From openings and closures, to sneak peeks and confirmed rumors, 2017 was another busy year for Orlando’s theme parks and attractions. We are taking a look back at the 10 most viewed stories on our blog in 2017.
NOTE: Not every major news story of 2017 will be featured here. This list is based on the view count of our blog posts. Click on the headlines to read our full original stories in a new browser window.
Construction updates will be a common theme in this top 10 list. With so many projects currently under construction or announced in 2017, readers enjoy getting aerial views at the progress of various projects. Toy Story Land is scheduled to open in summer 2018, but in July 2017 the roller coaster track for Slinky Dog Dash was completed. (Photos by Don Gworek/@bioreconstruct)
Universal Orlando had a big year with the openings of Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and their “third theme park” Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park. In the weeks leading up to the opening, details were being released about everything from the rides, the food, and the cabanas that guests could rent. There was a lot of discussion about the cabanas and if they were priced fairly.
2017 not only saw some big openings for Universal Orlando, but also some big closures for a few long-running attractions and shows. One such show was the Halloween Horror Nights staple, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. Like previous years, things got re-written throughout the run of the show, but this year a main part of the story was changed after the tragedy in Las Vegas involving a music festival. Click the link above to read about the changes.
This past year saw Disney’s D23 Expo hit Anaheim, Calif. with a plethora of announcements for Disney Parks, including Walt Disney World. One of the biggest and most controversial was that The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios would be closing for good to make way for the first attraction based on Mickey Mouse, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. People had a lot of thoughts about this announcement, and we’ll have one take on it later in this list.
Another staple of Universal Orlando that closed in 2017 was the groundbreaking Terminator 2: 3D attraction. Utilizing a blend of live action and a 3D movie that was ahead of its time when it first opened, this attraction was beloved by many, from guests to the cast that were part of it. At the time of this post, no replacement has been announced.
Another construction update from the sky, but instead of focusing on one project, this one gave readers a look at many projects underway around Walt Disney World. (Photos by Don Gworek/@bioreconstruct)
This past year, The Walt Disney Company completed plans to purchase 100% ownership of the Disneyland Paris resort in France. A lot of people were surprised to learn that Disney hadn’t fully owned that resort up to that point, so we put together a post describing the ownerships for each Disney park around the world.
As stated earlier in the post, the closure of The Great Movie Ride, the last true opening day attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, was a surprise to a lot of people and sparked lots of discussion. Mitchell Stein wrote an editorial about the news and how the closure affected the overall theme of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Another classic Disney attraction that closed in 2017 was The Universe of Energy at Epcot. While the news was not as divisive amongst fans as that of the ride mentioned above, the closure of this Epcot attraction was still big news. Fans came out on the final day for one last blast to the past with Ellen, Bill Nye & Stupid Judy, but the final ride ended up not going according to plan, which culminated in a special experience that was a fun way for fans to say goodbye to an opening day Epcot attraction.
As stated earlier, our readers enjoyed getting aerial updates of the many construction projects happening around Walt Disney World, and our top post of 2017 delivered. From buildings beginning to rise at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, to new restaurants taking shape at Disney Springs, it seemed like every week there was something new to see. With even more projects beginning to take shape in 2018, I’m sure there will be many more photo updates to come. (Photos by Don Gworek/@bioreconstruct)
We want to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year! With so much coming to Central Florida in 2018 and beyond, what do you think will be on our list next year?