A Comprehensive List of Everything Announced For Disney Parks at D23 2019
Every other year, the Walt Disney Company holds the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in order to showcase “all the magic, wonder, and adventure of Disney at this remarkable gathering created especially for the most passionate and loyal fans.” The Expo presents three full days of “inside-the-magic” experiences, including exclusive sneak peeks at upcoming films from The Walt Disney Studios, dazzling celebrity appearances, the Disney Legends ceremony, and the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibition, which spotlights crown jewels from Disney’s timeless legacy.
And of interest to theme park fans: a look at what’s coming from Disney Parks and Resorts and Walt Disney Imagineering. This particular presentation was held Sunday morning on the west coast, Sunday afternoon on the East Coast, and we have done our best to compile all of the new experiences coming to the Disney Parks around the world in the near future.
First, some general information!
More IP Coming to the Parks
#D23Expo Bob Chapek says more Disney, more Pixar, More Star Wars in the parks
— Behind The Thrills (@BehindThrills) August 25, 2019
According to Disney Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Products, Bob Chapek’s opening remarks, the Walt Disney Company will continue to insert more IP will be coming to the parks.
Park Merchandise coming to Target
As part of the “Experiences” portion of the panel, Chapel also announced that there would be exclusive and park merchandise that would be sold in 25 Target stores beginning in October 2019, with 40 more to be added by October 2020. There was the promise of “Instagrammable Spots” and exclusive merchandise.
The “shop-in-shop” will feature an enhanced Disney assortment of more than 450 items, including more than 100 products that were previously only available at Disney retail locations.
— Behind The Thrills (@BehindThrills) August 25, 2019
— The DIS (@TheDIS) August 25, 2019
There was also a new Target store announced that will open near Walt Disney World.
And now, for the parks!
Walt Disney World
In 2021, Walt Disney World will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, and there will be celebrations at all four Disney parks that include special food, entertainment, and merchandise. More details will come closer to the actual timing of the 50th anniversary.
New Digital Experience – Disney Genie
Debuting in 2020, Disney Genie will make planning easier and more fun by providing guests customized itineraries geared to princesses, thrill seekers, foodies, families and more. Guests will even be able to tell Disney Genie what they want to experience, and it will quickly evaluate millions of options to present them with an optimal day.
Disney Genie has been promised as 100% flexible to help create the ideal day at the park, and it was noted that it will make reservations for you. Does it sound a little bit like TouringPlans to me? Maybe. But we’ll see once it is unveiled next year.
More details were given about Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge, a unique hotel and proposed Disney Vacation Club resort inspired by the wonders of nature and artistry of Walt Disney. The hotel is themed as a “Classic Country Lodge” and feature unique lodging including “A Frame Houses” and “Treetop Houses.”
We also have a few details about the upcoming Star Wars-themed hotel that will be located adjacent to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Called: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the hotel will be a new, first-of-its-kind vacation experience where guests will check-in for a three-day, two-night adventure aboard a glamorous starship called the Halcyon. Once onboard, guests will interact with characters and become active participants in stories that unfold around them on their galactic journey. The journey is inclusive and includes activities and dining as well.
Galactic Starcruiser will operate similar to a Cruise Ship, with guests “boarding” the starcruiser at the same time, and debarking at the same time. Though prices were not announced, the only experience available at this time is for a 3-day, 2-night experience.
At Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, both children and adults will have the opportunity to face off against a training remote while wielding a lightsaber like Luke Skywalker did as he was learning to use The Force.
The space formerly occupied by Cirque: La Nouba, which closed in 2017, will be home to a new Cirque Style show in 2020. For the first time, Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Animation Studios have joined forces with Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs to create a show that combines Disney storytelling and heart with Cirque du Soleil’s signature artistry. Previews will begin March 20, 2020, leading up to the world premiere on April 17.
— MouseInfo @ D23 Expo (@MouseInfo) August 25, 2019
Though nothing specific (the park, like all of the four Walt Disney World parks, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021) was announced at D23 for the Magic Kingdom this year, we have an idea of what’s coming based on what was announced at D23 in 2017: Tron Lightcycle Power Run, coming to Magic Kingdom in 2021. The coaster is currently under construction at the Magic Kingdom.
Show building frame continues to envelop Tron roller coaster track. pic.twitter.com/VoanhZLFvY
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) August 23, 2019
A look at the Tron lightcycle for Magic Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/mYlG2IcNnt
— Coaster101.com (@Coaster101) August 25, 2019
Walt Disney once said Epcot “would always be in a state of becoming” – it is a place that changes with the times. Over the next several years, the Walt Disney World Resort theme park will live up to that promise in a whole new way as it continues the biggest transformation of any Disney park in history, bringing the next generation of immersive storytelling to life through a plethora of new attractions and experiences.
In 2020, following the limited-time run of “Epcot Forever,” the new “HarmonioUS” will debut as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying you away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. “HarmonioUS” will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.
