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February 21, 2010

Summer Nightastic! and Wizards

On February 10, Disney announced "Summer Nightastic!" is coming to Walt Disney World this June. Three attractions headline the event:
  • The return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Except for a hiatus for slightly less than two years, SpectroMagic! has entertained audiences when the sun goes down since 1991. Word has it that the floats currently in use in Disney's California Adventure are being brought over to the Magic Kingdom.
  • "New" Magic Kingdom fireworks. In reality, this will be a renamed "Magic, Music and Mayhem" from the Pirate and Princess Party, perimeter fireworks included.
  • New drop sequence and special effects for Tower of Terror.
Why is Disney World putting forth the effort to push special events for this summer? Two words: Harry Potter. That's right, the long awaited Wizarding World of Harry Potter is opening at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure.

In my opinion, this is Disney's way of saying "Hey, we're doing things too!" The items above aren't going to cost Disney that much money.
  • The Main Street Electrical Parade floats have been running in Disney's California Adventure since 2001. Just truck them back over to Florida. By the way, where are the floats that used to run in Florida?
  • The fireworks show has already been developed and programmed; just purchase all the correct mortars and run the show.
  • A new drop sequence for Tower of Terror is also a programming exercise; the ability to change the drop sequence easily is why the Tower has received so many updates. New special effects can mean a lot of things, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that it's a low-cost exercise.
While I do think this is a generally a good thing, if Disney were to make a move in response to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it should have been made a long time ago and on a grand scale. The Fantasyland expansion would have done well. Instead, in 2007 Disney World was putting Monsters, Inc. into Tomorrowland.

What's your opinion? Is Disney taking the right approach with Summer Nightastic? Should they have responded to Harry Potter when it was announced?

Image courtesy of Joe Penniston (Express Monorail on Flickr). Original photo link.

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