Disney's Imagineers tease Star Wars, Avatar projects at D23 convention
Written by Robert Niles
Disney's putting on its biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, but there's no big Disney Parks presentation this time, so don't expect any official confirmation of new projects during the three-day event.Tweet
But that doesn't mean that Disney's Imagineers can't drop some hints. The Disney Parks pavilion at this year's D23 is completely devoted to celebrating the 60th anniversary of Walt Disney Imagineering, and the first displays you see after going through the pavilion's preshow spotlight three of Imagineering's biggest upcoming projects.
The first is a model of the Downtown Disney Orlando re-do, Disney Springs. But, let's face it, that's not the one you care about. What's this to the right, with those big crates labeled "Project Orange Harvest"?
It's R2D2, chirping and rolling around the floor, while fans queue for a photo. (I loved the WDI nametag: Artoo, hometown "Naboo.") But these are not the droids we're looking for. What we want is up there, in that crate to the right.
Yep, it's the "top secret plans" to Walt Disney World's Star Wars Land. What's in 'em? Well, I told you this was a tease. That's as close as we're getting to them, for now.
On the other side of the Disney Springs model lies the other tease: The desk of an Imagineer working on Disney's Animal Kingdom's Avatar Land.
The host guarding the desk told me that the Imagineer "is just back from a research trip to Pandora." See? There's his backpack, complete with a luggage tag from the Burbank airport to Pandora station.
And the host even let me try it on for size. (It's heavy! Maybe the Avatar Land plans are in there, too?)
Disney's prepared a quick video tour of other highlights from the pavilion, which includes a "Hatbox Ghost" animatronic, though without the elusive disappearing head effect.
D23 is sold out for tomorrow, and concludes Sunday. Later tonight, we'll bring you coverage of this morning's Imagineering presentation about Hong Kong Disneyland's Theme Park Insider Award-winning new attraction, Mystic Manor.
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