Disney’s newest D23 Expo fan conference wrapped up yesterday with the Disney parks panel because the day’s spotlight. Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Merchandise, was readily available to debate a wide range of new experiences coming to Disney’s parks and cruise ships around the globe, in addition to trace at expansions that would possibly be in-built a really bizarre and awkward a part of the panel. It was surprisingly brief on new bulletins, focusing largely on stuff they’d already introduced, which was a curious selection with Common deep into development on a model new theme park proper down the highway from Disney World in Florida. There was nonetheless quite a lot of information, although, so let’s recap all of it actual quick.
Maybe the largest information for American park goers was the announcement of a brand new attraction coming to Avengers Campus. Within the new journey on the Marvel-based land at Disney California Journey, friends will assist the Avengers go up towards a brand new existential menace from the multiverse, King Thanos—a Thanos who was profitable in wiping out half the inhabitants of his house universe. No timeline for the attraction was revealed, however they did launch a little bit of idea artwork. For those who’re hoping to see one thing new at Avengers Campus quickly, you may rely on seeing the Hulk as a walkaround character for the primary time beginning subsequent week. The massive inexperienced man will present up in his “Quantum Swimsuit” from the final Avengers film.
Sticking to Disney California Journey, its San Francisco-themed Pacific Wharf space—which is basically an open-air meals courtroom—shall be rethemed into San Fransokyo, the futuristic metropolis from Large Hero 6. Baymax, the film’s lovable medical robotic, shall be readily available for meet and greets. A bit of idea artwork confirmed the walkway to Pacific Wharf reimagined because the film’s model of the Golden Gate Bridge, with its massive torii gates; no phrase on if it’ll stay a eating space, or what would possibly occur to the Bakery Tour and its scrumptious Boudin sourdough bread.
D’Amaro additionally introduced timelines for plenty of beforehand introduced sights which can be nonetheless below development. The primary half of 2023 will see a few huge initiatives open to the general public, with Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the newly up to date Mickey’s Toontown opening at Disneyland early within the yr. In the meantime, TRON / Lightcycle Run, the motorcycle-style coaster coming to the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland at Disney World, is now anticipated to open within the spring of 2023. The Magic Kingdom can even get a brand new ghost in its Haunted Mansion, with the Hatbox Ghost animatronic lastly getting put in there in some unspecified time in the future in 2023.
Plans for EPCOT had been hit onerous by the pandemic, with plenty of the initiatives introduced for the park in 2019 on pause with no updates. Two of the initiatives that had been introduced must be open by the tip of 2023, although, together with the World Celebration pageant space that can hyperlink Spaceship Earth to the World Showcase. The Journey of Water walkthrough water maze, primarily based on Moana, can also be anticipated to open earlier than the tip of 2023. And though there was no information on any potential updates to the lengthy languishing Journey Into Creativeness attraction, old-school EPCOT heads will a minimum of be capable of meet and greet that journey’s lovable purple dragon, Figment, who will begin assembly friends within the park as soon as once more in some unspecified time in the future subsequent yr.
For those who’re a fan of Disney’s nighttime exhibits and fireworks spectaculars, you’ll in all probability be excited to know that “Fortunately Ever After” is returning to the Magic Kingdom in 2023—or a minimum of the tune is. The announcement and press launch are each slightly obscure, noting that the theme tune shall be heard as soon as extra throughout an “up to date nighttime spectacular” within the Magic Kingdom. Does that imply an up to date model of the present present, Disney Enchantment, which hasn’t enchanted followers as a lot as Fortunately Ever After did? Or an upgraded model of the unique Fortunately Ever After present itself? Count on extra updates and a few readability on this matter within the weeks to come back.
In the meantime, in different, extra stunning nighttime present information, EPCOT’s World Showcase Lagoon will get a brand new present in late 2023 in honor of the corporate’s one hundredth anniversary. That’s shocking as a result of the present present, Harmonious, simply launched final yr to nice fanfare, and required putting in massive barges within the lagoon which can be there all day lengthy. Harmonious hasn’t gotten the perfect opinions, and plenty of have famous that the erector set-looking barges significantly affect the view across the lagoon, so this seems like a case of Disney listening to its prospects—particularly if the brand new present lets them take away these sightline-disrupting eyesores. Disneyland Resort can even get two new nighttime exhibits in honor of Disney100, each beginning in January 2023; World of Shade—One will shut out the evening at Disney California Journey, whereas Wondrous Journeys at Disneyland will contact on all 60 full-length animated options the corporate has made since 1937.
For those who’ve ever thought-about taking a Disney cruise, you’ll have another possibility beginning in 2024. The Disney Treasure, Disney Cruise Line’s sixth ship, will debut that yr, with a theme primarily based across the thought of journey. Might that imply bars or eating places primarily based on Pirates of the Caribbean, the Enchanted Tiki Room, or the Society of Explorers and Adventurers? We’ll should see. As anyone who simply did his first Disney cruise earlier this year, I’ve bought to say that this information pursuits me far more than it could’ve only a yr or two in the past.
The weirdest a part of the panel got here throughout a dialogue with Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty and CCO of Disney Studios Jennifer Lee about sights that would possibly come to Walt Disney World’s parks. D’Amaro defined that it was all “blue sky” conversations—the form of huge image talks that usually end in new sights or experiences on the parks—however it was very uncommon to speak about these things in public. Beatty and Lee hinted at new sights primarily based on Coco and Encanto behind Large Thunder Mountain in Frontierland, with idea artwork exhibiting each Santa Cecilia, the city from Coco, and Casa Madrigal from Encanto. In addition they hinted at a long-rumored land primarily based on Disney’s villains, with it looming as a darkish presence past the opposite two additions on the idea artwork. The 2 additionally talked a couple of Zootopia-themed enlargement changing Dinoland in Disney’s Animal Kingdom with the identical tone of “wow, wouldn’t it’s cool if this factor, which isn’t in any manner formally being introduced, really occurred?” It was a questionable solution to talk about the parks’ future, teasing initiatives with out really asserting them, and left quite a lot of followers confused and annoyed.
The panel additionally gave us extra updates on Tiana’s Bayou Journey, the replace to Splash Mountain coming to each Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in 2024. A number of voice actors from The Princess and the Frog shall be returning, together with Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Michael-Leon Wooley, and Jenifer Lewis.
D’Amaro additionally gave updates on a wide range of beforehand introduced sights coming to Disney parks all through the world, together with the Frozen-themed expansions coming to Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris. In Tokyo Frozen shall be a part of the brand new Fantasy Springs port of name, alongside Peter Pan, Tangled, and a model new lodge that shall be situated contained in the park. They confirmed off a clip of the brand new Elsa audio-animatronic from the Tokyo park, and it appeared wonderful. In the meantime, a brand new Tangled attraction will open in Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris alongside the brand new Frozen enlargement.
Lastly, D’Amaro additionally touched on the brand new Zootopia land coming to Shanghai Disneyland. It included a clip of an cute Officer Clawhauser animatronic. This land can even function varied animal puppets when it opens, as was revealed earlier throughout D23.
The parks panel touched on quite a lot of upcoming Disney initiatives, however didn’t break a lot information. Loads of viewers—the toughest of Disney parks hardcores—had been underwhelmed by it. Once more, it was uncommon to commit a lot of it to issues that would possibly occur, with out formally confirming or asserting them. Nonetheless, in the event you’re a daily Disney parks-goer excited by their future, a minimum of a few of these upcoming initiatives ought to enchantment to you.
Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, journey, theme parks, wrestling, and anything that will get in his manner. He’s on Twitter @grmartin.