Austin Lang

Freelance Writer for AllEars.net. Intrepid Theme Park Reporter.

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Terra Incognita: The Unbuilt Lands of Disney World

Walt Disney World is the largest and most ambitious Disney theme park on Earth, and is filled with fantastic lands you can’t find anywhere else. From Morocco to Pandora, there’s no shortage of amazing scenery in the place where dreams come true. But not every land dreamed up by Imagineering has come to fruition. Today, we’ll take a fantastic journey into the lost kingdoms of Disney World… the lands that, for one reason or another, never came to be. It’s hard to believe, but when the Magic King

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Flattening The Curve: Why Disney is Closing Everything For the Coronavirus

The current wave of closures at the Disney Parks and Resorts is unprecedented. Never have we seen closures this long-lasting or far-reaching. But, why is Disney (as well as many other organizations) taking such extreme measures? The answer lies in what epidemiologists call flattening the curve. The concept was best illustrated by Max Roser of Our World in Data, an economist and statistician focused on using data to study health. He published this graph illustrating the projected path of the ou

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The New ABC Mug Collection at Disney World is Simply M-A-G-I-C-A-L!

Good morning class! Today’s lesson is all about the alphabet! Now, we know that you can’t focus without a cup of coffee, but don’t worry… we can multitask! The new ABCDisney Collection at Walt Disney World is filled with coffee mugs, trinket boxes, and other adorable designs inspired by the resorts. So follow along as we take a tour through the wonderful world of letters! A is for Adventureland, a frontier for the bold! B is for Big Thunder Mountain, where mines are filled with gold! C is fo

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Eight Things You Probably Didn't Know About Pirates of the Caribbean!

AHOY Mateys! Yer cap’n is here with a tale that ain’t about that diabolical wench Redd. No, today, we be havin’ a history lesson about me favorite ride in th’ whole park: Pirates of the Caribbean! I’ve sailed th’ seas of the Caribbean nigh on a thousand times, but its waters hold a lot o’ secrets… Lemme open up th’ doors to Davy Jones’s Locker to share just a few o’ them. It was originally intended to be a wax museum. Cap’n Walt wanted a pirate-themed attraction, but plans fer the voyage were

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Are Trackless Ride Systems the Future of the Disney Parks?

Look at the latest releases at Walt Disney World, and you’ll notice a trend: Rise of the Resistance, Runaway Railway, Ratatouille. That’s right; they all start with R. But aside from that, they all also use trackless ride systems. But what is a trackless ride system, exactly, and why is it important? On its surface, a trackless ride system seems pretty self explanatory; it’s any ride that doesn’t involve some sort of track. Now, obviously, there are many, many Disney rides that don’t use a lit

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Boarding Group Breakdown: Data and Statistics for Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios

We’ve already explained how to get a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the biggest and most innovative ride in Disney history. But what does the data look like around boarding groups? How are they working in reality? Fortunately, the geniuses at Thrill-data.com have been dutifully gathering statistics about Rise of the Resistance boarding groups and wait times, and we’re here to break them down into easily digestible chunks. Find out when to expect to boar

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Opinion: Why the Sequel Era is the Perfect Place to put Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a moment frozen in time. No matter when you visit, it will always be a specific period in the Star Wars timeline, between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. But… why? Why that specific time period, instead of the Original trilogy? The answer is more complicated than you might realize. So let’s just get this out of the way. There are a lot of Star Wars fans who hate the new trilogy. This isn’t surprising. If there’s one thing Star Wars fans hate more than anyth

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Here's How to Plan your Day at Disney's Hollywood Studios With the FastPass Tier Change!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios may not have the same density of attractions as Magic Kingdom, but it’s still probably one of the most complicated parks to plan your day for. Between Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and a variety of shows and experiences, it can be pretty overwhelming to figure out how to maximize your day at the park. Fortunately, thanks to recent changes to the FastPass System (as well as the addition of FastPass for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run!), it’s way easier to

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What is Lunar New Year? Understanding the Disneyland Celebrations!

If you’ve been to Disneyland or Disney World recently, you’ve probably noticed merchandise and decor celebrating the Lunar New Year! Lanterns, red envelopes, and more! But what exactly is Lunar New Year? The best way to answer that question is to ask someone who celebrates! But, failing that, this guide will help you figure out some of the basics behind the celebration. Many of our western readers will known the Lunar New Year as “Chinese New Year” to distinguish it from similar festivals arou

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Rise Up: How the Virtual Queue Works, and How to Secure Your Spot on Disney's Rise of the Resistance!

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the biggest ride in Disney history, but it’s a little complicated to get on board. Every day, hundreds, if not thousands, of potential Resistance fighters arrive at Hollywood Studios and Disneyland, only to come face to face with that dreaded sandwich board… If you have just one day for your Disney vacation, how can you ensure a spot on that Star Destroyer? Our guide will show you how. While Rise of the Resistance technically has a queue like any other ride

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Disneyland's "it's a small world" Closed for a Quick Decor Change... But What if it Wasn't So Simple?

