Last week, we posted a rumor from MiceChat about Disney freezing development on many new park attractions, including the so-called "Star Wars land" at Disneyland in California, due to cost overruns in the company's NextGen park program. Yesterday, I received an email from a source who told a different story.
"The NextGen team and [Walt Disney] Imagineering are two completely different parts of Disney," the source says, "and because of that [they] have their own budgets. So any budget cutting of one wouldn't affect the other."
This person, who is familiar with developments at Imagineering, also told me that because Shanghai Disneyland already has its own team (which he cryptically said was "working on....things"), it would be "pointless and stupid" to reassign U.S. personnel to work on that park, as MiceChat reported. (Their rumor mentioned that American Imagineers had been "reassigned to work on Shanghai Disneyland (and its conveniently separate budget) for at least the next 90 days.")
The source's last piece of information puts MiceChat's report of a Star Wars production hiatus in a new light. My source was told that plans for new Star Wars attractions at Disneyland were frozen, but "for a different reason."
That reason? "They didn't want to build attractions/a land without including the new movies. So since the teams don't have a final script they can't add anything from the new movies."
It wouldn't surprise me if the delay turned out to be related to a desire for synergy between parks and films. If the park expansion arrives in 2015 or 2016, as has been predicted, it would be smart to tie it into the new movies that will be hitting around that time.