What a whirlwind of a weekend in the Disney Universe. For those of you unaware, D23 Convention took place in Anaheim over the last few days. This event occurs every 2 years and draws massive crowds. If you ever have the chance to attend D23... take it! It is on all of the Sister’s bucket lists to be a part of this convention. Like most conventions, Disney holds panels to make announcements, discuss new projects, and give a glimpse into the Walt Disney Company. The panel that is one of the most anticipated is the Parks and Resorts. This is 90 minutes of exciting news surrounding all that is Disney Parks and similar lines of business (cruise, international parks, etc).
Thank goodness for live streaming from other attendees, I was able to virtually be a part of the magic. From the first few minutes of the panel, until the very end, I couldn’t believe all that we were given. Some of these announcements you may have heard due to popularity and trending hashtags on social media. Others you may not have heard about yet. To make it as easy as possible to understand what is coming, here is a breakdown of all the glorious details from the Parks and Resorts Panel at D23.
Star Wars Land | Officially announced at the last D23 event, we were provided more details regarding this project. Most importantly, we were told the name that this land will go by, “Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge”. The imagineer over the project divulged some minor details regarding the 2 attractions the land will include and the concept that every decision you make will determine your overall experience. Both lands are set to open in 2019, Disneyland will open prior to Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway | A brand new attraction whose entire focus is on the Mouse himself? Count me in. This ride will be coming to Disney Hollywood Studio’s soon. The attraction will be what Disney has called 2-D and a half. It will have qualities of 3-D, but you will not need to wear glasses. This attraction will be replacing The Great Movie Ride. Your final day to ride this classic will be August 13th, 2017.
With Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary just around the corner, the following announcements were in part of this celebration. Epcot is on the slate for a huge refresh and the details we received were “only the tip of the iceberg”.
Ratatouille Ride | Coming to the World Showcase in France, we will be getting the extremely popular attraction that originated in Disneyland Paris. You will shrink down to Remy size and experience Gusteau's Restaurant. Bob mentioned several times that they are working to bring Epcot into a wholly inclusive experience for everyone; kid friendly, adult friendly, keep to the idea of Epcot’s original purpose, and feel like Disney.
Reflections of China | Nestled in the back of the Chinese pavilion rests a 14- minute film that walks the viewer through the history of China. This film will be refreshed and become more “kid-friendly”.
Guardians of the Galaxy | Just like our sister park Disneyland, Walt Disney World will be receiving an E-ticket attraction based on the Guardians of the Galaxy. We do not have many details regarding what this attraction will actually be like, but it is sure to become a focal point of the park. It will be taking the place of Ellen’s Energy Universe, set to close on August 13th.
Mission: SPACE | After working for some time with NASA on this current attraction, it will see an updated version of their missions. It will also be reworked to allow children of all ages to experience this attraction.
Out-of-this-World Dining | Everyone knows that if you want a spectacular meal at a sit-down location, Epcot is the place to go. Following in this trend, Disney announced that they will be adding a brand new full service location, themed to be enjoying a meal in outer space. No details regarding menu or pricing was announced, but it is sure to be a big hit with Disney guests.
New Epcot Entrance | Not many details were given, but it seems that the entrance to this park will be seeing a facelift. I’m sure it will enhance the overall concept that is Future World.
Tron Roller Coaster | In celebration of the Magic Kingdom’s 50th Birthday, the Shanghai favorite “Tron” will be making its way from overseas. It will be located directly next to Space Mountain. It seems that it will not replace any current attractions, so it will be built into what is currently a backstage area. It is planned to be opened by 2021.
New Theater in Magic Kingdom | After the massive success of Frozen: Live at the Hyperion in Disneyland, WDW has made the decision to add a similar theater to the Magic Kingdom. This will be located on Main Street and house similar shows to that of Frozen. No lineup for shows has been announced, but this sister is hoping for something spectacular.
Star Wars Hotel | This has been rumored for quite some time and may be one of the most anticipated experiences Disney has ever added. This resort will completely transport you into the middle of the Star Wars universe. There is nothing like it anywhere, so this will be a huge game changer for Walt Disney World. No details have been released on opening or price, but start saving now because we are sure this one will hold a high price tag.
Walt Disney World Transportation | With the ever growing need for more transportation options, Disney announced two new concepts that will be coming to property. First is a point-to-point transportation system (sound familiar?). These will be called “minnie” vans. They will be available for request throughout the entire property. Second is the Disney Skyliner, a gondola transportation system. It will start from the International Gateway at Epcot, hit 3 resorts (AoA, Pop, and Caribbean Beach) and end at Hollywood Studios.
Toy Story Land | We have an opening date for Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios, next summer (2018)! This is sure to be a hit among Pixar fans and really draw you into the story of Toys. If it is anything like Hong Kong’s version, people will absolutely love it.
Disney’s Riviera Resort | A brand new DVC property is headed to Walt Disney World. It will house 300 units and looks to be a beautiful home location to many DVC members.
Jumping over to Disneyland, we had some exciting news for the west coast as well!
Pixar Pier | Currently named Paradise Pier, this entire location will be transformed into all things Pixar. It will house neighborhoods themed to different Pixar movies including The Incredibles, Inside Out, and Toy Story. It is set to open in 2018.
Pixar Fest | To celebrate the opening of Pixar Pier, Pixar fest will be held during 2018. This will be an exciting event for all those who love anything Pixar. First, the Pixar Play Parade will be moving over to Disneyland while the loved Paint the Night Parade will be headed to DCA, including a new float. Disneyland will also have a special Pixar firework show during this time.
Cars Land Halloween Overlay | Beginning this very Halloween season, Cars Land will be getting a halloween feel. All the residents of Radiator Springs will be dressed in their Halloween finest for the celebration. Be sure to check it out when you are there!
Marvel Land | After the opening of Guardians: Mission BREAKOUT, it seemed that more Marvel was headed to California Adventure. Bob did not provide many details, but he did say it would be “a completely immersive superhero universe.”
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line | A while back, Disney Cruise Line announced the addition of 2 new ships being added to the fleet. In a surprise decision, they decided to add another ship. So the fleet size will nearly double by 2023. These ships will sure be a huge hit among Disney Cruise Line fans. We were also given a sneak peak into a brand new show being added to one of the ship’s; Beauty and the Beast, but the live action version. The preview gave me high hopes for this show.
Disneyland Paris Hotel | Disney’s Hotel New York will see a reimagining, becoming the Art of Marvel. This is sure to be a beautiful hotel, filled with all things super heroes!
WHEW. That was all announced in 90 minutes, can you believe that?? It is looking to be an incredible few years of additions and imagineering. What are you most excited for?