Short refurbishments after the holidays are old hat at Disneyland Park, where one of the most beloved overlays — on ‘it’s a small world’ — will be coming down for a few days, causing the ride to close temporarily. The attraction, which delights guests with that titular little earworm, will be closed until Saturday, January 18, to restore it to its everyday glory. Bye for real, holiday season. That’s it. That’s the news. It’s closed for a few days. But wouldn’t it be more fun if things took a m

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WestCOT: The Disney Park That Never Was.

In 2001, Disneyland Resort in California opened it’s long awaited second gate: Disney California Adventure. But this controversial and oft-maligned theme park was not what was originally intended to accompany the original Magic Kingdom. Let me spin you a tale about what could have been… a place that dared to dream of tomorrow, yet was doomed to be just a minor chapter in Disney’s past. Let me tell you the tale of WestCOT. Epcot is widely regarded to be one of the best Disney theme parks, and c

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Have You Found These Easter Eggs in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge?

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is full of surprises and references to the films, but there are some secrets not even a hardcore Star Wars fan would notice! Here are some lesser known Easter Eggs to look out for on your next trip. Oh — and spoiler alerts, in case you’re trying to keep Black Spire Outpost a surprise for your first visit! Every Disney Park has one, even if Mickey Mouse doesn’t technically exist in a galaxy far, far away. The next time you’re riding Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, lo

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Disney Made a Huge Land Purchase Near Magic Kingdom. What Could it Mean?

Walt Disney World is already unfathomably huge… but what if it were bigger? About 235 acres bigger? Well, Disney has just made its second big real estate purchase of the year, which means it’s time to speculate wildly about what they’re going to do with it! The new land purchase, done through Disney subsidiary Compass Rose Corp, includes 235 acres of land to the west of the Magic Kingdom near Lake Reedy. The question is, what are they planning to do with it? Recently, Disney’s main rival in

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A Neurodiverse Guide to the Disney Parks: How to Plan if You're On the Autistic Spectrum

If you’re a neurodiverse individual, going to the Disney Parks can be hard. I should know; I’m on the autistic spectrum myself. Luckily, with some planning and research, it’s possible for someone on the spectrum to enjoy a Disney vacation. You’ve just got to know where to begin. There’s one thing that everyone on the spectrum dreads when it comes to an overstimulating space like the Disney Parks: the Meltdown. You’ve probably seen them. Sometimes it looks like a massive tantrum. Sometimes it

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Nine Things We Definitely Do Not Want to See in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker".

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes out TOMORROW! The preliminary reviews are rushing in, and the hype is enormous! However, as much as we have questions we want answered and things we definitely want to see, there are some things the film would be better off without. Here are nine things we definitely do not want to see in the Rise of Skywalker. **Note: There are potential franchise spoilers below.** A Character that Exists Solely to Sell Toys and then Dies Before Doing Anything It happ

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9 Things We're Hoping To See in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is coming out THIS FRIDAY. This is the long-awaited GRAND FINALE to the Skywalker Saga. Here are 9 things that we here at All Ears are hoping to see in the new film when it launches December 20th! There’s been a lot of Star Wars media released over the past few years. The excellent Clone Wars cartoon, Rebels, Resistance, The Mandalorian… In this new, unified Disney canon, everything is interconnected. But, aside from some small references, like Chopper from Re

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We Have So Many Questions About Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser - and a New Way to Stay Updated

The Halcyon will be pulling into orbit around Disney’s Hollywood Studios soon, and we couldn’t be more excited. But while we haven’t gotten any major new info yet, Disney seems to be prepping for a deluge of information about this brand new Star Wars Hotel in the coming months.The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser webpage recently updated with a widget inviting visitors to sign up for a mailing list to receive updates on the Resort. The widget is a bit unreliable at the moment, only appearing spo

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Nine Questions we NEED Answers to when "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" opens December 20th.

It’s ALMOST HERE! Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is opening on December 20th, and everyone has questions — even Frozen‘s Olaf, well at least his voice, Josh Gad! Seriously, who are Rey’s parents?! This one was ostensibly going to be answered in The Last Jedi, but… sort of wasn’t? The official answer was that Rey’s parents were just a pair of salvagers who sold her for booze money, but that answer came from the lips of series’ villain Kylo Ren. It was, at least at the time, meant to imply tha

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A New Disney+ Icon is Here and It Is Going to TEAR YOUR FAMILY APART!

Disney+, the hot new streaming service that is sweeping the nation, has been bringing families together over a shared love of Disney Classics for the past month. However, we at All Ears regret to inform you that this tool… once a powerful force of harmony… has fallen to the dark side. The discord was first spotted in the Profile section, where each individual user can choose a Disney character to serve as their icon. Alas, a recent addition to this collection of characters has resulted in utter

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