I know that many die-hard Disney fans have already heard the big news from the parks panel – but I figured it might be nice to have it all in one place for my readers. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on some of the additions and changes in a later post, but for now I’ve compiled as much as possible about what we learned at the D23 Expo about the theme parks!
There will be a larger superhero presence in California Adventure. The Guardians, Spiderman, and the Avengers will be part of an “immersive experience.” This was mostly just a tease, no real details.
Cars land will get a Halloween overlay called “Haul-o-ween.” Characters will dress up for the holiday as well.
Paradise Pier will become Pixar Pier. It seems likely that there will be new attractions, but they didn’t give us any specifics. The transformation will begin next summer, to coincide with “Pixar Fest.” This will include a new fireworks show with a Pixar theme. The Pixar parade will move over to Disneyland, and Paint the Night will come back at California Adventure.
Star Wars land in California will be opening before the one in Florida.
The Skyliner transportation system has been confirmed – that’s the one that will stop at Art of Animation and Pop Century and travel to Hollywood Studios/Epcot. There will also be a new transportation option called “Minnie van.” Sounds like this will be Disney’s version of Uber.
New hotel news: there will be a new DVC resort called the Riviera Resort. It will have a rooftop location to see night shows at Epcot and Hollywood Studios, so it should be located somewhere in that area.
A Star Wars hotel will be added to Disney World. It is being billed as a “luxury hotel” combined with an “immersive experience” in an authentic Star Wars environment. It will be totally themed, they will encourage dressing up, and you’ll actually have some sort of storyline. Rumors about the details are swirling like crazy, including the fact that it will potentially cost $1000 per person per night.
A new theater will come to Main Street. No word yet on the show going in it. The theater’s facade is themed after the Willis Woods theater from Kansas City in the 1920’s.
The Tron coaster at Shanghai will be coming to Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. It will be in a new space next to Space Mountain so it will not be replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway. Their plan is to have it open in time for the 50th anniversary in 2021.
A new table service restaurant will be coming next to Mission: Space. It will have “views” of outer space. The concept art looks awesome.
The green mission on Mission Space will now be different. It will be orbiting around the earth instead of going to Mars, and should be more appropriate for younger kids. One of their goals is to try to make Epcot a little more kid-friendly.
A Guardians of the Galaxy e-ticket attraction will be coming to Epcot’s Future World. They didn’t tell us much, except that Peter Quill will have memories of coming to Epcot as a kid, and that’s why the Guardians come visit. How appropriate, since the Guardians has that fun 80’s vibe! This will be replacing Universe of Energy.
The China pavilion will get a new film. It will be seamless circle vision, made using the same cameras and technology that did the Soarin’ film.
The Ratatouille attraction from Disneyland Paris will be coming to Epcot’s France pavilion. It will be in a new area, not replacing anything. After the success of Frozen Ever After it seems that Disney will be doing more of this in the World Showcase in the future.
Toy Story land will officially open in the summer of 2018.
Great Movie Ride will be replaced by a new Mickey and Minnie themed attraction called Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Mickey and Minnie are going on a picnic when they pass a train with Goofy for the engineer. You’ll step with them into the movie screen and onto Goofy’s train. They called it “game changing” and that it will be a major attraction. The technology used is unlike anything before. They are calling it 2 ½ D and you don’t need 3D glasses. It will also have more Hidden Mickeys than any other attraction. They also promised a very catchy theme song.
The old pilot from Star Tours, Rex, will make an appearance in the new Star Wars land. He will be the DJ at the new Cantina! And probably continue to cause chaos.
The name for the Star Wars land will be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney previously announced that 2 new ships will be joining the fleet – now it turns out it will be not just 2, but 3!
A Beauty in the Beast stage show has been in the works for the Disney Dream. It will open in November and is based on the live action movie, including some of the new songs for that film. They will use puppetry for the enchanted objects.
Paris will get a Marvel themed hotel called Hotel New York: The Art of Marvel. This will be a rethemeing of the current Hotel New York.
Finally, they teased some sort of old show either coming back or going to a new park. They talked about how they brought back the Main Street Electrical Parade to Disneyland, and how the warehouse where it was being stored has “something else” in it. They didn’t say what, but they did a medley of songs that included Wishes, Golden Horseshoe, Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Mad T Party, and Tapestry of Nations. So I’m guessing it’s one of those.
What Disney park news are you most excited about? Anything that you’re not happy to hear? Let me know in the comments below!