Initial reports back in August of 2012 had a full version of Cars Land planned as part of an overhaul for Hollywood Studios. The latest reports have this project cancelled entirely in favor of a Star Wars Land.
The latest version of the plan (from July, 2013) that now may be dead was as follows:
- Cars Land will reside in the area currently housing the Studio Backlot Tour and Lights, Motors, Action, Extreme Stunt Show
- Rumors point to Radiator Springs Racers and Luigi's Flying Tires not being included. The assumption would be that the Cadillac Mountain Range would also not be included.
- A different E-ticket would be included that would presumably be less costly than the $340 million Radiator Springs Racers.
- Tow Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is expected to be included.
- It is expected that the shops (Sarge's Surplus Hut, Ramone's Body Art, etc) and restaurants (Flo's V8, and Cozy Cone) will be included.
- The shop intended to house the RideMakerz shop will probably not be included, or will have a new theme.
- Luigi's Flying Tires will likely not be included due to the capacity issues with the California version and the low water table in Florida making installation more difficult.
- It is expected that both a Cars Land and a Star Wars Land would be constructed with Cars Land opening after Star Wars Land.
- The budget for the total makeover for Hollywood Studios is expected to be in the $600 million to $1 billion range.
September 27, 2013: WDWMagic user WDW1974 has reported that Cars Land is not completely shelved as a project.
September 11, 2013: Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider has reported that Cars Land has been shelved as a project for Hollywood Studios in favor of Star Wars.
August 20, 2013: WDWMagic user WDW1974 has reported that Cars Land is now doubtful as a project for Hollywood Studios, with a Star Wars Land expected to take it's place.
August 13, 2013: The Boston Globe has reported that CEO Bob Iger said the following, "We’re going to continue to invest in Disneyland,’’ Iger said. ‘‘We’ve got some pretty exciting things that we’ll be announcing over the next couple of months.’’ It is assumed that this will also include attractions for Disney World as well.
July 9, 2013: MiceAge.com has reported that a few weeks ago the expansion plans for Hollywood Studios were discussed in a meeting of the Board of Directors that was held at Disneyland. This would include a more modest version of Cars Land.
June 28-29, 2013: MiceAge.com interviewed D23 spokesperson, Jeffrey Epstein and Imagineer Dave Fisher about the upcoming D23 Expo. In the interview, and later confirmed by Jeffrey Epstein on Twitter, it was revealed that there will not be a Parks and Resorts arena presentation at the D23 Expo. Disney and More also confirmed that due to secrecy surrounding Avatar and other projects, Disney was simply not ready to announce them at the upcoming D23 Expo.
June 17, 2013: Screamscape.com has reported that Lights, Motors, Action cast members have let it leak that their last performance will be roughly a year from now.
June 15, 2013: Trusted inside WDW1974 posted on WDWMagic.com that the content of Robert Niles' article is correct and significant changes to the "production side" of Hollywood Studios are imminent. As part of these changes, it is expected that the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will be ending it's run at Hollywood Studios by the 2014 Holiday Season.
June 14, 2013: Jim Hill posted on the WDWKingdomCast Facebook page that Robert Niles' report is correct with both a Star Wars Land and Cars Land coming to Hollywood Studios. It is expected that the Star Wars Land is expected to open prior to Cars Land.
June 13, 2013: Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider has posted an article that cites George Kalogridis' move to over see Walt Disney World as further evidence of a full scale overhaul of Hollywood Studios. According to Niles, this overhaul would include both Cars Land as well as a Star Wars Land. According to Niles, the Cars Land content would replace the Backlot Tour and Lights, Motors, Action areas and may include other Pixar content.
June 4, 2013: MiceAge.com references various scales of additions coming to Hollywood Studios. These range from $1 billion+ to a "more modest" approach. The expectation is that these changes would be centered around Cars or Star Wars with the expectation that a definitive announcement will be made at the D23 Expo from August 9-11.
May 21, 2013: The owner of TikiManPages.com posted the following information to WDWMagic.com in the ongoing Cars Land discussion: "There will be no Cars land in WDW. There will be a huge new project that will take out things around Star Tours all the way to Indy and the lake next to it." A follow up post by user nicknick553 indicates that recent construction survey work indicated that the land would not be suitable for a full Cars Land due to the risk of pot holes.
May 20, 2013: Screamscape.com also reports that Cars Land in Hollywood Studios would receive a different dark ride concept than Radiator Springs Racers that may integrate Catastrophe Canyon.
May 14, 2013: OrlandoParksNews.com posted an update to the Cars Land rumor. Their update cites a budget of $500 million anchored by an E-Ticket that is not Radiator Springs Racers.
February 05, 2013: Al Lutz updated the rumor saying that the time frame would be Late 2015/Early 2016. Lutz's update explains that the Fantasyland Expansion wasn't pulling the numbers Disney had hoped for and Cars Land became more of a priority. Initially, the understanding was that Florida would receive a significantly trimmed down Cars Land, but it sounds like the current rumor only has Luigi's Flying Tires not making the cut. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Lutz's article is as follows:
TDO execs were also told to stop value-engineering the project into a smaller footprint with fewer offerings and let WDI do their work. And since the James Cameron alliance that was supposed to bring Avatarland to WDW within the same timeframe is going nowhere fast, and may not even show up in a theme park at all at this point, WDI is thrilled to dig in and start real work on an accelerated plan to bring Cars Land to Florida.
August 28, 2012: Poster whylightbulb on WDWMagic.com posted an update that was later removed indicating that a version of Cars Land was in the works for Hollywood Studios.