In the crazy world we live in right now, Disney seems to be shutting down construction on TRON at the Magic Kingdom due to a lack of cash. However, at the same time, they magically have the money they need to move forward with controversial changes to Splash Mountain.
According to user Seanual757 over at the WDWMagic forums, construction on the exterior of TRON will continue to make everything look nice, but all the interior work will cease at the end of this year. We’ve heard about this situation, but waited until today with other independent sources corroborating it. Seanual757 claims that construction would not begin again until all the way into October 2021. That part of the story, we’re not sure about. It might be true, it might not be true. However, the cessation of interior construction for a long duration into 2021 does seem accurate.
Now if this all turns out to be true, this would be a MAJOR blow to Disney’s marketing plan of opening several major attractions in 2021 for their 50th in order to drive attendance back to the parks. It would also be an early indicator before the November investor information that Disney is seriously strapped for cash. Stopping and starting construction on an E-Ticket attraction not once, but TWICE, creates even more costs to the overall project. You can’t simply pause and restart construction projects for long periods of time – they have to be prepped for the long pause, then prepped again for construction to restart anew.
What makes this all very peculiar is that in spite of signs Disney simply has no safe cash to continue the TRON project for the only resort we believe they’re making money from at the moment… they are seemingly still going ahead with the Splash Mountain revamp for Magic Kingdom, in addition to the Disneyland Resort change. Now we knew the Disneyland changes were essentially set in stone, but word had been that Magic Kingdom was now going to be spared due to how much money it would cost and how little of that commodity Disney currently has. Furthermore, social justice projects have not been particularly lucrative for other companies as of late, NBA certainly being a flagship for that difficulty.
Yet now it does in fact look like Magic Kingdom will see its only source of African American slave folklore forever changed to a Princess and the Frog IP attraction. Thanks to our friend, “the.dreamfinder”, we now know that Carmen Smith (VP of Creative Development) is heading up the project to transform Splash Mountain at MK.
While we wish Mrs. Smith the very best in her endeavors to change Splash Mountain, the cost for doing so to two E-Ticket attractions must be astronomical. These are not easy refurbishments either, given they are multi-story water rides with complex behind-the-scenes animatronic rigging. I, for one, continue to be befuddled by Disney’s strategy in delaying a new E-Ticket that would drive marketing for much-needed guests in 2021, while at the same time moving forward with controversial alterations at great expense which could potentially HURT Disney’s bottomline.
What are your thoughts on these latest bits of information? Let us know in the comments below: