D23 Expo Recap: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek revealed the next generation of storytelling in front of a packed crowd at HallD23 on Sunday, August 25th. Here’s everything you might have missed.

“It was Walt’s vision for our theme parks to be places where Disney stories come to life in amazing ways, and with the world’s most creative and talented team of artists and dreamers, there’s no shortage of inspiration.” –Bob Chapek

DISNEYLAND RESORT

  • A brand new land called Avengers Campus will start welcoming guests at Disney California Adventure park in 2020. If you’re familiar with the park, it’ll be in the area where Bug’s Land was. The Campus was designed so fans can suit up alongside their favorite Super Heroes and be recruited by the Avengers!
    • Key locations inside the Campus include WEB, Pym Test Kitchen, Avengers Headquarters, and an E-Ticket attraction that’ll get you on a Quinjet!
    • Fans will also get to experience heroic encounters with some of their favorite characters. The list includes Black Widow, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Super Heroes from Wakanda and Asgard, and Iron Man.
  • A brand new parade called Magic Happens will make its debut at Disneyland park next spring. Jordan Fisher was even on hand to perform the parade’s title song. Magic Happens will feature floats inspired by movies such as Moana, Coco, and Sleeping Beauty and a score and song produced in partnership with singer-songwriter Todrick Hall.
  • In addition to a parade, Disneyland park is also getting a brand new attraction called Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway that’s scheduled to open in 2022. The attraction (similar to its sister version at Walt Disney World) will let guests step through the doors of the El Capitoon and experience the “unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts.” Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be located in Mickey’s Toontown.

WALT DISNEY RESORT

50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

The Walt Disney World Resort officially opened its doors for guests on October 1, 1971. Even though the 50th anniversary isn’t until 2021, we don’t blame the folks at WDW for preparing for the milestone event in advance. Anniversaries are very special events at Disney Parks and this one will be no exception. Now that the Resort has four theme parks, celebrations will be expanded to include all of them. If you’re a fan of WDW, get ready for something truly spectacular.

HOTELS

  • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Welcome to the Halcyon! This is the place where guests can enjoy a two-night stay while being immersed in the world of Lucasfilms’ Star Wars franchise. If you end up staying here, you’ll get to be a part of the story that’s happening around you.
    • Key areas of the Halcyon include The Atrium, The Bridge, Wield a Lightsaber, Passenger Cabin, The Silver C Lounge, The Engineering Room, and Launch Pods.
  • Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge is a new hotel that has been proposed by the Disney Vacation Club and inspired by Walt Disney.

TECHNOLOGY

  • There’s a new app in town and it’s called Disney Genie. Inspired by the beloved character from Disney’s Aladdin, Disney Genie is scheduled to make its debut late next year. It was designed to make guests’ planning experience easier and more fun.

ATTRACTIONS

  • We talked about Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in the Disneyland Resort section earlier. If you don’t want to wait for 2022, come to WDW to experience the attraction next year. It’ll be in the space where the Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was.

EPCOT TRANSFORMATION

Picture credit: Disney Parks Blog. Artist concept only.

WORLD SHOWCASE

  • The United Kingdom pavilion will welcome its first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane as a new neighborhood.
  • The France pavilion will welcome a Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along in January 2020 and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and La Creperie de Paris in summer 2020.
  • The Canada pavilion will welcome the debut of the film Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 in January 2020.
  • The China pavilion will welcome a new 360-degree digital film, Wondrous China.

WORLD CELEBRATION

  • Spaceship Earth will be reimagined with new scenes and include a new guide and all-new narration.

  • A brand new pavilion will welcome guests for signature festivals. It includes a stunning view of the World Showcase and is a great spot to watch the park’s nighttime spectacular. The pavilion will be a three-level structure that includes a plaza level, mid-expo level, and a park high in the sky.

  • This neighborhood will feature stunning viewpoints, gardens, a wishing tree, a new fountain, and a new statue of Walt Disney.

  • Epcot’s entrance plaza will also be transformed in a way that will pay homage to the origins of the park.

WORLD NATURE

  • This area celebrates the natural world.
  • The neighborhood will have a new exploration trail called Journey of Water inspired by Moana and a new film called Awesome Planet that is set to open January 2020. 
  • Don’t worry, The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions will still be there.

WORLD DISCOVERY

  • This neighborhood will welcome a new attraction called Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. It’ll be a family-friendly storytelling coaster inspired by the Marvel franchise.

  • There will also be an expansion to the Mission: SPACE pavilion. The new restaurant, Space 220, will open this winter.

  • The PLAY! pavilion will be available for guests in time for the 50th anniversary. It will be an interactive metropolis that lets guests interact with Disney characters like never before.

SHANGHAI DISNEY RESORT

  • Shanghai Disney Resort will be the first Disney Park to get an entire Zootopia-themed land. The land will come with a major attraction and an immersive environment that’s unique to this metropolis.

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND 

  • Hong Kong’s Sleeping Beauty Castle will be a canvas for a new daytime and nighttime spectacular. Castle of Magical Dreams, for example, draws inspiration from 13 different Disney stories that feature beloved princesses and heroines. They’re also adding a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique store to the area as well.

  • The park is getting a brand new Frozen-themed land. This includes two new attractions (Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs and Frozen Ever After) and a special event where guests can witness Elsa creating a “winter-in-summer” day.

  • A new Cirque du Soleil show will make its debut at Hong Kong Disneyland next spring. The show will celebrate Walt Disney Animation Studios.

    • Previews Start: March 20, 2020
    • World Premiere: April 17, 2020

TARGET AND DISNEY

Disney and Target have come together for a special “store within a store” collaboration. On October 4, 2020, 25 Target stores will allow consumers to experience the Disney addition nationwide. 40 more locations will join the collection by October 2020. A new Target store will also open near WDW in 2021. To find a location near you, click here.

P.S. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to one of these stores in person. We’ve included the online store for your reference here.

What are your thoughts on everything that has come out? Is there something you’re looking forward to seeing or something you’re not? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!