You all know the tune, so we’ll start this post with a bit of a karaoke moment — sing it with us! 🎵 We don’t talk about Bruno, no, no, no 🎵
We don’t talk about Bruno from the hit movie Encanto has taken the world by storm. It has inspired mashups and crossover versions of the tune, and has even dethroned Elsa’s powerful Let it Go song from Frozen. The tune is catchy and the song is fun enough on its own, but perhaps one of the reasons why it resonates with so many people is that we all know who the “Bruno” is in our own families and friend groups. Admit it, everyone’s got one (and as one individual said, if you don’t know who the Bruno is in your group, it’s probably you 😜). Well, it turns out we’re not the only ones with a “Bruno” or two in our groups — Disney World has its own set of “Brunos” in the parks and we’ve just GOT to talk about them all!
There are some “Brunos” Disney World just doesn’t talk about! Everyone knows they’re there (or at least they were there once upon a time) but we just kinda don’t talk about them. They were once an active part of the Disney World family or still are in some more minor ways, but exact details about these “Brunos” are the type of things Disney just doesn’t discuss right now. It’s sort-of like discussions about these projects or big parts of them (like opening dates!) just “disappeared” into the crevices of La Casa Disney World, leaving us with all kinds of questions and surrounding the projects with a veil of mystery!
But we’re here to take these “Brunos” out of the shadows and bring them into the light! Let’s talk about some of the things the heads of La Casa Disney World just aren’t discussing at the moment.
Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge
Did you forget about this Disney World hotel, because we almost did! Back in 2019, Disney announced a new hotel that would be coming to Disney World — Reflections — A Disney Lakeside Lodge. The Lodge was going to have more than 900 rooms and be a new Disney Vacation Club hotel. It was planned to be built in the former home of Disney’s River Country over by Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. And to top it all off it was going to have Princess and the Frog-themed restaurant!!
We saw some concept art for this fabulous new hotel, and even saw permits filed for the address of this spot on April 3rd, 2019. At that point, it looked like things were moving along, but then the global pandemic hit, and lots of things changed. In early 2020, Disney closed its theme parks and halted various construction projects for some time. Though the parks and hotels later reopened, it’s been a slow and progressive process to get things back to “normal.”
In 2020, we then shared news about some reports that seemed to indicate that delivery of materials had been permanently canceled and that work on some already-completed concrete pours has been removed.
We’ve seen a few other updates about the hotel (like how it was removed from a blog post) but essentially Disney appears to have pushed this project back into the crevices of its project lists where no one will ever find it. Will plans for the hotel get revived? Will we ever see this new spot constructed? There’s a lot up in the air right now it seems.
TRON: Lightcycle Run
Okay, okay, Disney isn’t exactly trying to hide their TRON project in Magic Kingdom. Truthfully, they just can’t hide it. It’s GIANT and is nearly impossible to miss. This attraction is meant to be very similar to the version out at Shanghai Disneyland. Essentially, it will allow riders to hop on a lightcycle and speed their way around the track. It’s a roller coaster with all kinds of amazing light effects and a really unique ride vehicle.
The ride is under construction in Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom and we’ve been keeping a close eye on its progress. Again, it’s not a project Disney can really hide. BUT one way in which they’re treating this as a “Bruno” of sorts is by not sharing any updates about its opening date!
The TRON attraction was originally supposed to open in time for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, which began back on October 1st, 2021. The park closures in 2020, however, seem to have impacted this ride too. The ride obviously didn’t open in time for the 50th Anniversary and is still very much under construction.
When will it open? 2022? 2023? How close is the ride to actually being complete? We can see progress on the outside, but what does the inside look like? These are questions we’re hoping Disney will answer soon and we’ll be sure to share those updates with you as soon as they do!
Spaceship Earth Transformation
As part of the EPCOT Transformation, a number of changes are coming to the park. One of the new things that fans were supposed to be able to enjoy was a refurbished, updated, and slightly transformed version of Spaceship Earth.
The ride was supposed to get a bit of a facelift with a new storyline focused on storytelling, new scenes, new effects, new narration, and even a magical “story light” which “will come to life in dynamic ways giving each scene energy and stunning beauty while creating a narrative that ties your journey together.”
Back in early 2020, Disney even announced a date when Spaceship Earth would close so that these renovations could take place. But then the global pandemic threw a wrench in the plans. The parks closed and some wondered if they had officially ridden the “old” Spaceship Earth for the last time (well ahead of when it was scheduled to close for refurbishment. But when EPCOT reopened, the “old” Spaceship Earth came back with it and has been operating in the park ever since.
We then saw some signs indicating that the project had potentially been put on pause. Disney later confirmed that the Spaceship Earth refurbishment project had been “postponed.”
Disney was quoted as having said, “As with most businesses during this period, we are further evaluating long-term project plans. The decision was made to postpone development of [the] ‘Mary Poppins’-inspired attraction and Spaceship Earth at this time.”
What exactly does “postponed” mean? Has the idea been shelved in a way that might mean its ultimate demise? Or is it simply being delayed? This is another one that we really haven’t heard anything about in a LONG time. Seems like the song should be “we don’t talk about the Spaceship Earth transformation, no, no, no.”