New Epcot Theme Music
A new musical anthem for Epcot has been created. We are about to hear it for the first time. Pinar Toprak is the composer for it. #D23Expo
— Attractions Magazine (@Attractions) August 25, 2019
According to Chapek, everything Disney is doing is rooted in Epcot’s legacy of innovation. In that regard of innovation, the familiar two “worlds” of Epcot will transform into four separate “neighborhoods:” World Showcase, World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Nature.
In World Showcase, there will be two new Circlevision films, one in China and one in Canada.
Elsewhere in World Showcase, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, along with a delicious new restaurant in the France pavilion, La Crêperie de Paris, which will offer both table- and quick-service options and a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse, will debut Summer 2020 in the France pavilion, while Beauty and the Beast Sing Along will also debut in the pavilion earlier, in January 2020.
The France pavilion isn’t the only European country to get some additions as Mary Poppins will be receiving her first Disney attraction in the United Kingdom Pavilion inside of World Showcase.
Though details were scarce as part of the announcement, the United Kingdom pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. You will step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family, where your adventure will begin.
We learned a little more about the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster that is in process of replacing the Universe of Energy. Chapek noted with a laugh that the attraction will be Disney’s first “Otherworld Showcase.”
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at Epcot. The adventure starts in the “Galaxarium,” a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. You will be invited to learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share – until the moment when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and adventures across the cosmos ensue. The attraction will feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus your attention on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
An expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion, the new restaurant Space 220 will be a culinary experience featuring the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. You’ll board a special elevator for a journey to a space station that is home to an incredible dining experience. Along the way, viewports will give you a real-time perspective as you travel high above the planet. Once you arrive, you’ll enjoy fantastic meals and drinks while taking in views that are truly out of this world. Opening this winter, Space 220 will be operated by the Patina Group.
Located in the pavilion formerly known as Wonders of Life, The PLAY! pavilion will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. In this digital metropolis, you’ll discover an interactive city bursting with games, activities and experiences that connect you with friends, family and beloved Disney characters – both real and virtual – like never before. As part of this new pavilion, you’ll have the chance to help legendary fashion icon Edna Mode on her quest to rid the world of uninspired style, or make a splash competing in a water-balloon fight hosted by Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.
Epcot’s entrance plaza will be transformed with new experiences that connect us with the world, welcoming you with a reimagined fountain, new pathways and sweeping green spaces that beautify the entryway. The design will pay homage to the origins of Epcot.
The iconic Spaceship Earth will remain a voyage through time as the journey transforms to reflect the power of storytelling to unite the human experience. New narration and an entirely new musical score will focus on the moments and ideas that define our story. You will follow a magical “story light” that brings the entire experience to life in dynamic ways, giving each scene energy and beauty that ties the entire journey together.
A new pavilion will be the perfect place for live events, and the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals. It will provide a stunning elevated view of the entire park and an ideal spot to witness Epcot’s nighttime spectacular. This beautiful three-level structure will have one of the most remarkable architectural designs at any Disney park, featuring a plaza level, a middle expo level, and a park that sits in the sky on the top level. Based on concept art, this will be located approximately where Club Cool and the Fountain of Nations are currently located.
As you exit Spaceship Earth, you’ll discover a breathtaking new view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point. World Celebration will also feature a new statue celebrating the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney, plus beautiful natural environments and global design elements filled with Disney magic and surprises, including a wishing tree in an enchanted forest and a story fountain celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.
Statue of Walt Disney to Anchor 'Dreamers Point' at Epcot
— BlogMickey.com (@Blog_Mickey) August 25, 2019
World Nature is dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe and balance of the natural world. It will include The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions. The Land pavilion’s new film, “Awesome Planet,” which showcases the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet, will debut in January 2020. This film will be located in the location where Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable, was located in The Land pavilion.
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” will be the first experience inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This lush exploration trail will invite you to meet and play with magical, living water. The water will have a life of its own – just like Moana’s friend, the ocean – and you’ll learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.
You’ll be able to visualize these exciting plans for Epcot when doors open Oct. 1, 2019, for Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience in the Odyssey Events Pavilion. You’ll discover engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the relentless innovation, energy and excitement driving the park’s future throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.
All above changes at Epcot will be ready in time for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary in 2021.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Another park in the midst of transition, Disney’s Hollywood Studios announcements from past D23’s are getting ready to open.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will open in 2020 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
— The DIS (@TheDIS) August 23, 2019
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Imagineers are getting ready. You’ll be invited to the Chinese Theatre, which serves as the magic portal through which theatergoers will step from the human world directly into the cartoon world for one Goofy adventure aboard Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway!
The East Coast version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week.
The first announcement during the Parks and Resorts presentation was for a new parade coming to Disneyland – Magic Happens.
Debuting in spring 2020, the all-new, extraordinary “Magic Happens” parade will travel down Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland park. Celebrating awe-inspiring moments of magic—both large and small—that are at the heart of so many Disney stories, “Magic Happens” reminds us we don’t need wings. This daytime spectacular will feature stunning floats, beautiful costumes, and beloved Disney characters – all led by Mickey Mouse and his pals.
