This past weekend was the D23 Expo. D23 is the official Disney fan club, but you may be wondering what exactly is the D23 Expo? Since the D23 official website says it best, I’ll let them take it from here:
“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.”
So, if you’re a Disney fan who didn’t catch all of the D23 announcements, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. I’m recapping all the parks and resorts announcements just for you!
Disney Parks and Resorts Announcements from D23
So many incredible and 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. Next, 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.
3. Furthermore, it was announced that Toy Story Land will officially open next summer (2018)!
Walt Disney World Resort
4. In addition to the attractions, plans were announced for an immersive Star Wars resort. No dates or other details given.
5. Transportation changes were also announced. A new gondola system called Disney Skyliner will be put in place. 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. Additionally, “Minnie Vans,” an Uber-like car service, has begun its run serving guests in the Epcot resorts area already this week!
6. In another parks update, 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 and Space Mountain.
9. Another addition will be a new theater inspired by Walt’s hometown of Kansas City. This will be going near Main Street U.S.A.
Disney California Adventure
10. Another brand new way 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.
11. Then, in incredibly vague Disney fashion, it was announced that the Guardians of the Galaxy will be joined by Spider-Man and the Avengers in DCA. It will be a completely immersive Super Hero universe. No further detail about that at this time.
12. 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.
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.
While it’s possible that I missed a few announcements, I think that about covers it. I thought I would be blown away by all of the Star Wars announcements, and I was, but I was also floored by incredible announcements for the west coast, Paris, and DCL!