D23 Expo Wrap Up: What’s Coming to Disney Parks?

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The D23 Expo has wrapped up! Now let’s break down the announcements and what’s coming to Disney Parks!

The D23 Expo wrapped up yesterday with a BANG! Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products led a Disney Parks panel where he divulged details on future plans for expansions, updates, and additions in Disney parks around the world.

The updates came rapidly (and were hard to keep up with). However, after the dust settled we were able to go back and review the video from the panel. Today we are breaking down all of those details for you here! Take a look at what’s coming, (and what Imagineers would like to come #BlueSky), to Disney parks worldwide.

D23 Expo Disneyland Update:

Two new nighttime spectaculars are coming to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park: “World of Color – One” and a new fireworks show “Wondrous Journeys” will kick off in late January at Disneyland Resort.

“Wondrous Journeys” at Disneyland park will ignite the wonder in everyone and feature nods to all 60 Walt Disney Animation Studios films to date, taking viewers on a journey filled with artistry, music, storytelling and heart.  The show will feature a new song called “It’s Wondrous.”

“World of Color – One” at Disney California Adventure will span the broad storytelling legacy of Disney’s first 100 years and tell a new story through Disney classics and new favorites.

Special entertainment moments will also pop up across the resort, including the long-awaited return of the “Magic Happens” parade in spring.

The Mandalorian and Grogu Coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland Park: The Mandalorian and Grogu will make their first appearance on Batuu at Disneyland park starting in mid-November.

Beginning next week for a limited time, you may have the opportunity to have your own heroic encounter with The Incredible Hulk, who will appear in his Quantum Suit inside Avengers Campus.

Reasons to Plan Disney Vacation

Photo Courtesy Disney

Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure will be expanding with a third attraction featuring a brand-new story that will bring guests into battle alongside their favorite Super Heroes. Today, Josh D’Amaro and President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, shared details around the third attraction that will be coming to Disneyland Resort in the future. Avengers Campus will expand into the multiverse, which will also expand the stories we can tell inside the land.

The new concept for this attraction will be an epic family adventure, where you’ll get to team up with more of the Avengers and their allies to battle against foes from the multiverse, including King Thanos, a villain designed specifically for Avengers Campus.

Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure park, which evokes San Francisco’s waterfront, will be reimagined into San Fransokyo from “Big Hero 6,” where East meets West, and technology meets tradition. Imagineers are in the early phases of this work

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel to Become Pixar Place Hotel, Featuring Great Maple Food and Beverages. As previously announced, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is being reimagined with a Pixar theme. They shared that it will be called Pixar Place Hotel. The hotel will weave the artistry of Pixar into its comfortable, contemporary setting, including fantastic areas for everyone to enjoy, like this “Finding Nemo”-themed splash pad area.

Southern California local favorite Great Maple, which will open a flagship restaurant on the first floor and operate other food and beverage locations throughout Pixar Place Hotel. This modern American eatery specializes in upscale comfort food with a twist, serving fresh takes on American classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Evolution of the Downtown Disney District Continues with Additional Food Offerings to Come: In the Downtown Disney District, there are plans to introduce more than a dozen new and reimagined locations.

 

runDisney races will return to the Disneyland Resort in 2024! Stay tuned to rundisney.com for details on specific dates, registration information and more.

 

Coming to Mickey’s Toontown will be a new attraction, the family-friendly and adventurous Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Disney Imagineers are making some clever adjustments to the attraction to ensure it perfectly fits into the story of Mickey’s Toontown.  A closer look was shared inside the El CapiTOON Theater, where a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society is celebrating all things Mickey with costumes and props from the toon world.

And building on the legacy of Mickey’s Toontown, upon reopening the land there will be more opportunities for families to play together, with new open, grassy play spaces for everyone to unplug. We are stepping into a new era of inclusive experiences in this land, for families of all ages.

Here’s a look at Goofy’s How-to-Play Yard. Goofy’s neck of the woods will be dedicated to all things play, where the soft, spongy ground is the perfect place for youngsters to enjoy a fun, enclosed area. Here, Goofy encourages his son, Max, and all his friends to play the Goofy way.

Within this rendering of the brand-new Goofy’s How-To-Play Yard, you can see one of its silliest areas – a playful sound garden. Adults can take a rest while their little ones discover all the fun and wacky sounds the garden makes. They’ll also have a chance to explore an all-new, elevated clubhouse.

Here you see Donald’s Boat, which has crashed in the duck pond of the Goof homestead! Around Donald’s Duck Pond are larger-than-life spinning water lilies, balance beams and rocking toys that will keep adventurous kids busy. And for those who like a little splash in their step, a flood of fun awaits.

These new experiences will join existing favorites like Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House. Plus, other attractions will be reimagined in new and exciting ways, including Gadget’s Go Coaster. Mickey’s Toontown will reopen in early 2023.

Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open at the Disneyland Resort (and Walt Disney World Resort) in late 2024. The new attraction’s story will pick up right where “The Princess and the Frog” left off. At the end of the film, Princess Tiana realizes her lifelong dream when she opens her restaurant, Tiana’s Palace. We pick up the story during Carnival season, when Tiana is hosting a party for the people of New Orleans. She discovers her celebration is missing a key ingredient and needs our help to find it. On Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, we’ll join Tiana and Louis on a trip to the bayou, where they meet all sorts of unexpected new friends who have a special role to play at the party.

Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG

The attraction will get a whole new look and feel. Plus, Imagineers are blending tried-and-true techniques with the latest technology to make this feel like an entirely new attraction.

Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG

Additionally, it was announced that talented voices from the film will reprise their roles in the attraction, including Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen, Michael Leon Wooley as Louis, Jenifer Lewis as Mama Odie, and the one and only Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana. This is especially exciting news since music will be a big part of the experience on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

An all-new retail store will be opening in New Orleans Square at Disneyland on Sept. 20, 2022, called Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets. Tiana is collaborating with her talented dressmaker mother, Eudora, to open this fantastic little shop, with accessories to create and serve masterful Orleans-style cuisine and more.

At Disneyland Resort, the Disney100 anniversary celebration will kick off in late January 2023 with special limited-time celebrations taking place throughout the whole year. The Happiest Place on Earth will receive new platinum-infused décor, new sparkling looks for Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their pals, special food and beverage offerings, and so much more.

D23 Expo Walt Disney World Update:

TRON Lightcycle / Run will invite guests to enter the Grid in spring 2023 at Magic Kingdom!

At the Haunted Mansion, the Hatbox Ghost will materialize in 2023 in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort!

Photo Courtesy Katie Duncan KTTW Travel

Also, by the end of next year you’ll get the chance to meet Figment once again!  Fan-favorite character Figment will appear to meet park guests by the end of 2023.

Photo Courtesy Disney

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will open in late 2023, inviting guests to follow the story of water on the planet, inspired by Moana’s connection to the ocean.

Disney plans to debut the new fireworks at Epcot and Magic Kingdom a day early for guests in the park

At Walt Disney World Resort, an all-new nighttime spectacular is planned for EPCOT during Disney’s 100th anniversary celebration. This new show will debut later next year, continuing the park’s legacy of inspiring nighttime entertainment on World Showcase Lagoon.

Also, the next major milestone in EPCOT’s multi-year transformation will include the completion of the World Celebration neighborhood in late 2023, featuring a new statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer.”

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, coming to Walt Disney World Resort in late 2024. Several members of the original film cast will return to lend their voices to the attraction, including Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, Bruno Campos as Naveen, Michael Leon Wooley as Louis and Jenifer Lewis as Mama Odie.

Happily Ever After Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom

Next year, the popular anthem “Happily Ever After” will play again when an updated nighttime spectacular returns to light up the skies over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort in 2023.

“Blue Sky” Projects

Disney announced several “Blue Sky” projects at the D23 Expo. While we are very hopeful, we want to manage expectations and acknowledge that it is very possible that these projects don’t happen.

What does “Blue Sky” mean?

In Walt Disney Imagineering, the term “blue sky” refers to a time in the concept phase of project development when all constraints (physical, practical, budgetary, etc.) are ignored and ideas are able to flow. Imagineers are allowed to dream the impossible, follow their heart and imagine like a child. While some ideas never leave the “blue sky” phase, others become amazing feats of Imagineering lived out in Disney Parks around the globe.
With that being said, here are the projects mentioned as possible future changes to the parks:
A new land (or lands) are under development called “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom. The possible land(s) would include “Coco,” “Encanto,” and Disney Villains. The art also shows the spooky Disney Villains portion of the area in the background.
Plans are in early development, but guests could enter the casita from “Encanto” and ride on an alebrije from “Coco.” Concept art implies this project would also replace Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer Island. It appears the land could wrap around the north end of Rivers of America, connecting Frontierland to Liberty Square in a second direction, by way of a linking Big Thunder Mountain to Haunted Mansion.

We should mention again, these are Imagineering dreams right now. They would be an incredible addition to the parks, and very popular. But, we have to keep in mind that they could also go the way of Cherry Tree Lane (RIP Mary Poppins attraction at Epcot) and never come to fruition. We are personally wishing upon a star that they really happen!

There is clearly so much to look forward to at the Disney Destinations around the world. The future looks bright!

Related: 5 Reasons to a 2023 Vacation to Disney

With so much happening in 2023 and more coming in the future, now is the time to plan your Disney vacation! Bookings for both the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort are open through 2023. It’s always best to get those hotels booked early!

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