Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek gave fans at the D23 Expo a sneak peek at multiple new experiences coming to Disney parks around the world, including a new ride to Wakanda at Disney California Adventure and Cherry Tree Lane housing a new Mary Poppins attraction at Epcot.
Chapek kicked off the session with the news that Disneyland would be getting a new parade this spring, Magic Happens. The new daytime production will feature floats themed to Moana, Coco, Sleeping Beauty and more, with a new musical theme by Todrick Hall.
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway will open in Toontown in 2022, with a new facade revealed.
Disney California Adventure
As revealed Thursday, the name for the park's new Marvel-themed land will be Avengers Campus. The new ride will be the first Spider-Man ride in a Disney theme park, a web-slinging adventure where riders have to shoot webs to collect escaped Spiderbots in a Worldwide Engineering Brigade exhibition.
The land's restaurant will be Pym Test Kitchen and the land will open next year, to be followed by a phase two featuring a Quinjet ride to Wakanda and a battle for the fate of the world alongside the Avengers. That ride, for which we did not get a name or a date, will feature an all-new ride system.
Hong Kong Disneyland
The expanded castle will be called The Castle of Magical Dreams and feature elements themed to 13 Disney heroines. The park's new Frozen land has a couple of changes: it is now getting an installation of the Frozen Ever After ride from Epcot, and the Oaken's ride is now the Wandering Oaken's Sliding Sleighs roller coaster rather tha the trackless ride previously announced.
Disney Animation is working with Cirque du Soleil on the new show for the Cirque theater. The story will focus on the daughter of a Disney animator, whose work sends the daughter on a journey of self-discovery. The new production will begin previews on March 20, 2020 with an official premiere on April 17.
The transformation of Epcot will be the largest transformation of a theme park in Disney history, Chapek said. It will see the renaming of Future World into three "lands": World Nature, World Discovery, and World Celebration.
The new Guardians of the Galaxy coaster, "Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind" will be part of the World Discovery land and feature a planetarium-style preshow and a reverse launch on the coaster.
Next door in the Mission Space pavilion, the Space 220 Restaurant will open this winter.
In World Celebration, Spaceship Earth is getting a major refresh, with a new narration, a new "host" (Storylight), and new scenes that emphasize storytelling through history.
Behind the geosphere, a new park-like area, Dreamers Point, will include a new statue of Walt as well as a three-level structure that overlooks the park's lagoon. The overarching element of all these changes will result in more shade in the park, Chapek said.
Over in World Nature, the previously announced Awesome Planet movie will open in The Land pavilion in January, which will see the debut of several other new films across the park, including Canada Far and Wide 360 and the Beauty and the Beast sing-along that will play in rotation with Impressions de France.
The new movie in the China pavilion will arrive at a later date, but it will feature seamless 360-degree projection and be called Wondrous China.
Elsewhere in World Showcase, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure will open next summer, but the big reveal saw Dick van Dyke take the stage to a rousing ovation from the crowd of more than 7,000 to announce that Mary Poppins would be coming to the United Kingdom pavilion.
The first Mary Poppins attraction in a Disney theme park will see a new Cherry Tree Lane come to the pavilion, within which the new Poppins attraction will exist, behind the entrance to the Banks family home.
Finally, the park is getting a new musical anthem by Pinar Toprak, and the park's Illuminations replacement will be called HarmonioUS and debut next summer.
Elsewhere at Walt Disney World
Disney will introduce a new digital planning assistant in late 2020, called Disney Genie. This tool will plan detailed Disney World itineraries for visitors and will be capable of managing Fastpass+ and dining reservations, too.
We got a little more detail about the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience - the Star Wars "hotel" that Chapek revealed the name for on Thursday. This will be a two-day, two-night interactive experience, starting with check in at Walt Disney World before taking a launch pod that will blast you into space for your entry onto the Halycon starcruiser.
One day of the adventure will be a port day on Batuu, at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. But on-board activities will include lightsaber training, a bridge visit... and a possible space battle.
Disney Cruise Line
Chapek announced that Imagineer Joe Rohde is overseeing the development of Lighthouse Point, the new DCL-exclusive port of call in the Bahamas. Rohde came on stage to talk about the development, which he said would draw attention to the natural beauty of the island while helping to protect it. He also said that Imagineers are recruiting and working with local artists to ensure that the destination is "saturated with Bahamian culture."
Finally, Chapek announced that the name of the DCL's fifth ship would be the Disney Wish and that Rapunzel will be the stern character. The Disney Wish will set sail in January 2022, with a sixth and seventh ship to come.
Since Chapek also oversees Disney merchandise, he also announced that Disney is partnering with Target, which will begin opening Disney Store-themed shops within Target stores around the country this October.
And in case you missed it, here are Chapek's reveals from the Thursday night D23 Expo press preview.
Okay, now that you've heard and seen what Disney had to announce today, let's take Bob Weis' advice and examine these announcements with an informed, critical eye. Where do you see each of these in Imagineering's seven-phase process? And where do you see them on your own, personal scale of excitement?Tweet
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