Walt Disney World has announced that two of its most popular attractions will be expanding to provide additional capacity - improving the the experience for visitors to both properties.
Since its debut in 2005 at Epcot's The Land pavilion, Soarin' has been one of the most popular attractions in the park. The ride was lifted from Disney California Adventure, and while the film focuses on California landscapes, it still consistently pulls huge waits day in and day out at the Florida park.
The show building for Soarin' currently has two theaters located in a building adjacent to the main Land pavilion. Seen above, Soarin' in the vertical rectangle near the top of the image. The park has announced that to improve capacity a third theater will be built, to open by the end of 2016. One would think that it would probably be built to the lower right of the current structure seen above.
Equally popular, Toy Story Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios is going to see a similar expansion. The ride is located in Pixar Place, a small area themed to the Pixar studios campus. The current ride is located in the building seen above, on the right side. While not officially confirmed by Disney, we are expecting to see additional ride track added in Soundstage One, which is the building on the above left. A third track will help the long lines one this ride, which has a high repeat ride value that keeps riders coming back.
These announcements are quite interesting, especially because Disney is spending significant cash on existing ride upgrades that won't be marketable. There are theories that the capacity is needed due to the new FastPass+ bookings, which are quickly filling these rides' daily capacities - leaving little room for day visitors.