Walt Disney World has introduced that Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith is closing for a multi-month refurbishment starting in late February 2023. This put up covers dates, particulars about what to anticipate from the venture, and commentary about what is going to seemingly NOT change and why this in all probability isn’t a reimagining. (Up to date February 20, 2023.)
Traditionally, the winter months have been the highest time for experience closures and upkeep, as decrease crowds make that simpler to perform. The 2023 Walt Disney World Refurbishment Calendar bears this out. Massive Thunder Mountain Railroad and Kali River Rapids have had closures added for this winter, and Splash Mountain completely closed for conversion into Tiana’s Bayou Journey in Winter 2023.
These planning Walt Disney World holidays are at all times dissatisfied when their favourite sights are down, however on a optimistic notice, this listing has not been wherever as ‘unhealthy’ because the 2023 Disneyland Refurbishment Calendar. There, it actually is refurbishment season, even because the Disney one hundredth Anniversary Celebration kicks off.
February 20, 2023 Replace: Walt Disney World initially introduced that Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith would shut February 20, 2023 and the “rocktastic attraction will resume its super-stretch limo rides in summer season 2023.”
Because the replace timestamp suggests, at this time is February 20, 2023. Regardless of this, Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith didn’t shut at this time as introduced–it opened with the park and is at present operational. Walt Disney World has now up to date its official web site to point that the attraction will shut starting tomorrow.
As for why the refurbishment was delayed, in all probability as a result of this is without doubt one of the busiest stretches of all the yr at Walt Disney World. We’ve been warning readers for the final two years–since actually the final time this occurred–that this could be the Worst Week of Winter 2023 at Walt Disney World.
Yesterday, Genie+ SOLD OUT for First Time at Walt Disney World. Every time crowds are unhealthy, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at all times sees the worst of it, because the park has inadequate attraction capability. It’s thus seemingly that administration determined to attend on the refurbishment till after the vacation weekend ended.
The factor is, wait instances are already greater at this time than they had been yesterday and unlikely to get any higher tomorrow. It’s not simply a vacation weekend–it’s the week of Mardi Gras, Princess Half Marathon, and extra. Main college districts have this week off, and crowds can be heavy because of this. If something, the Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith refurbishment needs to be delayed till February 27, 2023. That’s when crowds will begin to let up.
And perhaps Walt Disney World will delay it till then. We might not be in the slightest degree stunned to see the closure pushed again on a day-by-day foundation as a solution to keep much-needed capability at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We aren’t going to replace this each single day the closure is pushed again (whether it is), so make sure you verify the My Disney Expertise app for those who’re visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week. And good luck with the crowds!
This in all probability isn’t going to win me any mates amongst these visiting within the close to future, however I feel Walt Disney World needs to be including many extra sights to the refurbishment calendar–however in all probability not till after spring break ends, at this level. There are quite a few rides which have been experiencing above-average downtime, and others which can be working however not show-ready.
Sadly, preventative upkeep doesn’t appear to have been occurring because it ought to–which is the ‘better of each worlds’ resolution, because it means in a single day work that has minimal impression to company. I suppose that’s what occurs while you let go of a bunch of old-timers who held the institutional data and lived-experience needed to keep up and repair so many of those legacy sights! (However I digress…)
Operationally, this can be a huge blow for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which already is missing in sufficient sights to soak up the heavy crowds the park sees. This can solely make that worse, particularly if there’s overlap with another closure. Right here’s hoping that Walt Disney World brings again Jedi Coaching Academy or another leisure in early 2023.
It additionally will put much more pressure on the already imbalanced Lightning Lane lineup. Already, return instances are sometimes pushed out into the late afternoon and early night, and this can solely worsen that. Count on to solely rating 2-3 good Lightning Lanes by way of Genie+ for those who don’t have a robust refresh recreation. (Right here’s hoping that Fantasmic is added to the Genie+ lineup sooner quite than later to assist offset this.)
Now let’s flip to hypothesis about what’ll happen throughout this prolonged closure–or quite, what is going to not occur. In line with Walt Disney World, the experience goes down for normal upkeep, and “there can be no modifications to the Visitor expertise on account of this routine refurbishment.”
A few of you may recall that again in November 2018, the New York Occasions did a puff piece about how a lot Disney was spending on growth that included a tidbit about Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster being rethemed. The corporate rapidly issued a denial–that there have been “no present plans” to retheme Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster “presently.” (Well-known wiggle phrases!)
My perception then and now was that the story as initially printed was correct, and Disney unintentionally let the cat out of the bag early. The corporate clearly participated within the piece and its writer is a seasoned Disney fan, not just a few random journalist who would’ve confused the Paris and Florida variations of the experience. Regardless, it didn’t come to fruition pre-closure, and just about all plans since have been derailed.
