As you know, there is never-ending imagination and construction going on when it comes to Disney. At D23 Expo 2015, tons of exciting information was shared regarding Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide. To sum it up, the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, Bob Chapek, said it best.
“From Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration to the anticipation of Shanghai Disney Resort, we’re in the midst of unprecedented growth and expansion around the globe. With these new announcements, we continue our legacy in creating innovative attractions, worldwide entertainment, and magical lands that take our guests into the worlds of stories they love.” – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek.
Disney Parks and Resorts – Star Wars Land & Attractions
In addition to updates on the new Shanghai Disney Resort, the major surprise was the announcement of a new 14-acre Star Wars land which is to be built at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World! No firm dates were given but we got plenty of details regarding theming of the new land and planned attractions. As the presentation continued, the audience was just eating it up.
While the new land is in construction, guests at both parks will still be treated to new Star Wars love. You’ll be seeing these at your local park later this year.
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Star Wars Launch Bay – Interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries.
- Jedi Training Academy— A new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
- Season of the Force – Seasonal event, beginning early 2016. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.
I periscoped the whole panel (my username is cookiesandclogs) but decided to crop it and share a taste of what I experienced during the panel (please excuse the quality and shakiness).
Disney Parks and Resorts – Park Additions
Both parks will see an update to a favorite attraction. Though Soarin’ Over California is gone, the new Soarin’ Around the World will take its place. Using new technology, guests will now fly above natural landscapes and man-made wonders around the world. The footage looks amazing!
Walt Disney World is going to be even more awesome. will see the addition of another new land, Toy Story Land. Attractions will include a family-friendly roller coaster aboard Slinky, flying saucers with the Toy Story Alien, and Toy Story Mania! will get an extra track. I’m sure that will be one of my favorite new lands!
Frozen Ever After will soon be found at the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Guest be transported to Arendelle and even the spring guest house. Preparation has already begun.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be seeing an expanded safari, new animals, and a nighttime spectacular to enjoy the park later in the evening. New attractions in the land of Avatar are expected to open next spring.
- “Rivers of Light” – “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.
- Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest, and the winged creatures known as Banshees.
- AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world.
There was also a portion dedicated to the new Marvel themed land coming to Hong Kong Disneyland. In honor of the Iron Man Experience there, the audience was treated to a light-hearted bit with Stan Lee, who portrayed himself as a great cameo artist.
Which announcements are you most excited about?
I was invited on an all-expense paid media trip as a guest of Disney in honor D23 Expo. All opinions are my own.