So Many Theme Park Announcements from D23!

Oh, my ears! The Disney news is flying fast out of D23 Expo 2019! Here is a quick recap of everything we’ve learned so far this weekend regarding the Disney theme parks. Much more details on all of these items will be coming!

At Disneyland Park:

*Disneyland Park is getting a new daytime parade, called Magic Happens. It will incorporate new music from Todrick Hall, and includes all-new floats featuring Moana, Coco, Sleeping Beauty and others. This parade will debut in Spring of 2020.

*Disneyland Park will be getting Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad, the first-ever ride featuring Mickey Mouse! A version of this is already in the works for Walt Disney World as well, at Hollywood Studios. Disneyland’s version is coming to Toon Town, in 2022.

*We got more details about the Avengers land coming to Disney California Adventure Park in 2020. This campus-style land will feature the first-ever Spider-man attraction in a Disney park. This interactive, family-friendly ride will allow guests to “sling” webs like Spidey. There will be a Dr. Strange training experience, a Pym test kitchen where you can shrink and grow food, a meet & greet with Ant Man & The Wasp, and a new adventure where guests can board a Quinjet and fly to Wakanda and beyond to defeat a powerful villain. This new ride will feature an innovative new ride system, and will open during a second phase, whose date is not yet known. Phase one will be opening in 2020.


At Walt Disney World:

*Walt Disney World’s 50th Celebration will take place in 2021, with ways to celebrate in all 4 theme parks, including food and beverage options, merchandise and entertainment. Lots more details coming soon.

*Disney Springs is getting an all-new Cirque du Soleil show, in the existing building. It will have a brand-new storyline, featuring a girl whose life is surrounded by Disney, and her father sends her on a journey of animation & imagination. This show is set to debut in March of 2020.

*At Epcot, Spaceship Earth is being re-imagined to include new scenes reflecting on the universal nature of the human experience. There will be a new guide and all-new narration, focusing on how storytelling brings people together. (Thus making it necessary for me to plan one last visit to enjoy the existing version before it disappears forever.) Spaceship Earth is scheduled to close for refurbishment in early 2020, and will remain closed until 2022.

*Epcot is getting 4 new themed “neighborhoods”: World Showcase, World Discovery, World Celebration and World Nature.

*Also more Epcot details: Universe Point is coming with a new statue of Walt Disney, gardens, a wishing tree that comes to life, a story fountain and a pavilion that will become home base for the festivals. It will include 3 levels, with a rooftop for viewing the nighttime show.

*More Epcot: World Discovery, where the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction will start guests in a planetarium before boarding a space ship. This coaster will feature the first-ever reverse launch mechanism. The ride will be called Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and open in 2021.

*Even more Epcot: the PLAY! Pavilion at World Discovery will be opening in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2021. This pavilion will feature new interactive games, activities, experiences and character meet & greets.

*Epcot continued: Mission: SPACE is being expanded to include a space-themed restaurant, called Space 220. This restaurant will be opening in Winter 2019.

*Still more Epcot: World Nature will see a new film coming to the Land Pavilion, Awesome Planet, coming in 2020. The Journey of Water is a new attraction inspired by Moana, where guests will be able to interact and play with magical water. In China, a new Wondrous China 360 circle presentation is coming. Canada is getting a new film, Canada Far and Wide, premiering in January of 2020. France is getting a new film and a new Beauty and the Beast sing-a-long in 2020. Also in France, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is slated to open in Spring of 2020, along with new table service and quick service restaurants.

*Epcot: further continued: the UK pavilion is getting a Mary Poppins attraction AND the streets of the UK will be transformed into Cherry Tree Lane, where you can pass by the Admiral’s house, before entering #17!

*Epcot’s next nighttime spectacular, “Epcot Forever”, debuts October 1, 2019. “Epcot Forever” celebrates the music and moments that make Epcot special. Then, get ready for “HarmonioUS”, which will be Disney’s largest nighttime spectacular in the history of the parks, will also have a music theme. This is set to debut in 2020.

*AND, Epcot itself will be getting a new theme song, created by the composer who worked on Captain Marvel, Pinar Tobrak.

*Get ready to take a ride on the Skyliner, opening on September 29, 2019! This new sky-high mode of transportation links Pop Century Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Rivera Resort, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, with some incredible views along the way!

*A new digital planning tool is being added, called Disney Genie, which will help you create itineraries, and provide real-time tips and updates while you are in the parks. While not a lot of details are available now, more information will be coming in late 2020.

*”Reflections- A Disney Lakeside Lodge” is a new hotel and DVC property with a classic country lodge feel. It will include a new restaurant inspired by the Princess and the Frog. This new resort is slated to open in 2022.

*And speaking of hotels, the details we’ve all been waiting for. . .Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is the name for the new Star Wars experience that will combine lodging (hotel), dining and activities all into one package. Guests will gather at a launch pad, which will blast you into space to dock with the Halcyon, a luxurious star cruiser. Every window of this ship features a view into space. For 2 days and 2 nights, you will be completely immersed in the Star Wars universe, complete with an alien crew of some familiar and some new characters. In your cabin, you will see ever-changing spacescapes. You will become part of the story, and the choices you make will impact how your individual experience will turn out. Your voyage includes a port day at the Black Spire Outpost, on Batuu, plus lots of activities on the ship. Most noteable: both children AND adults will be able to participate in light saber training. You’ll also get to tour the working parts of the ship, like the bridge, where you can try out the navigation and defense systems. And you never know when you might be called upon to be a hero. . .And all we know is booking will begin soon.


Aboard Disney Cruise Line:

*3 new ships are coming over the next few years. The next ship, arriving in January 2021, will be named the Disney Wish, and Rapunzel will be the stern character for this ship. The Wish will begin sailing with passengers in 2022.

*Joe Rohde, the Imagineering mind behind Animal Kingdom, announced some details of Disney’s newest private port of call. Located on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, the destination is named Lighthouse Point. The focus is on preserving nature and celebrating the Bahamian culture (similar to Aulani). They are not re-creating a Bahamian town, or a pirate’s shipwreck, but instead are making an entirely new destination. Art + nature + Disney magic = a brand new place.


WHEW! So much to look forward to! Many more details will be released as opening dates get closer for these new experiences. So stay tuned!

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