However, there undoubtedly can be “rumors” of a Marvel re-theme or a distinct band changing Aerosmith. If we’re going to throw round bands that may be good, my vote is for Led Zeppelin. It’ll by no means occur for numerous causes, nevertheless it ought to. Children as of late have to be taught historical past–and good style in music!
One other band changing Aerosmith or one other theme fully could be believable hypothesis within the absence of official phrase from Walt Disney World. Nevertheless, the corporate has launched an unambiguous assertion that no modifications are deliberate to the experience expertise. This one doesn’t even have wiggle phrases! That ought to put these rumors to relaxation, at the least for now.
As an alternative, the refurbishment will revolve round curler coaster’s launch system and entail different common preventative upkeep. Whereas that’s the official phrase, that is arguably extra than simply preventative. Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster has been experiencing prolonged downtimes lately, and that’s solely gotten worse this yr.
There have been just a few multi-day stretches when the attraction has been closed, and it has turn into one of the crucial unreliable rides at Walt Disney World. (It was down for a lot of the morning at this time, in actual fact!)
I’m not a curler coaster professional, so I can’t converse to the seemingly causes of the downtime (dispatch, unload, or different backups?). It’s additionally doable that the experience producer recommends sure upkeep after X years of operation, and the Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster will quickly hit that. Whatever the motive, it’s desperately wanted.
This additionally seemingly explains Walt Disney World’s seemingly perplexing option to take one of many elevator shafts at Twilight Zone Tower of Terror out of service (once more) through the vacation season. Beforehand, it was unclear whether or not that was deliberate or unplanned downtime. Now I’m leaning in the direction of deliberate, with the objective of ending that earlier than beginning this–or at the least previous to the top of the winter low season.
Earlier this yr, the opposite aspect of Tower of Terror was refurbished and that venture took just a few months. That wrapped up halfway via the summer season season, and Walt Disney World didn’t take the opposite aspect down for refurbishment instantly thereafter. That’s now a perplexing choice, as the opposite half might’ve been finished in August via October when crowds had been decrease. (Suggesting that this Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster closure was not added to the interior schedule till extra lately.)
Down the highway, a substantive overhaul continues to be seemingly. I personally love Aerosmith, however I’m nonetheless stunned that Walt Disney World is taking the attraction offline for thus lengthy and never giving it a retheme. In style thrill rides can at all times turn into much more in style with the mixing of extra in style mental property. Simply take a look at Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout at DCA.
Iconic as they might be, it’s in all probability honest to say that Aerosmith doesn’t have the identical cachet or identify recognition with youthful company. I can’t consider one other up to date band that’s in style, crowd-pleasing, non-controversial, and suits the experience profile. Then once more, the Guardians of the Galaxy have demonstrated that traditional rock can transcend its period. (So right here’s hoping Led Zeppelin is within the subsequent film!)
One other factor the Guardians of the Galaxy sights have taught us is that enjoyable and upbeat music can go a great distance in elevating thrill rides. That is additionally true with Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster, though I’d say to a lesser extent. The curler coaster doesn’t actually have the identical power as Cosmic Rewind, which is an element as a result of experience profile and half because of music choice.
No matter finally ends up occurring down the highway with Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster, I hope Imagineering incorporates becoming and enjoyable songs. In addition they have to take the time to check a ton of various choices. The tip outcome on Cosmic Rewind is superior–even with the songs I don’t personally love. Against this, Cosmic Rewind: Vacation Remix falls flat although it’s the very same underlying attraction. (Nonetheless superb, however doesn’t measure as much as the common experience!)
One factor that may clarify why Walt Disney World is not reimagining Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster in 2023 is as a result of that’s a card they wish to play later. With TRON Lightcycle Run opening in Spring 2023, they’re already going to have a brand new curler coaster to market within the coming yr.
Against this, the one factor perhaps in 2024 is Tiana’s Bayou Journey, which goes to battle to debut by that Christmas and really properly may slip into 2025. (I might wager on it.)
With little in the way in which of bodily props or units exterior of the pre-show, Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster could possibly be meaningfully remodeled within the span of some months (the corporate might truly take away Aerosmith in a single day within the occasion of a scandal!).
Maybe Walt Disney World is ‘saving’ the reimagining for subsequent yr, and a “new” Marvel curler coaster would be the marketable draw for Walt Disney World in 2024? There are many characters which can be off-limits as a result of Common contract, however that also leaves loads of choices–together with ones which can be in style within the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Section 4.
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What do you consider the multi-month closure of Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Walt Disney World? Disenchanted that it’ll be down throughout your journey? Assume Disney is being coy, and it’ll truly get a retheme in 2023? What about in 2024 or 2025? Ideas on potential bands, manufacturers, or tremendous heroes to exchange Aerosmith? Any questions in regards to the present refurbishments at Walt Disney World? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we can assist you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even while you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!