Unless you’re a Disney fan living under a rock, you’re aware that this past weekend was the D23 Expo. D23 is the official Disney fan club, but what exactly is the D23 Expo? From the D23 official website:
“Since 2009, the bi-annual D23 EXPO has celebrated all the magic, wonder, and adventure of Disney at this remarkable gathering created especially for you, our most passionate and loyal fans. D23 Expo presents three full days of “inside-the-magic” experiences you won’t find anywhere else, including exclusive sneak peeks at upcoming films from The Walt Disney Studios, dazzling celebrity appearances, unforgettable presentations given by Disney luminaries, a look at what’s coming from Disney Parks and Resorts and Walt Disney Imagineering, the Disney Legends ceremony, and the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibition, which spotlights crown jewels from Disney’s timeless legacy.”
D23 Parks and Resorts Announcements
We’ve got a podcast coming later this week with all the information in one place, but we thought it might be best to jot down all of the announcements in a series of posts for you. Lots of exciting changes and updates are coming to the parks and resorts as early as next year! Here’s the scoop on what’s coming up:
Disneyland and Hollywood Studios
1. First, The official name for Star Wars land is “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.” It is set to open in 2019 in Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
2. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction is set to replace The Great Movie ride. TGMR takes it’s final ride on August 17, 2017.
Disney California Adventure
4. Next, Brand new ways to experience Pixar will come in the form of Pixar Pier and a limited-time celebration called Pixar Fest. Both will open in summer 2018.
5. Then, in incredibly vague Disney fashion, the Guardians of the Galaxy will be joined by Spider-Man and the Avengers in what will become a completely immersive Super Hero universe. No further detail about that at this time.
6. Also, a Guardians of the Galaxy themed ride and a Ratatouille-inspired ride will be headed to Epcot. Guardians will take the place of Ellen’s Universe of Energy, and France will host the new Pixar ride. Both are set to open by 2021, Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
7. Mission: SPACE will get a new table service restaurant with a view. Best of all, concept artwork also suggests an overhaul of the Fountain of Nations area, too!
8. Also in open in 2021, Tron, Shanghai Disneyland’s most popular attraction will debut at the Magic Kingdom. It is not replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway as previously thought, but, instead, will go behind it.
9. Also being added is a new theater inspired by Walt’s hometown of Kansas City. This will be going near Main Street U.S.A.
10. Another update included Disneyland Paris. A hotel named Disney’s Hotel New York-The Art of Marvel will be opening in the next few years.
Walt Disney World Resort
12. Transportation changes also abounded with the announcement of a new gondola system called Disney Skyliner. This system will run between Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts and other locations with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.
BONUS: Disney Cruise Line
13. Finally, not only is DCL adding 2 new ships by 2020, but by 2023, they will add a third! In just a few short years, the fleet will double in size.
Which announcement are you most excited about? It’s going to be difficult for me to decide! I thought I would be blown away by all of the Star Wars announcements, and I was. I was also floored by incredible announcements for the west coast, Paris, and DCL!