There is so much magic being shaken up and stirred right now over at Walt Disney Parks and resorts it’s going to make your head spin. At least, my head was spinning when I heard the news live at D23 Expo. So today I’ll be sharing all the details of what we can look forward to in planning future Disney trips. Hold onto your seats!
Hint: Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and a seventh Disney cruise ship are among the experiences coming for Disney guests.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is getting ready to revolutionize the guest experience, starting from before guests even arrive for a Disney vacation to the many memories that last a lifetime. Can you imagine the experience being better than it already is?!
More than a dozen new experiences to come to Walt Disney Parks
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek welcomed nearly 7,000 fans during the unveiling of new experiences coming to Disney parks and resorts. We got a sneak peek into much-anticipated projects in development.
Fantasmic! is back at Disneyland Park!
In addition to the announcement that Fantasmic! would return to Disneyland Park that same night (two nights early in honor of the Expo), they also announced a special one-night-only medley of nostalgic entertainment numbers showcasing the heritage of Disney Parks.
An Unprecedented First Look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
The Star Wars stories will come to life in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newly announced name for the Star Wars-themed lands. We got to hear first about new details and a glimpse inside the two anchor attractions, including one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance where guests will feel like they are inside a hangar bay on a Star Destroyer.
Guests will also have the chance to fly the Millennium Falcon, where each guest is critical to the mission’s success. Even more exciting? Guest will get to meet many characters including BB-8, Chewbacca, Rex and Kylo Ren.
Representing the largest single-themed land expansion at 14 acres each, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, with the first land debuting at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, then at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. I don’t know how they come up with these concepts, but they are genius. Check out the artist’s drawing of the Star Wars land below.
Timeless Transformation of Epcot Revealed
Looking ahead to the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, there are grand plans to complete the transformation that started with the debut of New Fantasyland in 2014. Exciting plans across Epcot were announced to realize the original vision of the park while making it more timeless and relevant than ever before.
New attractions at Epcot
Patterned after the number one family attraction at Disneyland Paris, Ratatouille will be added in an all-new space in the France pavilion at World Showcase.
Epcot will also see the addition of a brand new E-ticket attraction based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of Guardians of the Galaxy, the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at Walt Disney World Resort.
In Future World, a new Green Mission at Mission: SPACE will take guests on a stunning tour around the Earth, and an updated Orange Mission will make the trip to Mars even more spectacular. Adjacent to Mission: Space will be a new restaurant that will invite guests to travel high above the earth for an unforgettable dining experience.
More Thrills for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom Including Mickey’s First Ride!
Disney remains at the cutting edge of deeply immersive, creative storytelling that draws guests into new worlds, and it is a legacy that lives on in every new Disney Parks experience. The first-ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
This new state-of-the-art ride-through attraction will take guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts using new technologies that transform the flat cartoon world into an incredible dimensional experience.
Chapek also announced that the highest rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is coming to Walt Disney World Resort! A thrilling, Tron-themed attraction will be added in a new area near Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom. Here is a glimpse into the Shanghai TRON roller coaster. Pretty dope if you ask me.
Additionally, a new live entertainment theater coming to Main Street, U.S.A., based on the iconic Willis Theater in 1920s Kansas City, will bring world-class entertainment to the world’s most popular park.
Pixar Fun at the Happiest Place on Earth
In addition to announcing the summer 2018 opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, plans were unveiled for Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure. The pier will take on a brand new look as more favorite Pixar characters and stories come to life, from The Incredibles, to Inside Out to even more Toy Story.
There is more Pixar in store during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort. Starting in 2018, this limited-time offering will include a new fireworks spectacular as well as special characters and entertainment moments.
As part of the celebration, the Pixar Play Parade will return to Disneyland Resort – this time at Disneyland Park – and the fan favorite Paint the Night Parade will move to Disney California Adventure, one of Disney’s longest parade routes.
Disney Cruise Line to Double the Size of its Fleet by 2023!
As if there wasn’t already reason for us to start planning our next Disney cruise, we were thrilled to hear the announcement that Disney Cruise Line will add one more ship in its expansion to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level.
I love that Disney is making sure to take care of our environment by making sure that all three ships will be powered by one of the cleanest-burning fuels available, liquefied natural gas.
All three ships will be completed by 2023, in which Disney Cruise Line will have nearly doubled the size of the fleet. We were then treated to a glimpse of the new “Beauty and the Beast” musical production coming to the Disney Dream on Disney Cruise Line, which is currently in production in Toronto.
Immersive & Impressive Hotel Concepts
Among the announcements were projects that infuse even more exciting experiences for resort hotel guests in ways that are only possible at Disney. To the delight of fans, Chapek confirmed ambitious plans to create the most experiential concept ever in an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel at Walt Disney World Resort.
Dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, it will be a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away.
Adding to the resort hotel slate, Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel at Disneyland Paris will transport guests to the action-packed world of Super Heroes, including Iron Man, The Avengers, Spider-Man and more. Guests will be able to explore the Marvel Universe through its comic art, films, Super Hero costumes and more, displayed in the style of a contemporary art gallery.
Leading up to the July 17 opening of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, Chapek also announced the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort, coming to Walt Disney World Resort near Epcot.
Seamless & Minnie-tastic Transportation Options
Also announced were plans that will make getting around Walt Disney World Resort even more fun (is that really possible)! An all-new Minnie Van service will provide a point-to-point transportation service in a way that only Disney can do, giving guests an even more seamless resort vacation from start to finish.
Additionally, a whole new transportation system called Disney Skyliner will give guests a birds-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort. This brand new system will connect Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts, as well as the proposed new Disney Riviera Resort, with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.
So there you have it! What are you most excited about in this Disney Parks lineup?
Disclosure: This trip to the Disneyland and D23 Expo was sponsored by Walt Disney World. As always, the thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information about #D23Expo click here.