The Clearly-Not-Monthly Theme Park Thread Closes Out the Year

The increasingly inaccurately named Monthly Theme Park thread is the place to go for the discussion of all things theme- and amusement park!

To my knowledge, two major developments have happened in the world of theme parks since we last spoke in — *checks notes* — early October. (Oops.)

The first is, of course, the long-awaited opening of Rise of the Resistance in the Florida version of Galaxy’s Edge. This 15-minute experience takes you onboard — and then sees you escape from — a First Order Star Destroyer, and it uses just about every trick at Walt Disney Imagineering’s disposal. Audio-animatronics, digital projections, 360º sets, trackless ride technology, pyrotechnics, even a motion simulator that itself briefly goes into freefall.

I don’t know if those are animatronics or just mannequins (sometimes less is more), but they get the job done regardless.

I actually know very little about this ride beyond that, because with any luck I’ll be taking another Parks trip in the new year, and I want my first time seeing it to be with my own two eyes.

The second bit of theme park ‘news,’ which is very much of interest to me, and hopefully to many of you as well, was the release of The Imagineering Story on Disney+. This six-part documentary series by Leslie Iwerks1 tracks the creative processes, philosophies, and challenges that went into the creation of all twelve of Disney’s worldwide theme parks, from 1955 to today.

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It’s obviously a little bit of a puff piece, with several of the company’s more egregious shortcomings and failures being almost laughably glossed over, but quite a few missteps — especially those most germane to the topic at hand — are addressed openly and honestly. If you have a Disney+ subscription, and you read this feature every month, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Oh, also, Galaxy’s Edge got rid of all the weird names for their food.

Optional Discussion Questions: What’s your favorite theme park memory from this year? What’s your theme park resolution for next year?

Feedback For Me: Feel free to share any thoughts you have about this feature itself! Is monthly still okay? Are Fridays still okay? Do you want more or less depth in the monthly topic? And perhaps most importantly, is it too Disney-centric? I tried (and mostly failed) to keep things open to all topics, but Universal et al. don’t tend to make headlines as often, and I, being the guy who writes the headers, usually have less to say about them on a personal level. But I can certainly fight harder against that impulse in the future!