On her voyager wa‘a (or canoe), Moana journeys forth on the crest of a beautiful wave, inspired by beautiful koa wood carvings inset with LED panels, providing a dazzling glimpse into the magic the ocean holds.
Celebrating the magic that happens when Miguel strums the guitar of Ernesto de la Cruz, the spectacular float inspired by the Disney and Pixar film “Coco” bridges the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead with vibrant marigolds. Fantastical alebrije spirit animals join the procession, along with Miguel’s dog Danté.
The regal grand finale of “Magic Happens” parade celebrates magical moments from classic Disney stories, including the trio of fairies from “Sleeping Beauty” who transform Princess Aurora’s gown from pink to blue and back again!
In addition, the parade will feature even more floats and characters, an energetic musical score and a new song produced in partnership with singer-songwriter Todrick Hall. The high-energy music combines this original song with classic Disney tunes in a fresh, contemporary style.
Mickey’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland
Mickey’s Runaway Railway will make its way west in 2022. The action takes place at the El CapiTOON Theater, where Mickey and Minnie are premiering their newest short, “Perfect Picnic.” Before you enter the cinema, you’ll experience a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society featuring costumes and props from the toon world.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway puts you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of the Emmy® Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts! Once you step into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, you’ll board a train with Goofy as the engineer. Then, one magical moment after the next leads you to a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.
Disney’s California Adventure
You’ll soon be able to suit up alongside your favorite Super Heroes at the Avengers Campus, beginning in 2020 at Disney California Adventure park. Like its counterpart at Disneyland Paris, these are campuses set up by the Avengers to recruit the next generation of Super Heroes.
The first key address at the Avengers Campus will be the Worldwide Engineering Brigade – also known as “WEB” – which will house our new Spider-Man experience, the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature this iconic Super Hero.
During an open house at WEB, the aspiring inventors are excited to invite you for a test drive of their latest invention: the “Web Slinger” vehicle, which allows you to sling webs just like Spider-Man! The attraction gives you a taste of what it’s like to have actual super powers as you help Spider-Man collect Spider-Bots that have run amok.
Avengers Campus will also feature Pym Test Kitchen. Just as Ant-Man and The Wasp use “Pym Particles” to grow and shrink just about anything, Pym Technologies is using the latest innovations to grow and shrink food at this eatery! This area will also include the first Ant-Man and The Wasp meet and greet at a Disney Park.
— MouseInfo @ D23 Expo (@MouseInfo) August 25, 2019
As Super Heroes continue to assemble at both campuses, one of the iconic buildings in the California campus will be the Avengers Headquarters where you may catch a glimpse of the Avengers along its rooftops.
This building, which will open in phase two, will become the future entrance to a brand-new E-Ticket attraction where you will step onboard a Quinjet and fly alongside the Avengers in an epic adventure to Wakanda and beyond! You will team up alongside the Avengers in a battle to save our world against one of the most powerful villains they have ever faced. Imagineers are hard at work conceiving an all-new innovative ride system to put you in the middle of this action.
Phase One of the California Avengers Campus will open in 2020.
At Shanghai Disneyland, the park will be opening a Zootopia-themed land. The “Zootopia”-themed land coming to Shanghai Disney Resort will feature new entertainment, merchandise and dining options that can only be found in the land along with a new major attraction that blends storytelling and state-of-the-art technology.
Disneyland Paris Resort
Marvel Hotel – Art of Marvel
At Disneyland Paris, you can extend your adventures at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, opening next summer. The hotel will celebrate 80 years of Marvel art and artists, with more than 300 curated works of art on display. Rooms will include one-of-a-kind themed suites featuring favorite Super Heroes like Spider-Man, and you can even meet these legends in a dedicated space.
Like Disney’s California Adventure, Disneyland Paris will be home to a Marvel Campus of its own. It will open at some point after the 2020 opening of the California Campus. Details between the two areas sounded very similar.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Castle of Magical Dreams will stand as a shining beacon of courage, hope and possibility, draws inspiration from 13 beloved Disney stories featuring princesses and heroines. The structure will feature adornments like Snow White’s apple, Cinderella’s coach and Belle’s rose as well as original artwork and sculptures.
And the castle will become a canvas for new entertainment, including a daytime show and nighttime spectacular and be home to a new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Also at Hong Kong Disneyland, guests will be able to experience the world of “Frozen” like never before – enjoying its sights, sounds, cuisines and traditions. The new “Frozen” area will feature a one-of-a-kind coaster called Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs that will take guests on a winding journey through Arendelle. Each experience on Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs begins when you visit Oaken’s infamous store. Then, Olaf and Sven help pull your sled to the top of the lift before sending you on your way.
Frozen Ever After – the popular attraction at Epcot – will also be opening in the Resort’s new “Frozen” area. Frozen Ever After takes guests on an adventurous journey through the kingdom of Arendelle. And during visits, guests will have the chance to see Elsa create a beautiful “winter-in-summer” day.
What new ride, attraction or addition are you most excited about? Share in the comments section below.