D23, Disney’s largest fan event in the world, kicked off in Anaheim California. We wanted to provide all of the up-to-date information that Disney has released at D23. This includes all of the highlights surrounding their Disney Parks announcements.
Disney, Pixar, Marvel & Star Wars are all gathered under one roof. Disney showcases their film, television and theme park innovation in so many incredible ways over the course of the 3-day event. Panels of Disney cast members, Imagineers and celebrities will meet to talk about all of the latest information to come out about what Disney has to offer in the coming months.
This year, Disney has made some major announcements:
We’ve known for a while, that Epcot would be undergoing some major transformations and Disney has confirmed some of the new ideas coming to the park.
Heading into the next generation of storytelling, Epcot will now be classified as four neighbourhoods that will be unified to make up the park as a whole
- World Showcase
- World Celebration
- World Nature
- World Discovery
World Showcase will continue to be the epicentre of celebrating culture, cuisine and architecture. While it may seem like it’s staying the same, there are some additions coming to the area (though, not another country pavilion like some had suspected).
The UK Pavilion is getting an attraction added to it. Guests will walk down Cherry Tree Lane, past Admiral Boom’s house, and into Number 17, the home of the Banks family. Yes, that’s right…A Mary Poppins-inspired attraction is the newest cornerstone of the pavilion. No further details around the attraction were mentioned, but suffice it to say, it will be a highly welcomed addition.
Not that it’s a new announcement, but Disney has confirmed that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open in the France Pavilion in Summer 2020. This attraction shrinks you down to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant. Also opening that time will be La Crêperie de Paris, which offers both Table Service and Quick Service options.
In January 2020, Impressions de France will have a new partner. The classic film about the country of France will be joined by the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along experience. The Sing-Along film was directed by Don Hahn, who produced both the animated and live-action versions of Beauty and the Beast.
Debuting in January 2020, a brand new film about our namesake country will replace the current show in the Canadian Pavilion. After running for several years, O, Canada! will now be replaced by “Canada Far and Wide in Circlevision 360”. No additional information was added, only that we’ll be treated to new scenes and a new story as well!
China is also getting a brand new film showcasing its beautiful landscape and culture. “Wondrous China” will be displayed in a 360-degree digital format, though no official launch date has been announced.
The newly titled World Celebration neighbourhood will encompass everything from the front promenade of the park, to the edge of the World Showcase Lagoon.
While Spaceship Earth will remain the iconic focal point of the park, the attraction inside will get an update. The journey will reflect “the power of storytelling to unite the human experience”. A brand new narration and musical score will accompany the attraction as it focuses on the moments and ideas that define our story.
We don’t know how much of an overhaul this will be to the attraction. Whether it means new animatronics or scenes, or just and update to the story, we’ll have to wait and see. Regardless, we’ll likely see some new technology at work to enhance the visual display.
A New Pavilion
A three-level structure will be added to the outskirts of the World Showcase Lagoon offering elevated views of the park. It will likely be the ideal viewpoint for Epcot’s new nighttime spectacular, but will also be the home base for the signature festivals (Food & Wine, Flower & Garden, etc…). The architecture of the structure is said to be one of the most remarkable designs on Disney property. There’s even a park on the third level!
Epcot’s Entrance and New Additions
The entrance to the park will now feature a reimagined fountain, new pathways and green spaces that pays homage to the origins of Epcot. Also in World Celebration will be a view of the World Showcase from “Dreamer’s Point”, just outside of Spaceship Earth. A new statue of Walt Disney will be featured in the neighbourhood, as well as a story fountain, “celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling”.
The World Discovery neighbourhood will feature some brand new additions in the coming years. This area is the former Future World East, which houses Test Track and Mission Space. There will now be a couple of extra elements added to this part of the park:
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
The first “Other-world” showcase pavilion in Epcot will be home to the much-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. Taking over where the Universe of Energy once stood, this ride is destined to be a crowd-pleaser. This is a storytelling coaster, which rotates 360 degrees to shift your focus to the action. It will also be the first ever reverse-launch on a Disney coaster. While it will be a thrill ride, Disney still calls this a family-friendly attraction. So, while there will almost certainly be a height restriction, we shouldn’t be anticipating too scary of a thrill for younger guests.
This new culinary experience was announced previously, but we now have a general opening timeline. This Winter (2019/2020), we’ll see the restaurant open it’s doors to a special elevator that takes you on a journey to a space station. With incredible daytime and nighttime views from 220 miles up (hence the name), this restaurant is expected to be popular among all budding astronauts and space explorers of all ages.
The Play! Pavilion
This digital metropolis looks to be taking over the Wonders of Life Pavilion next to the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Inside, you’ll see an interactive city full of activities, experiences and games that connect you to friends, family and Disney characters (both real and virtual). The Play! Pavilion will be opening just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.
The World Nature neighbourhood will encompass what was formerly Future World West. This will include everything from The Seas pavilion and the Land Pavilion, to the Imagination Pavilion. There are only two announced additions to this new area:
Journey of Water
This is Disney’s first-ever attraction based on the movie Moana. Disney says that guests will be able to interact with magical, living water in a lush, beautiful and inspiring setting. Guests will be invited to meet and play with magical, living water, as they learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.
Our guess is that it’s a walking attraction, based on the concept art. That being said, a magical, living water seems like something more than just pretty waterfalls and fountains, so be prepared for something special, as Moana continues to be a fan favourite movie.
