Our last day of D23 was focused on hearing news about the parks, and we were especially interested in hearing any Disneyland news, and we were not disappointed. So here are some of our favorite parts of the panel Sneak Peek! Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
One of the first announcements was for Disneyland and that was a new parade coming to the park called, ‘Magic Happens.’ We were shown art depicting new floats featuring Moana, Coco and Sleeping Beauty and we heard some of the music, from Todrick Hall.
We also got information about the new ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. While previously announced, we got more details and some photos of the Imagineers on the job building this new ride. We also got to see art depicting the entrance design for Disneyland’s Toon Town and Disneyworld’s Hollywood Studios. Disneyland’s iteration of this ride will see a Toon Town version of the El Capitan Theater aptly named ‘The El Capitoon Theater,’ while Hollywood Studios’ iteration will be located in the Chinese Grauman’s Theater (previous home to The Great Movie Ride). Overall the ride is looking very cute, unique and creative and we loved the concept art for the entrance at the El Capitoon Theater! We are thinking this will be a great addition to Toon Town.
Many were waiting to hear more about the Avengers Campuses (name released for the D23 weekend) coming to Anaheim, Paris, and Hong Kong.
Anaheim will get a new Spiderman attraction that, based on descriptions, will be an interactive experience where riders help Spiderman catch rogue Spider-Bots. There will also be a restaurant themed after Pym Technologies of Ant-Man fame. They hinted this will be reflected in the food, but what that means is still a mystery. (Giant corn dogs perhaps? Let’s hope)
Fans of Doctor Strange will be happy to hear that there will be a presence in the form of an attraction, a special Sanctum. According to details on the expo floor, guest will “meet with (Doctor Strange) here, when the time comes, and (he) shall help you unravel the mysteries of the multiverse.” A brand new e-ticket attraction will be coming in phase 2 of the campus, allowing guests to step into a Quinjet with the Avengers on a mission to Wakanda where they will have to help save the world.
Paris, another campus location, will also be getting a Marvel themed hotel: Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel. It will feature themed rooms, such as an art of Spiderman room.
There was A LOT of Disneyworld news especially that many changes are coming to EPCOT.
While the World Showcase will remain, but also see some changes and additions, the front part of EPCOT will become three new areas: World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Nature.
World Celebration will be the entrance portion of EPCOT, and will be redesigned with a greener look, an updated version of the original EPCOT fountain, and, at the exit of Spaceship Earth, a new area called Dreamers Point will feature a new stature of Walt Disney himself.
World Discovery will include interstellar components, including a Guardians of the Galaxy rollercoaster attraction called Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, different from DCA’s Mission Breakthrough in style and story. Also, there will be a new restaurant called Space 220 where diners will ride an elevator that looks like you are rising 220 miles up to dine in space. Views from the restaurant windows will be of Earth down below. This land will also feature an area focused on the magic of play, including an Incredibles experience with Edna Mode and an attraction involving Wreck-It Ralph.
World Nature will feature a new Moana walk-through attraction about water, a friend and ally of Moana in the film.
World Showcase will see changes as well, including a Beauty and the Beast Sing-A-Long show, a Ratatouille attraction, and a quick and table service creperie restaurant In the France Pavillion and a Mary Poppins attraction along with the addition of Cherry Tree Lane in the United Kingdom Pavillion. Mr. Dick Van Dyke himself was in attendance to reveal this new ride and area! There will also be a new nighttime show, EPCOT Forever, with music from Pinar Toprak.
A new show is being created by Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney Animation Studios in partnership with Cirque Du Soleil. This will be in Disney Springs when opened and will tell the story of an animator’s daughter whose father sends her on a magical journey through animation.
Some details were shared about the upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2021, including that all four parks will have celebrations, not just the Magic Kingdom.
Another new development that will start in Disneyworld, but may see replication in other parks, is Disney Genie, a new app designed to create your Disneyworld itinerary via the app itself, with automatic recommendations based on personal interests and availability. As opposed to making dining reservations over here and Fastpasses over there, this app will do all of it for you. There will be beta opportunities for D23 members and it should be ready for use in 2021.
A new resort will be opening soon called Reflections. It will have a lodge-like feel with A-Frame house rentals and tree-house styled rooms. This resort there will feature a The Princess and the Frog themed restaurant.
Also in Disneyworld, we got more information about the upcoming Star Wars hotel experience. The resort will be called Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser and will be a very ambitious project. It will be a two-day experience, with a “planet excursion, or port day on Batuu,” but otherwise you are one the ‘spaceship’ the rest of the time. It will be like a cruise ship experience but without the sea.
Guest will be checked in here on Earth before riding a transport up to the Starcruiser. All windows, including those in the rooms, will have views of space. Familiar characters will make approaches, including Chewbacca, Rey and Kylo Ren and it was said that your interactions with cast, crew and fellow guests will determine the story of your stay.
There will be special dining experiences, as well as classes and activities such as lightsaber training for ALL ages. A cabin will start at $3,300 and an opening date is not yet known.
Hong Kong Disneyland will see a new castle and land. Their iconic castle will become the Castle of Magical Dreams, inspired by 13 Disney princesses and heroines. They will also be getting a new Frozen themed land, with two attractions.
All of us will have a new shopping opportunity soon. A partnership with Target will lead to 25 locations gaining Disney Stores within their Target stores on October 4, followed by 40 more locations in 2020. Target.com will also have a Disney Store component for those who won’t be near physical locations.
The rest of our day was spent on the Expo floor and we will be uploading the photos and videos as soon as we are able to.
Overall, we had a great time at D23 and we will have LOTS to talk about on our next episode, available next Monday, September 2.
Until then, have a magical day everyone!