Saturday, July 15, 2017

19 major changes for Disney World and Disneyland announced at D23 Expo

Disney unveiled more than a dozen new experiences going to Disneyland and Disney World at D23 Expo 2017, including news rides, entertainment, hotels and restaurants.

Most of the additions will be coming to Walt Disney World as preparations take place to celebrate the resorts 50th anniversary in 2021. 

“On the heels of the many new and incredibly popular experiences that just debuted this year, the best is yet to come. We have ambitious plans for our parks and resorts around the world,” Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said during his 90-minute session.
Disney concept art of new location of Tron at Magic Kingdom.

“We’re investing in the guest experience like never before, and we’re doing it all in way that is only possible at Disney.”

Here's a quick look at what was announced (We will be coming back soon with concept art and more details shortly).

1. New name for Star Wars Land: Chapek announced the new name for the two parks that will open both in Disneyland and Hollywood Studios in Disney World will be called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. As previously announced there will be two main attractions - one in which you get to fly the Millennium Falcon and one where you are placed in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

At Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are a lot of familiar characters including BB-8, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. In addition, the droid RX-24 known as Capt. Rex from Star Tours, where he was voiced by Paul Reubens will be making a return. Rex will be the new DJ at the local cantina.

In addition, a more specific time table was announced for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. It will be first in 2019 at Disneyland and then later at Disney World.

2. Ratatouille coming to EPCOT.  Ratatouille will be added in an all-new space in the France pavilion at World Showcase. This has been rumored for a while.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy coming to Epcot. Epcot will also see the addition of a brand new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.

4. New feature at Mission: Space in Epcot. In Future World, there will be entirely new Green Mission which will take guests on a tour around the Earth and an updated Orange Mission will make the trip to Mars even more spectacular. The change of the Green Mission was to make the ride a bit more family-friendly, Chapek said.

5. New space restaurant in Epcot. Adjacent to Mission Space, Chapen announced a new restaurant that will have a special dining experience high above Earth.

6. New movie in China pavilion. Disney will revamp the 360 degree movie with a new one.

7. First-ever Mickey Mouse theme ride coming to Hollywood Studios. For the first time-ever there will be an attraction centered around Mickey Mouse. This new ride called Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will take guests on a journey inside the Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. Disney is inventing new technology to change the "flat word of a colorful cartoon short into a dimensional   display of amazingness" with no glasses required.

8. Tron ride is coming to the Magic Kingdom. A Tron-themed attraction will be added in a new area near Space Mountain in Magic Kingdom.
9. New theater at the Magic Kingdom. A new live entertainment theater will be placed on Main Street, U.S.A. based on the iconic Willis Theater in 1920s Kansas City. What will be in the theater has not yet, been announced.
10. Opening of Toy Story Land. Toy Story Land will open in the summer of 2018 at Hollywood Studios.

11.  New Star Wars hotel at Disney World. Chapek confirmed plans to create the most experiential concept ever in an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel at 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.

12. New DVC resort at Disney World. Chapek announced the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort, coming to Disney World Resort near Epcot. He said from the top restaurant one could see the fireworks from Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

13. New gondola system at Disney World. The worst kept Disney secret was confirmed by Chapek. He announced a new transportation system called Disney Skyliner (a gondola system) will give guests a birds- eye view of Walt Disney World Resort. This new system will connect Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts, as well as the proposed new Disney Riviera Resort, with Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.

14. New van service at Disney World. Chapek also confirmed a new Minnie Van service that will provide a point-to-point transportation service around the resort.

15. Cars Land transformed for Halloween. Disneyland knows how to do Halloween right and Cars Land at California Adventure is going to be turned into Haul-o-ween this season. A Halloween overlay will be placed on the characters.

16. Turning Paradise Pier into Pixar Pier. Chapek and Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter unveil plans for the transformation at California Adventure.

The pier will take on a new look with Pixar characters and stories come to life, from The Incredibles, to Inside Out to even more Toy Story. Starting in 2018, this limited-time offering will include a new fireworks spectacular as well as special characters and entertainment moments.
17. Pixar Play Parade returning to Disneyland. As part of the celebration, the Pixar Play Parade will return to Disneyland Resort – this time at Disneyland Par.
18. Paint the Night Parade coming to California Adventure. The fan favorite Paint the Night Parade will move to Disney California Adventure from Disneyland.

19. Marvel attractions to California Adventure. Chapek announced that joining the Guardians of the Galaxy at California Adventure will be Spider-Man and the Avengers. He did not get into specifics as to what new attractions would be built or when. He said more of that will come later.

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