Taking over as the signature film inside the Land Pavilion, “Awesome Planet” will showcase the diversity, beauty and dynamic story of our planet. The brand new show will debut in January 2020.
New Epcot Nighttime Spectacular
When Disney announced the end of Illuminations and an interim show called “Epcot Forever”, fans were left to ponder what could possibly come after that. Well, wait no longer! Disney has announced that in 2020, “HarmonioUS” will make its debut. Slated to be the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park, this is surely going to be a feast for the eyes.
HarmonioUS will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people all over the world. Familiar Disney tunes will be reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe and will feature massive floating set pieces and custom-built LED panels. Additionally, the show will feature choreographed moving fountains, lights, lasers and pyrotechnics (…obviously).
We love Illuminations, so HarmonioUS has some pretty big shoes to fill for us. That being said, once we were blown away by Happily Ever After as it replaced Wishes, we can only imagine how this spectacular will amaze us! We’re really looking forward to this one!
To give guests some insight into what is going on during the Epcot Transformation, the Epcot Experience is coming to the Odyssey Events Pavilion. Here, guests will discover new interactive and engaging exhibits to see some of the upcoming innovation that is happening in the park, as well as new details about the future of the park.
New Daytime Parade at Disneyland
A brand new parade has been announced for Disneyland in California. Led by Mickey Mouse and his friends, this parade will feature spectacular floats and feature a Coco, Sleeping Beauty and Moana themed floats. This brand new parade will be called “Magic Happens” and will debut in Spring of 2020
Concept Art and Details for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Opening at both Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, the first ever attraction featuring Mickey will swing into full gear in 2022 and 2020 respectively. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is based on the Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. Guests will board a train with Goofy as the engineer. The “out-of-control” adventure is filled with surprising twists and turns as the attraction blends together a multidimensional experience.
This attraction looks to be full of the latest technologies and an exceptional amount of visual effects. We. Can’t. Wait!
Disney Collaboration with Cirque du Soleil
We’ve known for a while that Cirque du Soleil would be putting in a new show at their theatre in Disney Springs. Now, Disney has announced that the Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Animation Studios are teaming up with Cirque du Soleil to produce the show, which will combine Disney storytelling and heart with the signature Cirque style and artistry.
Star Wars Resort Experience
Fans have been waiting so patiently for information about the Star Wars resort experience that Disney announced would be built nearby to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, just outside Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Disney has now announced just what guests will be checking into. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is an innovative vacation experience where guests will jump into a two-night adventure aboard a totally immersive starship (albeit, on the ground). Aboard the ship, guests will interact with characters and participate in stories that unfold around them.
The Starcruiser, called the Halcyon, looks gorgeous in the concept art Disney has provided. While we won’t know more about the experience until later, this is the perfect tease for guests who have been longing to be the first to sign up for this incredible adventure.
We’ve known that Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland have announced immersive super hero themed lands. Today, Disney announced that these lands will be called Avengers Campus.
The stories that take place in these lands will not be limited to that particular park, as they will be a part of an interconnected, global story, across California to Paris to Hong Kong. Guests (or Avengers recruits) will be immersed into the world of the Avengers through new stories that build off of the characters they’ve come to know and love over the past decade.
Details have been released regarding the California and Disneyland Paris Campuses. These areas will eventually feature 2 E-Ticket attractions. The first puts you into the invention of WEB, the Worldwide Engineering Brigade. This “Web Slinger” vehicle will allow guests to sling webs just like Spiderman as you help him collect “Spider Bots” that have run amok.
The second attraction will put you onboard the Quinjet to fly alongside the Avengers as they battle to save the world from one of the most powerful villains they have ever faced. This attraction is set to open in the second phase of this new area of the parks.
The land will also feature the Pym Test Kitchen for a bite to eat, though the size of food is not guaranteed with Pym Particles lying around. There are also lots of opportunities to meet your favourite Avengers, including (but not necessarily limited to): Black Widow, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man.
Hong Kong Disneyland gets a new “Frozen” area
In addition to the castle transformation we mentioned in the New Week, New Dis! from August 12th, Disney has announced some additional pieces to add to the Hong Kong Disneyland park.
The Park will soon be home to a Frozen area, which will feature two new attractions! The first is Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs that will take guests on a one-of-a-kind coaster ride through Arendelle. Secondly, Frozen Ever After, the fan-favourite attraction at Epcot, will be making its debut overseas.
About to launch in the coming months worldwide, fans have been eagerly awaiting more news regarding Disney+. Disney+ is Disney’s streaming service where subscribers will not only be able to view Disney’s massive collection of movies, but there are TV shows and other specials announced. Some of the highlights include:
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Lady and the Tramp
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
Forky Asks a Question
New Disney+ Announcements
Alongside the titles we already knew about, Disney also announced some upcoming projects as well. This includes:
- Ewan McGregor reprising his role as Obi-wan Kenobi in an untitled Lucasfilm series
- Three new live-action series based on Marvel comics: Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk and Moon Knight
- A new Lizzie McGuire show starring Hilary Duff
- Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
- Diary of a Female President
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
- Monsters at Work
- What If…?
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Another Lucasfilm Star Wars series
And of course, in my mind, the biggest announcement of them all. A return of the Muppets in a new unscripted series called Muppets Now:
For more in-depth information, check out the list from D23!
Let us know which announcement you’re most excited about in the comments below!