We’ve got a lot of news from the past month about Disney World, Disneyland, Disney+, movies, and more! Much of this is thanks to the D23 Expo, where a number of announcements were made about upcoming projects. We also have a few new things coming into the holiday season, so let’s get to it!
With so much news, I’ve broken it down into categories below. A lot of these are announcements from D23, but there have been some other things that are newsworthy as well! It’s also by no means a complete list of every D23 announcement – more the bigger ones or ones that I felt would be of most interest to my readers.
- Dinoland USA in Animal Kingdom is due to be replaced with new attractions. It’s still in early phases, but we did see concept art for a Moana area and a Zootopia area.
- The Hatbox Ghost will be coming to the Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom in 2023.
- Magic Kingdom will see the return of the Happily Ever After fireworks show – at least in some form. The show will be “reimagined” but will include the music, to open sometime in 2023.
- We have VERY few details about this, but Disney announced it’s at least a consideration right now that an Encanto and Coco themed area will be coming to Magic Kingdom (Frontierland).
- Also in VERY early concept is the idea of something “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” – villains were mentioned, but no additional information on whether that would be a new land or even a 5th gate.
- A new fine dining restaurant will be coming to Disney World in 2023. it’s called Rosa Mexicano and will be located in the Dolphin resort.
- New cocktails will be coming to several restaurants in Magic Kingdom, including Skipper Canteen, Liberty Tree Tavern, and the Diamond Horseshoe.
- A new nighttime spectacular will be coming to Epcot sometime in 2023.
- DuckTales: World Showcase Adventure, a scavenger hunt style game that had been announced for Epcot using the Disney Play app, has been confirmed to still be in the works.
- Mando and Grogu will start doing character meet and greets at Batuu in Disneyland starting in mid-November.
- A new attraction will be coming to Avengers Campus – they called it “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.”
- Pacific Wharf in California Adventure will be rethemed as San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6.
- RunDisney races will be returning to Disneyland California starting in 2024!
- A new store opened in Disneyland on September 20th called Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets, inspired by Princess and the Frog.
- Two new nighttime spectacular will be coming to Disneyland next year – “World of Color – One” at Disney California Adventure park and “Wondrous Journeys” at Disneyland park.
- The “Magic Happens” parade will be returning to Disneyland sometime in spring 2023.
Disney Movies & TV
- Disney animation’s newest film, Strange World, will open on November 23rd in theaters – and we got some more information and details on this movie.
- Over on Disney+, a new TV show called Zootopia+ will be available starting November 9th. Disenchanted (the sequel to Enchanted) will debut on November 24th.
- Disney+ will also see lots of new Star Wars content, with Andor season 2 confirmed, the Bad Batch season 2 coming on January 14th, a show called Tales of the Jedi debuting on October 26th, a new live action show called Skeleton Crew starring Jude Law coming sometime in 2023, and The Mandalorian season 3 coming out in February 2023.
- Over on the Marvel side, Disney+ will get a new series called Werewolf by Night which will debut on October 7th, a show called Secret Invasion featuring Nick Fury coming in spring 2023, Loki season 2 in summer 2023, and Ironheart in fall 2023.
- Peter Pan and Wendy, a twist on the classic story, will be coming to Disney+ in 2023 and stars Jude Law as Captain Hook. Also in 2023 is a New Haunted Mansion movie featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and the live-action Little Mermaid movie.
- Pixar will be releasing an original new film called Elemental on June 16, 2023. Disney animation’s big original film for 2023 will be called Wish.
- In 2024, we’ll see a prequel to The Lion King called Mufasa, a live-action Snow White film, a Pixar original called Elio, a sequel to Inside Out, Captain America: New World Order, and Marvel’s Thunderbolts.
- In the MCU, a show that was originally announced to be coming to Disney+ will now be made as a feature film instead. It’s called Armor Wars and will star Don Cheadle as Rhodey.
- Indiana Jones 5 will be coming out starring Harrison Ford as Indy once again.
- There will also be another Descendants film, putting us at Descendants 4.
- Figment, from Epcot’s Journey into Imagination attraction, will be getting his own film (most likely heading to Disney+ in the future).
- We have a name for the 6th ship coming in Disney Cruise Line’s fleet – it will be called the Disney Treasure.
- It seems Lighthouse Point is still on for Disney Cruise Line – though the date is still TBD, construction is underway.
- Disney Cruise Line’s COVID policies continue to change: currently guests can now sail regardless of vaccination status. Those who are not vaccinated must still have a negative COVID test result, but those who are vaccinated no longer need to have testing done.
- Disneyland Paris will be getting a Tangled themed attraction, a Frozen themed land, and a new show called “Pixar: We Belong Together” in Walt Disney Studios.
- A traveling exhibition called “Disney 100” will be touring the country in 2023, starting on February 18th at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (yay, that’s near me!).
Magic Kingdom // With some of the “blue sky” projects shared at D23, we didn’t get a lot of details… which means there’s plenty of room for speculation. One idea is that the new expansion might potentially replace Tom Sawyer Island.
Animal Kingdom // This rumor is grounded in logic – with the ideas for Dinoland being replaced with Moana and Zootopia themed attractions, the current rumor is that Zootopia is more likely and/or will open before Moana rides. This makes sense since Disney is already opening a Zootopia themed land in Shanghai and will most likely be able to “borrow” some of the ideas from there.
Hollywood Studios // Fans are still waiting for an opening date for Fantasmic’s return, which is said to happen in 2023 (not much time left!). The current theory is that it will open before the holiday season in Thanksgiving, so potentially in early/mid-November.
Epcot // DuckTales: World Showcase Adventure, a scavenger hunt style game that had been announced for Epcot using the Disney Play app, may be integrating the new MagicBand+ into its gameplay.
Marvel // Harrison Ford is set to play General Ross in Marvel’s Thunderbolts film, but the casting has not yet been announced.
Other Disney Blogs
Have you noticed that Disney World dining reservations seem to be harder to get these days? It’s not just you – Tom from The Disney Tourist Blog takes a look at why advance dining reservations have less availability these days (and how you can still try to get into the restaurants you want!).
Jenn over at Fairest Run of All has a deep dive into Disney attraction history – with her own personal experience of riding Superstar Limo at California Adventure!
At WDW Prep School, Allyson has everything you need to know about hurricanes and Disney World.
Curious about the latest stuff in Galaxy’s Edge? Annmarie from Anakin and His Angel have you covered with her Galaxy’s Edge updates – I might need that adorable little porg plush!