Why look back when the future is ahead?
No, there is no scoop here today. I do not have great news to share about Disney plans for a new theme park for the Florida property. No Imagineers burned their career bridges to tell of a great adventure yet to be.
But, having said that… in my humble opinion, there must be some folks somewhere inside the Disney organization who are giving the matter some serious thought.
It’s no secret that the folks at Universal seriously upped the ante with what they brought in Harry Potter first to Florida and soon to Hollywood. One of the biggest draws in popular culture brought to life so that guests could put themselves into this fantasy world. Yes, even muggles can now enjoy their butterbeer while taking it all in. A win in the book of themed entertainment.
A whole lot of folks look on Disney’s recent purchase of the Lucas empire as a turning point. Why not? Motion pictures planned to rake in a boatload and then some of disposable incomes world wide. Not to mention all of the licensing of merchandise from pins to t-shirts to toys, waiting to generate revenue for Burbank and the stockholders.
But why stop there? Star Tours has whet appetites for more in Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo and Marne de Valle. And been extremely well received at each stop. But why only add tastes of the universe of the Star Wars franchise when you could dive in and create the total immersion?
That’s my thinking when it comes to the theme park experience awaiting. Disney owns enough property in Florida that another theme park could easily be added to the existing ones. And given the popularity of the franchise, an all Star Wars park could be just the thing to take Universal and any other park down more than a few rungs on the ladder.
And if Disney plays everything just right, a park solely devoted to such a rich environment as the Star Wars universe, could be more popular than anything the company has ever done, including the original Disneyland. One only needed to visit the Disney Studios in Orlando last week to get a glimpse into such a future. The demand for the limited merchandise on sale as well as the overwhelming number of guests? As Bill Engvall says, “There’s your sign.”
Now, the idea here will cost more than folks at Disney in Orlando usually want to spend. No way to cheap out and cut corners. Disney can’t afford to have another DCA or Euro Disneyland on it’s hands. Stockholders would revolt, seriously. Why just go for the bunt when there is a grand slam waiting easily in your reach? This is a park that will prove everything Walt knew when Disneyland first opened. Quality will out, and the little things do matter in their roles in the overall big picture. The kind of investments needed here are those we have seen elsewhere such as Tokyo and Hong Kong. Spend the big bucks now to reap the big rewards when such a park opens and the public pays to take it all in.
Somewhere, that person waits to take the stand and lead the revolution to give the world the kind of kick butt experience that a Star Wars park can do. One where Mickey and Minnie are not part of the scene. Where Princesses are Leia and Amadala. Where little boys and girls share dreams with their parents of making that desperate flight down the trench over the Death Star. Where the imagination of guests meets the world of “wow” created by the best Disney can provide.
And that is just the beginning…