ORLANDO, Fla. - Walt Disney World is revealing more about some of its new attractions -- and showing off some of its newest technology -- that are coming soon to Central Florida.
“We’ve made the conscious decision to control our own destiny – to be the disruptor, not the disrupted,” Bob Chapek -- chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products -- said at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions conference in Orlando.
At the conference, Chapek unveiled new animatronics called A1000s, which he said is Disney’s most innovative and expensive animatronics yet.
Disney is even developing new technology called stunt-tronics: Animatronics that can do stunts too dangerous for humans, like flying through the air and doing superhero-like moves.
Disney also revealed more about a much-anticipated attraction coming to Epcot: A new "Guardians of the Galaxy" ride being built at the former Universe of Energy pavilion.
Chapek said it will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world. Just building the foundation was the largest concrete pour in Walt Disney World’s history. The building is so big, it can fit four Spaceship Earths inside, Chapek said.
The new roller coaster will spin as it moves, and will have a storyline that revolves around the plot and characters from the movie.
“Guests will be able to experience it when it opens in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021,” Chapek said.
Disney also revealed more about the gondola system called Skyliner, which Disney now says will be operational in the fall of 2019. Crews have been building towers across the landscape of the property for months.
When it opens, Skyliner will connect Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and four resorts: Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and the new Rivera Resort, which is set to open in 2019.
What the actual gondolas look like remains a secret, though Disney has circulated artist renderings of the project.
One thing is clear, though: Mickey Mouse may be turning 90, but he and Disney aren’t slowing down.
“In this industry, complacency is the biggest threat,” Chapek said.
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