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Bob Iger Claims Years Old Expansions at Walt Disney World Were Built To Compete With Epic Universe

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Today was the Disney annual shareholder meeting. One of the more odd claims that Disney CEO Bob Iger made involved a question regarding Universal Orlando’s upcoming Epic Universe theme park.

Epic Universe will open in 2025, and Disney has not made many announcements for Walt Disney World outside of rethemes, stage shows, and odd upcoming attractions like Smellephants on Parade. 

During the meeting, a question was posed to Iger about the upcoming competition.

With Epic Universe opening up in Orlando in 2025, why hasn’t Disney prepared anything or placed more than just a handful of attractions in the pipeline to be ready for this in 2025 at Walt Disney World?

Iger responded by claiming that Disney had known about Epic Universe for years, and that its expansions, going back seven years, were in response to it. 

Iger said, “Thank you very much for your question but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve been aware of Universal’s plans for a new park for more than a decade….but I just want to remind you of a few things at Walt Disney World during this same period. We opened Pandora the World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom, Toy Story Land, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios. We also completed a multi-year transformation of EPCOT, which included Remy’s Ratatouile Adventure, Moana’s Journey of Water, and a great attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind. And we opened Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom. By staggering these major launches, we were able to commercially and operationally optimize our new offerings over time rather than all at once.

Here is the issue. Many of these attractions have been open for years, and some took far longer than anticipated due to delays. 

Pandora, the World of Avatar, opened in 2017, almost seven years ago. Toy Story Land opened in 2018. Galaxy’s Edge opened in 2019. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened in 2020. 

If Disney had known about Epic Universe ten years ago, it would have been around 2014 when they heard that Universal Orlando was developing a new park. But Pandora began production in 2011, Toy Story Land began production in the late 2000s, and a Star Wars area began production in early 2010s

2024 – a decade is 2014. Something isn’t adding up here. 

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Ratatouille, Tron Lightcycle Run and the EPCOT expansion were announced at D23 in 2017. The pandemic pushed the construction behind. EPCOT is only going to finish up its scaled-back expansion in June. 

His ridiculous nonanswer has led to people calling him out online.

 

People aren’t buying it. 

What do you think? Comment and let us know!


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.



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