We were lucky enough to be in the room for the Parks, Experiences, and Products Panel at D23 Expo in Anaheim yesterday, August 25, 2019.
Here’s everything that we found out in one place:
Walt Disney World
- Not surprisingly, we were told that the 50th anniversary would be celebrated in all 4 parks.
- Walt said that Epcot would always be in a state of becoming.
- Epcot will be undergoing a complete reimagining. The biggest transformation any park has ever accomplished.
- EPCOT will be divided into 4 neighborhoods: World Showcase and, from the former Future World, World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Nature
- World Celebration
- Spaceship Earth Renovation
- Will remain the grand icon of Epcot.
- Will focus on storytelling instead of technology.
- New guide, the Storylight, will guide you through.
- Upon exiting Spaceship Earth, you will have a view over all of Epcot and World Showcase, including a new Walt Statue.
- Spaceship Earth Renovation
- New Pavilion will house live shows and be a perfect vantage point for the new nighttime spectaculars. Garden rooftop seems like prime special event space.
- World Discovery
- Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind will start with a reverse launch into space.
- Mission Space’s restaurant will be called Space 220. It will open this winter 2019 and include an elevator with views into space.
- The Wonders of Life building will house a new Play Pavilion. This will be open in time for the 50th.
- World Nature
- The Land Pavilion will have a new film called Awesome Planet starting in January 2020.
- World Nature will also include the Journey of Water, a new Moana-inspired exploration trail.
- World Showcase
- The legendary Dick Van Dyke got on stage to tell us that the UK Pavilion is getting a new Mary Poppins attraction!! There will be a new Cherry Tree Lane area where you enter the Banks House for the experience. We’re eager for more details on what this attraction will entail!!
- The China Pavilion will be getting a new movie called Wondrous China.
- The Canada Pavilion will be getting a new movie in January 2020.
- The France Pavilion will be getting:
- A new Beauty & the Beast singalong that will accompany, not replace, Impressions de France. Debuts January 2020.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which will open in Summer 2020.
- La Creperie de Paris, by the same people that bring us Chefs de France, which will have quick service and seated dining options.
- Music and Shows:
- We also had the chance to hear much of Epcot’s new anthem.
- We got a first look at the temporary nighttime spectacular that will replace Illuminations starting on October 1st, Epcot Forever, which will honor some of Epcot’s most nostalgic attractions.
- We also heard more about the permanent show that will follow: HarmonioUS. It debuts sometime in 2020 and will be the biggest spectacular in the Park’s history.
- Rise of the Resistance: We were able to see a sneak peak of footage. The attraction looks like it’s going to be a game changer.
- Star Wars Hotel details further discussed
- The Halcyon – Galactic Starcruiser – will welcome guests for 2 days and 2 nights.
- All guests will board and exit at once and enjoy a fully immersive experience. They will check in at a terminal for departure. A launch pod will blast them into space where they emerge into an atrium.
- Guests will spend the entire time inside the hotel other than a “port day” in Batuu. “Windows” in rooms and throughout public spaces will “look out” on outer space.
- Experiences will include lightsaber training.
- The choices that guests make along the way will affect the course of their journey.
- No dates announced.
- We got a first look at the exterior of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios.
- Cirque du Soleil: Imagineering and Cirque du Soleil are joining forces for a new Cirque show in the former Cirque building at Disney Springs. The story will involve a young girl whose father is an animator. Disney characters are central to her life. He somehow finds a way to send her on a voyage of self discovery through animation. The music will integrate beloved Disney themes. Animated characters will interact with live performers. Previews will start on March 20, 2020.
- We were able to see some new concept art and hear some new details on the new Reflections resort. The A-frame and treehouse suites look stunning and I am so very excited for its Princess and the Frog-inspired restaurant!!
Disneyland & Disney’s California Adventure
- Disneyland will be getting a new daytime parade in Spring 2020 called Magic Happens that features old and new animated classics, from Sleeping Beauty to Coco and Moana. It will be led by Mickey. The music will be produced by Todrick Hall.
- We got a first look at the exterior of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Toon Town.
- Avengers Campus (also in Paris and Hong Kong, and the campuses will interact)
- Phase 1: To open next year.
- Spiderman-themed attraction: WEB (Worldwide Engineering Brigade) Spiderman experience will have interactive elements. Guests will ride in a Webslinger vehicle as they try to combat or contain Spider Bots that have been unleashed before they are ready and are causing chaos.
- Phase 1: To open next year.
- Pym Test Kitchen will feature very small and very large foods.
- Doctor Strange training experience.
- Character meets will include Antman and the Wasp (for the first time), Iron Man, Black Widow, Starlord, Gamora, Groot, Black Panther, Thor, and Loki, I’m sure among others.
- Phase 2: Will include a new E-ticket attraction, Fly to Wakanda.
- Shanghai Disneyland is getting a Zootopia area.
- Hong Kong’s castle will be renovated and expanded. Rather than featuring one princess, it will be inspired by 13 Disney heroines. It will be called the Castle of Magical Dreams.
- Hong Kong will be getting new daytime and nighttime shows.
- The castle will also house a new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
- Hong Kong will also be getting a new Arendelle-inspired Frozen land that will include Frozen Ever After and a Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.
- Hong Kong will also get an Avenger’s Campus. (See DCA)
- Disneyland Paris will also get an Avenger’s Campus. (See DCA)
- The rethemed Disney’s Hotel New York, which will become Disney’s Hotel New York — The Art of Marvel, will include specific Marvel-character themed rooms.
- New Ship: The Wish
- Rapunzel on Stern
- Honors close relationship with Make-A-Wish
- Delivered 2021, Sails January 2022
- New port of call: Lighthouse Point on Eleuthera in the Bahamas.
- Target will be partnering with Disney to add Disney store shops in Target stores starting in the Fall. They will also carry certain Disney products online. A new Target store will also be opening near Walt Disney World.
- The new Disney Genie digital offering will assist with vacation planning and bookings.
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And that’s a wrap! What on this list are YOU most excited about??