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Walt Disney World Rumor Mill for the week of August 10, 2008

As heard on the WDW Radio Show, episode #79, for the week of August 10, 2008

We may soon be getting some new updates on the next version of Star Tours, as the latest issue of Star Wars Insider magazine has a teaser page for its NEXT issue (newstand date September 16) with an in-depth focus on Star Tours. The teaser says: “Star Tours at 21!  Insider takes an in-depth look at Disney’s Star Tours ride, currently celebrating its 21st year.  Covering its creation and development, the spin off merchandise and its future!”   So it’s possible that we could be getting interesting updates on the ongoing Star Tours rumor controversies.??

Many of you have asked about Lucky the Dinosaur. And I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I have some information to share. The bad news is is that if you wanted to see Lucky and haven’t yet, you may be out of luck (pardon the pun). I’ve been told that Lucky was very much a “technology tester” for the animatronics initiatives, and he has some internal “issues.” No, not emotional, but physical, as the biggest issues deal with his internal gearing that wear down after long periods of use due to his heavy weight. The problem is also that replacing this gearing is very difficult – and thus expensive as well. He also has an issue with his skin absorbing moisture. As his synthetic skin absorbs moisture, he gains weight, which continues to give his internal mechanics problems. He tends to shudder when his motors are overloaded due to high moisture content, and it’s hard on his internal structures. Originally he wasn’t designed for major overhauls to keep him functional, as he was simply meant to be a proof of concept, and technology demo. Lucky will probably become history like the rest of the dinosaurs when he begins to have major failures, and focus continues to shift towards the next phase of animatronics, such as Wall*E and the Mobile Muppet Labs.

Toy Story Midway Mania? Clearly VERY popular, and so Disney wants to spread some of the love, so look for an announcement soon that it will be cloned and recreated over in Tokyo Disneyland as well. Now that’s a research trip I can’t wait to take!

Back in the States, I have received informal confirmation that we will be getting a new coaster. Where? Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Theme? Monsters, Inc. The question seems to be dollars and cents. Remember that Disney is plunking a BILLION dollars into Disney’s California Adventure, so there isn’t a lot of spare change floating around in Anaheim. So what is seemingly in issue now is the scale and scope of what the attraction may be, how closely it may resemble Crush’s Coaster in Disneyland Paris, where it may go, etc. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.

If you have any rumors to report, email Lou here or leave a voicemail at the WDW Radio Show voicemail box: 206-202-4WDW (4939). Discuss or comment on any of these rumors at the DisneyWorldTrivia.com message forums!