is the former Soundstage One building which has been earmarked for the new attraction. To the left of the buildings is a backstage area which contains, among other things, the wardrobe department. The purple outline shows how far Soundstage One can be expanded without impacting the function of these buildings, while the blue outline shows a possible ride footprint which would affect the backstage areas. More accessible backstage areas are outlined in cyan, and this is where it is rumored that the attraction’s queue area would be set up.
This image, also from Martin Smith, compares the footprint of Disney Studios Paris’s Crush’s Coaster to that of Hollywood Studios’ Soundstage One. The Paris coaster is often mentioned as an example of what Orlando’s new attraction will resemble. While the plot size of the two attractions are roughly similar, Smith says that the Crush’s Coaster building is far taller that the available building in Florida.
In any case, it seems that help is on the way for the beleaguered Hollywood Studios. With the confirmation that this coaster will arrive around 2011 and the increasingly solid rumors of the Little Mermaid attraction for the Magic Kingdom, we now have two of the four speculated E-ticket attractions for the resort’s 40th anniversary. More nebulous rumors say that EPCOT Center might at last receive a worthy restoration of Journey Into Imagination by that time, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s coming to Animal Kingdom. At the very least, it seems that we east-coasters are finally feeling the love from Unca John.
UPDATE: Mention of the coaster seems to have crept into the somewhat-official media. The MTV Movies blog spoke to Monsters, Inc. director Pete Docter and asked him about the possibility of a sequel to that film. While Docter mentions that they’ve “thought about it” and have “got a couple of ideas”, he won’t confirm or deny any rumors. The article goes on to state that “in the moment, those ideas are being filtered into a “Monsters, Inc” roller-coaster at the Walt Disney Resorts, which should open in a couple of years.” Now I don’t know what MTV’s source on this was, but it seems like a pretty definitive statement on the issue. I’d say this project is a go.