Mary Poppins Attraction
You probably noticed it in the quote above, but Spaceship Earth’s transformation wasn’t the only EPCOT Experience project that got postponed. The Mary Poppins attraction has also been “postponed” and hasn’t been spoken about in quite some time!
Didn’t even know a Mary Poppins attraction was supposed to be added to the United Kingdom pavilion? Well, then it seems Disney’s goal to make this into a “Bruno” worked (a little too well). The new attraction was supposed to let guests “step in time down Cherry Tree Land past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family.”
Not a lot of details were known about this one, but like the Spaceship Earth transformation it was ultimately removed from the EPCOT Experience preview video and Disney confirmed it had been postponed. Will this idea ever get resurrected? It is “postponed” as in will come soon just not as soon as originally anticipated, or “postponed” as in we’ll see if it ever happens? There are a lot of unknowns here.
Another project Disney seems to be keeping hidden in the crevices is the Play! Pavilion in EPCOT. This new pavilion is set to take the place of the Wonders of Life Pavilion. Essentially, this new experience was meant to be a “digital metropolis” with all kinds of interactive experiences, games, entertainment, hands-on activities. Disney characters (both real and virtual) were going to abound in this space, giving fans all kinds of fun experiences.
Guests could help Edna Mode “rid the world of uninspired style,” have a water balloon fight hosted by Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby, and more.
This is another project that was set to open by the 50th Anniversary, but ultimately got delayed. In the past, we’ve seen some construction going on over in this area, but overall news from Disney about this has been minimal. Will the project still go forward as-is? Have there been some transformations going on with the concepts behind this space? I guess we don’t talk about it…but we’d certainly like to!
Wondrous China is a BIG “Bruno” for Disney World. The China pavilion was set to receive this new film as part of the EPCOT Transformation, but it looks like its release has been significantly delayed.
We haven’t heard about this new film in a WHILE, despite the fact that other new films have already debuted in EPCOT. What’s going on with this film? It’s a mystery we can’t solve just yet, but we certainly hope to hear updates about it soon.
EPCOT’s Festival “Center”
Plans change, we totally get it. And it seems like plans may have seriously changed when it comes to the “Festival Center” that was meant to be built in EPCOT as part of the park’s transformation.
When it was originally announced, this Festival Center was meant to be a three-level pavilion that would feature a plaza level, a middle expo level, and a park in the sky on the top level! It was once described by Disney as “one of the most remarkable designs at any Disney park.”
We saw concept art, models, and even posters for this new “pavilion.” But then things changed. The model was removed from the EPCOT Experience space, and the “center” was later referred to as a festival “area” in a press release. That press release from Disney noted that there would be a “newly reimagined festival area that will be home to ever-changing events in a unique new environment.”
It seems the festival “pavilion” or “center” is now a festival “area.” Does that mean the building is gone? Will it just be an outdoor space? It seems there may have been a change here, but Disney hasn’t shared any updates on the project.
The Moana attraction coming to EPCOT is another project that isn’t entirely under “Bruno” status, but parts of it are. The Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana is set to come to EPCOT at some point in the future. According to Disney, it’s a “lush exploration trail” that allows explorers to “play with magical, living water.”
We’ve seen some construction going on in the areas that are set to become home to this attraction, but other than that, Disney really hasn’t shared any updates about this attraction. At one point, a poster about the attraction was listed on shopDisney with a description pointing to a 2021 opening date. That information was then removed and an opening timeline hasn’t been shared.
When will fans get to see this new experience? What exactly will it entail? If only we could get the real Bruno in here to make see into the future!
Finally, the last project Disney “doesn’t talk about” is Beatrix. Beatrix was a new restaurant that was announced for Disney Springs. It was described as being a “neighborhood restaurant, coffeehouse and grab-and-go market featuring healthy food options including vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan along with fresh-squeezed juice cocktails.”
We had seen construction walls and signs up around this proposed new space, but then construction was paused in July 2020. Then a representative from the brand that owns Beatrix confirmed that the project had not been canceled. Instead, the representative indicated that construction has been delayed and that Disney and Beatrix had agreed to make the property a “green space” until construction resumes.
And…that’s the last we’ve heard of it! We really haven’t seen updates on this space since then. When could plans for this spot be revived? Will we see any major changes when it comes to this future restaurant in Disney Springs?
And that’s our list of Disney World’s “Brunos.” They are projects Disney really doesn’t talk about anymore or at least parts of projects (like opening dates) that Disney really hasn’t spoken about in a WHILE. And many of them might be projects Disney would rather you forget (at least for a little bit).
Like Bruno, we can always sort of hear our thoughts about these projects muttering and mumbling in our heads — When will they open? What changes will be made? What’s going on with these projects now? Disney hasn’t shared updates about these projects for quite some time, but we certainly hope they’ll come “into the light” soon!
Maybe we will get some BIG updates at this year’s D23 expo. We sure are keeping our fingers crossed!
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What do you think is Disney World’s main “Bruno” and which would you love more information about? Tell us in the comments!