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D23 Parks Panel Recap – A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

@Disney – Overview of developments from this year into plans for 2024.

The Disney Parks, Experiences and Products panel at this year's D23 Expo was probably the most anticipated event of the weekend. There are so many questions about what's coming to the parks and when and we were all hoping for some answers. Here's what we learned from Josh D'Amaro…and what we didn't. 

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Disneyland

  • Pacific Wharf in DCA will be rethemed to San Fransokyo. 

  • Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will be the focus of the 100th anniversary celebration. Both will get new nighttime shows.

  • RunDisney is returning to Disneyland in 2024!!
  • Downtown Disney is getting lots of new locations, including a Porto’s.
  • Mando and Grogu are headed to a meet and greet at Galaxy’s Edge in California. No mention of seeing him on the east coast.
  • Hulk is also coming to Avenger’s Campus.

  • King Thanos is coming to a new multiverse inspired attraction in Avenger’s Campus. It will depict a world where Thanos won and we are in the fight to defeat him.
  • Toontown is well underway and scheduled to reopen in 2023. Fans can rest assured that favorite things, like Donald's boat, will be retained. Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway will be well integrated and is also planned for 2023.
  • “We Belong Together” a Pixar Musical Review, is planned for 2023.

Disneyland and Walt Disney World

  • Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open on both coasts in late 2024. It picks up where the movie left off. Tiana is running her restaurant and is in search of an ingredient she’s missing. The site will be as beautiful at night as it is during the day – including projections onto mist. Many of the original voice actors from the movie will also be back for the attraction.

Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom

  • Happily Ever After will return to Magic Kingdom next year. While no date was announced we can probably assume that it will be after the end of the 18 month run of Enchantment on March 31, 2023.
  • The Hatbox Ghost is headed to the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion. 
  • Tron Lightcycle will open in Spring 2023. This is a delay – it was originally planned for the end of this year.
  • Imagineering is considering countless possibilities for an expansion of Magic Kingdom beyond Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Concepts under consideration include Coco and Encanto – or even a villains themed area. This is all very early stage – the stress was on the fact that they are looking to expand into this area and have a ton of ideas and that they are very much thinking out of the box.

EPCOT

  • EPCOT will also get a new nighttime show to celebrate the 100th.
  • The center of EPCOT, including Moana’s Journey of Water will open in late 2023.
  • We are getting a Figment meet and greet in EPCOT in late 2023. Surprisingly, there was no other discussion of the Imagination pavilion.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Plans for Dinoland are still in early stages and undecided. They are considering lots of possibilities – from Zootopia to Moana. Concept art is underway. We saw one of the drawings but they stressed that it was one of many.

Disney Cruise Line

Concept art for the Treasure, Disney's 6th planned cruise ship.

  • The 6th Disney Cruise Line ship will be called the Treasure and themed to adventure. It will have a brand new design concept and is planned to debut in 2024.
  • The Wonder is headed to Australia and New Zealand for South Pacific adventures.

  • The new island, Lighthouse Point on the island of Eleuthera, looks stunning. Ninety percent of its power will be solar. It is also planned to be up and running as of 2024.

Disney+

  • Duffy and friends are getting a new show on Disney+. They get that we love these characters in the west too, and I expect we'll be seeing more of them.

International Parks

Planned Walt Statue to be installed in Hong Kong as a part of the 100th celebration depicts the scene on the park bench where Walt dreamed up Disneyland.

  • Hong Kong is getting a beautiful new statue for the 100th inspired by the moment that Walt thought up Disneyland on that park bench watching his daughters.
  • World of Frozen is underway in Disneyland Paris, Tokyo DisneySea and HongKong Disneyland and is set to open (at least in Hong Kong) in late 2023.
  • Paris is getting a Tangled themed attraction.

Things We Still Don’t Know

In addition to some of the unknowns above – like what's coming to Dinoland and exactly when Tron is opening – here are a few other questions that we still have: 

  • What if anything is in store for the Imagination Pavilion (other than the Figment meet and greet).
  • When is Fantasmic starting up again? The graphic that was shared (see the first image of this article) says it will be this year, but no date was given.
  • When will the railroad return? (And will the BTMR plans shut it down again in the near future?)
  • Will WDW ever get a night parade back? I know many had hoped for Paint the Night or a return of the Main Street Electrical Parade.

What are your thoughts on today’s announcements – and the things that we still don’t know? 

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You can find my complete guide to making the most of your runDisney race weekend RIGHT HERE and my guide to running trails on Disney World property RIGHT HERE.

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Please join me on Instagram for my day-to-day adventures living a mile from the magic. And join the conversation over in our community on Facebook!

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If you’re missing home (or love someone who is) and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.

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